“In the spirit of exploration, collaboration becomes a wonderful vehicle.  These artists bring additional flavors and colors to the Chamber Blues palette, as well as a new level of virtuosity and joy one would expect from these masters”  – Corky Siegel

 NHK Symphony Orchestra - Charels Dutoit conducting

NHK Symphony Orchestra - Charels Dutoit conducting

Symphonic Blues

1966.  A bluesman and a classical conductor walk into a bar. You won't believe what happens next.  Corky Siegel guest soloist with New York Philharmonic (Lincoln Center), Boston Symphony (Tanglewood,) the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony (Kennedy Center), Switzerland’s Suisse Romande, Japan’s NHK Symphony (full list available).   It was Maestro Seiji Ozawa who walked into the bar and asked bluesman Corky Siegel to perform as guest soloist with the Chicago Symphony resulting in the creation of a new genre; Symphonic Blues.  This launched a successful 5 decade career beginning with the team of Siegel, Ozawa, composer William Russo, and the San Francisco Symphony releasing two award winning recordings on the premier classical label Deutsche Grammophon which became among the largest selling American classics for the label and still available to date. Corky continues to compose and perform for symphony orchestras most recently New Zealand’s Auckland Philharmonic, and an upcoming World Premier of Corky Siegel's 6th Symphonic work in 2017 with the Lancaster Symphony, including performances with Youth Symphony Orchestras around the globe.  Chamber Blues also joins in these guest performances.   More...

Kalyan Patak

Kalyan Pathak is a composer, musician, drummer and a percussion player of a multi cultural experience covering a very vast base.  “Fleet Finger Virtuosity” - Chicago Tribune.  Born in Ahmedabad, India, formally trained, from his age 9 till age 15, in Classical Tabla with Ustad Kader Khan, later an apprenticeship with the most prominent drummer, Mr. Ranjit Barot, brought teenaged Kalyan to Bombay in the mid 80’s. While devoting himself to western drumset, Kalyan concurrently did regular studio session work in Bollywood, and toured all over India playing with jazz and rock music bands.  Kalyan also created and performed tabla part and its Audio score for “Lahara Concerto for Sitar/Guitar and Tabla” by Fareed Haque, which debuted at the Orchestra Hall, Chicago, soloist Haque on Sitar/Guitar and Maestro, Zakir Hussain, on Tabla.  More ...

Sandeep Das

A two time Grammy nominee (Best classical crossover album of the year, best world music album of the year) is a founding member of The Silk Road and entering an eighteen year collaboration with Yo Yo Ma.  Sandeep is considered one of the leading tabla players in the world and one of the favorite disciples of the legendary tabla maestro Pandit Kishan Maharaj ji of the Benaras Gharana. Das has carved out a niche for himself around the musical world. His concerts have taken him to major centers of music around the globe, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Royce Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Hollywood Bowl and the Petronas Tower Hall in Malaysia.  He also presents special masterclasses at Harvard University.   More ...

Marcella Detroit

She is co-author of one of rock’s most enduring songs “Lay Down Sally," and has earned a double platinum and a gold record for her group Shakespear’s Sister. Marcella Detroit (Marcy Levy)  is a dazzling singer, a prolific songwriter of hits, and has toured and recorded with such luminaries as  Eric Clapton Bob Seger, Elton John, Leon Russell and Aretha Franklin.  It was in 2004 at the world-renown Chicago Blues Festival through the invitation of the Chicago Blues Reunion ( a collection of all-stars that included Blues harp legend Corky Siegel and vocal diva Marcy Levy) that they met.  Together both Levy and Siegel electrified the capacity crowd with a chemistry of virtuosity and captivating showmanship, and set the stage ablaze with their pyrotechnics on vocals and harmonica.   More ...

