“Love Songs”: Four Female-Fronted Acts Team up for Three Thursdays, Bringing a Mix of Styles: Songwriter, Jazz, Blues, R&B and Torch
February 6, 13 and 20, 2020 at Uncommon Ground Edgewater
Chicago, IL — Music is one of the most emotional art forms and love is the perfect subject. Hear Chicago vocalists and songwriters explore love in all its facets: from heartache to bliss, and everywhere in between. Hear a wide mix of songs throughout time; especially the rich legacy 20th century jazz, pop, R&B and songwriter genres. Each week songwriter Hannah Frank is joined by incredible artists including: Robin Watson, Robinlee Garber, and Linda Solotaire Trio on Thursdays February 6, 13, and 20, respectively, 7:00pm – 9:00pm.
“Love Songs” is the perfect show for Valentine’s Day month, as four female-fronted acts team up to perform in a three-week series at Uncommon Ground Edgewater, 1401 W. Devon, Chicago, IL. The performers will sing songs about love (plus drama, intrigue and a little heartbreak), drawing from many individual styles.
Reservations: (773) 465-9801 or uncommonground.com
Robin Watson, jazz and multi-genre vocalist who channels Billie Holiday/Sarah Vaughn/Dinah Washington in performances of Ellington to Wonder with a funky twist, is called “compelling, charming and moving.”
Robinlee Garber, who has been featured on WDCB, toured internationally and is inspired by American Songbook as well as songwriters like Joni Mitchell.
Linda Solotaire, a vocalist who has performed internationally (including the deck of a battleship in the Mediterranean Sea) and is most deeply influenced by vocal artists Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and Nina Simone, and inspired by great composer/songwriters Johnny Mercer to Leonard Cohen and Thelonius Monk.
Hannah Frank is a singer-songwriter and vocalist/guitarist exploring jazz along with roots, blues and more as she soaks up Chicago influences.
Hannah Frank (Appearing each night 2/6, 13 and 20)
Hannah Frank is a Chicago singer-songwriter and vocalist exploring folk, roots, jazz and blues. Her most recent release is “Comes Love” a 7” single on Random Chance Records (NYC) including jazz and western swing styles. This follows over 8 years of musical journeys in Chicago, from performing originals with her ambient roots band, Hannah Frank Group, as well as working with musicians a sound engineer; plus previous work alongside Chicago Acoustic Underground, an original music behemoth, as a Publicist and organizer of talent for showcases, festivals and conferences. She has interviewed musicians for Chicago Music Guide, as well as for her blog, On Axis Music, and visited Mississippi to see blues music. www.hannahfrankmusic.com.
Robin Watson (Appearing 2/6/20)
Music of all genres—Blues, Pop, Soul, Gospel and all that Jazz!
Robin Watson’s (Jazzlady Robin) performance career has spanned a couple of decades through some of Chicago’s premier hotspots including Navy Pier, United Center, Peninsula Hotel, Como Inn, and Showboat, Empress and Majestic Star Casinos. She was a vocal performance major at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA, where she merited solo performances at the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter and the United Nations and toured in Brazil and South America. Directly out of school she pursued musical theatre with remarkable successes early on. She then put her career on the shelf for over 15 years to pursue other interests and raise a family. She has since resumed her passion for musical performance and theatre. She was a featured singer/actress in Madhi Theater Company’s, “Chicago Bronzeville: the Musical” and “Testimony” and is developing a recording career.
A jazz vocalist and leader, her vocal styling is described to be an appealing blend of Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington, Carmen McRae and Nina Simone, while her creativity is clearly influenced by that of her distant cousin, Ella Fitzgerald. Ms. Watson’s performance career has spanned decades through Chicago’s premiere jazz venues.
She has wooed audiences from large stages – Petrillo Bandshell, Garfield Park Conservatory, The Chicago Theatre, Pheasant Run, United Center, Odyssey Cruises, Showboat, Empress and Majestic Star Casinos- and more intimate music rooms at the Jazz Showcase, Peninsula Hotel, Braxton’s, Tuscany’s, John & Tony’s, Metropolitan Club, Union League Club, Como Inn, Backroom and Cotton Club. Ms. Watson has a BA in vocal performance from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA – where she merited solo performances at the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter, the United Nations, and a Brazilian tour. She now headlines her own combo with David Turner on piano, Ted Brewer on bass, & George Aparo on drums and is the featured vocalist for the premier band, Top Shelf.
Robin’s music is swinging, sultry and fun–whatever the style. Her tremendous showmanship qualities bring rave reviews; audiences love her, and the chemistry with her talented combo is great! – International talent agent, Kathy Kelly-Hahn
Ms. Watson has also performed in musical theatre, worked as a studio recording artist and served as sidewoman for Jazz Unlimited Big Band, the Al Fook Big Band, the E-Band and Steve Zuterek Trio. She has had the privilege to also have performed with many other renowned jazz artists; (among them) Harrison Bankhead, Paul Casino, Ken Chaney, Jim Cooper, Rich Corpolongo, Mel Davis, Bob Dogan, Johnnie Feran, Johnny Frigo, Johnny Gabor, Skip Green, Larry Hanks, Roger Harris, Steve Hart, Laura Hoffman, Scott Earl Holman, John Jeffries, Leon Joyce, Spencer Keys, Dennis Luxion, Vijay Tellis Nayak, Corky McClerkin, Frank Menzies, Harold Morrison, Tom Muellner, Dennis Murray, Bruce Oscar, Julie Ponce, Eric Remschneider, Theodis Rodgers, Cecile Savage, Nick Schneider, Skinny Williams, and Ken Wojicik. www.jazzladyrobin.com | www.facebook.com/robinwatsoncombo | @JazzLadyRobin
Robinlee Garber (Appearing 2/13/20)
Folk with a dash of torch
Philly born and bred but a proud Chicagoan these days, Robinlee Garber brings a crystalline alto voice with gently burnished edges and an outsider’s point-of-view to the original and time-treasured songs she sings, focusing on a repertoire that harkens to the past without being a novelty act, and is relatable without pandering. Her love of music infuses all her performances, from sophisticated showcases to inclusive open mics, exposing everyone to a lovingly curated and wide-ranging songbook of folk, jazz standards, rock and contemporary music where the voice is front and center.
