Chicago jazz mecca closes doors, perhaps forever





In a city that lost several beloved institutions in 2006, the sound coming out of Chicago's jazz scene is providing a year-end coda no one wants to hear.

The Jazz Showcase, this jazz-drenched city's oldest club dedicated to the musical form and the second-oldest U.S. jazz venue after New York's Village Vanguard, is closing its doors this weekend after 59 years.

A New Year's Eve "last blast" featuring saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman and Henry Johnson's Organ Express will be the final show at the club, which for six decades presented artists like Charlie Parker and others working out of the tradition associated with legendary players like John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins.

This fall, the club lost its lease and despite help from the city of Chicago, its owner and founder, 80-year-old Joe Segal, still has found no new digs.


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