The Venue in Aurora to present big band, Dead Night, Blues & Brews fest

The Venue in Aurora announces June performances including its Blues & Brews festival in Mundy Park, right outside the performance space.

The Pete Ellman Jazz Big Band will continue its weekly residency series on Tuesday, June 7. The opening set will feature Leyden High School musicians followed by the headliner. General admission is $5. The event is sponsored by the Fox Valley Music Foundation.

Dead Night returns at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 9, featuring Terrapin Flyer, which has been known as Chicago’s premier Dead band for over 20 years, a news release stated. The band has played with members of The Dead. As part of The Venue’s successful Dead Night, the band performs the second Thursday of every month. Premium seating costs $20, general admission $15, and all ticket prices increase by $5 at the door.

The three-day Blues & Brews from June 10 to 12 offers regional and national acts, six of which will perform at the Chicago Blues Festival. General admission on June 10 or 11 costs $25, and $15 on June 12. Three-day passes are available for $65. Chair rental costs $5.

Friday, June 10 (Doors open at 6 p.m.)

7 p.m. - Ivy Ford, who will kick off the festival, is known as “Chicago’s Blues Kitten,” according to the release. She has opened for the likes of Buddy Guy.

8 p.m. - Bear Williams Band makes its debut at The Venue. Williams cut his teeth by playing on recordings of Gene Chandler and Jerry Butler. For years, he was on the West Coast working with everybody from Anita Baker, Alanis Morisette, and Mavis Staples & The Staple Singers to countless others. In 2016, Williams came home to Chicago to focus on being a front man and celebrating his love of blues.

9:15 p.m. - Toronzo Cannon has not only made a name for himself as a powerful guitar gunslinger, he’s also known as a powerful songwriter. Mojo Magazine as well as Living Blues Magazine declared his album “The Chicago Way” the #1 blues record of 2016. Cannon has an additional accolade at The Venue for being the only person who has ever set fire to their guitar on stage during a livestream.

Saturday, June 11 (Doors open 5 p.m.)

6 p.m. - Joey J. Saye, an Aurora native, begins the festivities. Saye’s Liberian family gave him an early access to all kinds of music. As a kid, he was constantly drawn to the guitar. Soon after forming a rock duo, Joey found the music of Muddy Waters and Memphis Minnie. He has immersed himself within the blues community, played his music across the country, and currently holds a Thursday night residency.

7 p.m. - Dave Herrero & Anne Harris keep things rolling with an amazing meld of musicality all focused around the blues. Her mystical fiddle plays against his street-tough blues guitar work.

8 p.m. - The Mike Wheeler Band brings a variety of influences to the music. Wheeler is known for his soulful vocals reminiscent of Sam Cooke. He was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014.

9:15 p.m. - The Kinsey Report will cap Saturday evening. The Kinsey brothers, Donald, Ken and Ralph, grew up playing music backing up their dad, the legendary Big Daddy Kinsey. They formed a sound that mixed old school blues with contemporary sounds and songs. The family band continued after Big Daddy’s passing in 2001. Donald’s killer lead vocals are backed by Ralph and Ken’s rhythm section, the release stated, adding, “Their sound is undeniable, irreplaceable and unable to be duplicated.”

Sunday, June 12 (Doors open 5 p.m.)

7 p.m. - Album Covers Presents: “Robert Cray - Strong Persuader.” In keeping with the theme of the festival, Album Covers will perform the classic Robert Cray album. “Strong Persuader” has sold millions of copies worldwide and been noted as one of the 50 most important albums of the 1980s, according to Rolling Stone. Curator Scott Tipping has assembled a great crew for the evening, the release stated.

For the full lineup, visit www.themusicvenue.org.