Taste of Chicago - Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Fantasia, Joss Stone

Here's a hearty shout out to the City of Chicago for creating an awesome 2008 Taste of Chicago concert lineup. Of course, the Taste of Chicago starts today, Friday, June 27, with a powerhouse soul concert starring the legendarily funky Chaka Khan and neo soul super nova Angie Stone.

A true South Side Star, Chaka Khan grew up here in Chicago and started her stunning musical career in the very neighborhood from whence I write: historic Hyde Park. Chaka attended high school with my good friend's mother. In fact, my friend's mom says she and Chaka were very close back in those days and were in a girl group together. But I think my friend's mom is a little... ummm displeased with how the girl she knew as Yvette Stevens bussed it to Hollywood without her. Oh well... I doubt that Mrs. W. will be hitting the Taste tonight to see her old pal. (The woman actually glares at me hatefully whenever I mention how big a fan of Chaka I am.)

On Saturday, June 28, the indescrible Stevie Wonder takes the stage... and probably won't leave... I've noticed over the years that Stevie runs things wherever he performs. He doesn't seem to care about union labor laws. He always surprises the stage workers and producers by launching one more song... and then another. But we love it, Stevie. He's probably one of the few artists that really has 99 more hits worth staying on and on and on to hear! His are encores that never cease.

And hey! Tuesday, July 1, that young British old soul diva Joss Stone takes the stage at the Taste of Chicago. I hope she kicks her shoes off and runs around barefoot at the Taste, as I've noticed her do in concert on TV. When Joss Stone does this, it's as if she's channeling Tina Marie and Janice Joplin all at once, with a hint of Patti LaBelle (sans shoes).

And then, be still my heart -- Fantasia Barino, the American Idol superstar and instant New Queen of Soul graces the Taste of Chicago. I must confess: Fantasia is the one and only American Idol contestant I've ever called in to vote for. I'll always wish I'd visited New York City to catch her starring in The Color Purple on Broadway. But hopefully when Fantasia does the Taste on Wednesday, July 3, she'll bless the audience with that riveting song from the play that always makes her (and everyone else) start crying:

For more 2008 Taste of Chicago news, check these links:

Headliners at Taste of Chicago Lineup

Chicago Reader gives complete music schedule

Chicago Tribune profiles both soul music legends delivering the double-whammy weekend: Chaka Khan on Friday and Stevie Wonder on Saturday

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Oz Never Did Give Nothing to The Tin Man

Original Tin Man of Chicago, a popular street performerThe Original Tin Man
Tin Man of Chicago, a photography of Monsieur Metal in action street performerWho's a popping, locking amazing street performerDigital photography of Chicago street performer The Original Tin ManIn downtown Chicago is a TRIP!Weeee're OFF to see the Wizard. With the Tin Man leading the wayOf all his intriguing tricks and dance moves, the coolest was catching him walk into Walgreen's. With much-needed help for all his props.Chicago Tin Man is silver from head to toe... silver face, silver clothes, silver shoes, silver hands... silver OOPS!Warm it up, Tin Man. It MUST be summer in Chicago!

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Return to Forever Concert - Jazz Fusion Bliss

Jazz fusion legends Return to Forever at Chicago Theater, getting the Summer 2008 off to magnificent start.Wow: Return to Forever in concert in Chicago last Friday night (June 20, 2008). I thought I'd never see this impeccable progressive jazz quartet together again live. But there they were, on-stage at the faboulous Chicago Theater: the legendary Stanley Clark, Al DiMeola, Lenny White, and Chick Corea.

It was a huge night for Return to Forever fans... We're still pinching ourselves: RTF was HERE!!! Live. Every last one of them!

Four gifted musicians, each a jazz innovator, together they're masterful aural art. RTF are the original uncanny, long-lost lovers; they keep popping in and out of their fans' lives... They've flirted and teased fans for 25 years, which is the last time they put out an album together.

So RTF let us have it. We're all still smoking the post-coital cigarette...

For their legion of die-hard 1970s jazz fusion fans, everything's forever fresh and forever genius in Return to Forever land. For ever-ever!

Check out RTF in this vintage clip of Romantic Warrior, from their 1976 signature album.

We're all still applauding, still in a standing "O" in our hearts and minds. If you can, see them in New York at United Palace on August 8th. If I could, I'd fly to NYC just to experience Return to Forever again.

God continue to bless our beloved drummer Lenny White, lead guitarist Al DiMeola, keyboardist Chick Corea, and bassist Stanley Clark. You guys all look so hot and healthy, too!

Chicago Return to Forever Concert Photos / Backstage & On-stage - Return to Forever concert review Read the whole post...

"Urban Islands" Photo Gallery | Viqi French