If Studio5 is not a name that you recognize, that’s alright, because you’ll be hearing about it more and more. It’s an unusual new venue in a lot of ways — an impeccably designed performance space that opened just last year as part of the widely-respected Dance Center Evanston complex. It’s one of the best places in Metro Chicago to go see music or dance; I know that because I was there for an excellent Chicago Repertory Ballet performance last spring, and for a truly brilliant jazz performance just last Friday with Judy Roberts, Greg Fishman and Bob Ojeda.
“It’s hard to imagine a more lovely sound than that of Paulinho Garcia. The lush harmonizations from his guitar and his quiet, pure voice all reflect his gentle, sweet spirit. His is Brazilian jazz at its finest.”
This Saturday, The Live at Studio5 Jazz series presents Brazilian Guitarist Paulinho Garcia and Mike Allemana, with special guest Grazyna Auguscik sharing vocals with Garcia. The Live at Studio5 series is the creation of Chicago’s Steve Rashid, whose impressive credits as producer, composer, radio host and musician give him a uniquely rich understanding of how to attract exceptional artistry to the Studio5 stage. He also has an ability to write and talk about music, and especially jazz, in terms that are unusually accessible and just as unusually insightful.
We asked Steve if we could just reprint his excellent introductions to some of these shows, since we knew we could never improve on them. He said go ahead, so here’s what he writes about Paulinho Garcia, Mike Allemana and Grazyna Auguscik. (If you check out the Calendar at Studio.dance, which would be a very good thing to get in the habit of doing anyway, you can find out about all of their upcoming shows.)
Live At Studio5: PAULINHO GARCIA & MIKE ALLEMANA With GRAZYNA AUGUSCIK
It’s hard to imagine a more lovely sound than that of Paulinho Garcia. The lush harmonizations from his guitar and his quiet, pure voice all reflect his gentle, sweet spirit. His is Brazilian jazz at its finest. I am grateful for our friendship that now spans more than 30 years, and along with his many other colleagues and fans in Chicago, I was saddened when Paulinho moved to Los Angeles in 2015. We’re always so glad when he visits – Paulinho contacted me recently to let me know he was going to be in town for a couple of weeks, and we quickly worked out this date for him to appear at Studio5.
Paulinho’s performances in Chicago are now quite rare, and I’m really looking forward to showing him our new home in Studio5 and introducing him to our audience. Paulinho will be performing with fellow guitarist, Mike Allemana, one of Chicago’s finest players and a friend of our series. Mike has played all over the world with the likes of Von Freeman, Mickey Roker, Lonnie Smith and Bernard Purdie. He is a highly respected, monstrously talented musician and I can’t wait to hear what he and Paulinho cook up.
And if that wasn’t wonderful enough, the extraordinary vocalist, Grazyna Auguscik, will be their special guest for the evening. Paulinho and Grazyna have worked as a duet for years – listening to them is like watching mind readers. We are thrilled she will be stopping by to join the fun.
— Steve Rashid
Studio5 is a remarkable performance space, as high-class as it is low-key, precise in its sonic and visual specs, but comfortable, welcoming, and friendly. There’s a cash bar, light snacks and free parking right outside. The doors open at 7:30 for the 8PM show, which Rashid will record and rebroadcast for his Chicago Jazz Live show on WDCB. Here’s a look at a show featuring Paulinho Garcia and Mike Allemana from the WDCB series Live at the Whiskey Lounge.