Tag Archives: Labor Day

Happy Birthday Chicago!

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The University of Chicago Logo

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Happy Birthday Chicago! Uncork your favorite bottle of wine or champagne and toast to Chicago’s 178th birthday was held on March 4, 2015. Crank up your iPhone as you listen to Frank Sinatra sing “My Kind of Town“; originally part of the musical score for Robin and the 7 Hoods, a 1964 musical film starring several members of the Rat Pack.

Cover of "Robin and the Seven Hoods"

Cover of Robin and the Seven Hoods

Chicago is famous for many things including gangsters like Al Capone and the city definitely has some offers that you can’t refuse:

Chicago is also famous for sports teams: Bears, Bulls, Hawks, Cubs and Sox. We have had pretty good record for start-ups: Kraft, Motorola, Baxter, Sara Lee and don’t forget Groupon just to name a few.

English: Chicago Cubs logo

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Chicago Bulls logo

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We have plenty of famous politicians including: 2 Mayor Daleys and President Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama discusses the bid for C...

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Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley

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Richard J. Daley, mayor of Chicago, c. 1971

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Chicago is home to a plethora of superlatives: our higher learning institutons are world-class with some of the best business schools in the world like University of Chicago and Northwestern. The city is brimming with world-class chefs and we have some of the best restaurants in the world like Charlie Trotters and Alinea.

Chicago is a city of neighborhoods with distinctive architecture and ethnic roots.

Map of Chicago's community areas, grouped by c...

Map of Chicago’s community areas, grouped by color by “side” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But one or our most endearing and enduring blessings is our world-class architecture! Generally, to celebrate Chicago’s birthday, some of her architectural shining stars will turn blue including:

the Willis Tower, the Trump Tower, the Merchandise Mart and the Prudential Building.

Deutsch: Chicago am Ufer des Lake Michigan Eng...

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Chicago‘s Columbian Exposition in the 1890’s spawned a flourishing legacy of global architectural pre-eminence and outstanding architecture in Chicago. Daniel Burnham’s passion for Beaux Arts priniciples of design generated a flurry of world-class structures. Chicago architects and structural engineers are still staking claims to global architectural marvels.

Much of new classical research was conducted a...

Much of new classical research was conducted at the University of Chicago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chicago World's Columbian Exposition, 1893

Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893 (Photo credit: Smithsonian Institution)

Bill Baker is a structural engineer who works at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill‘s (SMO) Chicago office in the landmark, 17 story Sante Fe Building. He can be credited with more supertall buildings of over 1000 feet than any other structural engineer in the world including the Trump Tower. The “Burl Khalifa” in Dubai is world’s tallest building at 160 stories. It is almost twice as tall as the building formerly known as the Sears Tower in Chicago. Bill was instrumental in designing The Burl with architect Adrian Smith at SMO.

Two of my favorite vintage buildings include the majestic Wrigley Building and the Gothic Revival Tribune building located at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River.

The Gothic Revival Tribune Tower in Chicago

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The distinctive clock tower of the Wrigley Building reminds me of Big Ben in London. There are 250,000 glistening glazed terra cotta tiles covering the classical structure that was completed in 1924 by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White. Quite appropriate for the great “White City.” The beautiful neo-gothic Tribune Tower is across the street from the Wrigley building. The 26 foot Sculpture of Marilyn Monroe is next to the Tribune Tower.

Wrigley Building

chicago wrigley building

I love the juxtaposition of the classic architecture with the modern architecture of buildings like the sleek Trump Tower. There’s a great view of the Wrigley Clock from Trump’s 16th floor restaurant aptly named “Sixteen.” They have an outstanding Sunday Brunch so why not celebrate Chicago’s Birthday party there!

Chicago Architecture

Chicago is a mecca for world-class museums, restaurants and hotels with plenty of “Vino con Vista” opportunities. The Michelin Guide for Chicago was released in November 2011.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

Happy Birthday Chicago from www.vino-con-vista.com

Chicago River Walk

Chicago Restaurants

Chicago Park Hyatt

Meioi Pinot NoirChicago Water Tower

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A Taste of Colorado 2014 in Denver

English: City and County Building (under repai...

English: City and County Building (under repair), Civic Center Park, Denver, Colorado, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunrise behind the Ritchie Center on the Unive...

Sunrise behind the Ritchie Center on the University of Denver’s campus (07/27/06). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Plan to attend  A Taste of Colorado 2014

Denver panorama - Looking northwest from the H...

