Submitted by Music Institute of Chicago
Music Institute of Chicago Artist-in-Residence and Chicago jazz favorite Tammy McCann returns to Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29 with Yes, Mahalia!, an homage to gospel pioneer and Chicago legend Mahalia Jackson.
Jackson”s connection to Chicago is historic, through her link to Thomas Dorsey and his creation of the modern gospel sound. Yes, Mahalia!, which McCann created with arranger Eyal Vilner and premiered in Israel in 2019, is a fresh and soulful reimagining of Jackson’s music that captures the synergy of her unique sound and pairs it with the sonic power of big-band jazz. The show celebrates not only Jackson’s music, but her life experiences and her contribution to the world community.
Since 1996, McCann has traveled the world with her gospel group Tammy McCann and The Voices of Glory celebrating the music and legacy of Mahalia Jackson. “I always saw my jazz and gospel worlds as separate until a friend suggested I explore synergies between the two genres, and Yes, Mahalia! was born,” she shared. “I love this quote about Mahalia’s performance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, which said she was ‘able to take a sacred moment into the secular, thus making all moments before, after and around ring out with reverence and reverie.’ My mission is for her music and legacy to ‘ring out’ for future generations.”
Named the Chicago Tribune’s 2020 Person of the Year in Jazz, McCann has a powerful, sultry and emotionally charged voice that paints pictures and tells stories by merging classical vocal technique and gospel esthetic with jazz to create a sound that is completely her own. She has performed with such luminaries as Chicago’s own Ramsey Lewis and NEA Jazz Master Von Freeman, John Clayton, Branford Marsalis, Joe Locke, Charles McPherson, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Carmen Bradford, and she toured as a Raelette with the great Ray Charles. McCann has thrilled audiences in festivals and clubs worldwide, from Thailand to Greece, as well as the nation’s premier concert and jazz venues, including Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, The Blue Note, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola and Chicago’s Jazz Showcase.
Tickets are $50 for VIP seating and $25 in advance, available at nicholsconcerthall.org or 847-448-8326, and $30 at the door. Livestream access is $25 at nicholsconcerthall.org. All programming is subject to change.
For the latest information regarding COVID protocols or additional details, visit nicholsconcerthall.org.