Racine & Me: Racine Theatre Guild & 2024 Jean’s Jazz Series

Racine & Me: Racine Theatre Guild & 2024 Jean’s Jazz Series

RACINE, WI (CBS 58) -- The 2024 Jean’s Jazz Series will open with The James Yorgan Sextet on Saturday, January 6, 2024, at 7 p.m. at the Racine Theatre Guild, 2519 Northwestern Ave., Racine. With four local groups of artists and musicians featured through the series, it celebrates jazz music’s legacy and intricacies all season long.

Racine’s own six-piece ensemble, the James Yorgan Sextet has been performing throughout the region for years, spanning genres from swing to contemporary jazz. The combo is led by Jim Yorgan on bass, Mick Heberling on drums, Dave Sturino on keys, Tom Meredith on Trumpet, Dave Ferguson on trombone and Steve Jacob on sax. Packed with talent, the group brings to life the stylings of George Benson, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Grover Washington Jr. and more.

In 2001, Joe Mooney created the Jean’s Jazz Series in memory of his wife, Jean, who passed away from ovarian cancer. Since then, over 23,000 people have attended the memorable concerts, grossing more than $130,000 to benefit the Racine Theatre Guild. Jean’s love of RTG and her love of jazz inspired a series that continues to bring together jazz fans and singers and musicians from throughout the region.

“One of my favorite hobbies is listening to music,” Mooney shared. “With so much local and regional talent to enjoy, it has been a joy to introduce countless audiences to these singers and musicians over the years. While I have been organizing this series for over 20 years, seeing the response of fellow music lovers like you always moves me. It’s almost like there is a bit of magic when we gather in a special space like the Racine Theatre Guild to collectively explore jazz.”

Season tickets are available through January 6, 2024 for all four dates at $60 for adults, $52 for seniors (62 and older), and $15 for students (21 and under). Individual tickets can also be purchased at $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $5 for students. Call (262) 633-4218, visit www.racinetheatre.org, or stop by the box office weekdays from 12 to 6 p.m. for tickets and more information.

Jean’s Jazz is made possible through the support of Educators Credit Union, Landmark Title, Maresh-Meredith and Acklam Funeral Home, and Pruitt Zabkowicz S.C. 

Saturday, February 17, 2024 at 7 p.m.

The Kal Bergendahl Project

The Kal Bergendahl Project is a six-piece instrumental jazz-funk band. The vibrant unit features some of Southeastern Wisconsin’s most familiar jazz faces displaying extraordinary musicianship and technical precision. Blending free-flowing funk and memorable melodies, the ensemble is driven by a stellar horn section. Groove and melodic hooks are woven into their deeply focused musical landscape of Jazz-Funk, R&B and Soul. The group has recorded five CD’s: “Love Unconditional” in 2006, “Everlasting Life” in 2008, “Life & Soul” in 2013, “Parallels Ch. 1” in 2016, “Parallels Ch. 2” in 2020* and “Parallels Ch. 3” in 2021, and “Parallels Ch. 4” in 2023.

Saturday, March 23, 2024 at 7 p.m.

Affinity Trio

Equipped with an arsenal of standards from the Great American Songbook, as well as Latin jazz, bebop, and original compositions, Affinity Trio creates an intimate ambience while still possessing a strong rhythmic drive. Featuring Eric Jacobson on trumpet, Clay Schaub on bass, and Pamela York on piano, the trio has held a regular Monday night residency at the Mason Street Grill in Milwaukee. Individually, they have worked with some of the biggest names in the jazz world: Benny Golson, Phil Woods, Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton, Bruce Barth, Brian Lynch, Greg Tardy, Frank Morgan, etc. The group’s debut recording, Hindsight, is now available on Origin Records.

Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 7 p.m.

The Donna Woodall Quintet

With her unique mix of jazz/blues and pop originals and covers, Donna Woodall blurs musical genres and presents lush, intimate vocals with every performance. Artfully blending the musical styles of artists such as Carole King, Cassandra Wilson, Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, Sting, Marvin Gaye, and Tracy Chapman with elements of traditional jazz and blues, she creates a fresh, new twist on familiar pop songs. Audiences are delighted by her eclectic song selections, cool originals, creative renditions of classic hits and jazz standards, and her bold moves into different music genres- all the while staying grounded in her jazz roots. In 2023, Donna was voted Wisconsin Area Music Industry’s Female Vocalist of the Year.

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