Being that this is the 12th annual St. Charles Jazz Weekend, this city has really solidified itself as being quite the jazz hub in the Chicagoland area, especially when this annual event rolls around. This year is no exception as it's going to be bigger and better than ever - with over 30 jazz performances taking place at 21 different venues! This four-day musical extravaganza has a lot taking place, but we're here to help make your planning easier. Take a look below at everything you need to know about Jazz Weekend.
Book Your Stay
As mentioned before, St. Charles Jazz Weekend is taking place over the span of four-days (Thursday, September 7th through Sunday, September 10th). Believe us when we tell you there are some incredible performances happening every single day! This means that it isn't possible to soak in everything this event has to offer in just one evening, so you're going to need a place to spend the night if you're coming from out of town. To begin your planning, you can take a look at all the different accommodations in St. Charles here. The historic Hotel Baker is located within walking distance of many of the venues hosting Jazz Weekend performances, making it an extremely convenient lodging option. There are also many more places to stay just a short drive from downtown including the Hilton Garden Inn or Fairfield by Marriott. Whether you're looking for a luxury boutique hotel for this stay, or if you need more of a family-friendly option, St. Charles has the perfect place for you to stay this St. Charles Jazz Weekend.
Download the Travel St. Charles App
Now that you've got your hotel booked, the second step of your St. Charles Jazz Weekend planning is to download the Travel St. Charles App. This is the #1 resource to find all things St. Charles, IL, including the times and locations of each of the Jazz Weekend performances. You'll also find restaurants, things to do, and much more all within the palm of your hand! However, for this weekend, the highlight of this app is the Jazz Weekend Check-In Challenge, sponsored by The Arcada Theatre, and it's super easy to participate:
Download the app and create an account.
Attend three Jazz Weekend Performances, and click on the "Check-In Now" button on the event listed on the app.
Once you've successfully "Checked-Into" three performances, you'll be entered to win a pair of tickets to the Arcada Theatre.
Three winners will be chosen at random from all the entrants who complete the challenge. Winners will be notified via email on September 12th.
To find more information on the 2023 St. Charles Jazz Weekend Check-In Challenge, please click here.
At this point, you're probably wondering to yourself - "What about all the music?" Well, step three of this planning process is to dive into some must-see performances when attending St. Charles Jazz Weekend. That way, you already have a head-start in scheduling your agenda to map out which performances to go to.
Photos Courtesy of Drew Pertl Fine Art Photography
Frank Catalano at The Filling Station Pub & Grill
Thursday, September 7th from 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Frank Catalano is no stranger to St. Charles Jazz Weekend, as he has been performing at this event year after year, and we couldn't be more thrilled about it! He is playing three times throughout the weekend - once at The Filling Station Pub & Grill on Thursday night from 6:00pm-9:00pm, and then at The House Pub on Friday and Saturday night at 9:00pm. Frank Catalano and his saxophone have been appreciated by millions of people globally, which in turn, has won him three Grammy's and has been nominated for 11 more. He has worked with notable artists including Jennifer Lopez, Destiny's Child, and John Legend, to just name a few. Getting to experience his music while sitting back and relaxing at The Filling Station Pub & Grill's spacious outdoor patio, enjoying a delicious meal and drink is about as perfect of a start to Jazz Weekend as you can get.
Want to learn more about Frank Catalano and his experience with St. Charles Jazz Weekend? Click here to listen to the latest Nick & Nate Update where we get the chance to speak to Frank Catalano and another returning Jazz Weekend performer, Jack Macklin.
Julia Danielle with the Jeremy Kahn Quartet at the Baker Community Center
Friday, September 8th from 7:30pm - 9:00pm
For your Friday evening performance, you're going to want to get tickets to the Baker Community Center to hear Julia Danielle perform alongside the Jeremy Kahn Quartet. Chicago based artist, Julia Danielle, was the winner of the 2022 International Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Competition, and this is her debut performance at St. Charles Jazz Weekend. Accompanying her is a renowned group that needs no introduction - the Jeremy Kahn Quartet. Jeremy Kahn is an internationally known jazz pianist who has played alongside musical legends that include Dizzy Gillespie, Aretha Franklin, and even Alvin and the Chipmunks! This is your opportunity to witness these jazz stars in person, all inside a building that has been a monumental piece of St. Charles history for over 80 years. Don't wait, get your tickets today!
For tickets, please click here.
St. Charles North & St. Charles East Jazz Workshops at the Reflections Statue Behind the Municipal Building
Saturday, September 9th from 12:00pm - 12:45pm & 2:00pm - 2:45pm
Photos Courtesy of Drew Pertl Fine Art Photography
Kick-off your Saturday on the right foot by listening to the tunes of the St. Charles North and East Jazz Workshops by the Reflections Statue behind the Municipal Building. We can't think of a better way to start your day, taking in the atmosphere of being outdoors alongside the beautiful Fox River. It's really wonderful to see students embrace this style of music, and they really know how to play, too! They will be joined with special guests during each of their performances. At 12:00pm, hear the St. Charles North Jazz Workshop play with Lenard Simpson - a saxophonist, composer, and educator from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who has had the chance to travel and play with artists such as Billy Childs, Kurt Elling, and many more. Stick around because at 2:00pm the St. Charles East Jazz Workshop will be bringing more sounds with special guest Kirby Fellis! Kirby Fellis, originally from South Florida, is the Graduate Assistant in the Jazz Studies Field at Northern Illinois University. Trust us, these are a couple of performances you won't want to miss.
Shout Section Big Band at the Moonlight Theatre
Sunday, September 10th from 4:00pm - 7:00pm
Witness a live jazz performance from inside the gorgeous, restored vintage Moonlight Theatre, originally built in 1900! This is the last of four St. Charles Jazz Weekend performances taking place at this theatre, and you'll get to listen to the tunes of big band swing music from some of the best musicians in the Chicagoland area from Shout Section Big Band! This group has performed all around the Midwest, not to mention being featured on WGN TV, the TV Show "Vampire Diaries", and for the opening of the Amazon Prime series "A League of Their Own." Shout Section Big Band is playing with Wredling Middle School Orchestra, and it's going to be a show you simply can't forget - you won't be able to stop your feet from moving the second they hit the first note! If you want to get familiar with Shout Section Big Band's music beforehand, please click here to listen to some of their latest albums.
For tickets, please click here.
Sales & Specials
While you're enjoying all of the music that St. Charles Jazz Weekend has to offer, it's a good idea to take advantage of all the sales and specials that local businesses are having in honor of the weekend (especially if you're planning on being in this city for all four days). It's fantastic to see many of the businesses joining in on the spirit of this jazz-filled weekend, hosting promotions that are second-to-none. Need something to sip on while enjoying a performance at Pollyanna Brewing & Distilling? Try their "Jazz Hands" cocktail, made with Pollyanna Cadence Gin, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Lemon Juice, House-Made Simple Syrup, Pollyanna Limoncello, and topped with Soda Water. If you're looking for a little retail therapy, stop by Magnolia Soap & Bath Co. where when you buy five bars of their handmade, plant-based soap, you'll get a liquid hand soap free! These special are just an extra "high-note" on top of the already incredible weekend! To view all the promotions taking place during Jazz Weekend, please click here.
To find more information on the 2023 St. Charles Jazz Weekend, including the entire performance schedule, please click here.
Can't get enough of these community celebrations in St. Charles, IL? Mark your calendars - Scarecrow Weekend is only a month away after Jazz Weekend from October 6th through October 8th. This city tradition is fun for the entire family, and is the perfect launch into the autumn season. For more information on 2023 Scarecrow Weekend, please click here.