A Chicagoland native/performer returned home after 13 years to put on a show and give back to the community with help from sponsors like 2nd Congressional District Representative Robin Kelly (D), Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) and Rep. Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights).
Linzey Jones, a soul, jazz and pop vocalist/songwriter really launched his career after college, where he trained as a classical voice student at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, more than a decade ago. June 19, the Chicago Academy for the Arts alumnus produced his first big performance at Prairie State College, where he offered audience members a sneak peak of his upcoming debut album, “Love in Olympia Fields.” He said it showcases his musical influences and reminds everyone why they fell in love with music. Denise Jordan Walker, who many might know from hearing her voice in the past on some of Chicago’s top R&B stations, acted as host.
A portion of the proceeds went to the Rich Township Food Pantry, a place Jones said he used to volunteer at each summer during his college years.
“That was really a wonderful experience and humbling because you’re really helping families,” he said. “It wasn’t just like one person coming, it was families coming to not look for a handout, but really just looking for a hand up in my opinion.”
Some of the proceeds also went to the Good Shepherd Center, which advocates for children and adults with disabilities and gives them support and services.
“It’s important that we really can give a portion of the proceeds to them too because this is our community and I am a believer that all of us are in this together,” said the artist. “It’s not just about the individual, it’s really about us as a community being united as a caring loving body to uplift those who just need help.”
His love for people and performance was evident when he stepped onto the stage. The budding vocalist held nothing back, bringing plenty of energy that didn’t fade for a second. Even as the sweat began to drip down his face he didn’t stop nor did he let the full house faze him as he spun, swayed and crooned into the microphone.
“I’m really blessed to be back home sharing this music exclusively with this amazing audience tonight who really have been on this journey with me for such a long time, it was a very intimate crowd tonight,” he said.“This is a party and a conversation.”
He wasn’t the only one to take the stage though. Long time Chicago artist Marquel Jordan soothed attendees with his saxophone and soulful voice. He is known locally for breaking into the music scene in the mid 1990s where he and his band combine funk, rock and blues. His album Catalyst is available now. Christine Whack also performed. She composes music and poetry in her work. In the past she was heard on Maya Angelou’s radio show, “Telling Our Stories.”
Jones said people should follow his work because it’s bigger than just the music.
“I really think of it as a movement because it’s more than just myself, I’m really about trying to find platforms that showcase not just me, but other artists who are like minded,” he said. “So just keep an eye out for what is going on because we have some really phenomenal things that will really spread across Chicago in a way that’s going to start a wildfire so to speak.”
The album doesn’t have a release date yet, but he said it will be out later this year.
The music department from Bloom High School, Hillcrest High School, Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Rich Central High School, Rich East High School, Rich South High School and Southland College Prep Charter High School received six tickets each.