Denver panorama – Looking northwest from the Hyatt Regency Denver – 20121210 (Photo credit: MomentsForZen)

in Denver at Civic Center Park.

Montage of Denver images. From top to bottom l...

Montage of Denver images. From top to bottom left to right: Denver Skyline 16th Street Mall Colorado State Capitol Denver International Airport Coors Field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Denver Pavilion, off the 16th Str...

English: The Denver Pavilion, off the 16th Street Mall is a popular arts and entertainment center in downtown Denver, Colorado. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At this four-day Labor Day Weekend Festival, you can “enjoy the offerings of over 50 area food establishments, 270 marketplace artisans and vendors, six entertainment stages, and educational programs promoting the diverse cultural and western heritage of the region — all for no admission fee.”

For an event schedule visit: http://www.atasteofcolorado.com/

WHEN: Labor Day Weekend 2014; Friday August 29th until Monday, September 1st 2014

Picture of Denver's Civic Center, taken August...

Picture of Denver’s Civic Center, taken August 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHERE: Civic Center Park in Downtown

Denver Colorado.  The splendid Mile-High City of Denver’s downtown district is located east of the of Cherry Creek and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

 

From smooth jazz to feisty rock-n-roll, the outdoor stages will be on fire with entertainment. Five stages in all with no cover charge will offer something for everyone. Stop back here later for more details about entertainment at A Taste of Colorado 2014.

Click here to check out last year’s music schedule.

 

The Seal of the City and County of Denver sinc...

The Seal of the City and County of Denver since 1901 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For more information visit:

www.ATasteofColorado.com

www.facebook.com/ATasteofColorado

www.twitter.com/ATasteofCo or call (303) 295-6330

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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“The Taste” 2013 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood for Labor Day Weekend

Kaufmann's Los Angeles Times building

Kaufmann’s Los Angeles Times building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE TASTE is a Labor Day Weekend extravaganza sponsored by the The Los Angeles Times. The Tasting events let guests experience local restaurant tastings and cooking demonstrations from top celebrity chefs and wine tastings and seminars from some of the top vintners in the world. The Signature Events feature renowned chefs/celebrities and specialized cuisines celebrating different tastes of themed food trends.

Here’s the link for more information:

http://events.latimes.com/taste/

 

English: Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles a...

English: Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles as seen from Los Angeles City Hall. Photographed and uploaded by user:Geographer Category:Images of Los Angeles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHEN: August 30th – Spetember 1, 2013

Here’s a list of the events and ticket prices:

OPENING NIGHT PRESENTED BY TEQUILA DON JULIO  Friday, August 30 • 7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. – 21 and over only

The Times’ Food team along with many of the weekend’s participating chefs and bartenders will come together for a special opening night soirée with a focused collection of tastings, distinctive cocktail and wine offerings, and live entertainment. Limited tickets available.
$125.00 $7.87 01234567891011121314151617181920
FIELD TO FORK   Saturday, August 31  •  11 a.m.- 3 p.m. – 21 and over only

An afternoon made for true foodies and home cooks. Russ Parsons, The Times’ Food Editor, hosts an event inspired by fresh, local ingredients and the pleasure of cooking seasonal dishes. Co-hosted by Michael Cimarusti, chef/owner of Providence, chef/partner of Connie and Ted’s. Ticket price includes beer, wine, spirits and food tastings, plus access to seminars and presentations.
$65.00 $4.57 01234567891011121314151617181920
FIELD TO FORK TICKET WITH SECRET CELLAR UPGRADE

Upgrade provides special access to a tucked away “cellar” amply stocked with brands from some of the finest wineries. Curated by Ira Norof of Southern Wine & Spirits this ticket will offer unique pours in an intimate setting. Space is limited to 250 guests with small bites and one-on-one wine education. Ira Norof has worked in retail and as a Sommelier since 1983, at Southern Wine & Spirits of California in various positions. In 1996, he became their Director of Education and is a certified International Bordeaux Educator. Ira is also one of only six Americans to be a certified Cognac Educator by le Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac. Currently, Ira is President of the Society of Wine Educators.
$115.00 $7.32 01234
FLAVORS OF L.A.  Saturday, August 31  •  7:30 pm – 11:30 pm. 21 and over only

Jonathan Gold, The Times’ Restaurant Critic, hosts a day full of authentic dishes from around the world – via Los Angeles’ best restaurants – all in one delicious spot. Co-hosted by Sang Yoon, chef/owner of Father’s Office and Lukshon.Ticket price includes beer, wine, spirits and food tastings, plus access to seminars and presentations.
$65.00 $4.57 01234567891011121314151617181920
FLAVORS OF L.A. TICKET WITH SECRET CELLAR UPGRADE

