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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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How live music looks during COVID

Live music is back, though it looks different today than when it went away in March 2020. For 16 months we carried on without the collaborative magic of artist and audience. We’ve watched musicians find creative ways to keep gigging and be safe, whether delivering livestreams from their homes or playing on porches. Our favorite […]

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Long live Squeak

I met Squeak in Saba’s grandparent’s basement. The walls were plastered with magazine covers, the space stuffed with recording equipment and video games. A memory not easily forgotten—I’ve probably told this story a thousand times, in writing and in person. It was 2016, a year after the first time I interviewed Saba and a couple […]

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The Reader‘s guide to Chicago in Tune

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events originally planned to celebrate the Year of Chicago Music in 2020. Then the pandemic diminished those festivities to the point that the city declared 2021 the Year of Chicago Music too.  The ongoing surge of the Delta variant means the U.S. won’t be rid of the pandemic […]

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Show calendar

Chicago in Tune includes every concert in and around Chicago from August 19 till September 19. This calendar presents a relatively manageable selection of those concerts, including most of those mentioned elsewhere in the Reader’s guide to the festival. A more complete list is available via the Do312 calendar.  Thursday, August 19 Afro Fusion DJs […]

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The blues has become part of Chicago’s DNA

Blues music thrives on live interaction between performer and audience, but for nearly a year and a half, that’s been in short supply. Clubs are caught between “waiting to reopen” and “slowly coming back,” and Millennium Park has been largely quiet—for two Junes running, the city has canceled the Chicago Blues Festival. Our blues artists […]

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Chicago house reshaped pop around the globe

House-music culture developed in Chicago’s Black gay clubs in the 1970s, and it owes as much of its soul to the people who gathered to dance as it does to the DJs whose innovative mixes of disco, funk, R&B, and pop kept late-night partiers moving till long after sunrise. In the seven years or so […]

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Chicago has nurtured jazz since its infancy

There’s been jazz in Chicago for nearly as long as there’s been jazz. While jazz is commonly said to have ridden the rails to Chicago around 1916, when the Great Migration of African Americans from the south to the north kicked into gear, Dixieland bandleader Wilbur Sweatman had played gigs on the city’s south side […]

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Third Coast Percussion evolves along with the pandemic

Reba Cafarelli is managing director for Third Coast Percussion, working primarily in booking, marketing, and day-to-day operations. The ensemble is incorporated as a nonprofit, and it has a board of directors and three full-time employees in addition to its four members. In May 2022 Third Coast Percussion plans to release its next album, which will […]