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Groundbreaking Jazz Fusion Quartet The Juju Exchange Headlines Merit’s 40th Anniversary Alumni Concert

Featuring an abridged performance of “Price of Peace,” composed by The JuJu Exchange’s Julian Reid and Nico Segal, plus performances by soprano and Ryan Opera Center alum Kimberly Jones, rising jazz pianist Alexis Lombre, and vocal artist Christine Whack


Jazz fusion ensemble The JuJu Exchange headlines PLAY ON, a 40th Anniversary celebration for West Loop’s Merit School of Music hosted by Merit’s Associate Board, on Monday, June 24 at 7:00 pm at City Winery (1200 W Randolph St, Chicago). The jazz-infused benefit concert, curated by The JuJu Exchange’s Lane Beckstrom, features an abridged version of the ensemble’s powerful new work called “Price of Peace” in addition to performances by other notable Merit alums, such as rising jazz pianist Alexis Lombre and vocalists Christine Whack and Kimberly Jones.

The JuJu Exchange is based on a musical partnership of childhood friends Beckstrom, Nico Segal, Julian Reid, and Everett Reid who came up through Merit School of Music between 1998 and 2013 with three ensemble members graduating from Merit’s intensive, audition-based Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory. Jones and Whack also attended Merit School of Music with Jones now on the vocal faculty. Lombre studied with Merit teachers. These musicians each attribute their music and personal success to the exceptional training they received through Merit faculty.

Merit students, who reflect the socioeconomic and ethnic diversity of Chicago, have the rare opportunity to learn together, dream together, teach each other, and broaden their horizons as they build inspiring lives through music. Merit develops musicians and provides young people with the tools they need to excel in life, with virtually 100 percent of graduates accepted to conservatory, college or university.

Learn more about PLAY ON and buy your tickets today.

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