I am so excited to announce that the great Chicago vocalist Paul Marinaro will be celebrating the release of his new album Not Quite Yet on November 4th at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago. This project was years in the making. Paul worked hard choosing the material and I arranged everything on the album—14 tracks—for strings, horns, and two intimate duos. It’s a remarkable project, one for which I am deeply proud.
Paul has released two singles from Not Quite Yet—”Born to be Blue” and David Bowie’s “5:15 The Angels Have Gone.” You can stream both on Spotify as well as watch behind-the-scenes videos of us recording at Chicago Recording Company. You can also support Paul at Bandcamp by purchasing these singles
I am thrilled to announce that my latest album, Vonology, will be released April 15 on ears&eyes Records on vinyl, CD, and digital download through Bandcamp. Vonology is a five-movement suite of compositions that I wrote to explore the artistic, spiritual, and astrological dimensions of Von Freeman’s music and life. I wrote this work as an artistic companion piece to my University of Chicago dissertation, “’Will You Still Be Mine?’: Memory, Place, Race and Jazz on Chicago’s South Side,” which examines the history of segregation and jazz in Chicago, with Von’s New Apartment Lounge jam session as a central case study. Anyone who purchases the album from Bandcamp will also get a digital copy of this dissertation. I will also be launching a new website on April 15, vonology.info, that will further explain my compositional process and what the music represents, as well as updates of my research on Von Freeman, George Freeman, and the South Side jazz scene. You can read more about Vonology here.
I will be presenting an album release show at Constellation on Friday, May 27, 8:30pm. Please mark your calendars! I’ll have more info soon!
This album was years in the making. I am sincerely grateful for the contributions of the musicians who performed on this album, a list of some of Chicago’s best performers and improvisers:
Mike Allemana, guitar and compositions
Victor Garcia, trumpet and flugelhorn
Greg Ward, alto saxophone
Geof Bradfield, tenor saxophone
Kendall Moore, trombone
Tomeka Reid, cello
Matt Ferguson, acoustic bass
Michael Raynor, drums
Brian Allemana, conductor and astrological texts on “The Mentor’s Benediction”
Sue Demel, soprano
Gabriela Allemana, soprano and alto
Lindsay Weinberg, alto and vocal melody on “The Mentor’s Benediction”
Austin Burgett, tenor
Alton Smith, tenor
Angel Rodriguez, bass
Bill Brickey, bass and readings on “The Mentor’s Benediction”
I am so excited to announce that George Freeman and I, with Pete Benson on organ and Mike Schlick on drums, will be returning to the Green Mill, 8pm on both Friday October 1 and Saturday October 2. George is ready to groove and has some great tunes prepared. We’ve been rehearsing a whole month for this one. Hope to see you!
In Chicago clubs are opening again and shows are returning. I couldn’t be more excited to be performing again. Lots of fun gigs will be happening this summer. Go to my gig schedule to find out more. Coming up, the Regulators will be performing 6pm–8pm on Sunday, June 6 at the Montrose Saloon. Our first set will be Gerald Dowd’s original country tunes and the second set the Regulators will groove you like crazy. Gabriela Allemana will be our special guest singing background vocals and being featured on some tunes. Don’t miss out first gig back! And hope to see you all at some of the other fun events happening this summer.
I am so thrilled that Alyssa Allgood asked me, Dennis Carroll, and George Fludas to collaborate on her new album What Tomorrow Brings this past summer. April 9 was the release date and you can get a copy at Cellar Live Records. It’s a remarkable album, full of deeply personal songs that Alyssa navigates with deep artistry.
Sunday, December 20, at 8pm I will be performing the compositions from Jimmy Giuffre’s 1959 Verve release The Easy Way with Geof Bradfield and Dennis Carroll. This music hard, but so deep. Please join us for a free livestream from Fulton Street Collective’s YouTube channel.
I am really excited to be performing the tunes off of Derek Bailey’s 2002 CD Ballads for the Jazz Record Art Collective series hosted by Chris Anderson for the Fulton Street Collective. I’ll be joined by visual artist Karol Hilker on Paints/Brushes/Canvas. Go here for the online streaming info:
I hope all of you and your loved ones are safe, healthy, and staying sane under the lockdown. This has been a trying time for everyone and we musicians are trying to find ways to help with livestream performances and interviews. There are some exciting updates in my musical and academic worlds:
On May 5, I successfully defended my dissertation, “‘Will You Still Be Mine?’: Memory, Place, Race, and Jazz on Chicago’s South Side” at the University of Chicago. I am officially a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology.
I am excited and grateful to announce that the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events has awarded me an Individual Artists Program Grant that will fund the release of Vonology later in 2020. This project is the artistic component of my dissertation, and musical exploration of the themes surrounding Von Freeman that came out of my research. More news on the release coming this summer.
The University of Chicago’s Humanities Division has awarded me the Humanities Teaching Fellowship at the University of Chicago for the 2020-21 academic year. It’s a postdoc position where I’ll be teaching music and humanities courses the coming academic year.
2020 marks the 20th anniversary of my first album, the Mike Allemana Organ Trio with my longtime musical companions, Dan Trudell on organ and Mike Schlick on drums. We will be having a celebration later this year that will include 20th anniversary special editions of our two albums. Stay tuned.
The Regulators are very excited to be performing a live show at Ken Christiansen’s ProMusic as part of a recording session for our debut album. We need some folks to cheer us on as we groove in prime numbers, so please come join us.
Details: Saturday, February 22, ProMusic, 713 West Wrightwood in Chicago. 8pm