Deacon Blues Anniversary Show with special guest drummer Paul Wertico
Tonight with Grammy Award-winning drummer Paul Wertico (Pat Metheny's drummer). Doors open at 7 pm.
Deacon Blues was born in the twelfth year of the 21st century. Eleven stellar musicians, composers and educators based in Chicago, they share a unique passion for the Becker/Fagen repository, better known to the world as Steely Dan.
The genesis of Deacon Blues began when Steve Kikoen, Jon Hey, and Cash Michaels formed an original jazz/rock collective known as Bebop Daddys. The Daddys also featured the renowned rhythm section of Tom Mendel (bass–Hamilton) and Tom Hipskind (drums–Hamilton). Considered a Daddys fan, Donald Fagen can be seen in many a YouTube video sporting his Bebop Daddys “Tee.”
Steve, Jon and Cash formed a bond within the Daddys which has followed them into Deacon Blues. Under Steve’s leadership, and with the addition of newest “Deacon” Thomas Linsk, the group reads as a "who's who" of world-class musicians. Chicago luminaries and Grammy® winners such as Howard Levy (Kenny Loggins, Paul Simon, Béla Fleck), Paul Wertico (Pat Metheny, Wertico, Cain, & Gray); Wally Hustin (Phoebe Snow, Dave Mason, Mark Stern, David Benoit), Chuck Webb (Aretha Franklin, Ramsey Lewis, & Al Di Meola); Sugar Blue (The Rolling Stones); Billy Branch (The Sons of Blues); Khari Parker (George Benson, Destiny’s Child); Richard Patterson (Miles Davis, Boz Skaggs), and Bob Lizik (The Beach Boys; Brian Wilson) have been featured as special guests with the band. Recently, original Dan session musician and legendary drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie appeared with Deacon Blues at one of their sold-out Arcada Theatre shows. The band also plans on featuring famed bassist and producer Steve Rodby (Pat Metheny, The Impossible Gentlemen) and prolific drum legend Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius) at future shows as well.
This stunning collective is essentially the personification of what The Dan did on record. Steely Dan is well known for attracting only the top studio musicians in the world for their albums. The Deacons are doing what The Dan did on record – but they’re doing it live on stage. Speaking of “The Deacons” – that is actually the moniker of Deacon Blues’ alter ego – their original band. With support from legendary Chicago FM radio station personalities such as Bob Stroud (WDRV–The Drive), Richard Milne & Terri Hemmert (WXRT–Chicago’s Finest Rock) and Scott Mackay (WERV–The River) as well as WGN Television, The Deacons will be debuting their first album of original music, in a similar musical landscape as ‘The Dan,’ in 2017.
Deacon Blues has structured their live repertoire to encompass a wider range of the Dan's prolific material - including rarities as well as repertoire from the Dan’s 1991 reunion prototype — The New York Rock & Soul Revue. Deacon Blues has consistently played to sold-out audiences, and has appeared on regional and national television. As the song goes . . .“Close your eyes, and you'll be there.”
In the words of legendary Chicago FM Radio personality Bob Stroud, “If you are a Dan fan, you owe it to yourself to see Deacon Blues — they’ve got all the right musicians with all the right chops — they are an incredible tribute to the music of Steely Dan!”
In the words of ‘another’ defining band . . . "A splendid time is guaranteed for all!”
Hailed in the press as “One of the most versatile and musical drummers in music today,” Paul Wertico was a member of the Pat Metheny Group from 1983 to 2001. During that time, he won seven Grammy Awards, won numerous magazine polls, and received several gold records.
He has played with countless artists and has performed in all 50 states and in over 60 countries. Paul has also played drums and percussion on hundreds of recordings, including Paul Winter’s Grammy nominated release, Earth: Voices Of A Planet, and on four of vocalist Kurt Elling’s Grammy nominated releases. Paul also hosted his own radio show, Paul Wertico’s Wild World of Jazz, from 2010 to 2012.
Paul is also extremely active in the field of education. In addition to teaching drums privately for over 40 years, Paul is an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. For many years, he’s conducted drum clinics around the world and has written educational articles for numerous magazines. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Modern Drummer magazine, the Education Committee of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, and he served five terms on the Board of Governors of The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter.
In 2004, he was a Chicago Tribune “Chicagoan of the Year.” In 2010, the Cape Breton International Drum Festival honored him with a “Life Time Achievement Award” for his “Major Contribution To The World Of Drumming & Education,” and he was also a recipient of the Montréal Drum Fest’s coveted Career Recognition Award. As Musical Director for the crowdsourced TV video series Inventing The Future, Paul was nominated for a 2012-2013 Emmy Award in the “Outstanding Achievement In Interactivity” category by The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Midwest Chapter.
As a solo recording artist, Paul’s recordings have all received great critical praise and DownBeat magazine awarded Paul’s CD, Impressions of a City, 4.5 stars and listed it as one its “Best CDs of 2010.” His DVD, Paul Wertico's Drum Philosophy, was named “One of the best drum videos of the last 25 years” by Modern Drummer magazine. LA Weekly even wrote “His recent records, such as 2000’s Don’t Be Scared Anymore and the new StereoNucleosis, are stunning examples of the electronic, rhythmic and intellectual directions jazz could be going."
Some of his latest releases include a DVD & CD by David Cain & Paul Wertico entitled Feast For The Senses; a CD by Paul Wertico & Frank Catalano entitled Topics of Conversation; a CD by Fabrizio Mocata, Gianmarco Scaglia & Paul Wertico entitled Free The Opera!; a DVD & CD by Wertico Cain & Gray entitled Sound Portraits (which won “Best Live Performance Album” in the 13th Annual Independent Music Awards (2014); Wertico Cain & Gray’s second CD entitled Out In SPACE; Wertico Cain & Gray's second DVD & third CD entitled Organic Architecture; Wertico Cain & Gray's fourth CD and downloadable video release entitled Realization; and Wertico Cain & Gray's fifth CD entitled Short Cuts – 40 Improvisations.
In the international press, Paul’s drumming has also been compared to that of an “Impressionist painter,” and he has also been called “an inspired madman,” “a restless innovator,” “a true legend of jazz drums,” “a master of drumming insanity,” “a genius of the sticks,” and a recent review stated, “Wertico simply oozes musicality.” www.paulwertico.com