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Sound artist and onetime Chicagoan Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe adds new layers to the Candyman story

Folklore can be the ultimate game of telephone. As a historical form of collective communication, it brings communities together while expressing what makes them unique, and the content of its stories changes as newer generations tell them from their own perspectives. Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s score for Nia DaCosta’s new film, Candyman, exemplifies how distortion—whether […]

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Ensemble dal Niente and Ken Vandermark explore the ties between chamber music and jazz

Ensemble dal Niente commissions and selects new music that earns the designation “new” not just because it’s freshly composed; it also challenges both players and audiences to experience performance in new ways. This program, jointly presented by Ear Taxi and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, draws on the resources of Chicago in two ways. First, […]

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Melvia “Chick” Rodgers-Williams brings her big voice to the 15th annual Chi-town Blues Festival

Melvia “Chick” Rodgers-Williams is a dynamic, versatile blues and soul vocalist with a pretty sparse recorded legacy (mostly under her maiden name, Melvia “Chick” Rodgers). She’s deft and audacious enough to take on warhorses such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and Aretha Franklin’s “Dr. Feelgood,” retaining the power and feel of the originals while making […]

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Chicago indie-rock mainstays Eleventh Dream Day celebrate their 14th album, Since Grazed

When Chicago indie-rock stalwarts Eleventh Dream Day released their 14th album (and first in five years), Since Grazed, in April 2021, the pandemic prevented them from having a proper release party. The group, formed in 1983, are creeping up on their 40th anniversary, and though they didn’t hold together this long by being impatient, they […]

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Jana Rush engineers her own empowerment

Experimental footwork producer Jana Rush recorded her breathtaking new album, Painful Enlightenment, while battling depression, but she’s careful not to romanticize that fact. “At that time, I couldn’t be consistent with anything. I could start something and good luck with finishing it,” Rush explains. “The loss of hope, it’s a strange and empty feeling, and […]

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On their debut album, Central Heat Exchange envision a new indie-rock utopia

Throughout the pandemic I’ve noticed an uptick in long-distance musical collaborations, and the new self-titled debut from dyed-in-the-wool indie rockers Central Heat Exchange (Sunroom/Citrus City/Birthday Cake) is among the best. Chicago provides an anchor for the four-piece group, since more of the members live here than anywhere else: brothers Jake and Paul Stolz of local […]