Upgrade provides special access to a tucked away “cellar” amply stocked with brands from some of the finest wineries. Curated by Ira Norof of Southern Wine & Spirits this ticket will offer unique pours in an intimate setting. Space is limited to 250 guests with small bites and one-on-one wine education. Ira Norof has worked in retail and as a Sommelier since 1983, at Southern Wine & Spirits of California in various positions. In 1996, he became their Director of Education and is a certified International Bordeaux Educator. Ira is also one of only six Americans to be a certified Cognac Educator by le Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac. Currently, Ira is President of the Society of Wine Educators.
$115.00 $7.32 01234
LABOR DAY BLOCK PARTY – ADULT (13 AND OVER) TICKET   Sunday, September 1   • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. – All ages

A family-style celebration in its many forms. Noelle Carter, The Times’ Test Kitchen Director, hosts a holiday get-together designed to focus on one of summer’s favorite family pastimes – barbecue. Co-hosted by Nancy Silverton, chef/co-owner of Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza and founder of La Brea Bakery. Ticket price includes beer, wine, spirits and food tastings, plus access to seminars and presentations.
$65.00 $4.57 01234567891011121314151617181920
LABOR DAY BLOCK PARTY – CHILD (AGES 3-12) TICKET   Sunday, September 1   • 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. – All ages

Children 3 years of age to 12 years of age are required to have a children’s ticket upon entry.  No ticket is required for children 2 years of age and younger.
$5.00 $0.00 01234
COCKTAIL CONFIDENTIAL   Sunday, September 1  •  7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. – 21 and over only

Bartenders take center stage as we raise a glass to the simple joy of fine mixed drinks in the company of friends. Jessica Gelt, The Times’ Food & Night Life Writer and Betty Hallock, The Times’ Deputy Food Editor host an evening dedicated to the culinary creations and libations that typify cocktail culture. Co-hosted by Matthew Biancaniello, premier Los Angeles mixologist. Ticket price includes beer, wine, spirits and food tastings, plus access to seminars and presentations.
$65.00 $4.57 01234567891011121314151617181920
WEEKEND PASS

Good for admission to Field to Fork, Flavors of L.A., Labor Day Block Party and Cocktail Confidential events (does not include ticket to Opening Night).  Weekend credential will be given to purchaser upon check-in at first event of the weekend.
$175.00 $10.62 Sold Out
Los Angeles Times Magazine

Los Angeles Times Magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Los Angeles Times has a beautiful and just...

The Los Angeles Times has a beautiful and justifiably famous lobby. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last year’s event provided three days of great food, drinks and noteworthy seminars with:

Thomas Keller (Bouchon, The French Laundry)

Nancy Silverton (Mozza, La Brea Bakery)

Ludo Lefebvre (LudoBites)

Susan Feniger (STREET)

Roxana Jullapat (Cooks County)

Nyesha Arrington (Wilshire)

Jason Kim (Forage)

Bricia Lopez (Guelaguetza

Kris Yenbamroong (Night + Market)

Ricardo Zarate (Picca, Mo-Chica)

Chef Ricardo Zarate in the Kitchen at Test Kitchen

Chef Ricardo Zarate in the Kitchen at Test Kitchen (Photo credit: Muy Yum)

Judy Han (Mendocino Farms, Blue Cow)

Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark (Cooking Channel)

English: Los Angeles Times building in downtow...

English: Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Sonoma Wine Country Labor Day Weekend 2013 in California

English: Alexander Valley - Sonoma County

English: Alexander Valley – Sonoma County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Robert Young Vineyards, Alexander Valley, Sono...

Robert Young Vineyards, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Original description: "sonoma mtn vineyar...

Original description: “sonoma mtn vineyard with mayacamas mtns in background, sonoma co calif USA” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is coming! Get your tickets today at:

http://www.sonomawinecountryweekend.com/

WHEN: August 31 – September 1, 2013

Attend the SIxth Annual Labor Day Weekend Event to Celebrate Sonoma Wine, Food and Lifestyle!

California Wine Country

California Wine Country (Photo credit: steveczajka)

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is an exciting three-day event. It is a “celebration of the vineyards, wines, cuisine, culture, and characters that have made Sonoma County the ultimate wine country destination.”

