Premier Jazz Venue hits Rogers Park

Come September, Rogers Park will be home to what some are hoping will be Chicago™s next great Jazz venue.   Dad Andy McGhee, son Devin McGhee and friend William Kerpan – three music lovers, are transforming the old Morse Theatre into a beautiful music club, intent on booking national acts.  The venue is situated on Morse Avenue, a few blocks from the lake and less than a block from the L stop.

The old Morse Theatre opened in 1912 as a nickelodeon and vaudeville house.   It was very popular until the mid-20™s, when other similar venues such as the Uptown and Granada opened, and it closed its doors for the first time.   It became a movie theater in the mid-30™s, and finally a Synagogue in the mid-50™s.   Other than small retail businesses occupying its storefront, the theater has not been used since.

Six  million dollars have been allocated to transform this old theater into a club unlike anything Chicago has seen in recent years.   Typically, music venues that require people to œseek them out flourish in Chicago.   In addition, Rogers Park has the unique advantage of being sandwiched between the North Side neighborhoods, and North Shore suburbs such as Evanston, Wilmette and Winnetka. Area businesses such as the Morseland at 1218 Morse Avenue, The Heartland Café at 7000 N. Glenwood Ave, and Duke™s Bar at 6920 N. Glenwood, welcome the foot traffic.

The club has announced a partnership with WFMT Radio Network to arrange live classical broadcasts from the facility. The brothers hope to bring in such acts as Saxophonist David Sanchez, New Orleans pianist Ellis Marsalis and Chilean vocalist Claudia Acuna, just to name a few.

Details about the Morse Theatre

Seating Capacity: 299

Square Feet:   18,000

Instruments:   Concert grand piano, Hammond B-3 organ

Broadcast: Dedicated audio booth; Webcast and broadcast-ready

Cinema: 20-foot projection screen

Address:   1328 W. Morse Avenue

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