Judy Night is living her second life. A practicing pediatrician in her former adult life, Judy realized that she had to make a transition—-that of taking the path of her true passions. This path carried her back to her lifelong pursuit of music composition and playing the piano, and ultimately becoming a partner at and directing the music program of Chicago’s fastest growing new nightclub/venue, 210 Live. So it is to this dual profession that Judy currently devotes her heart and soul.
Judy plays at 210 monthly with her quintet and recorded her first album live at the club on August 5, 2018. The album was released December, 2018, and has achieved international acclaim.
210 LIVE: After playing at 210 monthly with a trio in early 2016, soon after the club opened (originally as “210 Restaurant”), Judy realized that the club was seeking a partner. Dipping her toe in for a month or so, she dove in, became a partner, and in time turned the restaurant with music into a venue with a full-fledged music program–with the perk of serving great food. Judy is a presence at the club nightly, where she greets each guest and takes part in creating the positive vibe that permeates the club.
Judy sits in at the club’s Hammond B-3 and Kawai Grand regularly with bands playing there, adding her unique offering of full musical engagement and passion to the music every time she sits down. Judy maintains that it is her regular practice of meditation, one to two hours per day, that affords her this ability to be fully engaged every time she sits down to play. In addition, she says that “hearing live music 5 nights a week for over 2 years can’t help but improve my ear and my musicianship.”
BACKGROUND: Judy started playing the piano at the age of 7. She was in the top jazz bands at both New Trier HS as well as Harvard University, where she played alongside Joshua Redman amongst many other talented musicians.
At Harvard Judy had the unique opportunity to play with visiting artists including Gerry Mulligan, Wynton and Ellis Marsalis, Clark Terry, Illinois Jacquet, Carla Bley and Harry Connick, Jr. Judy did two non-degree semesters at Berklee School of Music, but ultimately pursued medicine as a profession, certain at the time that smoky bars and late nights were not in her nature. Now she knows that late nights in bars—-minus the smoke-—are where she fits in best, and embraces the lifestyle and camaraderie of local and touring musicians.
THE QUINTET: Judy is delighted to be working with Justin Kramer, Jackson Kidder, Brian Wilkie and TC Furlong in the Judy Night Quintet. She has been working with Justin in various projects for nearly ten years, and he is essentially her musical co-leader. TC, Brian and Jackson have been with the project for 1, 2 and 2 1/2 years respectively, and each member of the group adds an incredible bounty of musicianship. Jackson, the youngest member, provides lyrical lines and a strong bass backbone. Brian Wilkie is an integral part of the Chicago honky-tonk, country and jazz scene on both guitar and pedal steel, and TC Furlong of the Jump ‘N The Saddle band has been maintained as one of the finest pedal steel players in the country, frequently called to add to recordings of artists worldwide.