City Winery

Christmas in May with Kurt Elling

What a thrill to hang with the incomparable Kurt Elling and his band last week. One of the best voices in jazz, a top-rate entertainer, and overall good guy.  He welcomed me into his dressing room at City Winery - fresh off his all-star performance at the White House for International Jazz Day - and let me fire away during two high-flying shows.  I joined Elling and company in the studio a few days later to document some of the recording of their upcoming holiday album.  Pictured: Kurt Elling, vocals; John McLean, guitar; Stu Mindeman, keys; Clark Sommers, bass; Kendrick Scott, drums.  

Photos © copyright 2016 by Elliot Mandel. All rights reserved.

Photographing the Thirsty Ear Festival

One of the highlights of July was the opportunity to photograph WFMT's Thirsty Ear Festival at City Winery.  Thirsty Ear is the annual showcase concert for the weekly new music show, Relevant Tones with Seth Boustead.  This year's concert featured two Chicago-based ensembles - Fonema Consort and Gaudete Brass Quintet - and the renowned composer/pianist Graham Reynolds.  The two-hour concert and live broadcast was packed with music ranging from vocal-instrumental fusion from Fonema, new music for brass quintet, and arrangements of Reynolds's film scores for string quartet and piano.