Chicago born Chaka sang on Wendy Williams fiftieth birthday show. It was a rare TV treat. Naturally I went over to her official website.
It’s vibrant, engaging and very informative. The bio was so information packed I was impressed and disappointed at the same time. She has so many accomplishments listed that the bio was very light about her early days in Chicago. But, after reading it, I saw that they have a timeline and thinking that it will be just about her music, I explored it.
BINGO! This is what I was looking for – the early life of Chaka Khan. Complete with pictures.
It tells the tale of a girl who grew up in the crucible of the 1960’s civil rights days, the Feminist movement and the Vietnam War Protests, if you know how to read between the lines. It hints at why when she sang “I’m Every Woman” it rang so true.
Did you know that October 19th is Chaka Khan Day in both the state of Illinois and the City of Chicago? But this first weekend of August should be declared Chaka Khan Weekend because she will be at the Chicago Theater on Saturday.
Smooth Jazz haters like to flatter Boney James by saying that he gets "unfairly" lumped into the category. Citing that his playing is more robust, street wise and harder than what smooth jazz fan are supposed to like, he shouldn’t be included.
Balderdash! We love Boney!
He’s diversity personified. Boney crosses genres often and with magnificent ease. His passion is still the music, even after fourteen albums, four of which went gold.
Discussing his newest album “The Beat” in the bio section of his website, Boney said,
"There was no sense that this had to be a certain thing . . . I was recording for fun, experimenting with this hybrid R&B and Latin sound, two genres I love. So, my playing on this album has a different energy. I think it's one of the best records I've ever done.”
Speaking of energy, he must have tons. In August, he will be playing eleven venues, doing his Midwest shows with Brian Culbertson. And don’t think he is done after August. He has plenty of dates booked for the rest of the year. He averages fifty shows a year. That is prolific and accessible. Think about it – that keeps him on the road nearly every week, going somewhere.
He summed it up the best, “I just want to be fresh, not derivative.”
So there, haters, hush up and listen to the man play.
(Note from Rick O'Dell: Please join me in welcoming Lydia Barnes to SmoothJazzChicago as our primary columnist/blogger. Lydia's passion for the music dates back to the early '90s, and we're pleased to be able to present her unique view of happenings--not just music-related!--in our world. You'll find the rest of her writings at her site.)
Before flying east for the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island, the Joey DeFrancesco Trio will honor us with a touch down on Friday, August 1st. Playing Evanston S.P.A.C.E. with drummer and Chicago native George Fludas, guitarist Jeff Parker and his trusty Hammond B3, Joey is sure to deliver a sweet treat for jazz lovers. If you’re a fan of the rich tones the B3, this is the show for you. Whether they’re slowing down Michael Jackson’s "Billie Jean" to making her extra jazzy, transforming Bobby Hebb’s "Sunny" from a 1960s pop icon into a new millennium jazz diva, or making the theme to the Godfather into audio honey, Joey will makes his B3 a killer B!
Check out his website. To hear all the cuts mentioned above, click the media tab and choose video. He has full length songs posted. His latest release is called Enjoy the View and with him at the keyboard, I’m sure we will.
No babysitter that night, no problem. The S.P.A.C.E. is open to fans of all ages! Don’t miss it, because he heads back to his hive until December 7 when he ventures out again. But not to Chicago, the closest he will come will be Columbus, Missouri.
We’ve got an exciting
weekend coming up. I hope to see you
this Friday or Saturday or, better yet, both nights. On Friday, September 28, I’ll be up in
Waukegan at a grand old venue, the Genesee Theatre, for a night that promises a
little something for everyone:
Jim Peterik’s Lifeforce
featuring Mindi Abair, Lisa McClowry, Steve Oliver, Casey Abrams and Sijay
along with special guests Lake Effect and Michael Avery. For tickets, click here or call (800)
982-2787. Ask about the wine and cheese
reception before the show, where you can meet the artists.
Then, the following night,
on Saturday, September 29, it’s a special WNUA listener reunion party with Bill
Cochran, Scott Adams and me in the intimate Montrose Room at the Hotel
Intercontinental Chicago O’Hare. Bring
along some CDs to sign. You’ll be able
to meet Nick Colionne, Steve Cole, Steve Oliver and Shilts, who might even jump
onstage to do a jam or two for us.
Tickets are just $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Parking’s a steal at $5 for self park at the
hotel. Click here or call (312)
What a fun way to spend
the first full weekend of fall!