Generation Jazz

April 10, 2014

During the worst financial crisis in American history, The Great Depression, jazz provided a stupendous musical distraction across the nation. For Chicago, The Drake has always been a haven for jazz: they’ve evolved alongside one another since 1920. Once again, Next GenJazz and the historic Drake Hotel will collaborate for another sensational season of Palm Court Jazz.

This month, the Jazz Institute of Chicago and The Drake will feature pianist Kevin Kozal. Kozal is a composer and educator living in Chicago who has studied with world renowned musicians and composers including Frank Stemper and Kathleen Ginther, Wayne Kratz, George Clinton, The Jazz Mandolin Project and even Snoop Dogg.

Artists will perform the first three Thursdays of every month through October, 7 PM—11 PM, sans August. For a complete schedule and artist highlights visit or The Drake's entertainment page

Gen Jazz Returns

March 11, 2014

Beginning April 3rd, 2014, NextGenJazz will start a third season of new music with emerging Chicago artists at The Drake. From 7 PM – 11 PM on the first three Thursdays from April through October (sans August) this free series provides the perfect opportunity to explore some of Chicago’s best young musicians. The series kicks off with Kevin Kozol through April in Palm Court.

Created in 2012 to provide a place for young musicians to perform this partnership between the Jazz Institute and The Drake Hotel provides the perfect opportunity to connect new audiences with the new faces of local jazz.

For a complete schedule and reservations please visit The Drake’s entertainment page

The Drake Hotel Names New Executive Chef

July 01, 2013

The Drake welcomes its newest addition, Executive Chef Franco Diaz. Born and raised in Bensenville, Ill. Diaz is excited to bring his worldly talent back to where his lifelong passion for cooking began –Chicago.

Diaz’s passion for food and the culinary arts was ignited at a young age. This passion stayed with him when he began his culinary studies at Kendall College, earning his degree in Culinary Management. Throughout the years, he was able to hone his skills and depth of knowledge. He most recently was involved in the launching of two St. Regis luxury properties in Princeville, Hawaii and Bal Harbour, Fla. Under his guidance, the St. Regis Resort Bal Harbour was named a AAA five diamond hotel three months after opening. Before his time with St. Regis, Diaz was the banquet chef at the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago. It was there where he was selected to explore and perfect his craft participating in an exchange chef program at the Michelin rated Victoria Young Frau Hotel in Switzerland.

Moving back to the state where his culinary roots were planted, Diaz is focused on bringing in the best quality of ingredients from around world to incorporate in the development of new menus. “To be welcomed into such a well-known establishment within the industry and community is an honor,” Diaz stated. With his seasoned talent and extensive experience in the culinary world, Chef Diaz is committed to delivering great food and excellent service for guests.

2012 NextGenJazz Series: Thursdays in Palm Court

February 21, 2012

The Drake Hotel and Palm Court are excited to Partner with the Jazz Institute of Chicago and Chicago Jazz Magazine to bring you NextGenJazz- The Series:

Drake Hotel partners with Jazz Institute of Chicago to showcase young talent on Chicago jazz scene Beginning March 1, 2012, the Drake Hotel , 140 E. Walton, will host a dynamic young lineup of Chicago jazz talent on the first three Thursdays of each month through May. Presented in partnership with the Jazz Institute of Chicago and Chicago Jazz Magazine, the NextGenJazz series provides jazz trios with a three-week engagement at the Drake Hotel’s Palm Court. There is no cover charge. The Jazz Institute of Chicago has a longstanding history of programming and presenting world-class jazz concerts at no cost including the Chicago Jazz Festival, JazzCity, and Made In Chicago: World Class Jazz concert series. The NextGenJazz series will continue this tradition while appealing to new and younger audiences. “The Jazz Institute is pleased to partner with the Drake Hotel in bringing attention to the new jazz voices in town,” says Lauren Deutsch, executive director of the Jazz Institute of Chicago. “The artists featured in NextGenJazz are on the cutting edge of jazz in Chicago, and we are excited about introducing them to new audiences at one of the city’s iconic hotels.” This is a Free event. Contact Email Phone (312) 932-4327 Website Venue The Drake Hotel 140 E. Walton Place Chicago, IL