WHERE: Sonoma Wine Country in California

Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation and the 2012 Sonoma County Vintners,  Sonoma Wine Country Weekend event features included:

Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch®, the 20th annual

Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction at Chateau St. Jean presented by TricorBraun WinePak

Sonoma Starlight Supper Club at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and an assortment of intimate and exclusive winery lunch and dinner parties at multiple locations throughout Sonoma County.

Official seal of County of Sonoma

Official seal of County of Sonoma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Lake Sonoma, Sonoma County, California

English: Lake Sonoma, Sonoma County, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Proceeds from Sonoma Wine Country Weekend support Sonoma County non-profit organizations; to date a cumulative total of more than $10 million has been donated directly to Sonoma non-profits by the local wine community.

Here are some BBQ Events:

Executive Sponsor TricorBraun WinePak
SUNDAY, September 2, 2012

Winemaker Barbecues are held at wineries throughout Sonoma County.

 $85 per person

Tickets are non-refundable.  21 and over only.  No children or pets allowed.


Eric Ross Winery

12:30 p.m.

Join Proprietor Eric Luse at Eric Ross Winery in Glen Ellen for a barbecue lunch and discussion of wine pairing. A foodie at heart, Eric likens the creation of his wines to crafting a beautiful meal. He believes that if you start out with fresh, quality ingredients you have the fundamental components for an extraordinary culinary experience. Similarly, by ensuring the fruit for each Eric Ross wine is of utmost quality, and by handcrafting each vintage, Eric Ross Winery takes these building blocks and masterfully creates wines that fully express their potential – and their unique terroir. Come discover how this philosophy allows the wines to shine when perfectly paired with foods created from Sonoma’s seasonal ingredients at a meal served in a stunning vineyard setting.


Little Vineyards Family Winery

12:30 p.m.

Little Vineyards Family Winery promises big fun at their sunny Sunday barbecue held at their Glen Ellen winery. Little Vineyards’ rare and small lot red wines will take center stage, with white wines by Idell Family Vineyards, pairing perfectly with a variety of grilled treats, while the winery’s beautiful property provides an inspiring backdrop for a relaxed afternoon of savoring Sonoma County’s simple pleasures.

For more information visit www.SonomaWineCountryWeekend.com.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Art in the Pearl Festival 2013 on Labor Day Weekend in Portland Oregon

Jamison Square, Pearl District, Portland, Oreg...

Jamison Square, Pearl District, Portland, Oregon in October 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stellar line-up of artists at Art in the Pearl Festival in Portland Oregon over Labor Day Weekend .

Attend Portland Oregon’s 17th annual Fine Arts & Crafts Festival that is held every year on Labor Day weekend.

“Art In The Pearl has been named one of the top 10 Arts and Crafts Festivals in the country. Our festival fills the Northwest Portland Park blocks with art, theater, music, and hands-on activities for people of all ages. ”

Click Here to View Work by our 2013

Jamison Square, Pearl District, Portland, Oreg...

Jamison Square, Pearl District, Portland, Oregon in 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHEN: August 31, 2013-Sept. 1-2, 2013

WHERE: The Pearl District’s North Park Blocks.

Here’s a list of the 2012 Artists. Click on the links to learn more about each artist.

All Artists

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34th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival Entertainment Line-Up 2012

English: 2007 Chicago Jazz Festival at Petrill...

English: 2007 Chicago Jazz Festival at Petrillo Music Shell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have celebrated every Labor Day weekend since 1979, in  my Windy City Chicago with an incredible Jazz Festival. This year’s 34th Annual The Chicago Jazz Festival 2012 offers another year of sublime “Vino con Vista” opportunities to listen to legendary jazz performances.

Chicago Jazz Festival 2011

Entertainment Line-up for Chicago Jazz Festival 2012:

                                                            Dianne Reeves                                                           

                                                  Sept. 1, |                                                   8:30 – 9:30 PM                                                   Petrillo Music Shell                                                 

Is Dianne Reeves the last of the great female jazz divas? If you take diva to mean a singer with awesome vocal skills, electrifying presence, remarkable range, and the unfailing ability to lift listeners, the answer may be yes.

Allen Toussaint

Cover of Allen Toussaint

                                                            Allen Toussaint                                                           

                                                  Sept, 2 |                                                   8:30 – 9:30 PM                                                   Petrillo Music Shell                                                  

The New Orleans native Allen Toussaint grew up in a shotgun house learning his piano style at a young age and inspired by some of greats including Professor Longhair, Fats Domino, Ray Charles and Huey” Piano” Smith. Leave it to the pianist, to brilliantly re-invent himself, personalize songs such as “West End Blues” and “Dear Old Southland” and garner a Grammy nomination for his efforts.

