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updated: 5/30/2013 10:58 AM

Ex-Chicago drummer brings new band to St. Charles

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  • Danny Seraphine and his new band, California Transit Authority, will perform in St. Charles on Friday. Seraphine is the co-founder and former drummer of the classic-rock band Chicago.

      Danny Seraphine and his new band, California Transit Authority, will perform in St. Charles on Friday. Seraphine is the co-founder and former drummer of the classic-rock band Chicago.
    Courtesy of Grit PR, LLC

 
 

Danny Seraphine has played rock 'n' roll for a long time, but he says one thing about it has not gotten old.

"It probably sounds corny, but it's the connection with the audience," Seraphine said. "That's one of the most magical things about this job."

Seraphine connected with the audience in a big way in the 1970s and '80s, when he was the drummer in the hugely successful rock band Chicago, a group he cofounded.

He's been re-establishing that connection in recent years with his new band, California Transit Authority (or CTA, a reference to Chicago's early band name), which will perform in St. Charles on Friday.

CTA combines reworked versions of early Chicago songs with new original material. The music is driven by horns, guitar and keyboards, and Seraphine said he couldn't be happier with the results.

"Honestly, I feel like this is one of the best jazz-rock bands around," he said. "I'm having a blast."

Seraphine, who grew up on the Northwest Side, all but quit performing music after a difficult departure from Chicago in 1990.

Disillusioned with the rock music world, Seraphine put his drumsticks away and moved west. He wouldn't pick the sticks up again until about 15 years later, when a friend convinced him to play at a benefit concert.

"The audience's reaction was amazing, and it made me realize how much I missed performing," he said.

CTA, formed in 2006, has released two albums, "Full Circle" and "Sacred Ground." Seraphine said Friday's show will include music from both records, along with some classic Chicago material.

The concert will also include a performance by the tribute band "25 or 6 to 4 -- the Chicago Experience," along with appearances by former Chicago vocalist Bill Champlin and former Buckinghams vocalist Dennis Tufano. No wonder the show is part of the "Heart & Soul of Chicago Tour."

"It's going to be a great night for fans of Chicago music," Seraphine said.

The show is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Friday, May 31, at the Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles. For ticket information, go to www.oshows.com.

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