The seeds of Chicago quartet Strange Arrangement were planted in 1996, when the members were still in high school. By the end of high school, the band was solidified, but the members headed to Iowa to study at the School for Music Vocation, an improv/Jazz theory/composition school founded by Phil Mattson, a Grammy-nominated educator/musician/arranger. The members of Strange Arrangement immersed themselves in their studies, leaving little time for their band to play out. By 2000, the band members had gone their separate ways to find jobs in music. It appeared Strange Arrangement was finished.
But in 2005, all four members ended up in the same city once again — Chicago. The bandmates reteamed to self-release 2008’s Side x Side, Strange Arrangement’s debut full-length, and set out on tours around the Midwest. The group’s tight musicianship and blend of Funk, Jazz, Rock, Folk, Prog and Soul connected with audiences, and they gradually played for larger and larger crowds, opening for Umphrey’s McGee and hitting various music festivals around the region.
The band lost its original drummer in 2010, but pressed on and released its second LP, Polygraph, in 2011. Upon the album’s release, Strange Arrangement sought to expand its audience outside of the Midwest and became an official “nationally touring” act, playing on both coasts and in the South throughout 2011. The hard work paid off — Home Grown Music Network named the group “Artist of the Year” for 2011.
STRANGE ARRANGEMENT plays Saturday, May 12 at Stanley's Pub. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.