A piece of Chicago's jazz history

A piece of Chicago's jazz history

Since my post last week regarding the history of Dearborn station, I've received several requests for a blog about the Jazz Showcase inside of the station. And again, I've found myself pleasantly surprised. I guess I wasn't as unobservant as I thought; the club has only been there since 2008.

The Jazz Showcase was founded in 1947 by Joe Segal. The website boasts that it's the second oldest jazz club in the country, but I'm not sure that's true. However, it is one of the oldest in Chicago. Today its run by Segal's son Wayne.

While the club has been a Chicago staple since its inception, Segal has had pretty bad luck with leases. It was originally located in the Gold Coast but was forced to move to Lincoln Park in what is now known as The Apartment. (Above Lion Head Pub.) It then moved to the Blackstone Hotel, then River North and then to its current location in Dearborn Station in 2008.

The club features dozens of past programs and photos of jazz greats who have performed at the venue over the years, with the most well known having the largest. The best of the best have played there, including Duke Ellington, Dizzie Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Charlie "Bird" Parker.

 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • I am not sure it qualifies as a "club", but the Green Mill has been offering jazz selections for a long time. Jazz Showcase is one of the real under appreciated landmarks in Chicago.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    I think it absolutely qualifies as a club. I think the reason they says they're the 'second oldest' is because the Green Mill has been around a lot longer.

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