A WBEZ New Year’s Eve Party || Live from the Sunset Cafe

A WBEZ New Year’s Eve Party || Live from the Sunset Cafe

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Join WBEZ and Vocalo for our first ever New Year’s Eve blowout: a multi-room, self-guided party inspired by our love of jazz, the historic Sunset Cafe and public radio!

There’s much in store for you: delicious signature cocktails by celebrity mixologist Johnny Costello, hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine (all included with your ticket until midnight!). Then on the Victory Gardens main stage, listen and dance to live jazz by the Doug Peck Trio featuring singers Rob Lindley, Alexis Rogers, and Evan Tyrone Martin. The Moth StorySLAM and GrandSLAM winners will also present stories in the upstairs Richard Christiansen Theater, while DJ Ayana Contreras spins a blend of jazz-infused hip hop and soul in the Rehearsal Room.

To cap the evening, we will welcome 2015 with a champagne toast and balloon drop in the main stage, followed by more dancing until 2a.m.!

And to be clear: we won’t be recreating The Sunset Cafe in a physical sense, but rather using it as an inspiration for the various spaces within Victory Gardens. It’s jazz, it’s a party and it’s hundreds of jazz/WBEZ enthusiastis celebrating the New Year!


The Sunset Cafe, also known as The Grand Terrace Cafe, was a jazz club in Chicago, Illinois operating during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. It was one of the most important jazz clubs in America, especially during the period between 1917 and 1928 when Chicago became a creative capital of jazz innovation and again during the emergence of bebop in the early 1940s. From its inception, the club was a rarity as a haven from segregation, since the Sunset Cafe was an integrated or “Black and Tan” club where Afro- and Euro- Americans, along with other ethnicities, could mingle freely without much fear of reprisal.

Owned by Louis Armstrong’s manager, Joe Glaser, the venue played host to such performers as Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Johnny Dodds, Bix Beiderbecke, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa and, above all, Earl “Fatha” Hines and his orchestra’s members: Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Sarah Vaughan.



Peck is the winner of six Joseph Jefferson Awards (The Jungle Book, Porgy and Bess, Caroline, or Change, Carousel, Fiorello!, Man of La Mancha) and two After Dark Awards (Guys and Dolls, Hello, Again). Peck’s work has been heard in Chicago at Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, TimeLine Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Porchlight Music Theatre, and the Ravinia Festival. Mr. Peck can be heard on the recordings Bright Young People: The Songs of Noël Coward, Foiled Again Live, and Loving Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein. For the Chicago Humanities Festival, he and his husband Rob Lindley have presented Assassins and Follies in concert, as well as the original concert evenings Birds Do It, Bees Do It and A Night at the Oscars, a chronological survey of every single song that has won the Academy Award.

This event is sponsored in part by