Music

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.

Interviews | Music | Radio

Knowing Herself

An interview with Tasha

Maggie O'Brien

In her debut album Alone at Last, Tasha—poet, activist, and singer-songwriter—digs into themes of music as healing and radical softness as a political act; the sweatshirts she crafted to sell along with the album are embroidered with “I love myself and hate police.” In an interview with the Weekly, Tasha describes her journey of creating Alone at Last, from self-releasing the Divine Love EP in 2016, to signing with Father/Daughter Records last year, to her debut release this October. Listen to a full version of this interview that aired on SSW Radio, the Weekly’s radio show and podcast:

Music

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.

Interviews | Music

New Voices, New Faces

An interview with Clyde Moreau, organizer of the inaugural Decibel Crawl Fest

Siena Fite

Artists from throughout Chicago will be participating in a new, multi-venue festival this weekend. Decibel Crawl Fest, organized by Beverly native Clyde Moreau, started with the goal of highlighting local artists of color and LGBTQ+- and women-identifying artists, and paying them fairly “in exchange for what they give to inspire us.” The new DIY festival has shows in venues across the city, including Bohemian Grove in McKinley Park. The Weekly spoke with Moreau in Hyde Park about their hopes for the festival and the challenges of pulling together a festival in seven venues with over thirty performers, including ONO and Sasha No Disco. This interview has been edited for length and clarity; listen to an SSW Radio segment that includes Moreau’s interview as well as interviews with Decibel Crawl Fest performers Audra Vidal and Eiigo Groove:

Interviews | Music

Healthier Words for a Healthier Lifestyle

Melo Makes Music talks mental wellness, seasonal depression, and his budding career as a performance artist

Siena Fite

On his first full-length release Hold Your Tongue, Melo Makes Music confronts depression, mental wellness, loneliness, and heartbreak with a sense of self. The South Side rapper might be best known for last year’s “Sleepless,” his song featuring Taylor Bennett, but he’s been evolving as an artist since early songs like “Murphy’s Law” (featuring Ju & Tatiana Hazel) and “Drain U” (featuring Ravyn Lenae). Now, on “Hold your Tongue,” he confronts his inner demons with music—and comes out of the other end with a message of positivity.

Music

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.

Interviews | Music | Radio

Know His Roots

Matt Muse on his new project, Nappy Talk

Courtesy Matt Muse

When I meet Matt Muse on a bright August morning, the South Side-raised rapper is on top of his game. The night before our interview at WHPK 88.5 FM’s broadcast station in Hyde Park, he’d doubled as featured artist and host for Young Chicago Authors’ WordPlay, the city’s longest-running open mic. Earlier in the summer, he’d performed at Taste of Chicago and Fox 32’s Good Morning Chicago, and in the days to come, he’d head out to New York City for a sold-out performance with Sofar Sounds and to celebrate his twenty-sixth birthday.

Music

Kopano, In Their Own World

The nineteen-year-old South Shore native sits down with the Weekly to discuss donuts, dreams, and art

Kopano's "Black Women Spectra" was performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art on June 17, 2017 (Courtesy of Kopano)

If you stopped by the Stan’s Donuts on Fairbanks and Erie this summer, you might have had the pleasure of buying a treat from the burgeoning South Side musician, artist, and activist Kopano.

Health | Interviews | Music

Within “Decay,” A Story of Growth

Akenya releases a single to raise awareness of Lyme Disease

Sam Fuehring

Akenya is a singer, pianist, and composer from Chicago. In honor of the end of Lyme Disease Awareness Month, this past May, Akenya released a single titled “Decay.” Her fans have waited over two years since the release of her last single, “Disappear.” “Decay” intimately describes her experiences with Lyme Disease, an illness spread by ticks that can cause fatigue and pain, among other symptoms; some 30,000 cases are reported to the Centers for Disease Control every year. A percentage of proceeds from the song go to the LymeLight Foundation, which provides grants for Lyme disease treatment. The Weekly sat down with Akenya to talk about her relationship to Lyme disease and her single. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.