                                                            Roy Haynes – Fountain of Youth                                                           

                                                  Aug, 31 |                                                   8:00 – 9:30 PM                                                   Jay Pritzker Pavilion                                                 

At this point in Roy Haynes’ illustrious career, it’s gotten a little boring to recite all the jazz legends with whom he has played drums, live and on record. The amazing list (deep breath) includes Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, Charlie Parker. Bud Powell, Lennie Tristano, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Chick Corea…well, you get the idea. The man is a walking repository of modern jazz history.

                                                            Jerry Gonzalez Y El Commando De La Clave                                                           

                                                  Sept. 1 |                                                   7:10 – 8:10 PM                                                   Petrillo Music Shell                                                 

Most attempts to combine jazz and Latin music result in a stylistic wash: not enough jazz and not enough Latin. Jerry Gonzalez, the Bronx-raised trumpeter and conga player known for his groundbreaking Fort Apache Band, handily avoids that trap with his superb new quartet, El Commando De La Clave.

                                                            Steve Coleman and Five Elements                                                           

                                                  Sept. 2 |                                                   7:10 – 8:10 PM                                                   Petrillo Music Shell                                                  

Steve Coleman, proclaimed the Wall Street Journal, is “the most influential jazzman of his era.” Said the great young pianist Vijay Iyer, a longtime associate of Coleman’s, the Chicago native has “affected more than one generation, as much as anyone since John Coltrane.”

CALJE                                                           

                                                  Aug.31 |                                                   6:30-7:30 PM                                                   Jay Pritzker Pavilion                                                 

Co-led by pianist Darwin Noguera, a native of Nicaragua based in New York, and Chicago trumpeter Victor Garcia, who has made a mark here in all kinds of settings, CALJE has been a standard bearer for Latin jazz in the city since its formation in 2006.

                                                            Exquisitely for Ella: A Songbook Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald                                                           

                                                  Aug. 30 |                                                   6:30 PM                                                   Jay Pritzker Pavilion                                                 

In honor of what would have been Fitzgerald’s 95th birthday, three of Chicago’s best-loved singers – cabaret queen Spider Saloff, freewheeling jazz singer Dee Alexander and swinging traditionalist Frieda Lee – will join forces with Jeff Lindberg and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra and a 17-piece string section in a survey of Ella’s songbook albums.

                                                            Resonance Ensemble                                                           

                                                  Sept. 1 |                                                   6:00 – 6:55 PM                                                   Petrillo Music Shell                                                 

In 2007, Marek Winiarski, who runs the Polish jazz label Not Two, invited Ken Vandermark to Krakow to record a large-scale project. The eternally deadline-pressed Vandermark was offered the irresistible opportunity to spend a full week writing for this hand-picked 11-piece band.

                                                            Pierre Dørge and New Jungle Orchestra                                                           

                                                  Sept. 2 |                                                   6:00 – 6:55 PM                                                   Petrillo Music Shell                                                  

The personnel of Denmark’s New Jungle Orchestra has changed during its 30-plus years together, and so have its creative outposts. Having traveled to such places as the Middle East and China for inspiration, the NJO recently booked passage on the Trivandrum Express for its latest recording, Sketches of India.

                                                            Ken Vandermark and Joe McPhee                                                           

                                                  Aug. 31 |                                                   5:00 – 6:00 PM                                                   Ganz Hall – Roosevelt University                                                 

Imagine idolizing a musician as a teenager and not only getting to play with that musician  years later, but also forging a close association with him. In 1996, Vandermark brought McPhee to the Empty Bottle for his first-ever performance in Chicago. The rest is history.

                                                            Sarah Marie Young Quartet                                                            

                                                  Sept. 2 |                                                   5:00 – 6:00 PM                                                   Petrillo Music Shell                                                  

Chicagoan Sarah Marie Young is one of those natural talents you know can go in any direction she chooses. If she wants to follow the path of the classic jazz singers, she has the skill and sophistication to do that.

                                                            Billy Hart                                                           

                                                  Sept 1. |                                                   5:00 – 5:50 PM                                                   Petrillo Music Shell                                                 

It’s not often that an artist of drummer Billy Hart’s stature – he’s accompanied such greats as Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock and Charles Lloyd – achieves an artistic breakthrough in his seventies. But that’s precisely what Hart has done with his 2012 album, All Our Reasons, easily his best recording under his own name.

