PLAY ON: A Benefit Concert to Support Music Education



Doors: 5:00pm | Show: 7:00 pm

Join Merit School of Music for a special jazz concert benefiting equal access to music education. Merit alum and internationally renowned musician, composer, and bandleader, Marquis Hill will headline the 2nd Annual Play On concert.


One of the finest trumpeters in jazz today, Marquis Hill is also a composer and bandleader whose comprehensive vision highlights the unity and continuity within the musical heritage of African-Americans. On acclaimed albums like his latest, Modern Flows Vol. II, and his 2016 breakout project, The Way We Play, Hill and his working band, the Blacktet, use their next-level musicianship and deeply interactive dynamic to break down the barriers separating bop, hip-hop, R&B and electronic music.

Born in Chicago in 1987 and raised on the city’s South Side, Hill absorbed the jazz tradition both formally—he holds a bachelor’s in music education as well as a master’s in jazz pedagogy—and informally, gaining knowledge from his elders on gigs and at jam sessions. By the time he won the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz competition in the fall of 2014, his reputation for fluid virtuosity was firmly established in the Midwest—as a member of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, an in-demand sideman and a leader with several buzz worthy self-released discs to his credit. Since that watershed victory, Hill has garnered glowing coverage in outlets like the New Yorker, the New York Times, JazzTimes, NPR Music and DownBeat, where he topped the “Rising Star–Trumpet” category in the 2016 Critics Poll. As he’s maintained a nonstop touring schedule with the Blacktet, he’s also supported and guested with a jazz who’s who that includes Marcus Miller, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Boney James, Kurt Elling, Joe Lovano and Hill’s trailblazing Chicago peer Makaya McCraven.


Presenting Sponsor

@properties logo

Silver Sponsors

Michael Andrews &
Ryan Ruskin

cambridge audio

Bronze Sponsor

aria group
morgan lewis

Presenting $20,000

  • 10 Front Premier tickets to the concert
  • Speaking opportunity at the concert

plus everything below except additional tickets- 


Gold $10,000 

  • 6 Front Premier tickets to the concert
  • Mention in concert promotional materials, including:
    • Press release
    • Social media posts

plus everything below except additional tickets- 


Silver $5,000 

  • 4 Front Premier tickets to the concert
  • Mention in concert promotional materials, including:
    • E-blast promotions (2,000 per)
    • Posters in West Loop businesses (100)
    • Promotional flyers (500)
    • Event webpage listing (with link)
    • Merit program newsletters (2,000 per)
  • Listing in Merit’s 2020 Annual Report (5,000)

plus everything below except additional tickets- 


Bronze $2,500 

  • 2 Front Premier tickets to the concert
  • Slideshow at City Winery during concert
  • City Winery lobby signs during concert
  • Merit “Impact Report” newsletter listing (1,000)

plus everything below except additional tickets- 


Allegro | $1,000 

  • 2 Premier tickets to the concert
  • Listing in printed concert program
  • Business Council recognition on Merit website & TV screen in Merit lobby

Contact us to discuss customizing benefits to your sponsorship goals.

Call Meredith Richard, Merit’s Individual Giving Manager, at 312-267-4480 or email with questions or for more information.