Little Rootie Tootie

Little Rootie Tootie was born in the spring of 2021 when Juli received a grant, New Works/Fresh Voices , from the Jazz Institute of Chicago and the Mellon foundation. Her proposal was to take inspiration from the jazz genius Thelonious Monk and come up with arrangements of his tunes and then write some tunes of her own . The band was an instant hit playing several live streams , Andy’s Jazz Club , Jazz Showcase , Hyde Park Jazz Fest and the Women’s Jazz Fest at Hey Nonny.  
With three instrumentalists who also sing in the band, it wasn’t long before Juli started writing lyrics to some of Monk’s tunes.

Some of the lyrics just came right from direct quotes from the Mad Monk himself –
“ Just because you’re not the drummer doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep time “
is the first line of her lyrics to Think of One
She’s also crafted lyrics to Bemsha Swing, Hackensack, Let’s Cool One and Misterioso.

Little Rootie Tootie is all about expressing the joy of Monk’s music   

The Ensemble

Juli Wood

Tenor Sax and Vocals

For the past twenty years with four albums as a leader, several studio projects as a side man,and countless worldwide performances, saxophonist, vocalist and composer Juli Wood has established herself as a solid, swinging, lyrical and entertaining performer on Chicago’s music scene. Juli has played many jazz clubs and festivals nationally and internationally; Chicago Jazz Fest, Hyde Park Jazz Fest, Milwaukee’s Summerfest, Chicago’s main jazz clubs – Jazz Showcase, Green Mill, Andy’s and Katerina’s. Skansen Jazz and Blues (Stockholm , Sweden), Pori Jazz Fest (Finland), Bent J’s club (Aarhus, Denmark), Storyville (Helsinki Finland), Arlandia Jazz Fest (Aaland Islands, Finland) and the ” Made in Chicago ” jazz festival in Poznan Poland to name a few. Juli is in the tradition of saxophonists who were also great vocalists; Cleanhead Vincent, Eddie Harris, and Louis Jordan.

Dustin Laurenzi

Tenor Sax

Chicago saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Dustin Laurenzi has developed a distinctly personal approach to improvisation and composition that has garnered the attention of the city’s creative music community. Laurenzi’s music is inspired and informed by jazz, folk, and improvised music. His inventive improvisational sensibilities have made him a sought-after musician in many circles of Chicago’s vibrant music scene and beyond.

Laurenzi has been a leader/co-leader of his own projects Twin Talk, Edith Judith, Snaketime, and Natural Language, as well as a member of bands led by Macie Stewart, Matt Ulery, Katie Ernst, Quentin Coaxum and others. He has released several albums as a leader/co-leader, including Laurenzi/Cunningham/Bryan’s  2022 Northern Spy Records debut A Better Ghost, described by DownBeat Magazine as “…a moodily poetic and genre-bending jewel…” . Laurenzi’s latest project is Edith Judith, an indie-folk collaboration with bassist/vocalist Katie Ernst. The band’s debut Bones and Structure is out now on Ruination Recording Co.

Katie Ernst

Bass and Vocals

Bassist/vocalist Katie Ernst is described by the Chicago Tribune as “a versatile young bassist who plays in far-flung bands and sings with uncommon delicacy and authenticity.” She is co-leader of the adventurous Chicago-based jazz trio Twin Talk and has received widespread critical acclaim for her Dorothy Parker poetry song cycle Little Words, which premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in 2015.

Recent performances and recognitions include receiving a 2022 composing residency at the Ragdale Foundation, performing in Mexico City, MX for a Chicago/CDMX Improvised Music Exchange in 2020; performances at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival and Chicago Jazz Festival; performing with MacArthur Fellow and renown pianist/composer Jason Moran at the Chicago Symphony Center and the Kennedy Center; representing the USA as bassist and vocalist for the 2018 EuroRadio Jazz Orchestra in Riga, Latvia; and being named a Luminarts Fellow in Jazz in 2013.

Greg Artry

Drums and Vocals

Greg Artry has established himself as one of the premier first-call artists in the Midwest.
His arrival onto the Chicago scene at the age of 20 was impactful, and he began working with the best Jazz, R&B, Soul, and Experimental artists that the Windy City had to offer. He quickly positioned himself to receive tutelage from legends such as Willie Pickens, Syl Johnson, Claudio Roditi, and countless others.

Now, Mr. Artry has toured and recorded all over the world, on nearly every continent. He has even appeared on mainstream television, making a cameo appearance on “The Chi”, and performing with Pakistani soul singer Zeshan B on the Tonight Show. His discography is a testament to his versatility and devotion to the study of Music, and he shares his attained wisdom through song and rhythm with the world.

Audio Samples


Little Rootie Tootie Rides Again!

Little Rootie Tootie Rides Again!

Fulton Street Collective is proud to team up with WDCB Radio to present Juli Wood’s LITTLE ROOTIE TOOTIE Thelonious Monk Tribute on Monday, January 18th.