Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Ravinia’

rebecca_1Rebecca Taras, NBC Chicago Street Team

 

Happy Memorial Day Chicago! It’s time to mark your calendars with street festivals, rooftop cocktail hours and of course, the sounds of summer. So grab a group (and in some cases, a bottle and a blanket) and experience a concert in the city before the curtain closes on summer.

Still Going Strong

Chicago’s acclaimed Grant Park Music Festival, led by Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar and Chorus Director Christopher Bell, opens its historic Gala 75th season on Wednesday, June 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the state-of-the-art Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The opening night concert features Maestro Kalmar leading the GRAMMY®-nominated Grant Park Orchestra and internationally-renowned pianist Stephen Hough through Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Key’s patriotic Star Spangled Banner, as well as one of classical music’s greatest hits, Pictures at an Exhibition composed by Modest Mussorgsky. nbcpritzker

All Grant Park Music Festival performances are free to the public. Open lawn and pavilion seating are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Season memberships to the Festival are available, starting at $80 for a specific night of the week (all Wednesdays, Fridays, or Saturdays) or $135 for a season-long membership for all 31 concerts.  Reserved group seating is also available for most concerts. Membership and group sales information is available by calling 312-742-7638 or by visiting the Festival’s website at http://www.grantparkmusicfestival.com The summer series is short, so catch one before the season ends on August15th.

Northshore Classic

Ravinia’s 2009 season presents a diverse lineup of more than 120 events from June 5 through Sept. 19, with 38 debuts, more than 25 free or specially priced events and over 135 guest artists and ensembles including the summer residency of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra featuring Ravinia Festival Music Director James Conlon. Guest artists include Lang Lang, Pink Martini, Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, Ramsey Lewis, George Hearn, Jackson Browne, Thomas Hampson, Patti LuPone, Christoph Eschenbach, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Diana Krall, Juilliard String Quartet, Joe Cocker, Susan Graham, John Legend, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Bonnie Raitt, David Hyde Pierce, Carrie Underwood, Matthias Goerne, Elvis Costello and many others.

nbc-raviniaTickets to Ravinia events are now available online at http://www.ravinia.org/. Orders are also being accepted now by fax at (847) 266-0641 or through mail by sending a printable online order form and payment to Ravinia Festival, P.O. Box 896, Highland Park, IL 60035. Phone orders at (847) 266-5100 and walk-up sales are accepted throughout the season Monday-Saturday10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays and holidays (closed July 4) 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Ravinia Festival is located at Lake Cook and Green Bay roads in Highland Park .

New Kid on The Block

It may not have the history of the Grant Park Music Fest or Ravinia, but Lollapalooza quickly became a legendary festival with a huge following. The third annual GALApalooza, benefiting Parkways Foundation and produced by C3 Presents, will be held Thursday, August 6that 6 p.m. at the Petrillo Band Shell in Grant Park. The concert space is transformed into a lounge-like atmosphere prior to the Lollapalooza festivities. While crews are making final preparations for the legendary festival, GALA-goers will enjoy a chic, open air cocktail party with outdoor lounge seating, an intimate and creative dining experience, and a concert featuring Lollapalooza artist Vampire Weekend, whose self-titled album was dubbed the 10th best album of 2008 by Rolling Stone Magazine. GALApalooza and Lollapalooza will be their only U.S. shows this year. Chicago sensation Hey Champ, who is opening for Depeche Mode on the Lollapalooza main stage, will take the stage to treat guests to a l set. In addition, GALApalooza features sounds from DJ White Shadow, performances by Park District Kids, and a silent auction and raffle featuring priceless VIP experiences.  nbc-lola

The James hotel is offering a special overnight package on August 6 which includes two general admission tickets to GALApalooza, overnight accommodations in a king guestroom, and valet parking at The James Hotel. Rates start at $579. For more information or to book this package visit http://www.jameshotels.com/

Lounge experiences are available at the $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 level and single tickets are available for $150. For more information on sponsorship opportunities or to make reservations, please call Alison Krzys , Director of Communications for Parkways Foundation at 312-742-4807 or visit http://www.parkways.org/.

