Local Vocalist Jazzes up Our Music Offerings

Petra van Nuis is a talented jazz vocalist. We learned about her when her jazz trio was hired to entertain residents and families during an Ice Cream Social at Lieberman Center. She has a “soft spot” for older adults, for whom she performs on a regular basis.


Van Nuis knew that the spreading pandemic and the resultant stay-at-home order might be hard on our elderly clients and residents. To provide a pick-me-up in her own musical way, she reached out immediately and sent a full-length YouTube video performance by her seven-piece jazz ensemble, “Petra’s Recession Seven,” for use throughout CJE. She reached out two more times and provided an assortment of several YouTube video recordings of the ensemble’s classic-swing pieces of early 20th century Chicago jazz for even more enjoyment. When reaching out, Van Nuis continually inquires as to the well-being of our residents and shows she truly cares with messages of hope and genuine concern.   

All of van Nuis’ many bookings have been canceled because of the pandemic, and an article by Chicago Tribune columnist Howard Reich about its impact on her, her jazz guitarist husband, and other musicians recently appeared. Reich noted that she and her husband don’t believe anyone owes them a living. They told him that they chose their careers before the Coronavirus hit and it was up to them to make it work. Van Nuis closed saying she wasn’t complaining.