Heartland Cafe Calendar of Events for March & April 2011

Here are the Heartland’s Cafe Calendar of Events for March & April 20011. Don’t miss The Steel Wheels tonight playing their old-time sing-alongs and foot-stompin’ fiddle tunes.

Thursday, March 10 – 8 pm
The Steel Wheels
$7.00, Americana

The Steel Wheels are truly an Americana band, rooted in musical styles that explore the territories between blues and bluegrass, old-time sing-alongs and foot-stompin’ fiddle tunes. They are subtle innovators who respect the past but whistle their own tunes, layering in rich textures and decidedly modern energy to forge a new sound.

They fit best among musicians like Langhorne Slim, Gillian Welch, or Adrienne Young and Little Sadie (with whom they’ve shared the stage) – deft musicians making a name for themselves by creating their own particular permutation of traditional forms. Yet the Steel Wheels share much with new Americana favorites like the Avett Brothers or Old Crow Medicine Show, with charisma that causes toes to tap and heads to nod, audiences hanging on their every word. Like those bands, The Steel Wheels have broad appeal. And they count among their fans former Statler Brother Jimmy Fortune and indie folk darlings Over the Rhine.

The four-piece band is based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, where multi-instrumentalist Jay Lapp was born and took inspiration from church hymns and folk fests, and where Trent Wagler has been a scene staple for nearly a decade. Lapp was touring with several successful Midwest bands when he and Wagler crossed paths in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and a musical partnership began. The two are joined by upright bassist Brian Dickel and fiddler Eric Brubaker to form the Steel Wheels. The band shines exceptionally in their live shows, and their palpable chemistry translates easily to Red Wing. Just listen to the exceptional four-part harmonies that support and accentuate Wagler’s scratchy tenor, which has been compared to that of Darrel Scott. Brubaker’s fiddle, both lively and evocative, suits the band exactly, and Dickel’s upright bass grounds the outfit. Jay Lapp’s signature mandolin style is remarkable and unmistakable.

The Steel Wheels have built a following from the East Coast to the Midwest and beyond, appearing at Americana festivals such as the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Festival, Floydfest, Folk Alliance, and Appalachian Uprising. Wagler and Lapp also regularly take a duo show to Ireland and have appeared with Peter Rowan at the ‘Ards International Guitar Festival.

In keeping with their music that takes a traditional idea on a modern adventure, Wagler and Lapp’s organized a week-long, 300-mile bicycle tour last year. Not only did they pedal themselves through the mountains of Virginia to seven gigs in seven days, they hauled their own gear the whole way, with one bicycle custom-framed for travel and another fitted with a trailer. It’s one more example that with inherent skill and energy, trust in the value of simplicity and a marked talent for taking something old-fashioned and making it relevant for today is one of The Steel Wheels’ greatest strengths.

Saturday, March 12 – 9 pm
The Fancy Boys: http://www.sonicbids.com/TheFancyBoys
Please and Thank You: www.myspace.com/thepleaseandthankyou
$5.00, Acoustic Pop / Rock
18 and over

Wednesday, March 16
In One Ear; open mic for poetry, music and more Hosted By Pete Wolf
$3.00, Sign up at 9:30 pm, Show at 10 pm

Thursday, March 17 – 8 pm
Becky Sheehan
No Cover, Singer Songwriter

Friday, March 18 – 9 pm
The Clark Street Band
$5.00 Suggested Donation, Jazz

Saturday, March 19 – 9 pm
The Gunnelpumpers
$5.00, World Music / Electronica

Wednesday, March 23
In One Ear; open mic for poetry, music and more
Hosted By Pete Wolf
$3.00, Sign up at 9:30 pm, Show at 10 pm

Friday, March 25 – 8 pm
Charlie King and Karen Bandrow
$5.00 Suggested Donation, Folk Music

Charlie King and Karen Brandow are musical storytellers and political satirists. Their repertoire covers a century and a half and four continents. They perform with the sweet and precise harmonies of life partners. They sing and write passionately about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. “Two voices that complement each other beautifully & instrumentation that is spare, acoustic & just right” Victory Music Review

December 2010 marks the release of their latest CD, THE DISTANCE REMAINING. Other recent releases include: HIGHER GROUND, ON THE JOURNEY, SPARKS & TEARS, PUPPET TOWN, REMEMBERING SACCO & VANZETTI, and their premier 2001 Appleseed Recording, I STRUCK GOLD. In addition to a full time career of concert touring, King and Brandow have sung in support of numerous groups working for peace, human rights, environmental sanity and alternatives to violence.

Their central vision as entertainers is to leave audiences with a sense of optimism and possibility about the future. “We try to cover a broad emotional landscape in our concerts. The stories we collect and the songs we write take the listener on a journey of humor, heartache and hope. What we most value in a song is the way it helps us see an old reality in a totally new light.”

