| 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...
| 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...
| 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...
| 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...
| Mar 28, 2013
| 2:38 PM
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...
| Jan 14, 2014
| 9:26 AM
When Chicago blues singer Shemekia Copeland began performing "Ain't Gonna Be Your Tattoo" in concert, she was startled by the response.
The song, which unflinchingly addresses violence against women, inspired more than just applause. After concerts,...
| 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)...
| Jan 23, 2014
| 9:07 AM
These are lively days – and nights – for saxophonist-clarinetist Victor Goines, who last weekend presented the world premiere of an original orchestral suite at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York and this weekend offers new music over three...