Friday 2/1 – Thursday 2/7
1 FRIDAY Tonight, patrons of the Funky Buddha Lounge can see both rare video footage from the 60s and 70s–including a clip of Fox 32 weatherman Harry Volkman reciting poetry–and live improvisation by Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago when San Francisco-based Luv n’ Haight Records celebrates the release of Johnny Frigo: Collected Works. The disc collects material the octogenarian jazz violinist recorded for the Orion label between 1965 and 1972, when he mostly played double bass; the original albums were produced in runs of only 300 to 500 and intended for the jazz dance instruction community, says Funky Buddha manager Joe Bryl. Bryl, Giordano’s son Marc, and DJ Egon helped Luv n’ Haight unearth the trove. Frigo and Giordano will be standing by to autograph the new album–and any original pressings, if you bring them. The doors open at 8 and the performances start at 9 at the Funky Buddha Lounge, 728 W. Grand. It’s free; call 312-666-1695 for more information.
2 SATURDAY Want to know if we’re in for an early spring? Keepers at Brookfield Zoo will attempt to lure a groundhog named Cloudy out of her hole with a nutritionally correct carrot cake at 10:30 this morning inside the Children’s Zoo. The zoo is at 31st and First in Brookfield, and admission is $7 for adults, $3.50 for seniors and kids ages 3 to 11. Winter hours are 10 to 5 every day; call 708-485-0263.
Former political prisoners the Robben Island Singers joined the African National Congress as teenagers in the 70s and were once incarcerated at the eponymous maximum security prison off the coast of Cape Town. The three men will sing songs of liberation, tell stories, and give a brief lesson in Zulu tonight at 7 at the Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive. A question-and-answer session follows. If Groundswell Educational Films succeeds in its mission to document the singers’ American tour, audience members could find themselves on PBS in about a year, says filmmaker Jeff Spitz, whose previous film, The Return of Navajo Boy, was profiled in these pages in 2000. Admission is $12 and registration is required; call 312-665-7400.
3 SUNDAY The altar in the Stone Chapel of Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut, has probably never looked like this before–concealed by a sheet, a man’s shirt, and a woman’s slip strung on a clothesline, all being blown about by an electric fan. What may first appear to be a makeshift laundry service is the projection surface for Sandra Binion’s video installation and exhibit, Only Sleeping, which opens this afternoon and runs through March 31. Flickering across the swaying fabrics are scenes from everyday life in Israel and Jordan: a fully clothed Muslim woman bathing in the Dead Sea, children at recess, an Orthodox Jewish woman at prayer. Binion, a performance artist and film- and video maker, spent three weeks in September of 2000 gathering images in the Middle East, yet her title was inspired by a grave marker she saw on a road trip to Wisconsin. “I decided on ‘Only Sleeping’ because, at the time, the war was only sleeping,” she says. Outside the sanctuary, the scenes are frozen in 21 framed lithographs. The exhibit is free and viewing hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 11 to 4 and Sunday from 12:30 to 6. For more information call 312-795-3709.
4 MONDAY Chicagoans with personal photographs that illustrate how life has changed since September 11 are invited to add their images to a traveling exhibition and archive documenting the World Trade Center tragedy as a turning point in history. Here Is New York: A Democracy of Photographs opened Friday, February 1, and runs through March 30. Contributors’ photographs will be scanned and added to the more than 3,000 images collected in an electronic archive at www.hereisnewyork.org. Photos in the exhibition, which started as a grassroots endeavor at a Soho storefront and takes its title from E.B. White’s 1949 ode to NYC, are hung unframed on wires at 72 E. Randolph, across from the Chicago Cultural Center. An 11-minute video documenting activity at and around ground zero in the first 24 hours following the attack runs continuously during gallery hours (10 to 6). It’s free; proceeds from the sale of selected digital prints and copies of the video go to the Children’s Aid Society World Trade Center relief fund. Call 312-744-6630 for more information.
5 TUESDAY Monica Bock became anxious about packing lunches for her two children when she realized their preschool teachers were inspecting the bags to make sure the fare passed muster. Like many mothers, she obsessed about what foods her children liked and whether they ate everything in their sacks; as an artist she decided to document the daily ritual, creating a yearlong calendar that juxtaposed the meals she packed with passages from daily newspapers and journal entries. Her installation based on the chronology includes 400-odd lunch bags made from lead sheet and marked with their contents and her children’s names. Vacation and sick days are indicated by embossed plaques, and interspersed among the lead bags are others made of cast glycerin that capture ambient light. Don’t Forget the Lunches (Daily News) opened in mid-December and runs through Sunday, February 10, in the Michigan Avenue galleries of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. It’s free; call 312-744-6300.
6 WEDNESDAY While most people have heard of Nat “King” Cole, they may not know about a man who helped make him great, “Captain” Walter Dyett, who taught music and band at Phillips High School in the early 30s and at DuSable High School from 1935 through 1961. Dyett, who is remembered for his exacting standards, gained his honorary title after heading a National Guard band. He also worked as a professional jazz musician and bandleader, employing some of his more talented pupils. Tonight seven DuSable alumni who studied under Dyett will pay tribute to the Bronzeville legend in a jazz performance at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington. The music starts at 7 and follows a 6 PM panel discussion on Dyett headed by Richard Wang, professor of jazz studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It’s free; for more information call 312-744-6630.
7 THURSDAY Since the 1950s, Chicago’s underground pedway system has expanded to a three-mile maze covering 23 blocks lined with convenience stores, restaurants, and public transit stations. If you have two hours to spare–and are willing to climb stairs–you can learn about the designs of six lobbies along the pedway and the history of various connecting tunnels and bridges. The Lobbies by Pedway tour will assemble at 10 in front of the Henry Moore sculpture in the lobby of Three First National Plaza, 70 W. Madison. It’s $5, and no reservations are needed. For more information or future tour dates, call 312-922-3432, ext. 908.