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Wed, Aug 16


Merrimans' Playhouse

Gustavo Cortiñas Snapshot

“Cortiñas' music is uplifting, robust, melodic, and gets your body moving; it's an exciting blend of the artist's musical influences from jazz and Latin America, including his native Mexico" (DOWNBEAT).

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Gustavo Cortiñas Snapshot
Gustavo Cortiñas Snapshot

Time & Location

Aug 16, 2023, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM EDT

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


About the Event

TICKETS are $10 General/$5 Student. End time is not set.

Embracing a multicultural language, while investing in a variety of disciplines within the music itself, composer, bandleader, drummer, and lyricist Gustavo Cortiñas continues to surpass himself in the breadth of his work. “Cortiñas' music is uplifting, robust, melodic, and gets your body moving; it's an exciting blend of the artist's musical influences from jazz and Latin America, including his native Mexico" (DOWNBEAT). This can be heard on his four records as a leader, "Snapshot" (2013), "a Smörgåsbord of the moods and nuances that make up the human experience," (Jazziz); "ESSE" (2017) "a fascinating musical realization, exploration, and distillation of the works of Hegel, Aristotle, Descartes, Plato, and other brilliant minds" (AllAboutJazz); and “Desafío Candente” (2021), “a musical palimpsest that carries the weight of the history of colonialism and neocolonialism of the entire southern part of the Americas” (LatinJazzNet). On his latest release, “Kind Regards / Saludos Afectuosos”, Cortiñas gives life, through music, to words that attempt to build bridges and understanding in times of borders and ignorance; words that focus on our feet and the dust on which they walk, instead of the stars under which they dream.


Drew Hansen - trumpet 

Artie Black - sax 

Matthew Davis - trombone 

Joaquín García - piano 

Kitt Lyles - bass 

Gustavo Cortiñas - drums

Drew Hansen is a Chicago trumpet player making a name for himself as a thoughtful composer and adventurous improviser who combines seemingly disparate influences into a cohesive musical statement. Drew earned his degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he studied with Chicago trumpet luminary, Tito Carrillo, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Charles Daval, and founding member of the Canadian Brass, Ronald Romm. Drew was a member of both the Concert Jazz Ensemble under Chip McNeil and the Latin Jazz Ensemble under Tito Carrillo. - 

As a bandleader, Drew leads several ensembles of varied instrumentation. “Room Full of Chairs,” featuring Drew on trumpet, vocalist and bassist Katie Ernst, and saxophonists Artie Black and Dustin Laurenzi, is inspired by the haiku of Chicago poet, John O’Connor. Freely improvised compositions lend a soundtrack to O’Connor’s evocative poems. Drew’s quintet, the primary outlet for his more traditional compositions, alternatively features Artie Black and Katie Ernst (singing Drew’s original lyrics), alongside guitarist Sam Hasting, bassist Mike Harmon, and drummer Matt Carroll of Ohmme. Drew’s debut album, "Stone Forest/Sun Shower," combines these various groups into one musical amalgam. The resulting record is full of lyrical compositions inspired by chamber music, haiku, free jazz, and folk music. Drew’s deep interest in harmony, texture, and melody inform the album’s rich sounds, carrying the listener from one track to the next. Aside from a busy career as a freelancer, Drew also maintains an active role as an educator both privately and in various schools across the Chicagoland-area, teaching brass technique, music theory, and improvisation. Drew can be reached at

Artie Black is a saxophonist, clarinetist, composer, and educator based in Chicago. He co-leads the group Black Diamond, an ensemble that has been actively performing and touring since 2012. Artie can also be heard in groups led by drummer Gustavo Cortiñas, bassist Matt Ulery, trumpeter Alexander Massa, guitarist Jeff Swanson, trombonist Luke Malevicz, drummer Greg Artry, and many others in Chicago’s creative music scene. His newest projects are a collaborative trio with bassist / vocalist Katie Ernst and guitarist Matt Gold, and an apprenticeship and collaboration with Indian tabla master Sandip Burman.    Originally from Butler, Pennsylvania, Artie was first inspired to pursue a career in music through lessons with Dr. Terry Steele, professor of saxophone at Slippery Rock University. Artie graduated with a degree in music education from Messiah College in 2010, and during his undergraduate years he was a student of saxophonist Tim Warfield, Jr. Artie continued his studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, earning a master’s degree in jazz studies in 2012. At Indiana, Artie studied saxophone with Tom Walsh and worked as an Associate Instructor with legendary jazz educator David Baker.    Artie moved to Chicago in 2012, where he quickly established himself as an important part of the creative music scene. He has appeared at the Chicago Jazz Festival, Hyde Park Jazz Festival, and as a part of the Next Gen Jazz Series, and has played as a leader and sideman at The Green Mill, Andy's Jazz Club, Jazz Showcase, Constellation, and hundreds of other venues. Recent highlights include a weeklong tour and recording with his group Living Bridge, and a series of performances and workshops with Steve Coleman's Five Elements.    In addition to his passion for performance, Artie is fascinated by the learning and teaching process. He currently serves as adjunct professor of saxophone at Wheaton College and teaches at Trinity Christian College. Since 2013 Artie has worked as a teaching artist with Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic. His goal as a teacher is to inspire his students to find joy through learning for themselves. - 

