top of page

Fri, Aug 13


Merrimans' Playhouse

Harry Tonchev Trio

Traditional and contemporary jazz. Featuring Harry Tonchev on guitar, Kitt Lyles on bass, and Gustavo Cortiñas on drums.

Registration is Closed
See other events
Harry Tonchev Trio
Harry Tonchev Trio

Time & Location

Aug 13, 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.

There will NOT be a cash bar available at this concert. NO BYOB. You are welcome to bring in food however.

Concert made possible by the Wells Fargo Grant from the Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation.

Featuring Harry Tonchev - guitar 

Kitt Lyles - bass 

Gustavo Cortiñas  - drums  Harry 

Video of Harry Tonchev

Tonchev is a Bulgarian-American jazz guitarist who currently lives and performs in the Chicago and central Illinois area. He holds a B.A. in music performance from University of Central Oklahoma, B.S. in electrical engineering from University of Oklahoma and M.S. in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University. While living in Oklahoma, Harry has performed with Oklahoma City Jazz Orchestra, OKC Lyric Theatre, Brian Gorrell and the Jazz Company, and many other jazz and rock groups. As time permits, Harry enjoys the company of his wife and two kids, going to jazz jam sessions and further developing his improvisational music skills.  

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 14 studio albums 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 Collective”, 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), the Roy McGrath Quartet, Gustavo Cortiñas Snapshot, Erik Skov Liminality, Mike Allemana, Amos Hoffman, Tony do Rosario, Yuri Hevia, Son Monarcas, and Damian Rivero.  

A graduate of Loyola University New Orleans (BM Jazz, Minor in  Philosophy), and Northwestern University (MM  Jazz), Gustavo Cortiñas has developed a successful career in the  US for over a decade, leading and accompanying ensembles in renowned  stages and festivals in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. “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 records as a leader, "Snapshot" (2013), "a  Smörgåsbord of the moods and nuances that make up the human  experience... an idiosyncratic album that intrinsically fuses the  personal to the universal" (JAZZIZ); and "ESSE" (Origin Arts 2017): "With  the cohesive and captivating Esse, Cortiñas has created superb work  that balances refreshingly inventive ideas with high-caliber  musicianship. This exquisite and continuously gripping record is a  testament to Cortiñas’ triple threat of skills as dynamic performer,  agile bandleader and brilliant composer." (Chicago  Jazz). Out on Woolgathering Records (2021), “Gustavo Cortiñas’ third release as a leader, the magnificent Desafio Candente is an ambitious work both in depth and breadth. Cortiñas draws inspiration from Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano’s iconic “The Open Veins of Latin America” in crafting 14 sublime originals. Desafío Candente is innovative, elegant, and relevant. It is socially engaged music with themes that are simultaneously timely and timeless” (Chicago Jazz Mag). During his time in Chicago, Gustavo has become one of  the most sought out drummers, performing and recording with Kitt Lyles, Erik Skov, Imagery Converter, Emily Kuhn, Roy McGrath, Kyle Madsen, and the Carla Campopiano Trio, among other  ensembles. Cortiñas is a member of the Chicago Jazz Composer's  Collective, performing regularly for their monthly residency at  Chicago's very own Green Mill. Currently, with a grant from the Mexican  National Endowment of the Arts (FONCA), Gustavo is working on his fourth project as a leader: Kind Regards, which features original songs composed of both lyrics and music by Cortiñas, which attempt to bridge gaps and community in today’s polarized world. Gustavo Cortiñas is a proud endorser of Canopus Drums & Bosphorus Cymbals.   

Born  and raised in Mexico City, son of Leon Cortiñas and Gabriela Fouilloux,  Gustavo started drumming at the age of 10, studying under Santiago  Fortson. In 2004 he enrolled in Centro de Investigacion y Estudios de la Música,  where he studied music and drums under Rodrigo Jimenez. Subsequently,  he studied privately in Mexico City with Hernán Hecht, who mentored him  until his departure from the country.   In 2007, sponsored by  Loyola University, he moved to New Orleans to pursue a BM Degree in Jazz  Studies, and a minor in philosophy, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2011.  In New Orleans he embraced the opportunity to learn the jazz tradition  in the birthplace of jazz, studying and playing with some of the city’s  finest musicians, such as jazz icons Wayne Maureau, Johnny Vidacovich,  John Mahoney, and Tony Dagradi. Interactions with many other talented  players on the local scene led to his  musical partnership with  saxophonist Roy McGrath, featured on McGrath's debut record "Long Shot" (New Orleans, 2010) and his sophomore recording “Martha"  (Chicago, 2014). Another product of his musical ventures in New Orleans  was the birth of the Collective Vision Sextet, which released a record  in 2010. In 2010 Cortiñas was awarded the Gerry and Franca Mulligan Foundation Scholarship for his outstanding development and achievement in jazz at Loyola University.   

In the fall of 2011, sponsored by the Rev. John M. Krump Endowed Scholarship,  Cortiñas moved to Chicago to pursue a Master of Music in Jazz Studies  degree at Northwestern University, studying under Willie Jones III and  Victor Goines. Proximity to a network of gifted musicians in the Chicago  area gave him the opportunity to lead his own groups and to support, as  a sideman, some of the city’s great artists. Cortiñas  graduated from Northwestern in the spring of 2013 with a Master of Music  degree. A month later he released his debut record “Snapshot"  which earned him critical acclaim internationally. Since then he has  been performing regularly in Chicago, and touring throughout the USA,  Latin America, Europe and Asia.  

In 2017, he released his sophomore  recording as a leader “Esse", released with Origin Records. The  project toured South America, the United States and the UK and performed  at the 2017 Chicago Jazz Festival. In 2016 Gustavo became a member of  the Chicago Jazz Composers' Collective and has performed regularly at  the Collective's residency at the Green Mill. In 2018 Cortiñas was a  recipient of the "Youthful Creators" scholarship by FONCA (Mexican  Endowment of the Arts) for the production of his most recent  compositional project, Desafío Candente, a rendition of Galeano's "Las Venas Abiertas de  América Latina", which brought together over thirty musicians and guest speakers from 11 different countries into a monolythic work which denounces colonialism, imperialism and neoliberalism, while it celebrates the rich and diverse communities of Latin America. in 2020, Gustavo Cortiñas once again won the Jóvenes Creadores grant in Mexico, which will culminate in the release of his fourth discographic production “Kind Regards”.  

Gustavo has become one of the in demand drummers  of this musical city, performing and recording regularly with his own  band "Snapshot", as well as with Imaginary Convertor, Kitt Lyles Real  Talk, Erik Skov Liminality, Tommy Muellner Trio, Emily Kuhn's Helios,  Steve Gibbons Gypsy Rhythm Project, Roy McGrath Quartet, Carla Campopiano  Trio, Four Star Brass Band, Spanish Flow, Adreian Davis, amongst  others.   

Cortiñas has over a decade of teaching experience  with students of all ages and levels. He started as the drum set  instructor at the Edron Academy in Mexico City, where he later became a  substitute teacher for elementary and middle school classes. Since  then, Gustavo has had an extensive private studio, and also taught  master classes in Mexico, Puerto Rico, China and around the United  States. He has been teaching at Flatts & Sharpe Music Academy since  2014, and has been a guest artist with the jazz  small ensembles at Northwestern University. Since 2018 Gustavo has been  an assistant conductor of the jazz combos and jazz orchestras at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. IL, and most recently has  begun working as a Jazz Director at the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory.


  • General

    $20 Advanced or Door

    Sale ended
  • Student

    $10 Student/Discount

    Sale ended



Share This Event

bottom of page