Winter White Jazz Night at Anderson Japanese Gardens Feb. 3

Matt Ulery (Photo by John Broughton)

Online Staff Report

Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis each have written their own chapter in annals of music history. From 6 to 10 p.m., Feb. 3, at the Anderson Japanese Gardens, several of Chicago’s best entertainers will join forces in an all-star ensemble to celebrate some of America’s greatest jazz music at the Winter White Jazz Night.

Organized as a fund-raiser for Keith Country Day School, this ambitious and inviting ode to jazz will feature incredible entertainment, delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks, a wine raffle with the opportunity to win gift certificates ranging from $15 to $100, and a huge inventory of silent and live auction items.

It’s very exciting to be able to bring in this caliber of talent to Rockford,” said Alan Gibby, head of Keith Country Day School. “Our development office has done a tremendous job with this event, and I think the community is really going to enjoy it.”

About the band …

Kimberly Gordon

A Rockford native, Ryan Swanson has played his saxophone in the Forest City many times partnering with a variety of well-known local musicians such as Harlan Jefferson, Ernie Hendrickson and Matt Goodwin. He is joined on bass by Matt Ulery, who is described by Chicago Jazz magazine as a “leader of the new generation of Chicago jazz innovators.” Ulery has composed more than 200 pieces and has hosted music clinics at colleges across the United States, including at Princeton, Cornell and DePaul.

Rob Clearfield will be on the piano. Clearfield is just as ubiquitous in Chicago as Ulery with four solo albums to his credit. The Chicago Reader calls him “a rhythmic genius who has the ability to both improvise and stay true to any composition.”

Born in Chicago, Quin Kirchner has collaborated with a variety of musicians across the country. While living in New Orleans, he regularly played drums for some of the area’s most well-known bands, including the Other Planets and Grilly Biggs.

Rounding out the ensemble is Kimberly Gordon, whose unique singing talent is seen regularly on Sundays at the legendary Green Mill Jazz Club. Gordon has been part of the national jazz scene for 20 years and has shared the stage with jazz legends such as Roy Hargrove, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Marcus Roberts, Captain Jack McDuff and many others.

Tickets to this event are $25 per person. For more information, contact Diane Zammuto at (815) 399-8850, ext. 152.

Keith Country Day School is an independent, nonsectarian, college-preparatory school. On a 15-acre campus overlooking the Rock River, Keith serves students from age 3 through grade 12 from the northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin area. The school is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools and fully accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. More information about Keith School is available at

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