Arts Issue 2019 | Music

Brenda Linda, Linda Brenda

WHPK’s Jazz Twins discuss a changing station and growing up with jazz

Kyle Oleksiuk

Brenda Phillips and Linda Hall are veteran DJs on WHPK’s Jazz Format. They’re not siblings, but on air they are “The Twins.” They invited me up to the station for the first half hour of their radio show, while they played CDs from their individual collections. This interview was conducted to the tune of Houston Person’s “I Want to Talk About You,” chosen by Brenda, and Oscar Pettiford’s “Bohemia After Dark,” chosen by Linda. The Twins’ show, “Journey Into Jazz,” airs on WHPK 88.5FM every other Sunday from 2pm to 4pm.


Somebody You Should Know

At Room 43 with the Charles Heath Quartet, and an interview with Almarie Wagner

Miranda Ploss

The avenue it’s on has no name. Little has been written about it. And yet, Sunday Night Jazz at Room 43 stands among the most extraordinary concert series in Chicago.


Singing Chords

Café Logan’s jazz series delivers another surprise

Siena Fite (based on a photo by Burrell Sunrise)

The last time I went to Café Logan to see the Third Tuesday Jazz Series, a saxophonist played two altos simultaneously. This time, on my way to see the first vocalist ever to perform in the Jazz Series since it opened five years ago, with one of the biggest crowds Café Logan has ever seen, I expected something even more surprising. As it turned out, I wouldn’t be disappointed.


Midnight Coltrane

At Rockefeller Chapel, Ravi Coltrane leads a tribute to his mother’s musical meditations

Jack B. Siegel

Ravi Coltrane is laughing at me. Or maybe with me? I can’t say for sure. However he’s laughing, I don’t feel too bad about it. I’ve asked a stupid question.

Interview Issue 2018 | Music | Photo Essay

Bringing Jazz Back to the Alley

In South Shore, an old tradition is revived for a day

Dancers with the African Dance and Music Institute (Bridget Vaughn)

On 73rd Street and Paxton, toward Merrill, at least one hundred people marched: past cars, over puddles, into alleys and across the block. As they marched, they held bundles of herbs in the air, played percussion, danced, and waved flags. This scene was the beginning of the Back Alley Jazz Festival—and the man at the front of the crowd, who rode in a mint-green Pedicab and wore a sash that read “Grand Marshall,” was Jimmy Ellis, a saxophonist who has been playing in Chicago since 1948.


Steve Coleman Takes Wing

A legendary saxophonist talks polyrhythms, mentorship, and birds

milo bosh

Steve Coleman’s music resembles flight in more ways than one. For the listener, it is a flight of the senses: nebulous and strange, challenging and innovative. For Coleman and his band, Five Elements, it’s a flight of the imagination. Brisk drumming, propulsive singing, smooth guitar, and piercing trumpet join hands with—and break away from—Coleman’s saxophone. The music is kept aloft by change, creating something new at each moment.