music

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Meklit creates music with a message

It wasn’t until she was 24 that Meklit Hadero realized that music was her destiny. Now 33, the Ethiopian-born singer/songwriter has perfected a folky/jazzy style that is being compared to a mix of Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones and Nina Simone. Meklit, who goes by just …

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

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With recent bands like Fitz and the Tantrums packing halls, and sweat-soaked old-school talent like Charles Bradley on the rise, the soul music revival that began in the late ’90s continues to percolate. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings have been at the vanguard, outlasting dabblers and trend-jumpers by producing impassioned material and electrifying shows since launching from Brooklyn in 2000.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Gary Numan

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With an innovative streak extending 37 years, Gary Numan connects to his fans at different points along his timeline. Many initially heard him as a synth-pop pioneer who first charted during the New Wave era with “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” Recent converts are drawn to Numan’s …

The art history of Johnette Napolitano is a ‘Rough Mix’

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If Johnette Napolitano sounds like she could be one of the Italian Masters, it’s because she is. Although she is perhaps best known as the front woman for the early ’90s alt rock band Concrete Blonde, this modern-day Renaissance woman is also a sculptor, writer, film scorer, seamstress and activist/

Julio Davis stays the course of Trio’s jazz/hip-hop soul

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‘I love hip-hop to my bones,” said rapper-vibraphonist Julio Davis, leader of Chicago’s masterly jazz-rap band J. Davis Trio, while steering his SUV post-rehearsal through a spitting March rain as it morphed into the five-hundredth snowstorm of this apparently immortal winter. “I have a blueprint, …

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On new CD, solo tour, Jennifer Nettles is finding a new, empowering voice

“This is my new chapter of rebirth,” says the Sugarland singer.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT — KRAFTWERK

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How does a band with a reputation for icy and emotionless detachment maintain such ardor among fans for four decades? The precisely measured synthesizer tones of Kraftwerk may not get the blood boiling like a hot tango, but the influential German quartet is sure to …

Painted on Water blends Turkish folk with modern rock influences

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It might seem crazy for two Turkish performers, well known and successful in their home country, to pack up their songbook and move to Chicago. But Demir Demirkan and Sertab Erener have a plan to bring their brand of pop/rock to a new audience. “We …

Crowd Pleasers for March 7, 2014

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Here is a look at some crowd pleasers. Suggestions include the ticket on-sale for Linkin Park’s August concert at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park.

‘Ring of Fire’ lacks soul of Johnny Cash’s life

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Revue at Theater at the Center sounds terrific but falters whenever the music stops and the attempts at dialogue begin.

Local Buzz for March 7, 2014

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Here is a look at music events. Suggestions include gigs at Blue Chip Casino’s Rocks Lounge in Michigan City, the Venue at Horseshoe Hammond, Majestic Star Casino & Hotel’s Lakeshore Lounge in Gary, and Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville.

FYI on FMBA: Jimmy Buffett in Tinley Park

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Jimmy Buffett’s This One’s for You Tour 2014 is set for June in Tinley Park. Find out more and watch videos from the musical artist on FYI on FMBA at blogs.southtownstar.com/fmba.

Over the moon — Trisha Yearwood’s happy and not afraid to show it

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Trisha Yearwood should consider recording a cover of “The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.” The country music star-turned-best-selling cookbook author-turned Food Network show host just gushes happiness. And what about that joint tour with hubby Garth Brooks?

Robert Rolfe Feddersen’s CD triggered by a stickup

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Robbed while deliverying milk in Gary, the singer-songwriter changed his outlook and put music first.

FYI on FMBA: Lionel Richie in Tinley Park

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Lionel Richie’s All the Hits All Night Long Summer 2014 Tour with CeeLo Green is set for June in Tinley Park. Find out more and watch videos featuring Richie on FYI on FMBA at blogs.southtownstar.com/fmba.

Crowd Pleasers for Feb. 28, 2014

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Here is a look at some crowd pleasers. Suggestions include the BACinema screening of “Philomena” at the Beverly Arts Center in Chicago.