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Wed, Feb 21


Merrimans' Playhouse

Gregory Dudzienski Quartet

The Gregory Dudzienski Quartet plays original material with roots in the great post-bop tradition of the 1960s as well as music from the Great American Songbook and compositions of the masters of this music.

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 Gregory Dudzienski Quartet
 Gregory Dudzienski Quartet

Time & Location

Feb 21, 2024, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, Suite 135, South Bend, IN 46617, USA


About the Event

TICKETS are $10 General/$5 Student. Concert is one long set. End time is approximate.

The Gregory Dudzienski Quartet plays original material with roots in the great post-bop tradition of the 1960s as well as music from the Great American Songbook and compositions of the masters of this music.

Gregory Dudzienski – saxophone

Chris White – piano

Dan Thatcher – bass

Jeff Stitely - drums

"Gregory Dudzienski makes it far too easy to take him for granted. He plays laconic solos without unnecessary fuss or fluster. He commands a strong, confident timbre, and his spot-on intonation never bruises the ear. He links his ideas to technique with such efficiency and balance that he makes it all sound effortless: you don’t see the seams, you don’t hear the gears. But listen a little closer – to the shape of his improvisations, the nature of his compositions, the interplay of the rhythm section – and you realize that what you might “take for granted” contains plenty that you should not.” - Neil Tesser

Saxophonist and composer Gregory Dudzienski lives a life of constant motion. After years of travel, he has become a member of Chicago’s strong community of musicians and improvisers. His original music has been featured on the Anagram Series at The Elastic Arts Foundation, the Actual Jazz Series at Cafe Mustache, the Chicago Jazz Composers Collective at The Green Mill, the Is This Jazz Series at AS200 in Providence, Rhode Island, the International Saxophone Symposium in Fairfax, Virginia, and the Salerno Jazz Festival in Salerno Italy. Dudzienski was inspired during his youth by the jazz of the late 1950s and 1960s and has since then continued to be influenced by the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic language of that era. Seeking new ways to navigate the spirit of the mid-century jazz language, his music results in a modern aesthetic with strong roots in primary sources.

Originally from Toronto, Chris White has gained recognition as a leader with the albums Young at Heart and Tributaries. At home in a host of genres and settings, he has made his name as a go-to freelance pianist, arranger, and accompanist in the Chicago area. His performance credits include the Chicago Jazz Festival, The Jazz Showcase, The Green Mill, Winter’s Jazz Club, Cliff Bell’s, Catalina Jazz Club, Feinstein’s/54 Below (NYC) and The Jazz Kitchen, among others. Chris is an in-demand educator as well, teaching piano, theory and ensembles at Lake Forest College, North Park University and North Central College. He earned his Master’s in Jazz Studies at Indiana University’s prestigious Jacobs School of Music, studying with the late renowned educator David Baker, and went on to complete his DMA in Jazz Performance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has studied piano with Barry Harris, Joanne Brackeen and Hal Galper among other greats, and performed with Miguel Zenón, Ira Sullivan, Jamey Aebersold, Oliver Nelson, Jr. and many more.

Daniel Thatcher is a singular Chicago-based bassist and composer, whose solid and supportive presence has been felt and heard among the city’s richly varied and vibrant musical communities for nearly two decades. His sensibilities encompass the broader spectrum of traditional and modern music, which allows him to move freely between the worlds of jazz and improvised music, contemporary classical, and experimental rock music.

Originally from Munich, Germany, Daniel began honing his musical skills at an early age at the piano and on guitar before eventually turning to the bass, which quickly became his primary musical voice. Daniel received his Bachelor’s degree in classical performance from Western Michigan University, where he was also heavily involved in the jazz program. Since moving to Chicago in 2002, he has been an active contributor to Chicago’s jazz and creative music scene.  Daniel regularly contributes his rich sound and composing voice to a wide array of unique musical projects, such as Casey Nielsen’s Lapis Trio, Lucas Gillan’s Many Blessings, the Carl Kennedy Trio, James Davis’ Beveled, Cameron Pfiffner’s Marco Polo, Origin of Animal, and Diana and the Dishes.

Jeff Stitely began his career as a jazz drummer building a reputation in Chicago by playing with such superb artists as Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Randy Brecker, Eddie Harris, Larry Coryell, “Groove” Holmes, Kathleen Battle, Zoot Sims, Patricia Barber, Von Freeman, Barry Harris, Bobby Shew, Bobby Lewis, Chicago Symphony’s “Gershwin-Bernstein Ensemble, Grant Park Symphony, Sinfonieta, Fulcrumpoint and many others. The Jeff Stitely Quartet recorded three CDs. “Chameleon Eyes” won the distinguished award of “Top 10 CD’s of the year” by WBEZ and the Sun Times. They toured both the U.S. and Europe and were finalists in the Hennessey National Jazz Competition in 1995. Jeff taught as an assistant professor at Northern Illinois University for six years and as a Ravinia jazz mentor working with high school jazz musicians. He also taught at the Birch Creek Summer Percussion Camp for 25 years.

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services Private Trust Foundations, which include grants from the Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation (2020-2021; 2022-2023 seasons), the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation (2021-2022; 2022-2023 seasons), and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust (2021-2022; 2022-2023; 2023-2024 seasons). Special concert event support provided by the Arts Midwest Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund grant (2022-2023 season). Activities are made possible in part by the Arts Organization Support (AOS), Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency (2023-2024 season).

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation (2020-2023 seasons). The Student and Home Grown Series concerts made possible, in part, with support from the ArtsEverywhere Grant from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, and the Arts Project Support Grant and the Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission.


  • General

    $10 Advanced or Door

    Sale ended
  • Student

    $5 Student/Discount

    Sale ended



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