Read Full Post »

 

Tom Kolovos, NBC5 Street Team

Live long enough–or hear the theme song of “The Facts of Life” often enough– and you eventually learn “you take the the good/you take the bad/and there you have the facts of life.” Yes, more than 70% of the gay vote went to Barack Obama–more than went to Clinton or Kerry–and yes, 70% of our black brothers and sisters in California voted to deny gay men and women the fundamental civil right to marry.

Quite honestly, it’s been a bittersweet week for me.  While I fully share the abundant joy of the historical moment with my black brothers and sisters as we finally bore witness in Grant Park to Martin Luther King’s dream, 70% of the black voters in California embraced the nightmare logic of this country’s miscegenation laws that would have made the marriage of Barack Obama’s mother and father illegal in America and just applied it to gay people.

Thanks. Does Hallmark make a card for that? 

Early in June of 2002, I found out that the Cuban singer Albita was going to play at Ravinia so I called a good friend of mine, who happens to be Nigerian, and told her she simply had to go to the concert with me. I had seen Albita  perform two years earlier at RFK Stadium at the concert for gay rights which coincided with the March on Washington. Though much bigger names played that night–Melissa Etheridge, Chaka Khan, Garth Brooks, George Michael among them–Albita who came on early in the night simply blew me away with an amazing voice and an infectious Afro-Cuban sound. I came back to Chicago and immediately bought her CD “Son.” If it were vinyl, I would have surely worn it out in the first week.

Please, I implored my friend, come with me to hear this woman. “Ok, I’ll make you a deal,” she said. “I’ll go if you come with me to the Miriam Makeba concert later this month.”

Um. Sure. And who is Miriam Makeba? When is the concert? Wait a minute, the tickets I have for June 19 have some woman named Miriam as the opening act? It’s this Makeba person!

Amazed at the coincidence, I listened as she explained about “Mama Africa,” and why I had better get my skinny white behind to Ravinia even if Albita weren’t on the bill.

So we went to Ravinia together, curious about what we would each discover and just to make matters even more interesting we dragged along a mutual friend who had heard of neither woman.

Needless to say, it was a magical night of music. We went to see a concert but Albita and Miriam put on a celebration of life. Despite the fact that most of the songs were in languages we surely didn’t fully understand,  there was no mistaking the universal language of joy, heartache and exile in their music and in their voices. We all walked away that night not as people of different races, genders and sexual orientations but as celebrants of a common, and yes, a sometimes deeply flawed, humanity. I was deeply saddened to hear that the truly amazing “Mama Africa” died this week. But despite the sadness, I was able to find solace in the hope, fearlessness and tenacity of a life lived by example and against injustice.

Her struggle makes mine a little more bearable today. As Albita sang on that magical night, “Azuca’ pa’ tu amargura,” Tom.

Sugar for your bitterness, Tom. 

tomkolovos.com

Read Full Post »

Raminder, NBC5 Street Team

It’s here again…that time of the year for the annual Gipsy Kings visit to Ravinia. I didn’t go last year but I heard it was a fantastic show. My first experience with them was in DC at the Wolf Trap (a similar venue to Ravinia) and it was an amazing evening with a world-renowned (Their own site says that they are the best selling  music group from France). So if you’re Lolla’ed out and want to salsa the Summer evening away while sipping on wine (or beer or my favorite Pama and Sprite), make it a point to get out to Ravinia http://www.ravinia.org.

The show has been sold out for a few days now but here’s a special nugget. Since the show is sold out, most people don’t venture out to Highland Park. So if you’re a risk taker (and you probably are if you’re reading this), get to Ravinia any way and more than likely, there’ll be someone who’s got extra tickets to unload at face value. And if you make it in, look for me…I’ll be the turbaned one in the crowd signing autographs :-)

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 74 other followers