| Jan 21, 2014
| 7:25 AM
The elusive art of jazz has proven notoriously difficult to capture on film, as has been amply demonstrated by films such as Clint Eastwood's ponderous Charlie Parker biography "Bird" (1988) and Ken Burns' stultifying, multi-part documentary "Jazz" (2001)...
| Feb 11, 2014
| 7:27 AM
Can 15 years have gone by since Chicago blues master Billy Branch released a studio album as bandleader?
Apparently so, but he surely sounds as if he's trying to make up for lost time with "Blues Shock" (Blind Pig Records), a remarkably strong release...
| Feb 18, 2014
| 6:47 AM
Last March, the superb Chicago jazz singer Grazyna Auguscik was rehearsing for one of the biggest concerts of her career, in her native Poland, when she received the worst news of her life.
Her partner of more than 20 years, Marek Bajson, had been...
| Feb 25, 2014
| 8:08 AM
Mardi Gras will arrive a little early this year for Chicago listeners, thanks to a most unusual and promising concert this weekend by Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic.
While revelers in New Orleans will celebrate the traditional Fat Tuesday on...
| Mar 4, 2014
| 7:52 AM
Several years ago, Chicago priest and jazz guitarist John Moulder came up with a bold idea: Put on a jazz festival in which all the musicians and clubs donate their services, with the proceeds going to fight hunger.
Moulder, who's widely admired by...
| Feb 28, 2013
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...
| Oct 23, 2012
| 1:01 PM
The literary events at the Chicago Humanities Festival are illustrative of the festival's sprawling theme, “America.” A diverse array of voices, perspectives and characters will illuminate the American experience. And for those whose passion...
| Aug 9, 2013
| 11:54 AM
Interviewing James McBride, author of the best-selling memoir “The Color of Water” and “The Good Lord Bird,” the unexpectedly hilarious new novel about the 19th century abolitionist John Brown and his violent crusade to end...
| Nov 9, 2012
| 5:49 PM
My father told me little about his agonies in the Holocaust. He never mentioned the beatings he suffered in various concentration camps starting in 1942, nor the death march he survived in January 1945, en route to Buchenwald.
For nearly the...
| 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...
| Jan 2, 2013
| 10:27 AM
A new year brings new hopes for music in Chicago. Here are key resolutions for 2013:
Create a concise Cultural Plan. After months of town hall meetings, the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events last fall came up with a 48-page wish...