NextGenJazz Series to Feature Young Jazz Talent

Drake Hotel partners with Jazz Institute of Chicago

Beginning March 1, the Drake Hotel, located at 140 E. Walton in Chicago, will host a lineup of young Chicago jazz talent on the first three Thursdays of each month through May. Presented in partnership with the Jazz Institute of Chicago and sponsored by Chicago Jazz Magazine, the NextGenJazz series provides jazz trios with a three-week engagement at the Drake Hotel’s Palm Court.

The series will kick off with the Marquis Hill Trio, performing March 1, 8, 15. Sets begin at 8 and end at midnight. There is no cover charge for the performances, but patrons should note the Palm Court’s two-drink minimum. The Jazz Institute of Chicago has a longstanding history of programming and presenting world-class jazz concerts at no cost including the Chicago Jazz Festival, JazzCity, and Made In Chicago: World Class Jazz concert series. The NextGenJazz series will continue this tradition while appealing to new and younger audiences.


MARCH 1, 8, 15: Marquis Hill Trio

The Marquis Hill Trio will be the trio-in-residence for March. On March 1st, 2012, the Marquis Hill Trio will kick off the NextGenJazz Series at the Drake Hotel. At age 24, trumpeter Marquis Hill is already a well-known name on the Chicago jazz scene. He has toured the US and abroad with Sirens of Sound, the Delisfort Project, Chicago 12, Bebop Brass, Ronald Carter Big Band, and his own group the Marquis Hill Black-tet. He released his debut album “New Gospel” in 2011. In a review of “New Gospel,” praised the young trumpet player’s composing and improvising talents: “Hill shows why he is considered one of the foremost players and composers of a new generation of jazz players.”

APRIL 5, 12, 19: Rajiv Halim Trio

Rajiv Halim is a saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and educator from Chicago, IL. He regularly performs throughout Chicago and has had the privilege to perform and/or record with artists such as Antonio Hart, Lisa Henry, Von Freeman, Mike Stern, Martha Reeves, Bob Mintzer, Orbert Davis, Ernest Dawkins, Ari Brown, Nicole Mitchell, Maggie Brown, Corey Wilkes, Ernie Adams, The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and many others. In 2010, Rajiv won 1st place in Division II of the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation’s Jazz Improvisation Competition. He also won an Outstanding Individual Musician Award at the 2010 Elmhurst College Jazz Festival. Between September 2009 and August 2011, Rajiv performed around the United States and Canada with the eclectic band Kids These Days, headlining many venues and festivals, as well as, opening up for or sharing the stage with acts from Raphael Saadiq to Snoop Dogg.

MAY 3, 10, 17: Katie Ernst Trio

Described by the Naperville Sun as a “double-talented” jazz bassist and jazz vocalist, Katie Ernst has impressed audiences nationwide with her multifaceted performances. Katie has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, the Naperville Jazz Festival, and jazz clubs throughout the East Coast and the Midwest. Katie received a degree in double bass performance from the Eastman School of Music and is an accomplished, award-winning vocalist as well. In 2007, she received a Downbeat Award for her singing and was featured in Downbeat Magazine’s June issue. At her recent trio performance at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, Katie was described as being “the surprise act of the night.” Rochester’s Democrat & Chronicle praised her for writing “interesting, thoughtful arrangements that really embody a full range of styles. She’s definitely a young artist who is on the rise.”

The Jazz Institute of Chicago is a not-for-profit organization that serves as a foundation of support for nurturing new talent, sustaining active artists, and developing new audiences for jazz in Chicago. For more information about the NextGenJazz series, visit Jazz in Chicago or call 312-427-1676.