Petra’s Recession Seven is a seven piece jazz band formed by vocalist Petra van Nuis during the Great Recession of 2008. When the recession hit and venues began downsizing to smaller groups, slashing pay, and/or cutting live music altogether, things looked grim. Somehow, despite the financial situation, Petra decided to think big. She assembled the fantastic all-star line-up of internationally known Chicago veterans including trombonist Russ Phillips, clarinetist Kim Cusack, trumpeter Bob Ojeda and the band was born at a debut performance at Chicago’s legendary Green Mill.
The traditional/swing music they specialize in seemed to strike a chord, and the band was an instant hit! Growing steadily in popularity, Petra’s Recession Seven continues to be heard around Chicago at such top venues as the Jazz Showcase, Katerina’s, the Green Mill, Andy’s, and Fitzgerald’s. Festival appearances include the 33rd annual Chicago Jazz Festival, the 34th & 35th annual Cedar Basin Jazz Festival, and Fitzgerald’s 29th annual American Music Festival. The band regularly travels to regional jazz societies such as the Juvae Jazz Society, the Madison Jazz Society, the Illiana Club of Traditional Jazz, the Starr-Gennett Foundation, the “Masters of Swing” series at Cincinnati’s Xavier University, the Lafayette Jazz Club, and the Indianapolis Jazz Club. The American Rag, in a review of the band’s 2011 on location recording “Live In Chicago” praises “a killer of a band that grabs your attention and doesn’t give it back until they are finished playing.”
Many have asked, “What will you do now that the recession is ending? The band’s name is cute, but it is quite topical and we surely hope the band continues long after the recession is over.” This is when Petra smiles and reminds them that whatever happens to the economy in general, the jazz recession continues! And they play on….