Every Tuesday we present Chicago’s top jazz artists in a lively atmosphere, full of cocktail-shaking and spirited conversation.
Many Blessings is a young group that finds a home in the meeting point between thoughtful composition and wide-open improvisation. A Tucson, AZ native who grew up playing as much punk and hardcore as jazz, Lucas maintains a busy drumming career in Chicago. He founded Many Blessings in 2006 with Marquis Hill, Jonathon Edwards and Kevin Doyle at Northern Illinois University. After a brief post-college hiatus and a few personnel changes, the lineup now comprises bassist Dan Thatcher and fellow NIU alumni Quentin Coaxum on trumpet and Jim Schram on tenor sax.
Lucas’ compositions reveal the influence of his jazz heroes, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus, but have a modern style of their own, with extended forms, free improvisation, and a straight-forward melodic sensibility informed by Gillan’s work as a solo singer-songwriter.