In The News

‘Kind of Blue’ tribute celebrates seminal Davis album

This article originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune

By Jack McCarthy

It’s arguably the greatest jazz recording every conceived with an influence that resonates even after nearly 54 years.

Orland Park Public Library visitors can find out why as Miles Davis’ monumental 1959 album “Kind of Blue’ is featured in a Feb. 28 program.

“There is something magical about this album that makes everyone a jazz lover,” said Jose Sandoval, a Chicago-area artist and creator of “Kind of Blue: A Piano Tribute to Miles Davis.” “I want to show why it is still is so exciting and why it’s still relevant today.”

Sandoval, a 33-year-old Mount Prospect native, will present his solo piano interpretation and talk about Davis’ life and music during a 60-minute free event in Room 104 of the library, 14921 Ravinia Ave. in Orland Park.

The Orland Park session is among several Sandoval will make through the Illinois Humanities Council’s Road Scholars program. The Council has sent artists, storytellers, historians and other performers to libraries and other venues around the state for the past dozen years.

Davis, an Illinois native who died in 1991 at age 65, was a pioneering jazz musician, bandleader, composer, trumpeter who led the way in developing varying forms of this uniquely-American musical style.

His seminal recording of “Kind of Blue” has reportedly sold more than four million copies in the United States since its release. The BBC’s Chris Jones’ revisited the album in 2007 and said it changed the face of music.

“Consistently rated not just as one of the greatest jazz albums but as one of the greatest musical statements of the 20th century, its 46 minutes of improvisation and sophistication remain peerless,” Jones wrote.

Sandoval, who discovered the recording while in high school, said he’ll demonstrate how Davis’ work remains fresh and influential.

He’s performed this year at Chicago’s Union League Club and libraries in Park Ridge and Mount Prospect. Future appearances are scheduled at libraries in Moline, Prospect Heights and Rolling Meadows as well as Palatine’s Harper College.

“I want to keep performing this program forever,” he said.

Sandoval has a degree in physics from Harvard and academic interests in math and computer programming. But his real love is music.

“Music is completely my life now,” said Sandoval, who also dabbles in other musical genres.

His latest project is “The Spirit of Motown, Soul and R&B,” a program that focuses on the influences of the Detroit-based sounds of the 1960s.

Special events like the Miles Davis tribute pop up with regularity at the Orland Park Public Library.

Its calendar overflows with activities from story time for toddlers to movies and adult discussion groups and services, but selected upcoming highlights include:

• I Shape Freedom!: Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks — The Feb. 21 program features Linda Gorham offering two performances. She’ll first relate the story of Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott through the eyes of Parks and two eyewitnesses. Then Gorham will relate the story of Bridges, who faced down the segregated school system in New Orleans. A discussion period follows. The program starts at 7 p.m. in Room 104. More information at

• Meet the Artist: Christine Kohn — A March 1 program features an artist whose interests range from oil painting to photography. The Plainfield-based artist is never without a camera, making it easier to catch sunrises and sunsets, scenes from a river walk or even animals. Photos serve as inspiration for her oil paintings. The program starts at 7 p.m. on the library’s second floor.

• Switchback — Brian FitzGerald and Marty McCormack make up this musical duo who’ve celebrated Irish heritage in song and story for a quarter century. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, award-winning Switchback perform its program of song and story at 7 p.m. March 12 in Room 104.

• Understanding Medicare Parts A and B — Medicare is a serious subject for persons aged 65 and older and this March 26 presentation by Diane Adduci covers eligibility, enrollment and benefits of Medicare Parts A and B and standardized Medicare plans available in Illinois. She’ll also cover hospital and medical insurance benefits of Medicare and Medicare Supplemental Plans in a 2 p.m. program in Room 104.

A full calendar of events is at or call 708-428-5100 for more information.