Mike Allemana & Matt Ferguson
Born and reared in Elmhurst, IL, guitarist MIKE ALLEMANA studied at Northern Illinois University with Bobby Roberts and Fareed Haque. After earning a degree in Jazz Performance and spending two years in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mike returned to Chicago, quickly becoming part of the city’s jazz scene and a fifteen-year regular at Von Freeman’s famous Tuesday nights at the New Apartment Lounge. Mike can be heard on Von Freeman’s 2002 release The Improvisor, and Vonski Speaks from Von’s 2012 tour to Berlin. Other performance highlights include Mike’s work with organ great Charles Earland; tenor saxophonist Lin Halliday; organ master Lonnie Smith; tenor saxophonist Ron Dewar; Von Freeman and drumming legend Mickey Roker; Von Freeman and drum-master Jimmy Cobb; and MacArthur Fellow, alto saxophonist Steve Coleman. Mike also performed in Poznan, Poland with fellow guitarists Bobby Broom and Jeff Parker. The Jazz Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center commissioned him to arrange Von Freeman’s original compositions for a 10-piece ensemble, featured in the summer of 2011 for the Made in Chicago concert series at Millennium Park with special guests Eric Alexander, Julian Priester, and Steve Coleman. Later that same year, Mike returned to Poznan to perform an original 4-part suite dedicated to Von Freeman. In 2014, drumming legend Bernard Purdie joined Mike and George Freeman for a weekend at the Green Mill in Chicago. Mike holds a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a PhD in ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago.
An upright and electric bassist, MATT FERGUSON has been active on the Chicago jazz scene since 1991. A native Chicagoan, Matt attended Lane Tech and DePaul University where he studied jazz and classical bass performance. He has been an in-demand sideman since the age at 21, performing regularly with artists such as Lin Halliday, Jodie Christian, Ron Dewar, Geof Bradfield, Mike Allemana, Pat Mallinger, and George Freeman. He was a regular member of Von Freeman's quartet from 2003 until Vonski's death in 2012, playing every Tuesday night at the famed New Apartment Lounge on 75th St. Matt has gigged with numerous players of international renown such as Steve Coleman, Eric Alexander, Julian Priester, Mickey Roker, Chico Freeman and Arturo Sandoval. He and Mike Allemana currently co-lead a free-funk band called The Regulators.
Mike and Matt will present three 30-minute shows.