| 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
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...
| 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...
| 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...
| 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...
| 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...
| Jun 18, 2013
| 7:53 AM
Inspiring music-making isn't necessarily loud, aggressive, self-aggrandizing or heavily promoted.
Consider what happens early every Wednesday night at Andy's Jazz Club, where the superb but serenely understated Chicago guitarist Andy Brown leads a...
| Jun 11, 2013
| 9:48 AM
Joseph Marinaro had a dream: He was going to be a great singer, like his heroes Frank Sinatra and Mario Lanza.
But the talented young crooner from Buffalo, N.Y., got married and had 10 kids, set aside his musical ambitions and laid asphalt to support...
| Jun 6, 2013
| 12:49 PM
If jazz listeners ruled the world, saxophonist-composer Wayne Shorter's forthcoming 80th birthday – on Aug. 25 – would be deemed a national holiday.
That doesn't seem likely at this point, so Chicago will celebrate the occasion a bit early...
| May 28, 2013
| 11:40 AM
The great flutist-composer Nicole Mitchell moved to Chicago – and launched her international career here – in 1990.
More than two decades later, in August of 2011, she left the city for California, yet it's still impossible to think of...
| 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...