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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 […]

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Chicago celebrates a century of Black gospel

Chicago has earned bragging rights as the birthplace of Black gospel music. It was here that gospel was first composed, sung, played, published, promoted, recorded, broadcast, and formalized—the last via a national convention with regional chapters. Migrants to Chicago from the south in particular found comfort in it, because it articulated their shared experiences as […]

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Beverly Phono Mart works to boost record-store culture on the far south side

Mallory McClaire and Chantala Kommanivanh work as an arts administrator and as a professional artist and educator, respectively—but the couple also run Web-based record shop Beverly Phono Mart. In August they plan to open a brick-and-mortar retail location at 1808 W. 103rd in Beverly. This interview was conducted July 26. As told to Leor Galil Chantala […]

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How DCASE helped Chicago music survive the pandemic shutdown

When COVID-19 swept the country, music venues were among the first to shutter, throwing tens of thousands of live entertainment professionals out of work and sidelining artists who depend on touring income. The National Independent Venue Association formed in April 2020 and currently represents more than 3,000 performance halls, promoters, and festivals; it’s done much […]