Sunday, May 31, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes

Well that's a wrap.
Now wasn't that fun? I knew you‘d like that.
We concluded our second season of "Young Natives" Student Jam Sessions, accomplishing five marvelous sessions, four great guests, and one infinitely wonderful time.
Our last jam concluded with another brilliant performance by Chicago notable; jazz trumpeter,
Corey Wilkes, accompanied by the brilliant performances of pianist, George Nutall, bassist, Eric Williams, alto saxophonist, Gerald Holden, and drummer Charlie Snyder, along with some very special and promising guest dropping by, (as seen in the photo playing along side Corey), embodying the very essence of what "Young Natives" strives to be.

Nine year olds Rashad Johnson, Thomas Campbell, and Joshua Yeo, did a walk-on at our Young Natives set, and then politely proceeded to blow everybody’s mind with their fearlessness display of maturity and confidence, especially given their short careers as musicians. It was much to Corey’s delight to call up young trumpeter “Thomas Campbell”, who was the first to take the plunge by requesting My Little Suede Shoes as part of his performance repertoire . The audience was amazed by Campbell’s unabashed demeanor, who showed shades of a young Corey Wilkes. It took a little arm twisting at first, for trumpeter “Rashad Johnson”, who , literally followed in his young protege’s footprints to the bandstand alongside alto sax man, “Joshua Yeo”, to which, they then played the Miles Davis/Shorter composition, Foot Prints. Rashad Johnson displayed flashes of Lee Morgan, and a good deal of the audience agreed that Joshua Yeo sounded a lot like John Coltrane on their final song together; Coltrane composition, Blue Train. I actually started to wonder what their parents were feeding them. These were nine-year olds and they were g-rrreat, putting an entirely new spin on the expression, “out of the mouth of babes”.

Chicago notables; vanguards, like tenor sax man
David Boykin, and City Life diva; jazz vocalist, June Yvonne also dropped by to send us off, along with new comer, golf pro; violinist, Robin Aikens .We've also had the pleasure of having some very generous and appreciated media coverage, from Chi-Town Daily News. Reporter Rashana Baldwin gave us a visit, and shined some very positive light on our little event that could. Click on this upcoming link to read her article, Jazz jam session puts spotlight on young Englewood musicians
We will now get ready for our “Young Natives” fund raiser, scheduled to take place once again at our new home,
Sikia” Restaurant Wednesday July 15th, From 6:00pm to 8:00pm, managed by the wonderful staff of Washburn Culinary Arts students @ Kennedy King 740 west 63rd Street.
We will be looking to raise seed money and awareness to hopefully to reemerge at
Sikia with yet another round of "Young Natives" Student Jam Sessions, scheduled to start October ’09 and run through May 2010.
This event will be a buffet style, B.Y.O.B, Live Jazz event, and once again joined by our newest bestist friend,
Corey Wilkes, giving us one more for the road along with our long time friend; premier jazz pianist, Ken Chaney.

Menu includes:
African Salad Trio (Sweet potato Ambrosia, Broccoli and Cauliflower, Lentil)
Jerk Chicken
Moroccan Salmon Cakes
Piri Piri Shrimp Skewers
Lamb Kabobs
Jollof Rice
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Steamed Fresh Vegetables
Mini Dessert Variety:
Sweet Potato Pie, Chocolate Pound Cake, Cashew Cookies,
Also, Greg Stivers special blend of Stivers gourmet coffee.

Tickets are $30.00 per person and are available on line at this link
Brown Paper Tickets “Young Natives Fund Raiser and also at Sikia Restaurant 740 West 63rd Street 773-602-5200, and Inka
Internet Station 11320 South Halsted 773-264-9200.
You can also make a 30.00 dollar donation to
Urban Aspirations “Young Natives” fundraiser, at any Harris Bank, in Chicago and the teller will issue a $30.00 or more print out bank receipt that will admit a party of equaling dollar value into event upon receipt, e.g., a $30.00 receipt admits one, $60.00 admits two, $90.00 admits three etc.
You can also, send a check or money order along with self addressed stamped envelope to:
Urban Aspirations
28 East Jackson # 10 B843
Chicago, IL 60604

We can also be contacted at or
We hope to see you on the fifteenth to support this wonderful program that is long over-due for the residents of Englewood.
To know more about “Young Natives” Student Jam Sessions, please refer to our original blog,
Young Jazz Comes to Englewood

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