The name Jann Klose has become more recognized since it first appeared a number of years ago in this column, when I was introduced to the music of this singer/songwriter with global roots by my music savvy friend Anne Leighton.
Klose not only has a unique sound, but also quite a unique background — residing at times in South Africa, Germany and the American Midwest – which explains the multi-cultural influences and flavoring heard in his acoustic-rock sound.
“South Africa is a whole other world. I went to grade school there and High School in Johannesburg and before that my family lived in Kenya in Nairobi. I spent the first 10 years of my life in South Africa,” explained Klose, who was born in Hamburg, Germany. “Then I came here as an exchange student to Cleveland, Ohio where I joined a choir, took up playing keyboard and taught myself guitar.”
With music becoming more and more a part of his life, Klose later moved to New York. “I auditioned for a bunch of Broadway shows and got cast right away in ‘Jekyll and Hyde,’ ‘Tommy’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’,” he continued. Klose began composing his own songs and soon his recording career was born.
Establishing himself with the release of six original song collections, Klose has shared stages with artists from all eras and styles of music, including Rusted Root, Vonda Shepard, Rebecca Loebe of "The Voice", Jim McCarty (The Yardbirds), Suzanne Vega, Annie Haslam (of Renaissance), Pete Seeger, and late guitar maestro Les Paul.
Klose has been touring steadily for over a decade, slowly building a loyal fan base, especially in Chicago where Klose has been an invited guest performer for the last few years at the annual Jeff Buckley Memorial held at Windy City music haunt The Uncommon Ground (380 North Clark). Klose is on Buckley bill there tonight and returns to The Uncommon Ground this Saturday (11-15) for a headline concert promoting his latest album, “Mosaic.”
Regionites need not make the journey downtown because Klose is wrapping up his extended Midwest visit with an intimate 6pm all ages performance on Sunday at Valparaiso’s Chicago Street Theatre (154 W. Chicago Street), as part of CST’s popular One Night Jam series.
Valparaiso’s Old World Market presents Klose with accompaniment from Chris and Megan Marolf in venue’s upper level and extremely cozy Edith Wood Studio Theatre stage, better known as Edith’s Attic. Cost: $15. Tickets and info: (219) 464-1636 or chicagostreet.org
“I do about 100 shows a year in the U.S. and in Europe, so I keep busy,” concluded Klose. “I always look forward to coming to Chicago and the Midwest.” More: jannklose.com.
• The Travelin’ McCourys will be in Chicago at The City Winery (1200 West Randolph) on Sunday, November 17th with their aptly named “Bluegrass Ball Tour” wherein select regional pickers from each city on the tour are invited to perform. Bill Nershi of The String Cheese Incident plays guitar with The Travelin’ McCourys, a family group considered heavy weights on the festival and bluegrass scene.
The Bluegrass Ball was born out of the spirit of bluegrass festivals and the special memories and musical magic made during impromptu jams and unscheduled collaborations. Showtime: 9:30pm. Cost: $26-$34. More: (312) 733-9463 or thetravelinmccourys.com.
• Front Porch Music (505 East Lincolnway) in Valparaiso (welcomes February Sky (februarysky.com to its coffee house stage for an all age 8pm concert of traditional, modern and original Folk and Celtic music. Together since 2007, the duo features singer/guitarist Phil Cooper and multi-instrumentalist/singer Susan Urban. Cost: $12. More: (219) 464-4700 or frontporchmusic.com.
• Soul singer Curtis Salgado – who inspired Chicago’s late comedy/film icon John Belushi to form The Blues Brothers — won the 2013 Blues Blast Award for “Soul Blues Album of the Year” for his 2012 CD, “Soul Shot” (on Chicago’s Alligator Records) during the recent awards gala at Buddy Guy's Legends downtown.
Salgado first met and jammed some blues with Belushi when the latter was on location in Oregon filming “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” when he suggested Belushi incorporate his blues passion into his career plan, which gave birth to The Blues Brothers.
Email Tom Lounges at email@example.com.