An Evening with Deacon Blues: The All-Star Tribute to Steely Dan featuring Seven-Time Grammy Winner Paul Wertico - 9/1/17Friday, September 01 2017 6:00 PM Doors / 8:00 PM Start
- Front Premier
at City Winery Chicago
An evening with Deacon Blues presents you with eleven stellar musicians, composers, and educators based in Chicago — and features several Grammy® winners. They all share a unique passion for the Becker/Fagen repository, better known to the world as Steely Dan.
The genesis of this All-Star tribute began when Steven Kikoen, Jonathan 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) and Tom Hipskind (drums). 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 the leadership of Steve, musical partner Brian Harris and arranger Jon Hey, the group reads as a "who's who" of world class musicians. Chicago luminaries and Grammy® artists such as Howard Levy (Kenny Loggins, Paul Simon, Bela Fleck); Chuck Webb (Aretha Franklin, Ramsey Lewis, and Al Di Meola); Wally Hustin (Dave Mason, David Benoit, Mike Stern); 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. Most recently, original Dan session musician and legendary drummer Bernard “Pretty” Purdie appeared with Deacon Blues at their sold-out Arcada Theatre show. The band also plans on featuring famed drum legend Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius) at future shows as well.
This stunning collective is essentially the personification of what Steely Dan did on record — gathering top studio musicians for their albums – The Deacons are doing this in a live format. 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 (The Drive) and Scott Mackay (The River), The Deacons will be debuting their first album of original music, in a similar musical landscape to ‘The Dan,’ in 2016.
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 the Dan’s 1991 reunion prototype — The New York Rock and Soul Revue. The band has also produced “Album nights” — consecutive evenings showcasing a particular album masterwork in it’s entirety, followed by other greatest hits and rarities.
Deacon Blues has consistently played to sold-out audiences and has appeared on regional and national television. In the words of legendary Chicago FM Radio personality Bob Stroud (WDRV “The Drive”) — “If you are a Dan fan, you owe it to yourself to see Deacon Blues — they’ve got the right musicians with 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.”
Paul’s official website is: www.paulwertico.com