| Jan 22, 2013
| 11:30 AM
For decades, the defenders of the status quo have insisted that the Chicago Jazz Festival must remain anchored in Grant Park.
They said the dreadful acoustics there were just fine.
They said the dilapidated Petrillo Music Shell served the fest well....
| Dec 11, 2012
| 10:16 AM
Any president's second term offers another shot at fulfilling dreams that got away the first time around.
So while President Barack Obama is strategizing on immigration, unemployment, the deficit and, oh yes, the fiscal cliff, I'd like to add one more...
| Aug 8, 2012
Until three weeks ago, no jazz club owner ever had been selected to receive the country's pre-eminent jazz honor: the National Endowment for the Arts' Jazz Masters Fellowship, which carries with it $25,000 and considerable prestige.
Anyone who follows...
| Aug 13, 2012
| 4:07 PM
Revered around the world but never a major star, worshipped by critics and connoisseurs but perpetually strapped for cash, the towering Chicago tenor saxophonist Von Freeman practically went out of his way to avoid commercial success. When trumpeter Miles...
| Jan 29, 2013
| 7:38 AM
The revered jazz bassist Charlie Haden hopes he can give a brief speech when he picks up his Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy the day before the Grammys are broadcast on Feb. 10.
But Haden sometimes has difficulty speaking, and...
| Feb 5, 2013
| 8:30 AM
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...
| Feb 12, 2013
| 11:54 AM
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...
| Feb 28, 2013
| 7:34 AM
Van Cliburn, the immensely talented American piano virtuoso with the down-home charm and big romantic style, whose gold-medal win at the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958 at the height of the Cold War made him a cultural icon...
| Feb 28, 2013
| 9:42 AM
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...
| Oct 2, 2012
| 12:51 PM
Artists of Esperanza Spalding's fame and stature don't typically play small music rooms, but no one is going to call Spalding typical.
So if her sold-out, three-night run at City Winery Chicago seems likely to frustrate fans trying to get in, it...
| Mar 19, 2013
| 7:19 AM
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...