Alive at Katerina's

Rhythm Rockets

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This is a live recording of our last performance at Katerina's Supper Club.

Katerina's opened in January 2000, and to many of us in the Chicago music scene, it was our home away from home, a special place in our hearts...and it still is even after the doors closed in June 2014.

From Rhythm Rockets' tenor saxophonist Mike "Bucko" Bielecki---

"All musicians have a favorite venue. It may be a comfortable place to perform, one that challenges musically, or one that pays well. It may also be a place, like Bird’s relationship with Minton’s or Duke’s residency at the Cotton Club, that changes the direction of a career. Few clubs can give musicians all of that, but even fewer also make you want to be a better musician. Whatever the reason, musicians have a favorite venue.

Katerina’s attracted a diverse and accomplished roster of musicians and an audience that was equally distinguished. The staff was fantastic, developing relationships with the performers that quickly turned from acquaintance to friend. Musicians came to play. Audiences came to listen and they rewarded us by immersing themselves in the experience, getting lost in the music and sharing in the responsibility of the atmosphere of the evening.

There was a life unlike anywhere else. Every night generated a sonic landscape of music, conversation, plates arriving at tables, glasses clinking, shouting bar orders, dance steps on the old wood floor, laughter, and applause, lots of applause. Everything balanced perfectly, immersing you in sound, elevating both you and your musicianship. It forced us to push our limits.

This, more than anything is what we owe Katerina’s. Katerina's challenged me as a musician. It invited me in and then made me play better. It made the band play better. It allowed us to find our voice. It made us feel like we had “made it.” It made us grow as individuals and as a unit, and all because we thought Katerina deserved the best. She gave us her best; a huge smile, a warm hug, a chance to play, and her love. I am the musician I am today because of Katerina Carson. Every musician has a favorite venue. Ours is Katerina’s."

Mike “Bucko” Bielecki- tenor saxophone

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