Chicago Calling is a quartet thats all about the jazz greats that came from Chicago or spent some formative years there. The band presents music written by or associated with musicians; Johnny Griffin, Eddie Harris, Dinah Washington, Joe Williams, Sun Ra, John Gilmore, Clifford Jordan, Johnny Hartman, Von Freeman, Fred Anderson, Gene Ammons, Carmen McRae, Herbie Hancock, Nat King Cole, Ahmad Jamal, Earma Thompson, and Jodie Christian, and she relates the history, circumstances and personalities that made these musicians Chicago legends.
Chicago Calling’s shows are a unique musical tour through a history of the Chicago legends and the places they played.
Listen To Chicago Calling
Soft and Furry
Lights on a Satellite
Ruby My Dear
Juli plays tenor sax and sings. She’s done lots of research and relates fun and interesting tidbits about Chicago’s rich jazz history.
“Juli Wood showed she was a superb saxophonist with a taste for long blues drenched solos and a sterling feeling for tradition and what great saxophonists from the past have done. She wove her own straight forward statements from the horn with a great deal of heart and a real heaping helping of soul. She sings with great heart and her voice sounds deep and African-American.”
Jan-Erik Holmberg – Hufvudstadsbladet / Helsinki Finland
Harrison Bankhead’s rich bass sound provides part of the drive and melodic intensity for the group. He is a key force in Ed Wilkerson’s “8 Bold Souls”, and has also collaborated with Ernest Dawkins, Hamid Drake, Fred Anderson, Dee Alexander, and Roscoe Mitchell among others. Harrison is a native of Waukegan, IL and has been on the jazz scene for many years in Chicago. He has two wonderful recordings out as a leader – “Morning Sun, Harvest Moon ” and ” Velvet Blue” on Engine records.
“For decades bassist Harrison Bankhead has been the bedrock upon which great Chicago jazz has been built”
Mark Corroto – All About Jazz
Avreeayl Ra is a drummer extraordinaire ! He was born in Chicago and is a long time member of the Chicago AACM. He has played with AACM co-founder Kelan Philip Cohran, Fred Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Fontella Bass, Lester Bowie, Ari Brown, Oscar Brown Jr., Henry Butler, Professor Longhair, Hamid Drake, Malachi Favors, Henry Grimes, Billy Harper, Joseph Jarman, Kidd Jordan, Nichole Mitchell, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders and many more. Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune’s music critic called Ra
“An indispensable Chicago innovator who shapes the music making swirling around him with remarkable precision and poise … extraordinarily sensitive percussion.”
Leandro was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Graduated from the Catholic University of Argentina (UCA) in 1992 as Licentiate in Music, major Composition with a Gold Medal and Awards.
He traveled Asia (Singapore-South Korea-China) from 1997 to 2000 with the Eldeé Young Quartet (former bassist of the Ramsey Lewis trio) and has lived in Chicago since 2000. Varady worked in Saint Martin’s Episcopal Church as Music Director from 2001 to 2011. Active in the Chicago music scene he has performed in the Green Mill, Jazz Showcase, Andy’s Jazz Club among others as well as in several theaters: Harris Theater at the Millennium Park, Auditorium Theater at Roosevelt University, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts among others. Varady also performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, Taste of Chicago, South Shore Jazz Festival, Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival and the Jazz Bistro in St Louis, MO.
Currently, Varady is the pianist for the Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and teaches Piano and Latin Jazz Ensemble at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL.