Former Chicagoan Diane Izzo (who now lives in New Mexico) is still remembered around here for her striking 1999 debut, One, and for her contributions to the scene around the old Lunar Cabaret, the Hideout, and the late lamented Lounge Ax. Earlier this year she was diagnosed with a rapidly growing brain tumor, which caused seizures. She had surgery to remove the growth and is now facing medical bills in the low six figures. This is made even worse by the fact that her partner, Marco Zas, had a kidney transplant last year. There’s a detailed article about Izzo’s situation in the Sun-Times. (Yes, I know the headline misspells “luminaries.” Let’s focus, though.)
As the Chicago music scene so often does, it’s rallied to help Izzo out. The resulting Big Brain Benefit Concert will be at the School of the Art Institute Ballroom on Sunday at 7 PM. Performers include Califone (whose Jim Becker hopes to be working on an album with Izzo in the near future), Robbie Fulks, the Waco Brothers with Sally Timms, Vernon Tonges, and Beau O’Reilly & the Crooked Mouth String Band (a group made up of Izzo’s old friends from the Curious Theater/Lunar Cabaret family, which plays a sort of Beefheartian Bughouse Square cabaret). Tickets are only $20, which would be an excellent deal even if this concert weren’t a benefit, and are available in advance through the Hideout.