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South Boulevard Band has Them Dancing in the Aisles at the Jamming Jean Concert

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

Band close-up photos by Linda Bechtle.

More than 300 local residents and music enthusiasts packed the Levy Senior Center in Evanston on a rainy night Sept. 27 to hear local favorite South Boulevard Band shake things up as part of the Jamming Jean Music Series.

Band lead vocalist Dudley Fair summed the night up perfectly, “When all else fails, we got the groove!”

Evanston resident Hyacinth Taylor arrived early and said she never misses the Jamming Jean concerts, which are made possible by the Levy Senior Center Foundation (LSCF). She added that the South Boulevard Band, whose music is a lively and soulful mix of rhythm and blues, is her favorite. “I am going to be dancing in the aisles,” Taylor said.

And the audience did dance, in the aisles, back of the room and in front of the stage, for the entirety of the two-hour concert. Beer, wine and sodas were available for purchase along with thin crust pizza, courtesy of Candlelite Chicago. Foundation and concert series sponsor Symphony of Evanston, a premier provider of 5-star, post-acute and long-term care, was on hand with information for guests. LSCF collected names for a raffle of a large fall warm-up gift basket with drink tumblers and gourmet coffee.

Wilmette residents Kay Furey and Forrest Buchtel arrived in matching South Boulevard Band jackets. Buchtel, a former South Boulevard Band member and professional trumpeter, said that a large part of the band’s appeal is that they really communicate with the audience. “They give the people what they want, and never play over anyone’s head,” Buchtel explained. Furey added that on top of the band’s immense talent, “they are a group of really great guys.”

Evanston residents Judy and Howard Schneider have been Levy Center members for five years and will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in the coming year.

“The Levy Center programming is so versatile and there are so many choices of things to do

that we have to make up our minds every day,” said Howard. Judy added that some of their favorite Levy Center programs include the various day trips and painting classes.

“We bring our Chicago friends to these concerts. The Levy Senior Center Foundation programs keep us young!” she said.

Above photos: Linda Bechtle

From left: Hyacinth Taylor, Forrest Buchtel and Kay Furey, Howard and Judy Schneider

Eighth Ward Alderman Ann Rainey was on hand to enjoy the fun and complimented the Foundation for selecting such excellent entertainers. “The Foundation has done a fantastic job making great use of the Levy Center space and creating a concert program that appeals to the community,” Rainey said.

The LSCF supports the enhancement of Levy Center programming including the Jamming Jean concerts and the Levy Lecture Series, in addition to offering financial assistance to seniors so that all may participate in center programming through the Dennis Newton Scholarship Fund.

“Where else can you come and see one of the best local artists for free while also enjoying food and drinks?” Rainey added.

Lead singer Fair echoed Rainey’s comments with a shout-out in between sets to the LSCF, reminding audience members that the Foundation was also responsible for raising the funds for the much-used Levy Senior Center bus.


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