Home to some of the most iconic musical talent within our modern music era, Chicago has birthed many well known musical styles, rhythms and cultural defining moments, a long list of artists having started life there and gone onto to achieve great things! Having contributed heavily to the Blues scene, musician L.T. Beauchamp has enjoyed a varied career spanning over 50 years – his early years, being taught how to tap dance by legendary Afro-Cuban dancer Jimmy Payne and later on in life, going on to become a significant contributor to the Certain Blacks’ album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago amongst many other musical collaborations, and receiving recognition for his contributions, becoming a recipient of the 2016 Reykjavik Blues Society Honorary Membership Award. For one night only, as part of Certain Blacks’ Heroes Festival, Beauchamp returns years after his last visit to present a lively, warmly received set!
From start to finish, Beauchamp’s 90 minute set gets you thinking, toe tapping and switching off from the worries of the outside world. Harmonica in hand, the instrument’s spritely, zingy tones flutter throughout, above the collective rhythms of the evening’s incredible band, consisting of Miles Danso on the double bass, Bukky Leo on the tenor sax, Trevor Edwards on the trombone, Maurice Brown on Guitar, Paul Weinreb on keys and organ and Cheryl Alleyne, the show’s musical anchor, on drums.
Beauchamp also offering vocals, honouring the Blues tradition of storytelling and tapping into societal issues of the time. The evening creates the perfect opportunity to experience real music at its finest, we’re able to appreciate the generous track list – ‘Chi Grist Chamson’, ‘Opening Shuffle’, ‘Country Shock’, ‘Can’t Send the Children to School’, ‘Don’t Start Me Talking’, ‘Hake Your Boogie’, ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’, ‘Key to the Highway’ and ‘Mystery Blues’. A mellow, warm throwback to the jazz-inspired midpoint of the former century, nights like this are integral in our increasingly digitised world. A Q&A to end the evening further connects the room to Beauchamp, we hear of how Muddy Waters gave him his name, his tap dancing beginnings and the fact that his last visit here was 18 years ago amongst other things. What an honour to watch tonight, a much needed event in our current climate.
Written by Lucy Basaba.
L.T. Beauchamp performed on Friday 17th February 2023 as part of Certain Blacks’ Heroes Festival. To find out more about the show, visit here…
For our interview with L.T Beauchamp, visit here…
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