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MAP    536 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 661-0100 Wed-Fri and Sun: 8:00 pm - 1:30 am Sat: 8:00 pm - 2:30 am

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MIKE WHEELER BLUES BAND W/ SONIA ASTACIO DOWNS


Mike Wheeler has a vast knowledge of music and a voice that's reminiscent of the late Sam Cooke. He can sing and play everything so well that you may forget what the original record even sounds like. From Jazz to Rock, from popular music to Top 40, he slides in and out of musical genres with sophistication, ease and indulgence.

Mike is a brilliant staple in the Chicago blues community, playing and writing songs for a variety of Chicago artists including, Nellie Tiger Travis, Peaches Staten, Sam Cockrell, Demetria Taylor, Big Ray & Cadillac Dave.  He was a well known member of Big James &The Chicago Playboys, a notable band in Chicago and recorded five albums with the group.

Mike has travelled the world as an ambassador for Chicago blues music. He's been to Monaco, France, Switzerland, Spain and Belgium, just to name a few. He has also shared the stage with the most elite musicians the world has known, including Willie Kent, Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, George Benson, Jimmy Johnson and Shemekia Copeland.

Mike was inducted in the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014.  



  'Sonia Astacio Downs was born in Chicago and is the 7th child of a Dominican American family. Her parents moved to the United States in 1955. As a child, she found her love for music singing with her siblings in church. Initially, her first love was Jazz music, from the likes of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. But after she heard Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones’ “Baby Please Don’t Go”(Live at the Checkerboard Recording) the Blues captivated her heart and soul- she never looked back.   

Sonia joined the NuBlu Band in 2005 and is now an honorary member of the group. Sonia infuses her Afro-Latina ancestry when she performs blues standards in Spanish. Currently, she leads The Sonia Astacio Downs band and is working on an album. Her boisterous voice, entertaining persona, and effortless talent has enchanted audiences across the world. After 35 years in the corporate world, she says her retirement plan “is to sing the Blues to whoever will listen." She truly is a messenger of the Chicago Electric Blues.'  




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