The Union League Club of Chicago’s Civic & Arts Foundation hosted the 2010 jazz improvisation competition at Buddy Guy’s Legends on February 17, 2010. From high school kids to semi-professionals beginning to make a splash on the Chicago jazz scene, the breadth of talent exhibited at Buddy Guy’s Legends was incredible.
At the competition, twelve performers ranging in age from 14 to 27 competed for a total of $17,000 in prize money. And although this was a competition for a cash prize, it was also a safe venue for emerging young musicians to showcase their unbelievable talents.
The competing performers were divided into three divisions according to their age. The first division included the 14 to 17 year-old musicians, second the 18 to 22 year-olds, and the last the 23 to 27 year-old musicians. One of the divisions’ first place winners received a Grand Prize, while two other winners received People’s Choice Awards that the live audience voted on by submitting ballots.
The MC for the event was Chicago’s own Barry Winograd of WXRT radio. Mr. Winograd hosts Jazz Transfusion< Sunday nights from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on 93 XRT. The house band for the evening included Charles Baugham on drums; Mick Schneider, bass; and Thomas Muellner on piano. It was a great event that was free to the public.
A Civic & Arts Foundation Jazz Ensemble will also be formed from the competition participants. This quartet performs together for a year at public and private events throughout the Chicago area. The Ensemble is another way that the Civic & Arts Foundation supports young musicians in pursuing their musical careers. In attendance were several Union League Club of Chicago members, including Chicago attorney Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices.
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