Since its founding in 1956, the Chicago Children’s Choir has grown into a cultural juggernaut and an essential ambassador of the city’s musical spirit. Nearly 5,000 kids ages eight to 18 participate in the nonprofit’s in-school and after-school educational programs, which prioritize racial diversity and reach students from low- to moderate-income homes via sliding-scale tuition fees. The CCC performs for world leaders, collaborates with marquee artists from the pop world (Chance the Rapper, Queen Latifah, Eddie Vedder), and works with classical music institutions such as Lyric Opera and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The programming the choir does on its own is also consistently outstanding, and earlier this month it released Long Way Home through several major streaming services—a charming hip-hop-inflected concept album about a young south-side rapper named Ody who takes an el ride across the city with her friends and meets a cast of characters loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey. CCC is currently accepting applicants for its 12 neighborhood choirs for the 2021-’22 season—hit up ccchoir.org for more info.
On Friday, August 27, Chicago indie singer-songwriter Andrew Krull self-releases their debut EP, It All Goes. You may have heard Krull’s guitar already in mathy downstate emo group Parachute Day or backing Illinois country troubadour David Quinn on guitar, but It All Goes is Krull’s vision through and through: they flit between weathered Americana, robust indie rock, and ornate, intricate folk with help from a seriously great cast of supporting musicians, including Jodi main man Nick Levine on pedal steel, Options bandleader Seth Engel on percussion, indie folkie Alayne May on harmony vocals, and bluegrass veterans Aaron Smith and Jess McIntosh on upright bass and fiddle, respectively.
Andrew Krull releases their debut EP, It All Goes, this week.
Justin Armonia has had a busy month. A couple weeks ago this adventurous Chicago R&B artist dropped Life Is a Trip, the debut EP by Nu-Jaunt, a collaboration with prolific soul man Nate Barksdale. Armonia continues to follow the various threads in its stylistically wild blend of R&B, hip-hop, and pop on his even newer second solo album, The Universe Sent You to Destroy Me, which he self-released Monday.
Justin Armonia has released both these records so far in August.
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