Living legend Levon Helm from The Band brings his famous “Midnight Ramble” sessions to the Old Town School of Folk Music for two highly anticipated performances at the Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17. Each evening’s “Blue Jean Gala” program begins at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction, drinks and light supper, followed by the concert at 8 p.m. Helm’s Midnight Rambles are based loosely on the southern medicine shows of his youth, inviting a who’s who of rock, blues and jazz to his barn in Woodstock, New York, for loose, yet musically inspired jams. A first for Chicago, Helm will transform the Old Town School stage into one of these famously intimate rave-ups.
The very special guest for both nights is Donald Fagen (of Steely Dan) who will be performing with Levon Helm’s band for the entire performance, with a few Steely Dan hits expected! Special guests on Friday, March 16, are Paul Barrere & Fred Tackett – the guitarists of Little Feat. Barrere and Tackett will perform a short opening set as well as sit in with the Levon Helm band. Special guest on Saturday night is singer-songwriter Shawn Mullins who, in addition to performing a short opening set, will also sit in with Levon Helm.
Notably, Helm’s 2011 recording of “Ramble at the Ryman,” a Midnight Ramble performed at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, is Grammy© Award-nominated for Best Americana Album. As a solo artist, Helm previously won Grammys for Best Americana Album in 2010 (“Electric Dirt”) and Best Traditional Folk Album in 2008 (“Dirt Farmer”).
Tickets for the “Blue Jean Gala” benefit concerts are priced at $250.00 and proceeds will provide support for the Old Town School’s new East building and program expansion. Tickets and more information are now available on line at www.oldtownschool.org or by calling 773.728.6000.
The Old Town School of Music recently opened a new $17 million facility – its first-ever new construction in a 55-year history – at 4545 N. Lincoln Ave., across the street from its existing building at 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Square. The East Building is the Old Town School’s third facility in Chicago and greatly increases the School’s ability to meet growing class size needs and community demand for expanded programming in the vein of its current offerings, which serve a broad range of ages, styles and talent levels in multi-cultural music and dance.