Cafe Mustache

2313 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago


The third Wednesday of March, June, September, and December.

9:00 PM


The Ratchet Series presents creative music concerts on a monthly basis at Cafe Mustache in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood. The purpose of the series it to provide musicians of diverse styles and approaches within the genres of jazz, free jazz, improvised, experimental, performative, electronic, rock and new music with public performance opportunities, and to foster a supportive community of listeners for this spectrum of musical styles. Admission to Ratchet Series concerts is $5, and all proceeds go directly to the performers.


The series began in 2007 as a weekly presentation of music at the Skylark in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood jointly organized by drummer Frank Rosaly and several partners, including at various times: Jaimie Branch, Marc Riordan, Jason Stein, Ben Boye, Jeff Kimmel, and—collaborating longest—Nick Mazzarella and Anton Hatwich. In the summer of 2014, Rosaly, Mazzarella, and Hatwich reclocated the series to the Charleston in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood. During a brief residency there, it became a monthly event focused on documenting performances through reel to reel tape recordings and photography.

The most recent incarnation of the monthly series commenced in May 2015 when the series moved once again, this time to Cafe Mustache where Rosaly, Mazzarella, and Hatwich were joined for a time by co-curators Brian Sulpizio, Ben Boye, Tim Stine, and Graham Stephenson. Currently, the series is adminstered by Mazzarella with curatorial contributions from Stine and Stephenson.

Throughout its history, the Ratchet Series has also occasionally presented—in partnership with Kate Dumbleton of the School of the Art Institute—house concerts featuring some of the most imaginative and original performers working in jazz and improvised music today.