Jazz Icon Ernie Watts

2-time Grammy Award winner Ernie Watts is an extraordinary force of nature with a very diverse history, recording with everyone pop including Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind & Fire, Carole King, Steely Dan, Frank Zappa, (and a moment on the road with the Stones) plus a long history playing jazz, with people like Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Thelonious Monk, and Arturo Sandoval. Not to mention 20 years with "The Tonight Show Band."  So when you hear a special saxophone sound that you know so well--that's Ernie!  “He is one of the greatest living tenor saxophonists, at the top of his game." - All About Jazz  More ...

 Sam Lay performing at his Rock N Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Sam Lay performing at his Rock N Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Sam Lay

Sam Lay is a Blues legend and a 2015 Rock N Roll Hall of Fame inductee, offers audiences the opportunity to experience one of the last living true icons of Chicago Blues history.  The evening can be best described as “Beethoven Meets B.B. King” with Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues Sam Lay on vocals and drums.  Sam Lay appears on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 album, and at the Newport Folk Festival they introduced Folk Rock to the world.   He began his auspicious career in 1957 as drummer for the Original Thunderbirds and soon after became the drummer for the legendary harp genius, Little Walter. In the early 1960’s Mr. Lay began recording and performing with the founding fathers of blues,Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters.  More...

Howard Levy

Howard Levy is a musician without limits. Composer, Grammy Award winner, multi-instrumentalist, he is best known for his astonishing harmonica playing, which has earned him the admiration of audiences worldwide. He has taken his harmonica and his musicality into the realms of Rock, Jazz, Latin, Folk, Classical, World Music, Theater, Movies- just about any place where music is, Howard can be found playing it. More…

Matthew Santos

Two time Grammy-nominated artist Matthew Santos (who gained recognition through his vocal performance on the Lupe Fiasco hit, Superstar ) has established himself as one of the rare and striking voices quickly emerging from the Windy City’s music scene. With a growing fan base hailing him for his ethereal voice, Santos has secured his place in current music with his distinguished style and elusive musical gift. Matthew is featured on the new upcoming Chamber Blues CD release; 'Different Voices." More…

Randy Sabien

Randy Sabien, on jazz violin, is the “real thing” according to premier national Jazz critic Howard Reich. National Public Radio’s “Jazz Profiles” dubbed Randy; “The past, present, and future of jazz violin.” Down Beat Magazine’s annual critic’s poll voted him as; “Artist Deserving Wider Recognition.”  


Sons of the Never Wrong

The Sons have been creating original “turbo-charged alt-folk music” for 20 years to a cult-like international following. With their outrageous approach to 3-part harmony on top of original, witty, whimsical songs, the Sons’ style have turned familiar musical traditions inside out.   More…

Sue Demel

Whether it’s scatting, chanting, collaborating, or writing, Sue explodes the pre-conceived notions of singing. As a founding and current member of folk trio Sons of the Never Wrong, Sue tours nationally, performing original, acoustic music. Her body of work as a songwriter achieves a rare peace between the boundaries of love and redemption. More…


Lynne Jordan

“One of Chicago’s great musical divas – Lynne Jordan”

~ Bill Zwecker, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.  ...  More

Rollo Radford

American jazz and blues bassist and singer-songwriter, Radford’s resume stretches from Martha & The Vandellas to Sun Ra, as well as a 40 year alum of popular blues group, Siegel-Schwall.  Currently a member of the Siegel-Schwall Band, Rollo comtributes in special presentations of Chamber Blues.  Rollo is featured on the last Chamber Blues CD; "Traveling Chamber Blues Show" on Alligator Reccords.   More…


Frankie Donaldson

Mr. Donaldson was the drummer with the Ramsey Lewis Trio for eleven years recording four albums on Columbia Records including a recording with the London Symphony Orchestra. He toured world-wide at auditoriums, festivals and symphony orchestras including the American Symphony Orchestra in New York. He is currently on the faculty of Columbia College. He has also toured and/or recorded with Curtis Mayfield, Angela Bofil, Ray Charles, George Shearing, Bill Withers, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turentine, Roy Ayers, Noel Pointer, Patty Austin, and Carmen Mac Crae.

In his 26th year as a collaborator with Chamber Blues, Mr. Donaldson’s percussion work is described as “deliciously original,” by the Denver Post.