                                                            Marlene Rosenberg Quartet                                                           

                                                  Sept. 1 |                                                   3:30 – 4:30 PM                                                   Jazz and Heritage Stage                                                 

Long one of Chicago’s go-to bass players with her impeccble time feel and natural, deep- in-the-wood sound, Marlene Rosenberg has accompanied a long list of jazz greats, including Joe Henderson, Cedar Walton and Ed Thigpen.

                                                            Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts                                                            

                                                  Sept. 2 |                                                   3:30 – 4:30 PM                                                   Jazz on Jackson Stage                                                 

Matt Wilson is one of jazz’s great free spirits. During a recent performance at the Green Mill, he abandoned his drum set to play a wood flute from inside the men’s room next to the stage, kicking the door open in time with the music. As funny as the ploy was, it worked in the context of the song.

                                                            Ambrose Akinmusire                                                           

                                                  Sept. 1 |                                                   3:30 – 4:30 PM                                                   Jazz on Jackson Stage                                                  

It’s not as though Ambrose Akinmusire has come out of nowhere. The 30-year-old Oakland, Cal., native did win the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. But the swiftness with which this wonderfully understated trumpeter joined jazz’s “A” ranks in the past year was still mighty impressive.

                                                            Tito Carrillo                                                           

                                                  Sept. 2 |                                                   3:30  – 4:30 PM                                                   Jazz and Heritage Stage                                                 

Trumpeter Tito Carrillo has been making his bones, as they say, in a full range of settings, backing everyone from pianist Willie Pickens to saxophonist Paquito d’Rivera and playing in the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble. With his strong recent debut album, Opening Statement, he asserts himself as a leader.

                                                            Frank D’Rone                                                           

                                                  Sept. 1 |                                                   2:20 – 3:20 PM                                                   Jazz on Jackson Stage                                                  

Would it be okay if we used that old econium, “singer’s singer,” to characterize Frank D’Rone? That’s usually empty praise. But being that’s how Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra have described D’Rone, it couldn’t mean more.

                                                            Ken Vandermark’s Made to Break Quartet                                                           

                                                  Sept 2. |                                                   2:20 – 3:15 PM                                                   Jazz on Jackson Stage                                                 

Keeping up with Ken Vandermark’s new bands is a little like keeping up with the Chicago weather: Turn your head and you may miss a new development. The Made for Break Quartet is one of his most far-reaching projects.

                                                            Jim Gailloreto’s Jazz String Quintet                                                           

                                                  Aug. 30 |                                                   2:00-3:00 PM                                                   Preston Bradley Hall – Chicago Cultural Center                                                 

Employing classical-style strings in an improvisational jazz setting usually works better on paper than in actual performance. Too often, the strings function as additive sweetener rather than integral swinging component. But since 1997, Chicagoan Jim Gailloreto has been perfecting his singular string concept.

                                                            Ken Vandermark and Paal Nilssen-Love                                                           

                                                  Sept. 1 |                                                   2:00 – 3:00 PM                                                   Jazz and Heritage Stage                                                 

Few contemporary artists are doing as much to advance the art of the saxophone-drum duo as Artist in Residence Ken Vandermark, whose trap set opposites have included British great Paul Lytton, Chicago ace Tim Daisy and Paal Nilssen-Love, a hard-hitting Norwegian with impeccable credentials.

                                                            Jeff Newell’s New-Trad Octet                                                           

                                                  Sept. 2 |                                                   2:00 – 3:00 PM                                                   Jazz and Heritage Stage                                                 

Jeff Newell’s New-Trad Octet was formed in 1994 as a Mardi Gras band, but things “got out of control,” said the leader. We’ll say. While you certainly can feast on the band’s brassy second line sound and a songlist including New Orleans favorites like “Struttin’ with Some Barbecue,” tradition gets subverted at every turn by Newell’s rampant post-modernism.

                                                            Japanesque                                                            

                                                  Aug. 30  |                                                   1:45-2:45 PM                                                   Claudia Cassidy Theater – Chicago Cultural Center                                                 

Japanesque with special guest Dee Alexander

When singer-pianist Yoko Noge formed her band Jazz Me Blues in the early ’90s, some people looked upon it as a gimmick. A woman from Osaka, Japan singing and playing Chicago blues? She was ahead of her time in her embrace of ethnic crossover, and has proved to be one of the most durable attractions on the local scene.

                                                            A Tribute to Jodie Christian                                                           

                                                  Aug. 30  |                                                   1:30-2:30 PM                                                   Randolph Cafe – Chicago Cultural Center                                                 

With the death of Jodie Christian early this year, Chicago jazz lost one of its most beloved artists. Though his modesty kept him from attaining the fame he deserved. South Side keyboard veteran Ken Chaney, versatile leader of such popular Windy City bands as the Awakening and the Xperience, knew Christian well.

