It was a great year of live music and comedy at City Winery Chicago and we wanted to share some highlights with you. Photos provided by John “Nunu” Zomot and Phillip Solomonson.
Pokey LaFarge – January 3, 2016: City Winery Chicago started off the year right with an amazing sold out show from Illinois-born, St. Louis-based Pokey LaFarge. Pokey set the bar high for the many great artists carrying on the American Roots Music tradition who graced our stage in 2016. City Winery Chicago looks forward to bringing him back soon & often.
Jake Shimabukuro – February 1 & 2, 2016: 2016 brought a new tradition to City Winery Chicago of presenting fantastic ukulele players spanning various genres, kicked off by a two-night stand with the ultimate ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro. Jake stunned and thrilled audiences with his fast and complex finger work on the uke, leaving no doubt that this small instrument carries a big sound. Shimabukuro proved that he is a musical force to be reckoned with.
Eryn Allen Kane – February 19, 2016: City Winery Chicago was honored to present Detroit-raised, Chicago-based rising star Eryn Allen Kane to a sold out crowd for her first ever headline concert. Kane first gained notoriety for her work with Chicago’s hip-hop A-listers including Chance the Rapper, Towkio & Saba. The release of her lead single “Have Mercy” in April 2015 was met with great critical acclaim and most notably caught the ear of Prince, who immediately tapped Kane to provide vocals on his protest song “Baltimore.” Her fantastic performance at City Winery Chicago celebrated the releases of her debut two-part EP Aviary: Act 1 & 2. We look forward to watching the career of this powerful songstress grow & we’re thankful to have hosted this hometown celebration!
Tom Papa – March 19, 2016 – 2 shows: In addition to presenting a diverse array of musical genres, the City Winery Chicago roster includes a great lineup of comedy shows to add to the mix. 2016 brought Kevin Nealon, Garfunkel & Oates, Paul Reiser and a stand-up highlight was the hilarious Tom Papa. The comedian, author, actor, writer and producer showed that he’s a true professional on stage. Both a City Winery fan & staff favorite, Papa had the entire house laughing all night long.
Graham Nash – May 11 & 12, 2016: After several years of anticipation, City Winery Chicago was fortunate to host 2 sold out concerts with an absolute music legend. His sets featured highlights from his storied career with the Hollies, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and his solo work. Nash was joined by guitarist Shane Fontayne, and the duo presented beautiful interpretations of classic songs. Graham’s voice remains strong and the audience was so grateful to see such a remarkable artist in an intimate setting
Sergio Mendes & Brasil 2016 - May 30, 2016 – 2 shows: Legendary Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes brought his blend of Bossa Nova, Jazz and Funk back to the Windy City for his first Chicago performance in 4 years and fans were thrilled to welcome him back for 2 shows on Memorial Day. 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of his group Brasil ‘66 & classic album Herb Albert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66. His shows on our stage made for a great celebration of this landmark and of his musical career spanning 7 decades.
Lalah Hathaway June 26, 2016 – 2 shows: With consecutive Grammy wins the last three years running and making history as the first artist to win the Grammy for Best Traditional R&B performance two years in a row, songstress Lalah Hathaway is at the top of her game (she is nominated for 2 more awards for the 2017 Grammys). Needless to say, we were honored to welcome Hathaway to our stage & audience excitement surrounding the shows was unparalleled––selling out months in advance. She certainly did not disappoint and following the success of the June concerts, it became clear Hathaway was the perfect artist to wrap up a great year of music in 2016. Lalah will return to City Winery Chicago to perform two shows on New Years Eve to sold out crowds.
Talib Kweli: July 2, 2016 – 2 shows: It was a great year for hip hop at City Winery Chicago with performances by CeeLo Green, GZA (of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan), Phonte (who joined Eric Roberson on a 3-show run in August), Flobots and highly revered artist, producer and activist Talib Kweli. After nearly 20 years of releasing mesmerizing music, Kweli stands as one of the most accomplished, lyrically gifted, socially aware and politically insightful rappers of his time. Kweli was electric on stage, engaging the crowd in conversation and song, and had the whole room on their feet for 2 sold out shows!
Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers July 4, 2016: We couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate the 4th of July holiday than welcoming legendary Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers to the City Winery Chicago stage. The show also marked the one year anniversary of the epic ‘Fare Thee Well’ shows at Soldier Field in 2015, where Hornsby joined Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Trey Anastasio and Jeff Chimenti on stage for 3 nights to celebrate 50 years of the Grateful Dead. Hornsby’s album Rehab Road was released in spring 2016 featuring him on the dulcimer, and fans were treated to an intimate dulcimer set, followed by a rocking full band set showcasing Hornsby on keys.
Patty Griffin November 9 & 10, 2016 – There is true power and beauty in Patty Griffin’s voice and in her songs making her performances a perfect fit for City Winery’s listening room. These shows fell right after the conclusion of a contentious Presidential Election and guests were still filled with emotion on the nights of the shows. However, Patty avoided political banter and simply let the songs speak for themselves. This was cathartic and comforting for the audience. Backed by the immensely talented guitarist David Pulkingham, Griffin crossed genre lines with 2 stunning sets.