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Chicago Blues All-Stars



7. 7 Foot Surgeon: Helping the Uninsured

People who need surgery but can’t afford it are turning to a man whose heart is as big as his stature. Tired of seeing people suffer because they can’t afford medical care, one unconventional surgeon is taking matters in to his own giant hands….

Wach video


Leader of the “Bone Squad”, Dr. Ivankovich refuses to turn patients away when they can’t pay. It’s estimated 50 million Americans don’t have health insurance. A Harvard study found about 45,000 Americans die every year because they can’t afford the healthcare they need.


Chicago Blues All-Stars


Genres: Blues / R&B/Soul / Funk
Label: Azure Music
Management: Hit & Run Entertainment

KILLER” RAY ALLISON (GUITAR/VOCALS): First broke into the blues during the early 1970’s. Now a regular on the Chicago Blues scene for over four decades, “Killer” Ray has been an integral tour-de-force in bands by Muddy Waters, James Cotton, Koko Taylor, Buddy Guy & Junior Wells. With a reputation as the hardest hitting drummer in the blues world, “Killer” has turned down gig offers from Eric Clapton, John Mayall & the late Gary Moore, so he could fully focus his energies toward leading a band. In 1998 and 2000, Ray was nominated for the W. C. Handy award as an instrumentalist.

SCOTT DIRKS (HARMONICA/VOCALS): Award winning blues historian, instrumentalist & producer. Scott authored “Blues With A Feeling-The Little Walter Story” and produced Lurrie Bell’s breakthrough “Mercurial Son” for Delmark Records. A walking compendium of Chicago Blues history and lore, Dirks is an accomplished harp player whose minimalist approach keeps alive the memory of Sonny Boy, Little Walter & Big Walter.

DEITRA FARR (VOCALS): Deitra Farr is considered one of Chicago ’s top vocalists, according to Living Blues Magazine (May 1997). Fiery, energetic, she has been nominated for Traditional Female Blues artist of the year by the W.C. Handy Awards, Female Blues Artist of the year by the Living Blues Critics Awards, the British Blues Connection Awards, and the Les Trophees France Blues awards. Deitra is also a published writer, poet, songwriter, and painter, who has written articles for the Chicago Defender, Chicago Blues Annual, and currently she has a column “Artist to Artist” in Living Blues Magazine.

JOHNNY B. GAYDEN (BASS/VOCALS): Johnny B’s music career as Chicago’s first-call bass player, is one that most musicians can only dream about. He recorded nine CDs and numerous DVDs with Albert Collins. The band won a Grammy Award for the Alligator recording “SHOWDOWN” with Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland and Robert Cray. After Albert’s death in 1993, Johnny focused on session work, and his career tally is close to 100 recordings. Johnny is a nine-time W.C. Handy nominee for the Instrumentalist-Bass category. He has been honored to record with Johnny Winter, Gary Moore, John Primer, Son Seals, A.C. Reed, Junior Wells and KoKo Taylor, just to name a few.

DR. DAN “D-ROCK” IVANKOVICH (GUITAR/VOCALS): is a Chicago Music veteran of imposing stature. He cut his teeth as a bluesman at the tender age of 18, as the musical director for legendary bluesman Otis Rush. After spending nearly a decade touring with a who’s who of the blues, he’s shared the stage with legends that include: Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray & Jimmie Vaughan, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy & Junior Wells. When not performing, the Reverend is CEO of OnePatient-Global Health Initiative, Medical Director of The Bone Squad, and actively blogs about social & political issues under ReverendDoctorD.

ROOSEVELT “MAD HATTER” PURIFOY JR. (KEYBOARDS/VOCALS): Roosevelt has stunned and thrilled audiences with his amazing ability to fuse deep grooves with brilliant melodic ideas. Over the past two decades, he’s remained Chicago’s busiest session musician with over 150 album credits. As musical director for the likes of Koko Taylor, Otis Rush, Junior Wells and countless others, Roosevelt’s fusion of traditional meets modern creates a singular sound that is like no other in the business.

PATRICIA WINTERS (VOCALS): As an accomplished vocalist, she spent years performing as a jazz singer, but her career has been seasoned with R&B, Folk, and Gospel. She’s frequently performed in community stage productions and was cast in the starring role of Betty-Mae in the Off-Broadway production of “Sweet Peas, House of Prayer”. While in Chicago, Winters displayed her vocal talents with pianist JoJo Brown, and the late jazz great Oscar Brown Jr.

