THE ALEXANDER/McLEAN PROJECT

Saturday, September 28, 7:00-8:00pm

International House

Photo by Jasmine Kwong

Photo by Jasmine Kwong

Born on Chicago’s west side, DEE ALEXANDER is one of Chicago’s most gifted and respected female vocalist/songwriters. Her talents span every music genre, from Gospel to R&B and Blues to Neo-Soul, yet her true heart and soul are experienced through her performance of Jazz. Whether in a soft, sultry ballad or a scat-filled romp, she delivers with a passion for music that comes across in every note, and a grace that is truly her own. Alexander boasts long and fruitful associations with Chicago’s jazz elite, including Ramsey Lewis, Orbert Davis, Nicole Mitchell, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). She leads her own Dee Alexander Quartet, as well as the Evolution Ensemble, whose music ranges from original compositions to renditions of James Brown and Jimi Hendrix. Her Jazz Institute of Chicago-commissioned tribute to Nina Simone and Dinah Washington, Sirens of Song, marked the beginning of worldwide recognition, and her performance on the Millennium Park Pritzker Pavilion stage launched a period of extensive touring in Europe. Alexander has received the Chicagoan of the Year in Jazz award and the 3Arts Award for Music. Her CD, Wild is the Wind, was named the album of the summer in France; earned her top votes in Downbeat’s Readers’ and Critics’ polls; received 5 stars in Downbeat; and was chosen as one of the magazine’s top ten recordings in the first decade of the new millennium. She has garnered accolades in African, Australian, European, and North American press. She is currently a host on the WFMT Jazz Radio Network.

JOHN McLEAN’S career has included work as a guitarist, composer, arranger, producer, bandleader, and educator. Since completing his studies at the Berklee College of Music and the University of Miami, he has toured throughout the world and appeared on over fifty recordings. He has performed and/or recorded with such artists as Kurt Elling, Mose Allison, Randy Brecker, Branford Marsalis, Anat Cohen, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Richie Cole, Ken Nordine, Joe Locke, Regina Carter, Louis Bellson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Terry Callier, Renee Fleming, John Patitucci, Adam Nussbaum, Ernie Watts, Dave Douglas, Patricia Barber, Kendrick Scott, Arthur Blythe, Eddie Gomez, and many others. Over the course of his thirty years of touring both as a leader and sideman, he has performed in virtually every major city in North America as well as London, Paris, Moscow, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Beijing, Sydney, Sao Paolo, Jakarta, Dublin, Rome, Madrid, Warsaw, Berlin, Oslo, Reykjavik, Oslo, Stockholm, Istanbul, Bucharest, Helsinki, Seoul, Lisbon, Vienna, Budapest, Brussels, Prague, Copenhagen, and Zurich. He has conducted clinics throughout the United States and Canada, as well as Europe and Asia. He currently resides in the Chicago area and teaches at North Central College.


The musicians:

Dee Alexander (vocals); Charles Heath (drums); Jeremiah Hunt (bass); John McLean (guitar); Steve Million (keyboard/organ)