Matthew Davis is a Chicago based trombonist and multi-instrumentalist. From the avant-garde to Motown, from Cuban rhythms to the blues, he uses his diverse musical influence to create a sound that is unique yet familiar. - 

A working professional in the Chicago, New York City, and Memphis metropolitan music scenes, Joaquín García is also an international touring musician and masterclass lecturer. Commanding a mastery of various musical styles with a focus on Jazz and Afro-Caribbean languages, Joaquin can be heard involved in many musical projects and festivals near you. Look around, read, and most of all, listen. - 

Winning Midwest regional drum/percussion competitions by age 9, Joaquín decided the arts was the path for him. Joaquín would soon delve into formal study of the piano by the next year, training in the classical arts. By 2005, aged 15, he won city and state level competitions for interpretations of Chopin and Lecuona repertoire. Receiving a full tuition scholarship to attend Columbia College Chicago as a dual major in composition/performance in classical piano performance, he had an inspirational encounter with jazz music and switch disciplines. A year removed from graduation he applied and was accepted with full scholarship to Northwestern University for my M.M. in Jazz Studies. Graduating with honors in 2014, his professional working base included New York City, Mexico City, Memphis, and Miami metropolitan areas.    Joaquín currently tours and records world-wide whilst remaining active nationally with festivals around the U.S. He’s a masterclass lecturer, instructor, music director, and professional pianist in various music scenes with my own debut jazz album released in the Fall of 2020. He recently became a part of the US band for 6x Grammy Winner Gilberto Santa Rosa as keyboardist.

Kitt Lyles is one of Chicago’s most distinctive bassists and composers. Born and raised in South Carolina, Lyles has cultivated an aesthetic that synthesizes his love for Southern roots music with imaginative contemporary jazz. Unafraid to channel romance and grit alike and unwilling to sacrifice the centrality of melody, Lyles draws out the bass’ most vocal personality. Through his lyrical compositional style, inspired by the musical lineage of Charles Mingus and Duke Ellington, he seeks to highlight his musicians’ unique voices as well. - 

A graduate of Northwestern University (BM Jazz Studies, 2013), Kitt Lyles is an active performer, composer, and educator in the Chicago jazz community. He has been featured on 36 studio recordings and toured and taught masterclasses across the US, Latin America, and Asia, including festivals and venues such as The Chicago Jazz Festival, The Charlotte Jazz Festival, The Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Festival Espontáneo in Chiapas, MX, The Chicago Latin Jazz Festival, The Blue Note in Beijing, Blu Jazz Singapore, Zinco Jazz Club in Mexico City, Snug Harbor in New Orleans, ShapeShifter Lab in NYC, The Green Mill, The Jazz Showcase, The Old Town School of Folk Music, and The Logan Center at UChicago.

In 2015, Lyles released his debut album, Real Talk, which peaked at #84 in Jazzweek radio charts. Regarding Real Talk, Hobart Taylor of KUCI radio wrote “Composer/bassist Lyles is a sterling example of why Chicago is, in my view, the capital city of modern working jazz musicians... Chicago jazz musicians of every color and gender, whether native or drawn there by its vibrant scene, seem to make a living being true to themselves while expanding the genre via thoughtful composition and playing that celebrates artistry without hooking onto trends.” Lyles recently released Wake Before Dawn, the follow up to Real Talk. Wake Before Dawn continues Lyles’ penchant for blending nostalgic southern roots music, contemporary and straight-ahead jazz, and latin folkloric music. The album features Lyles’ core septet as well as guest vocalists and musicians from Chicago’s jazz, classical, and latin music scenes, and from his hometown Greenville, South Carolina.

In addition to leading his band “Real Talk,” Kitt has performed with prominent ensembles and individuals of the music scenes in Chicago and beyond such as Grammy Award winning Chuchito Valdes (Cuba), Grammy Award winning Donato Poveda (Cuba), Vladimir Cetkar (Macedonia), Roy McGrath’s Menjunje, Gustavo Cortiñas’ Desafio Candente, Erik Skov Liminality, Mike Allemana, Amos Hoffman, Ana Everling and Taraf de Chicago, Tony do Rosario, Yuri Hevia, Son Monarcas, and Damian Rivero.

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 season). 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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