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Ask anyone who loves jazz to the name the top tenor saxophonist of all time, and he or she probably will answer in a flash. To many, it's Sonny Rollins, at 82 still a giant. Or Gene Ammons, the long-gone, soulful player from the South Side of Chicago....
For anyone who values innovation in music, the next few days could mark the beginning of a significant era in Chicago. On Monday, Chicago jazz drummer and music producer Mike Reed will launch Constellation, a performing arts center that will feature...
Tags: Music Industry, Arts, Music, Concerts, Festive Events
Five years ago, the greatest trio in the history of gospel music – the Barrett Sisters – told me they had one last wish: That someone would make a documentary film about their lives and careers. That film, a moving evocation of their...
During the past year, Chicago listeners have heard trumpeter Victor Garcia in more musical contexts than any single player could be expected to master. He hit hard in drummer Dana Hall's band at the Green Mill last month; debuted his own feisty, full-...
Monday nights in the Loop would be a lot less lively if it weren't for "Monday Night Live." The popular series marked its fifth anniversary in September, and judging by the most recent installment, the concept still has plenty of life in it. At around...
This weekend could be one for the record books, with an extraordinary confluence of major vocalists converging on our stages. Though they span a wide stylistic swath – from blues to jazz to classic pop and beyond – the level of singing...
Twenty-five years ago, a talented young musician ventured here from Fort Wayne, Ind., to try her luck in the big city. Today, Beckie Menzie stands at the center of Chicago cabaret, her work as accompanist indispensable to uncounted singers, her...
After a tense decade of air raid sirens, duck-and-cover drills and fears of Soviet superiority, hope for America came in an unlikely form in the late 1950s: a lanky, 23-year-old Texan with a head full of curls and huge hands that ranged across a piano...
On stage, he was a volcano, torrents of sound pouring from the bell of his tenor saxophone. In person, he couldn't be gentler, a soft-spoken jazz giant who nurtured generations of musicians and, therefore, enhanced Chicago's stature as a nexus of...
Tags: Theater, Fred Anderson, Music Industry, Music, Concerts
Sixteen years ago, newspapers across America riffed on an unexpected theme: For the first time, a jazz composition had won the country's highest musical honor. "Marsalis swings a Pulitzer" trumpeted USA Today, its message echoing wherever cultural...
Cole Porter died nearly half a century ago – in 1964 at age 73 – yet his songs remain as ubiquitous today as they were then. Which helps explain why one of Chicago's top cabaret singers, Joan Curto, this week is launching an evening-length...
Tags: Music Industry, Judaism, George Gershwin, Lower East Side, Music
When cabaret star Karen Mason played here last December, at Davenport's, one song drew the evening's noisiest ovations by far. If Mason had sung "It's About Time" without introduction, the piece would have unfolded as a charming love song well worth...
Apr 2, 2013 |Column| Chicago Tribune
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