September 28: Lenny Roberts

7:30 PM

$20, $10 Students (25 & Under w/ ID)

CLICK HERE for tickets

Lenny Roberts-tenor saxophone, Michael Kocour-piano, Max Beckman-bass, Ryan Anthony-drums

Lenny Roberts is an up-and-coming tenor saxophonist known for his hard-swinging, straight-ahead jazz and high-energy live performances. Heavily influenced by such jazz legends as Stanley Turrentine, Sonny Stitt and Dexter Gordon. Lenny adds a personal flair to the old standards, as well as his unique compositions.

Lenny started playing the saxophone when he was 10 years old and by age 14, he was studying jazz and improvisation. He continued studying privately throughout high school and played in a local college jazz ensemble as well as his high school jazz ensemble. He studied music briefly at the University of Northern Iowa but then dropped out to pursue a professional music career in Chicago, Illinois. While in Chicago, Lenny performed primarily on the South side, including gigs with pianist John Logan and guitarist Larry Frazier. Some of the venues he performed at were the South Shore cultural center, The Checkerboard Lounge and the Bop Shop. In 1993, Lenny played the Ravinia Jazz Festival with local trumpeter Peven Everett and pianist Brandon McCune.

In 1995, Lenny moved to New Jersey and was accepted into the William Paterson University Jazz program where he studied with Gary Smulyan, Steve Wilson, Ralph Lalama, Rufus Reid, Pete Malinverni and Horace Arnold. While there, Lenny was a member of the Down Beat magazine award-winning New Jazz Ensemble and had a rare opportunity perform alongside his long time hero – Stanley Turrentine. In 1998, Lenny won first place in a national jazz competition, the Fish Middleton Jazz Competition. Lenny used his winnings to fund his first recording as a leader “Keepin’ it on the D.L.” This CD featured organist Radam Schwartz, guitarist Geary Moore, and drummer Don Williams. After graduating from William Paterson, Lenny performed in various venues throughout the NJ/NY area including Cleopatra’s Needle (NYC) and The East Coast Jazz Festival in MD. Lenny also had multiple appearances at the Cape May Jazz Festival from 1998 – 2006. During this time, Lenny performed with trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, drummer Johnathan Blake Jr, vocalist Brenda K. Starr, trombonists Clifford Adams and Oscar Brown Jr. Lenny moved back to Chicago in 2001, where he performed in venues throughout the city including The Green Mill, The City Life, Millennium Park, Pete Miller’s Evanston/Wheeling, House of Blues. Lenny performed with the Grammy nominated Latin Jazz group “Angel Melendez’s 911 Mambo Orchestra” at the 2005 Chicago Jazz Festival on the main stage in Grant Park. During this time, Lenny recorded his second solo album entitled “The City Life Shuffle” with guitarist Matt Pinizzotto, organist Demos Petropoulos, and drummer Perry Wilson. This CD received regular airplay in the Chicago area as well as some national airplay and was featured on Pete Fallico’s Doodlin’ Lounge.

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