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Many Blessings + Ben Phillips Trio inaugural gig @ Cafe Mustache Mon 4/30 

Monday night April 30th, I'll be playing a double header gig at one of Logan Square's coolest and coziest venues, Cafe Mustache. Going on first at 9PM, I'll be playing the inaugural gig by the Ben Phillips Trio, with Ben on trumpet and Jakob Heinemann on bass. I met Ben when we were both grad students at DePaul together, and he's one of the most exciting trumpet players to come on the scene in a while. His music explores some really unique places, using electronics and looping pedals on his trumpet and mixing unique sounds with very accessible grooves and melodies. I hope you can come out and hear it. 

And, of course, I always love a chance to play with my own quartet, Many Blessings. We'll be playing the second set, around 10PM. We've already had two really fun shows so far in 2018, at the Whistler and the California Clipper, so we're glad to be able to bring our music to yet another great venue for creative music in Chicago. As a reminder, if you haven't checked out our new record yet, please do so here

RSVP on Facebook.

  • Mon April 30th, 9PM
  • Cafe Mustache, 2313 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
  • $5 suggested donation

Two Shows in March + New Video 

My original jazz quartet, Many Blessings, released our debut album, Arroyo, back in September, celebrating with a near-capacity crowd for our release show at the Whistler. Since then, the band has been laying low, so I'm very excited to announce not one, but TWO shows in the month of March, at two of my favorite venues in Chicago: March 6 at the Whistler and March 29 at the California Clipper. I'd love to see you out at one or both of the shows -- we'll be premiering some new music and will be excited to play our first gigs of the new year.

In the mean time, take a moment to check out this video from our release show. It's a newer tune called "In the Dunes" -- it's not on the record, but we definitely had fun playing it, as you'll witness below:

Gig Alert: Diamond / Gillan Duo at Elastic Mon 6/5 

On Monday, June 5th, I'll be playing a duo set with saxophonist Hunter Diamond at Elastic Arts, as a part of their weekly Anagram Series. Hunter and I started getting together semi-regularly to play as a duo last Fall, and have really enjoyed the process of developing a musical chemistry purely through improvising. We played an improvised set at the Hideout in December (on Hunter's birthday!) and had a blast. Here's a very short clip from that gig:

Earlier this year, I tried my hand at composing a piece for the duo, and it was a challenging but fun experience. Check out the result below:

At Elastic on Monday, we'll play a mix of improvisations and composed music. I'm about to finish grad school, so I've been consumed by school-related concerts and final papers lately. I'm very excited to make some improvised music with Hunter Monday night. We play at 9PM, followed by Stevenson Valentor's Presence Quintet. 

Full event details here.

We're making a record! And playing some gigs! 

Big news here folks: Many Blessings is gonna make a record. Quentin, Jim, Dan and I will be heading into Shirk Studios at the end of August to lay down the tracks for our debut album. This will be my first real album as a leader (I self-released a 5-song EP of my singer-songwriter stuff 10 years ago but I sold about 20 copies of it and there is no evidence of its existence online), so I'm very excited about this. 

To be sure that we're feeling on top of our game as a group when we hit the studio, I wanted to get us a few gigs in the months leading up to the sessions. I was able to line up some dates at two of my favorite venues in all of Chicago, the Whistler and Honky Tonk BBQ. If you've never seen Many Blessings live, or if you have and were looking for a way to check us out again, these are the gigs to come to! We'll be in super-focused mode for these ones. Your presence and energy will help us get to the place we need to be for recording this album. Maybe you'll even get in the credits on the album, who knows. Info below:

          Monday August 3, 9:30 PM (2 sets)
          The Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee, Chicago
          Show info page here

          Wednesday August 12, 10:30 PM (2 sets)
Honky Tonk BBQ, 1800 S. Racine Ave, Chicago
          Show info page here



Gig alert: Many Blessings at Constellation Thurs 3/12! 

We are now in the month of March, which means it's time to take our impatience with sub-20-degree weather to the NEXT LEVEL. Every patch of ice still holding fast to our sidewalks, every snowflake in our iPhone weather forecasts, every morning that we still pull on our bulky winter coats, it all cuts that much closer to the bone now that the calendar shows a month starting with the letter "M." In times such as these, we need good things to look forward to. 

I'm quite happy to announce that I have one such thing to look forward to myself, and you are very welcome to share in my blissful distraction. My original jazz quartet, Many Blessings, will be returning to Constellation, one of my favorite venues in Chicago (and anywhere). We will be opening for NY-based trumpeter/composer Benje Daneman, who will be performing with his stellar Chicago rhythm section: pianist Rob Clearfield, bassist Andrew Vogt and drummer Jon Deitemyer.

Here's the particulars:
Where: Constellation, 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago
When: 9:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12th, 2015
How much: $10

Who: Lucas Gillan's Many Blessings:

          Quentin Coaxum: trumpet
          Jim Schram: tenor sax
          Daniel Thatcher: bass
          Lucas Gillan: drums, compositions

Check out the official event page here.

Gig Alert: Many Blessings at Constellation Wed 11/5! 

Coming right off the heels of a fun night of music and libations at Rogers Park's Lighthouse Tavern in October, Many Blessings will be coming to one of my favorite venues in the world, Constellation! I'm honored to be playing as part of their Sound of the City Workshop series, where a different band each week plays an opening set of original music, followed by an open free jazz jam session. I've always really enjoyed the scene and the music when I've attended the series as an audience member and jammer, so I'm beyond excited to be playing the featured set this week.

I'm so excited, in fact, that I've taken a few days off this past week to stay at home and compose some new music. If you're the kind of person who likes being present at world premieres, then you should definitely come out. The new material is quite different from the rest of the book, partly because I'll be coming out from behind the drums to play cajon and guitar for some of the tunes. It might turn out to be a train wreck, but it'll be a unique train wreck that we will all share together, and that's special.

Here's the particulars:

Where: Constellation, 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago
When: 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 5th
How much: FREE!

Who: Lucas Gillan's Many Blessings:

          Quentin Coaxum: trumpet
          Jim Schram: tenor sax
          Daniel Thatcher: bass
          Lucas Gillan: drums, guitar, percussion, compositions

Check out the official event page here.

Gig Alert: Many Blessings at the Lighthouse on Thurs., Oct. 16th 

If you know anything about Lucas Gillan, the musician, you know that he gets pretty excited when given the opportunity to perform his original music with the band called Many Blessings. Well, I'm pretty excited right now because I get to do just that this coming Thursday night at one of my favorite bars in Chicago, Rogers Park's Lighthouse Tavern (7301 N. Sheridan). It's only a hop, skip and a jump down from my pad in Evanston, so I go there fairly frequently for great jazz and colorful conversation with the regulars.

We'll be playing two sets of mostly original music starting at 9 p.m. Graciously joining me for the gig are some excellent musicians: Quentin Coaxum on trumpet (whose new album is fantastic), Jim Schram on tenor sax, and Dan Thatcher on the bass. If you're anywhere near Rogers Park on Thursday night, come on out, check out the music, grab a beer, and hang with us. We just had a great 3-hour rehearsal, so the other dudes are almost as pumped for the gig as I am.

Check out audio from Many Blessings' most recent gig here.

Official gig listing here.