                                                            Jason Stein Quartet                                                           

                                                  Sept. 1 |                                                   1:10 – 2:05 PM                                                   Jazz on Jackson Stage                                                  

Okay, time to take a special jazz festival listener’s poll. Name your favorite bass clarinetist who leads his own band and has a terrific album to show for it. There’s a catch: It can’t be someone who doubles on the instrument. It has to be a full-time bass clarinetist. The top voter-getter (and, OK, the only vote-getter) is Chicago’s own Jason Stein.

                                                            Jeremy Kahn Sextet                                                            

                                                  Sept. 2 |                                                   1:10 – 2:05 PM                                                   Jazz On Jackson Stage                                                 

At last year’s Chicago Jazz Festival, rain forced the early suspension of Jeremy Kahn’s set, a tribute to the late Pepper Adams. And then the release of  Kahn’s latest album of Adams compositions was delayed. Let’s hope pushing the reset button produces happier results on both fronts.

                                                            Stu Katz and Willie Pickens                                                           

                                                  Aug. 30 |                                                   12:30-1:30 PM                                                   Preston Bradley Hall                                                 

Thirty-one years ago, Stu Katz and Willie Pickens teamed up at the Chicago Jazz Festival as a piano duo. Today, they’ll reunite as a duo, but in a different format, with Pickens on piano and Katz on vibes, his second instrument (on which he is featured on A Family Affair, his fine 2011 album with Sullivan).

                                                            Caroline Davis Quartet                                                           

                                                  Sept. 1 |                                                   12:30 – 1:30 PM                                                   Jazz and Heritage Stage                                                 

Is Caroline Davis the most interesting young saxophonist in Chicago? If not, she’s off to a good start in making a case for herself. She was born in Singapore to European parents, schooled in Texas, has a PhD in Music Cognition from Northwestern University and has recorded a radical vocal version of Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me.”

Edwin Sanchez Project                                                           

                                                  Sept. 2 |                                                   12:30 – 1:30 PM                                                   Jazz and Heritage Stage                                                 

Pianist Edwin Sanchez, a Chicagoan with Puerto Rican roots, grew up in Humboldt Park, where he absorbed a continual stream of Latin, soul and jazz from the radio and the neighborhood.

                                                            Damon Short Quintet                                                           

                                                  Aug. 30, |                                                   12:15-1:15 PM                                                   Claudia Cassidy Theater                                                 

Since the release of his 1987 debut album, Penguin Shuffle, Damon Short has been one of the unsung heroes of Chicago jazz as a drummer, composer and bandleader. Short has gone from recording Thelonious Monk tunes early in his career to making highly personal music that reflects the influence of his drumming heroes – including Elvin Jones and AACM great Steve McCall.

                                                            Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan                                                           

                                                  Sept. 1 |                                                   12:00– 12:55 PM                                                   Jazz on Jackson Stage                                                  

Django Reinhardt’s 100th birthday celebrations have come and gone. But for true Djangoheads like hot-wired guitarist Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan, which headlined the dazzling Django centennial concert in Millennium Park two years ago, every day is a good day to pay tribute to the legendary gypsy guitarist.

                                                            Chris Madsen Bix Quartet                                                           

                                                  Aug. 30, |                                                   12:00-1:00 PM                                                   Chicago Cultural Center – Randolph Cafe                                                 

More than 100 years after his death at 28, Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke may be a forgotten legend in some parts of the country. What would Bix have sounded like had he lived to embrace ’30s swing styles like Louis Armstrong? Chris Madsen’s distinctive brand of Bixology will provide a few clues.

                                                            Milton Suggs Philosophy                                                           

                                                  Sept. 2 |                                                   12:00 – 12:55 PM                                                   Jazz on Jackson Stage                                                 

Milton Suggs started out as a pianist – no accident considering Chicago piano great Willie Pickens is his godfather. He was, still concentrating on piano as a graduate student at DePaul University when, the story goes, visitor Wynton Marsalis heard him sing and encouraged him to keep at it. Suggs took his advice, and is he ever glad he did.

                                                            Ken Vandermark                                                           

                                                  Aug 31, Sept 1, Sept 2 |                                                  

Saxophonist and composer Ken Vandermark as its Artist in Residence for this year’s festival.  The Chicago Jazz Festival exclusively names Chicago artists for its Artist in Residence program, now in its tenth year, commissioning large-scale compositions and presenting multiple performance opportunities over the course of the four day festival.

