Posted inMusic

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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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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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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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 […]