So I started out co-hosting this open jam night Thursdays at a bar in Lakeview (Chicago) as the lead guitarist and bass player of the house band. I've taken over full responsibility for organizing it now since the keys player of our group flaked out on us. So far, we've had a couple successful nights, and I really would like to get other talented instrumentalists and vocalists out to join me onstage. We've got a full back line, including drum kit, amps, and PA (and if anyone feels like bringing out their keys that would be great.) We do a mix of covers, jazz tunes, and original blues jams, depending on the skill level (most of us have been playing long enough that all we need to know are the changes.) Last week, we played "Creep" by Radiohead, "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley, "Runnin' with the Devil" by Van Halen, "Boom Boom" by The Animals, "The Chicken" by Pee Wee Ellis, "Moanin'" by Bobby Timmons, "Helter Skelter" by The Beatles, "Brain Stew" by Green Day, and a few blues-rock jams (I'm hoping to ad "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince and "Crazy Train" by Ozzy to our repertoire this week). I like to keep the mix fairly eclectic so there's something for everyone to enjoy: what's nice is that the bar attracts regular non-musicianfolk so it's not like we're playing to a bunch of people waiting to get their turn and wank onstage.

I've been playing open jams in the city for about two years now and this jam is sort of the culmination of everything I've learned from those experiences. I started out playing a lot of jazz improv which was challenging and fun but it's difficult to bring in a crowd playing that kind of music because it tends to go over peoples' heads, which is why I like to mix in a few covers with the improv stuff. At the same time, I want to create a space where musicians of all skill levels can come and do their thing because I know that's the kind of exposure to live playing I would have wanted as a beginning amateur musician. I encourage people to come in with any instrument and play whatever they like, even originals if they can break them down quickly for the rest of the band.

Anyway, I'm putting this out there because I figured that at least more than a few UG members live in Chicago and I want to invite you all out to Wrigleyville North, which is the name of the venue. The owners have been very gracious to us, allowing the band and I to put this all together and they are very grateful for the additional business we bring in. Here's a Craigslist ad with a bit more info, and if you're interested you can either e-mail me over CL or message me on UG. Cheers!

Not sure if anyone's monitoring this thread at all, but last week's jam was a huge success: we played to a small crowd of about 40 packed into our tiny bar. I'm hoping to get even more people out this week, so I'm posting again to invite Chicago-area musicians out to our jam Thursday night. Here's our Criagslist ad for the jam. Hope to see you there!

Jam is tonight! Hope to see some of UG's Chicago community out here!
Another jam tonight, in case anyone is interested. The info hasn't changed: venue is the Wrigleyville North Bar by the Sheridan Red Line stop in Lakeview.