Many musicians attribute their taste in music to their parents. Few pay tribute to them in as literal and beautiful methods as acclaimed Chicago singer Dee Alexander. Seasoned in blues, gospel and soul music, Alexander's true niche is jazz music and her newest album Songs My Mother Loves highlights the biggest influences in her career including Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole and, of course, her own mother who introduced her to all the greats.
Alexander has received dozens of awards and honors during her professional music career including "Chicagoan Of The Year" from the Chicago Tribune, "Jazz Entertainer of the Year" from the Chicago Music Awards, one of Chicago Magazine's "Best Singers," a five star album reviews from Downbeat Magazine and a 3Arts Award. The last recognition essentially led to her latest release which was funded though 3AP (3Arts Artists Projects).
3Arts supports visual and performance artists in Chicago, specifically artists who are women, who are of color or who have disabilities. The last six years have led to more than one million dollars in grants, fellowships and funding for its artists. In addition, the 3AP, a crowd-funding program for 3Arts honorees, has led to the funding of creative projects like Dee Alexander's Song My Mother Loves.
Recorded through local label Blujazz, Alexander is celebrating the release of her new album this week. It's an inspiring combination nostalgia and contemporary jazz stylings that adds to an already impressive career that's taken Alexander across the Unite States and aboard as far as Africa, France, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Poland. Last year, the New York Times called her performance at the Newport Jazz Festival one of the best jazz concerts of the year.
Celebrate the release of Songs My Mother Loved and the community members who funded it this Friday, August 1, at the University of Chicago's Logan Center for the Arts with back to back concerts from Dee Alexander. She performs at 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets are available now for $20 ($10 for students). VIP seating ($50) includes a copy of the new CD. Stick around after the show as Alexander will be available to sign CDs for fans.