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home : art & life : art & life April 29, 2016

7/31/2013 2:47:00 PM
Boocoo Heats Up With Monthly Jazz Jam
Vocalist Ty Cooper, left, basist Mark Sonksen and Boocoo Jazz Jam organizer Peter Schwendener, keyboards.  Photo by Natalie Wainwright

Vocalist Ty Cooper, left, basist Mark Sonksen and Boocoo Jazz Jam organizer Peter Schwendener, keyboards.  Photo by Natalie Wainwright

by Natalie Wainwright

 Despite the sign on the window at Boocoo, 1823 Church St., that reads “Closed Sundays,” the third Sunday of each month, 2:30-5 p.m., brings to the cultural center musicians of all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, with “axes” – instruments – just as varied.

The Monthly Jazz Jam, put into play just over a year ago
by Evanston pianist and teacher Peter Schwendener, runs along the same lines as the Monthly Blues Jam, an event that takes place the fourth Monday of each month. 
A just-for-kids’ jam session runs during the school year.

This July 21, as always in a jam session, sometimes things cooked and sometimes things got a little fried, but it was all fun for both musicians and observers.

 The starting trio comprised Mr. Schwendener, Mark Sonksen (bass) and Mike Linn (drums). Some of the musicians on stage on July 21 were alto saxophonist Art Taylor, who in the heyday of the Velvet Lounge played with Fred Anderson and Billy Brimfield; Paul Chouinard, violist with the Northbrook Symphony and Park Ridge Civic Orchestra; Vince Walker, tenor sax; Matt Kerste, keyboards, Ron Brown, bass. Nick Tesker took a turn on keyboard with “Stella by Starlight” and über-performer Ty Cooper stepped up to sing “Night and Day” and “When Sunny Gets Blue.”

 Everyone is welcome to try out their chops in this prime learning environment. And the price of entry cannot be beat: Those who play need not pay; a $5 donation is
suggested for non-playing guests.

 Next month’s Boocoo Jazz Jam will take place 2:30-5 p.m. on Aug. 18; the Blues Jam is at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 26.

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