JERRY “BAM-BAM” PORTER (DRUMS): Throughout his lengthy career as a professional drummer, Jerry Porter has worked with a wide variety of top-tier blues talents, such as Johnnie Dollar, Magic Slim, Eddie Clearwater, Buster Benton, Son Seals, Ronnie Baker Brooks and Big Mama Thornton. A highlight of Porter’s career, and a testament to his talent and reliability, is his tenure as a member of Buddy Guy’s band for over fourteen years. Recently, Jerry’s versatility and professionalism have established him as one of Chicago’s most in-demand drummers.

JOHNNY COTTON & THE ALL-STAR HORNS: This rotating line-up of Chicago’s hottest horn players is anchored by Blues/R&B veteran Johnny Cotton. He’s played with and arranged for a virtual Who’s Who of Chicago music. From legendary performers such as James Cotton, Junior Wells, Syl Johnson & the Ohio Players, to modern college rockers like Lubraphonic, Johnny puts the ‘unk in your funk.


“The All Stars themselves read like a who’s who of Chicago music.”
Matt Marshall – American Blues Scene
“…(Dr. Daniel Ivankovich) is also a blues guitarist and vocalist whose shared the stage with Bo Diddley and Eddie Taylor. But even his musical career is intertwined with his passion for altruistic orthopedics. His band mates in the Chicago Blues All-Stars were not immune, with Ivankovich operating on the lead singer and giving the uninsured drummer a hip replacement. ”
Jacqueline Rupp – Orthopedics This Week
“I think this medical mission I’ve been on, taking care of people in the black community, has helped me pay my dues as a blues man (Dr. Ivankovich)”
Mike Colias – CRAIN’S Chicago Business
“He may spend some nights playing the blues with his band, but by day, Dan Ivankovich is all business: a bone doctor with a heart as big as his frame. ”
Cynthia Bowers – CBS News
“Dr. Ivankovich is “probably one of a kind” in terms of the volume he handles, says Joan Sheforgen, CEO of PrimeCare Community Health, which runs several clinics on the West Side.”
Mike Colias – CRAIN’S Chicago Business
“Doctor Ivankovich certainly does make it real; passionately playing the blues and spreading heartfelt kindness and healing across the country.”
Matt Marshall – American Blues Scene
“ Dr. Dan is truly one of the most interesting, inspiring figures in medicine, the blues, and anything else he chooses to put his larger-than-life touch on.”
Matt Marshall – American Blues Scene
“Doctor Dan, an accomplished guitarist who’s played with Bo Diddley, Otis Rush, James Cotton, Junior Wells, and dozens of others, is not just a guitarist and vocalist for the group; he’s also a healer.”
Matt Marshall – American Blues Scene
“’We’re going to try and write the next chapter for what an urban contemporary blues band could accomplish, being influenced by Muddy, and also being influenced by James Brown,’ explains Dan”
Matt Marshall – American Blues Scene
“ The band incorporates elements of Funk, Stax Records soul, R&B & Hip Hop into their unique sound.”
Matt Marshall – American Blues Scene
“ Patricia Winters, a well accomplished and long time jazz singer, is helming the vocals.”
Matt Marshall – American Blues Scene
“ Jerry Porter, a fourteen year veteran of Buddy Guy’s band who’s played with everyone from Big Mama Thornton to Ronnie Baker Brooks is handling the drums.”
Matt Marshall – American Blues Scene
“ “Killer” Ray Allison, James Cotton & Buddy Guy’s former drummer, who’s played with Clapton and many others, is taking the rhythm reigns.”
Matt Marshall – American Blues Scene
“Scott Dirks, a W.C. Handy Award winner (now called Blues Music Awards,) and author of Little Walter’s autobiography is taking up the harmonica.”
Matt Marshall – American Blues Scene
“ “We’re going to try and write the next chapter for what an urban contemporary blues band could accomplish, being influenced by Muddy, and also being influenced by James Brown,” explains Dan.”
Matt Marshall – American Blues Scene
“For those of you that have seen the TV Show Memphis Beat, about a police detective who plays blues by night and solves crime by day, Doctor Dan could be described as the real life medicinal Chicago counterpart of the Jason Lee character, but quite possibly more exciting.”
Matt Marshall – American Blues Scene
“Contrary to some off-the-cuff stereotypes, blues music is not about being sad, but rather, taking away the sadness and pain. To that end, one Chicago doctor spends his nights playing the blues away, and his days helping to relieve other’s blues through surgery, medicine and compassion. Doctor Dan Ivankovich is, to put it mildly, not your average doctor.”
Matt Marshall – American Blues Scene

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