Charlie King has been at the heart of American folk music for over 45 years. His songs have been recorded and sung by other performers such as Pete Seeger, Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, John McCutcheon, Arlo Guthrie, Peggy Seeger, Chad Mitchell and Judy Small. Honors include an “Indie” award for one of the top three American folk recordings of 1984. In May of 1998 the War Resisters League gave their Peacemaker Award to Charlie and to Odetta. Pete Seeger nominated Charlie for the Sacco-Vanzetti Social Justice Award, which he received in November 1999. Charlie has released a dozen solo albums since 1976. He has also released three albums with the touring ensemble Bright Morning Star, and numerous compilation albums with other artists.

Charlie was born in 1947, and was raised in Brockton, MA. He cites as musical influences the folk music revival of the 1960’s, the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War era. Folk legend Peggy Seeger says, “If we had more Charlie Kings in the world I’d be less worried,” and Tom Paxton adds, “Luckily, we have him!”

Karen Brandow has been performing with Charlie King since 1998. While doing human rights work in Guatemala from 1986-1994, Karen studied voice, performance and classical guitar. She performed at political and cultural events in that country as a soloist and was a founding member of the a cappella singing group, the Non-Traditional Imports.

Karen was born in 1954 in Philadelphia, PA. She began singing and playing guitar as a teenager. While living in Central America, she broadened her repertoire to include Latin American music of the “Nueva Canción” or New Song Movement. She performs songs in English and Spanish.

Sunday, March 27 – 9 pm
The Eddie Stevens 3
$5.00 Suggested Donation, Jazz

The Eddie Stevens 3 was formed by 3 veterans of the Chicago jazz scene in an effort to bring you classic swinging trio music that is right for any occasion. We hope to bring you sounds that will conjure up memories of some of the classic chamber jazz groups of the past. This is music that is intricate yet swings like mad. Don’t worry, We also like to put our spin on more contemporary material, as well as our unique take on famous classical themes.

Monday, March 28 – 7 pm
The School of Rock (Chicago)
Open Mic Night
No Cover, Open Mic

Wednesday, March 30
In One Ear; open mic for poetry, music and more Hosted By Pete Wolf
$3.00, Sign up at 9:30 pm, Show at 10 pm

Thursday, March 31 – 8 pm
Steve Hashimoto and Friends
$7.00, Jazz

Sueños Latin-Jazz has been in existence and active in the Chicago area for ten years. Our new CD “Azul Oscuro” has just been released (6/24/06) and is available from me (contact me at HASHIMOTO@aol.com) or on CDBaby. Mothra was formed in 1976 (!) and has recorded 4 albums, only one of which is commercially available anymore, “Giri”, on AsianImprov Records.

Saturday, April 2 – 3 pm
A Special Acoustic Kids Show Featuring
Mindy and The Time Outs
$5.00, Kids Music

Rock is here to stay with Chicago children’s musician Mindy Hester and her band Mindy Hester & The Time Outs! With her unique brand of rock music for the little ones, Mindy’s music features original parodies that the cool kids will be singing for years.

After graduating from Chicago’s The Theatre School at DePaul University in 1992, Mindy moved out to L.A. and enjoyed a successful career in the entertainment industry with a variety of live theatre, television and film roles including The Drew Carey Show, Murphy Brown, Family Matters, Cupid and a role in the feature film Rudy. Her entire professional acting resume can be views online at www.imdb.com/mindyhester.

Returning home to Chicago in 1998, Mindy began teaching at the prestigious Old Town School of Folk Music as an instructor in the adult guitar and Wiggleworms children’s music programs. As a single mom, Mindy soon discovered her passion for creating a unique brand of kid’s music that parents alike could enjoy. Joined by band members Dean Harris on drums and Noah Samuels on bass, Mindy and The Time Outs energetic and hilarious live performances fuse traditional kid’s music with originals and rock parodies to get kids of all ages on their feet.

Saturday, April 2 – 9 pm
MRA Productions Presents
The Spring Steppers Fling
$10.00, Dance Party

Sunday, April 3 – 7 pm
The Kurt Loeffler Workshop:
$5.00 Suggested Donation, Jazz

Kurt Loeffer grew up in the Detroit, Michigan area where he began playing Drum Set at the age of fourteen. He began studying Drum Set and Percussion in High School and studied with Bruce Pulk, Principal Timpanist and Percussionist with the Grand Rapids Symphony, now with the Phoenix Symphony.

He then attended the University of Michigan, School of Music from 1982 — 1987 where he studied Percussion with Michael Udow, and Jazz Vibraphone, Improvisation and Jazz Ensemble with Ted Piltzecker.

After completing his Bachelors Degree in Percussion/Performance he moved to Chicago where he continued his Graduate Studies at DePaul University’s School of Music and studied Jazz Piano and Improvisation with Alan Swain and privately studied Drum Set/Percussion with Paul Wertico.

Recently, he completed his Master’s Certificate in Arranging and Recording Engineering through the Berklee College of Music. He leads his own Quintet and plays professionally in a variety of groups throughout the Chicago area.