Robinlee grew up idolizing singer-songwriters and performers of Laurel Canyon’s heyday, like Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne and Carole King but was also deeply influenced by the music of her parents: Cole Porter, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. Heart is at the center of the music she loves as she believes a great song has universal appeal no matter the language. From her earliest musical memory of sitting in her mother’s teal Chevy station wagon and noticing how perfectly Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” synched up to the windshield wipers to watching “The Sound of Music” on stage as a child and wanting so much to be on stage performing, the transformative power of song has been stitched through Robinlee’s whole life.
As someone with chronic health issues that often left her feeling isolated, music was also an especially potent antidote to loneliness. A multi-disciplinary artist herself, Robinlee’s “day job” is helping seniors navigating the aging process as a Registered and Board Certified Art Therapist and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, helping people to plug into creative expression, a throughline that that has brought so much joy and healing into her own life. On any given night, though, you can find Robinlee singing songs of love and heartbreak, isolation and connection, forging intimacy and bridges between music lovers who are navigating the slings and arrows of life. Robinlee believes that music is a powerful way to build bonds in our increasingly disconnected lives.
Featured on WDCB’s Folk Festival with Lilli Kuzma, Robinlee acted as the music director of Culture Cafe for the wildly popular Chicago VeganMania festival for eight years and has been running a well-attended open mic in Chicago. She has also performed across the US, Canada, Sweden and Finland. www.robinleegarbermusic.com
Linda Solotaire Trio (Appearing 2/20/20)
Vocal Artist . Actress . Teaching Artist . Designer
Linda Solotaire is a vocalist, bandleader, curator, and teaching artist. Classically trained in music and theatre, she began her career as an actress in the late 1970s. As a vocal artist, she is most deeply influenced by Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Abbey Lincoln, Sheila Jordan, and Judy Garland. While the Great American Songbook is at the heart of her repertoire, she strives to infuse her straight-ahead jazz sets with more obscure, contemporary and original songs.
Currently, Linda is working with her long-time collaborator Stu Greenspan on a collection of new arrangements of songs by Thelonious Monk, as well as a non-jazz project called Songs of Love & Hate with co-leader Chris Bernhardt. Past projects include Dreams of You: the Sun, the Moon, and Johnny Mercer, embracing the world of one of America’s finest lyricists; Phoenix Project strove to re-imagine the songs of Jacques Brel, Leonard Cohen, Marlene Deitrich, and her Speakeasy Show, created specifically for Pete Miller’s in Evanston.
Linda studied dance, voice, music, and acting from an early age. She studied acting with William Hickey at HB Studios in NYC, and voice with Typhanie Monique and Carol Loverde in Chicago, among others. She received her BA from Columbia College Chicago. With a background in theory, classical, and 20th-century music, Linda has enjoyed roles in musical theater and in-studio session work, and she has collaborated on original works with artists including conductor/composer Carmen Helena Téllez, playwright/composer Thomas Weber, new music composer Christopher Preissing, NON:op Opera Company, Small Fish Radio, Local Infinities creators Meghan Strell & Charlie Levin, and poet/composer Everette Howe. She frequently works as a voice-over talent as well and has performed in a variety of performance situations and venues around the world.
Linda is the founder and artistic director of True Muse Inc., an organization that promotes live performance, and other arts. True Muse produces music and other happenings supports music education & hold workshops for artists. She has founded multiple not-for-profit arts organizations, and worked as an arts administrator in various roles during her life. Dedicated to the democratization of the arts, Linda teaches music to children, mentors burgeoning artists and works to raise arts awareness. Musicians with whom Linda has performed: Harrison Bankhead, John Beard, Chris Bernhardt, Bret Benteler, Lance Brown, Steve Corley, James Cornolo, Jim Cox, Fred Faller, Tim Fitzpatrick, Pat Flemming, Jim Gailloreto, Lise Gilly, John Goldman, Phill Gratteau, Chris Greene, Stu Greenspan, Stephen Hashimoto, Jeremy Kahn, Geordie Kelly, John William Lauler, Jean-Christophe Leroy, Val Leventhal, Michael Levin, Doug Lofstrom, Bob Lovecchio, Dennis Luxion, Shawn Maxwell, Doug MacDonald, Donovan Mixon, Diana Mosquera, Tommy Muellner, David Onderdonk, Joe Policastro, Abigail Riccards, James Sanders, Zoey Szmulewitz, Benjamin Scholz, Paul Abella, Fred Simon, Steve Strunk, Daniel Tabion, Daniel Thatcher, Leandro Lopez Varady, Chris White and Saalik Ziyad. Trivia: Linda has performed at the Lake Placid Olympic Arena, in ancient Turkish ruins, and on the deck of a battleship in the Mediterranean Sea. LindaSolotaire.com/about