Mavis Staples Will Help SPACE Celebrate 10 Years


Mavis Staples’ July 27 concert is part of the Out of Space concert series presented by the venue SPACE, located north of Chicago.

(Photo: Chris Strong)

Any organization that marks 10 successful years in the music business deserves a party. The music venue SPACE Evanston, located just north of Chicago in the suburb of Evanston, is celebrating the milestone with an ambitious concert series titled Out of Space, highlighted by a July 27 concert by soul singer and civil rights icon Mavis Staples.

During the past 10 years, SPACE has earned a sterling reputation, thanks to its clever booking, excellent sightlines and state-of-the-art sound system. SPACE has presented shows by Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, John Scofield, Brad Mehldau, Gary Burton, Taj Mahal and Gary Clark Jr. New Orleans-based artists—Dr. John, Aaron Neville and the late, great Allen Toussaint—have been essential to the venue.

According to Jake Samuels—talent buyer for SPACE and executive director of Out of Space—jazz, blues and the music of New Orleans have been and will remain part of the venue’s “primary programming focus.”

Upcoming shows at SPACE include jazz drummer Nate Smith (July 19), blues guitar master Jimmie Vaughan (July 24–25), bossa nova singer Bebel Gilberto (July 26) and David Bromberg (Aug. 7), who topped the Blues Album category in the 2017 DownBeat Critics Poll with his Red House release The Blues, The Whole Blues And Nothing But The Blues.

The venue routinely books blues acts as part of its ongoing Blue Mondays series.

This fall, SPACE will present a show by the remarkable “trance-blues” artist Otis Taylor (Sept. 26), a return appearance by Neville (Oct. 11) and a concert by blues/soul singer Bettye LaVette (Oct. 20).

Samuels, who earned a 2018 Nightclub Talent Buyer of the Year nomination from the industry journal Pollstar, is optimistic about the future of SPACE: “In the next 10 years, we hope to continue checking artists off our proverbial ‘bucket list’ and keep our ear to the ground for the next generation of top-tier players across all genres of music.”

For most shows at SPACE, the room is configured with reserved seating at candle-lit cabaret tables, along with a general admission area, resulting in a capacity of 240 attendees. Standing-room-only shows can accommodate a crowd of 330.

As the series name implies, the Out of Space concerts will take place at three venues other than SPACE. Staples will perform July 27 at the Canal Shores Golf Course, with singer-songwriter Marc Broussard opening the show. The next day, July 28, folk-rock superstars the Indigo Girls will play a sold-out concert at Canal Shores.

Other shows in the Out of Space series include hip-hop legend Slick Rick performing at Temperance Beer Company on July 21.

The Big Evanston Block Party, which will take place at the intersection of Chicago and Dempster avenues in Evanston, will include concerts by indie-rockers Guided By Voices (Aug. 25) and Old 97’s (Aug. 26).

SPACE is located at 1245 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. For tickets and information on the venue and the Out of Space concert series, visit the SPACE website. DB

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