Wednesday, April 6
In One Ear; open mic for poetry, music and more Hosted By Pete Wolf
$3.00, Sign up at 9:30 pm, Show at 10 pm

Thursday, April 7 – 8 pm
Opera On Tap
$10.00 Suggested Donation, Opera

Opera on Tap Chicago presents nights of opera hits in the fun, casual setting of the historic Heartland Cafe in Rogers Park. The performances will include opera favorites, romance, treachery, and lots of laughs.

Come see the singers and pianists showcasing the intimate genre of art songs from the likes of Schubert, Wolf, Strauss, Brahms and more! Lovely and thought provoking lieder is on tap this night.

Saturday, April 9 – 9 pm
Swing Hakim (Formerly Doctor Swing)
$5.00, World Music

Doctor Swing is a Chicago-based band that plays Django Reinhardt-inspired late ‘30s jazz. Each member of the group brings to the repertoire an expertise in a number of other styles, including: Klezmer, Bulgarian music, Delta and Chicago blues, Classical Arabic music, and Free Jazz. Influences range from modern Gypsy Jazz groups to Selim Sessler and Albert Ayler. The unique format of Clarinet, Resonator guitar, and sometimes Oud allows the group’s arrangements and original compositions to meld a range of harmonic ideas atop swing rhythms.

Sunday, April 10 – 7 pm
Little Kids Rock
$5.00 Suggested Donation, Kids Music

Little Kids Rock is a program that brings rock/pop music into public schools in underserved districts, including Chicago, and puts guitars in the hands of school children.

Wednesday, April 13
In One Ear; open mic for poetry, music and more Hosted By Pete Wolf
$3.00, Sign up at 9:30 pm, Show at 10 pm

Saturday, April 16 – 9 pm
Jackie Allen
$5.00, Jazz / Adult Contemporary

Jackie Allen, critically acclaimed vocalist, songwriter and Blue Note Recording Artist, has performed multiple tours of the US, Europe, Morocco, Brazil, China and Taiwan. She has 9 albums to her credit and a strong Midwestern fan base. Her working group includes guitar, piano, bass and percussion.

Jackie has been singing jazz in Chicago since 1992. Her latest release, Starry Night, is her first live recording and features her rhythm section with symphony orchestra performing star-themed tunes penned by arrangers who have written for Frank Sinatra, Diana Krall, Duke Ellington and more. She became a Blue Note Artist with the release of Tangled (2006), called “exquisite” by the Capitol Times. Love is Blue (2004) reached the top fifteen on the Billboard charts. Jazz Times Magazine said of The Men in My Life (2003), a collection standards from Frank Sinatra to Sting, “There’s only one word to describe it: Wow!” She recorded two duet CDs with legendary pianist/vocalist Judy Roberts. Her debut album, Never Let Me Go (1994), remained on the national charts for 13 weeks. Jackie has appeared as a featured performer at many of the most famous U.S. jazz venues including the Blue Note (NYC), Yoshi’s (San Francisco), Catalina’s (Los Angeles), the Dakota (Minneapolis), and the Jazz Showcase (Chicago). She has appeared at the Detroit, Ravinia and Chicago jazz festivals as well as internationally at the North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland), Thessaloniki Jazz Festival (Greece), Bejing Music Festival (China) and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland).

Sunday, April 17 – 8 pm
Making Marek 2
Featuring The Vagina Monologues
$10.00, Benefit

Wednesday, April 20
In One Ear; open mic for poetry, music and more Hosted By Pete Wolf
$3.00, Sign up at 9:30 pm, Show at 10 pm

Friday, April 22 – 9 pm
Steff Mahan
$5.00, Country / Singer Songwriter

Nashville based singer/songwriter Steff Mahan is one performer that should not be missed. She explodes onto the stage with her guitar, a huge talent and a list of credits that leaves no doubt that she is on the rise. She scored a publishing deal with Encore Entertainment on Music Row where she was a staff writer from 2005 until they Encore closed its doors in 2008. Steff has opened for critically acclaimed artists like Patty Griffin, Holly Williams, and Tift Merritt. Billboard hails her as an “entertaining can’t miss performance.” Nashville critics agree, consistently giving her rave reviews across the board. Nashville City Paper may have summed it up best: “simply wicked-cool.”

Wednesday, April 27
In One Ear; open mic for poetry, music and more Hosted By Pete Wolf $3.00, Sign up at 9:30 pm, Show at 10 pm

Friday, April 29 – 9 pm
Rachel Pearl
$5.00, Singer Songwriter

Rachel Pearl is a jazzy singer-songwriter who performs all over the US. She plays ukulele, electric guitar, and a mean set of vocal chords.

“Rachel Pearl adds a fun-loving touch.. Not only does she have an incredible voice, but she has lots of sass and pizzazz, as well. From her charm to her cute, quirky stage presence, there’s not much to not love about her.” -Knoxville Journal.

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  1. Mindy Hester says:

    Thanks so much for announcing our show April 2 at The Heartland Cafe! Just want to make a small correction, it’s “Mindy Hester & The Time Outs!” not “Mandy”, but much thanks for the shout out!

  2. Hey Mindy- Sorry about that! It’s all fixed!

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