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Thu, Sep 09


Merrimans' Playhouse

Charlie Ballantine Trio - Monk Tribute

“Reflections/Introspection: The Music of Thelonious Monk” dives deep into previously untouched traditional elements as well as maintaining the modern aesthetic that has gained him widespread recognition.

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Charlie Ballantine Trio - Monk Tribute
Charlie Ballantine Trio - Monk Tribute

Time & Location

Sep 09, 2021, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $20 General/$10 Student.

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services provided by grants from the Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation (2020-2021 season), the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation (2021-2022 season), the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust (2021-2022 season), and The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation (2020-2021 and 2021-2022 season).

Charlie Ballantine - Guitar

John Sims - Bass

Chris Parker - Drums

2021 brings Ballantine to new heights with his most compelling albums to date. “Reflections/Introspection: The Music of Thelonious Monk” dives deep into previously untouched traditional elements as well as maintaining the modern aesthetic that has gained him widespread recognition.

Charlie Ballantine is acclaimed as one of the finest and most versatile  young guitarists on the scene today. JAZZ TIMES MAGAZINE hails his playing as “teeming with intricate grooves and maniacal precision his guitar work is both beautiful and complex” and VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE described his style by stating “Jazz, rock, and folk music peacefully coexist in Charlie Ballantine’s world”.

Equipped with an impressive body of original compositions on albums like “Vonnegut” and “Cold Coffee”, Ballantine also displays a great reverence for the jazz tradition through the inclusion of standards like ‘My One and Only Love’, ‘East of the Sun’ and an entire double album dedicated to the music of Thelonious Monk to be released September 2021.  “In the vein of fellow guitarists like John Scofield, Bill Frisell and Julian Lage, Ballantine reconciles his educational background in jazz with the stylistic background of his instrument. He approaches the gratifying tonal and harmonic language of rock/roots with the groove, ambition and improvisational focus of a jazz musician” - (JAZZIZ MAGAZINE)

After graduating from the Jacobs School of Music under the direction of David Baker, Ballantine relocated to Indianapolis and quickly developed a name for himself with a string of high energy performances at clubs like the Jazz Kitchen and Chatterbox Jazz Club. After releasing two solo albums Ballantine was able to attain global recognition with his award winning third album “Life is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan” which ALL ABOUT JAZZ named in their top ten jazz albums of the year. “From the opening bars of "The Times They Are a-Changin'" it is clear that something special is happening” - (ALL ABOUT JAZZ)

Although primarily a front man for his own projects with tours and frequent appearances throughout the US and Canada at venues and festivals such as the Indianapolis Jazz Festival, The Winnipeg International Jazz Festival and The Elkhart Jazz Festival, Ballantine also has an extensive list of side man credits having performed with names like Rob Dixon, Emmett Cohen and Rahsaan Barber helping to further solidify him as a creative force and  put him in the highest of ranks as a performer.

"Befitting a guitarist from America's heartland, Charlie Ballantine mixes jazz, folk-rock, surf/instro, blues, pop, and country into a simmering pot of guitar sound and style."

- Vintage Guitar Magazine

Born in Dallas, raised in Phoenix, cultivated in Chicago, and now living in New York, bassist John Sims draws from his diverse musical and personal background to inform his unique approach to the bass. He was first exposed to music through his parents who were both choir teachers, starting first on piano and then moving to bass at 18 a few months before starting at Arizona State University. He began his studies in Jazz with local Arizonan heroes Barb Catlin, Pete Pancrazii, and Dwight Killian before studying with ASU professors Michael Kocour and Catalin Rotaru. While in school, he started his own jazz combo program for local high school students, which lead to him being hired at Scottsdale Community College to teach combos, theory, and improvisation until he graduated from ASU in 2012 with degrees in Jazz Performance and Economics. By the beginning of 2013, he moved to Chicago, Illinois to pursue music and the opportunities available through a larger scene.

While in Chicago, John performed with such notable musicians as George Fludas, Geof Bradfield, Ryan Cohan, Dana Hall, Russ Johnson, Ron McCurdy, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Bria Skonberg, Ron Perillo, Greg Ward, Marquis Hill, Makaya McCraven, John Wojciechowski, Eric Rasmussen, Richard Johnson, Scott Burns, Joe Magnarelli, Sharel Cassity, and Victor Goines among many other players in Chicago’s thriving scene. John also opened the legendary Chicago Jazz Festival in 2017 with pianist Dan Trudell, and drummer Matt Wilson. He could be seen frequently performing in Chicago’s most notable jazz clubs such as Andy’s, the Green Mill, the Jazz Showcase, Constellation, and Winter’s. As an educator during his tenure residing in Chicago through 2018, John worked with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s “Jazz Alive” program as well as with the Chicago Academy for the Arts as their resident classical and jazz upright bass teacher. He was a featured adjudicator at the 2017 Indiana High School Jazz Festival, a finalist in the 2014 and 2017 International Society of Bassists Jazz competition, spent a week performing at NYC’s legendary club Dizzy’s with the Victor Goines Quartet, and was featured on 4 albums during the 5 and a half years he lived in Chicago.

Since late 2018, John has lived in New York City already making a name for himself as a talented and reliable bassist having shared the stage with such notable musicians as Steve Cardenas, Wilerm Delisfort, Joe Strasser, Michael Kanan, Josh Richman, Donald Edwards, Joel Frahm, Darrian Douglas, Ben Paterson, Max Light, Henry Conerway III, Marianne Solivan, Aaron Seeber and many others. He will be featured on two of his colleagues’ upcoming albums that he has recorded in the 18 months he has been in New York, and he currently works with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Jazz for Young People” program which holds frequent seminars at NYC’s local schools to introduce students to the rich heritage of Jazz in America.

John lives in Brooklyn with his wife Lizzie and wouldn’t have it any other way.


  • General

    $20 Advanced or Door

    Sale ended
  • Student

    $10 Student/Discount

    Sale ended



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