To get updated information from Twitter: Follow @ChiJazzFest

Last year I enjoyed listening to legendary vocalist Cassandra Wilson under the stars in Grant Park.

Cassandra Wilson at the Chicago Jazz Festival

Saxophonist David Sanchez and trumpeter Roy Hargrove also appeared at the 2011 Jazz Festival in Chicago.

Orbert Davis at the Chcago Jazz Festival

The Friday night in Millennium Park, the 2011 “Saxophone Summit” started at 8:00 p.m. The Jay Pritzker Pavillion featuring Joe Lovano, David Liebman and Ravi Coltrane.

Saxophone Summit

Then on Saturday and Sunday, Grant Park‘s four stages came alive with more blockbuster entertainment for Jazz Enthusiasts!

Listen to this audio demo http://jazzinchicago.org/jazzfest/audio/.

Visit www.jazzinchicago.org/jazzfest for more information.

For the Official Entertainment Schedule for Chicago’s 33rd annual Jazz Festival on September 1-4 visit www.jazzinchicago.org/jazzfest.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com. Follow us on Twitter for Blog updates.

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Filed under 34th Annual The Chicago Jazz Festival 2012, Chicago Jazz Festival 2011, Festivals in Chicago, Things to do in Chicago over Labor Day Weekend 2011

Cloud Gate and Chicago’s 40th Anniversary Soul Train Concert at Millennium Park on Labor Day

Soul Train

Image via Wikipedia

Cloud Gate is a Height: 13.4 metres (44 ft) public sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor, that is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. The sculpture and AT&T Plaza are located on top of Park Grill, between the Chase Promenade and McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink. Constructed between 2004 and 2006, the sculpture is nicknamed The Bean because of its shape. Made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together, its highly polished exterior has no visible seams. It measures 33 by 66 by 42 feet (10 by 20 by 13 m), and weighs 110 short tons (100 t; 98 long tons).

Kapoor’s design was inspired by liquid mercury and the sculpture’s surface reflects and distorts the city’s skyline. Visitors are able to walk around and under Cloud Gate’s 12-foot (3.7 m) high arch. On the underside is the “omphalos” (Greek for “navel”), a concave chamber that warps and multiplies reflections. The sculpture builds upon many of Kapoor’s artistic themes, and it is popular with tourists as a photo-taking opportunity for its unique reflective properties.

The sculpture was the result of a design competition. After Kapoor’s design was chosen, numerous technological concerns regarding the design’s construction and assembly arose, in addition to concerns regarding the sculpture’s upkeep and maintenance. Various experts were consulted, some of whom believed the design could not be implemented. Eventually, a feasible method was found, but the sculpture’s construction fell behind schedule. It was unveiled in an incomplete form during the Millennium Park grand opening celebration in 2004, before being concealed again while it was completed. Cloud Gate was formally dedicated on May 15, 2006, and has since gained considerable popularity, both domestically and internationally.

Reception

A large white tent sits on the roof of a cafe building set in front of a skyscraper and blue sky.

A tent was erected to cover Cloud Gate while it was being polished in 2004 and 2005.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley declared the day of the sculpture’s dedication, May 15, 2006, to be “Cloud Gate Day”. Kapoor attended the celebration, while local jazz trumpeter and bandleader Orbert Davis and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic played “Fanfare for Cloud Gate”, which Davis composed.[43] The public took an instant liking to the sculpture, affectionately referring to it as “The Bean”.[44] Cloud Gate has become a popular piece of public art[8][45] and is now a fixture on many souvenirs such as postcards, sweatshirts, and posters.[46] The sculpture has attracted a large number of locals, tourists, and art aficionados from around the world.[47] The sculpture is now the piece by which Kapoor is most identified in the United States.[48]

Time describes the piece as an essential photo opportunity, and more of a destination than a work of art.[8]The New York Times writes that it is both a “tourist magnet” and an “extraordinary art object”,[47][49] while USA Today refers to the sculpture as a monumental abstract work.[50] Chicago art critic Edward Lifson considers Cloud Gate to be among the greatest pieces of public art in the world.[43] The American Welding Society recognized Cloud Gate, MTH Industries and PSI with the group’s Extraordinary Welding Award.[51] Time named Millennium Park one of the ten best architectural achievements of 2004, citing Cloud Gate as one of the park’s major attractions.[52]

The Chicago-based legendary Soul Train television show had an anniversary concert on Labor Day in Chicago at Millennium Park in the Loop community area of Chicago with more than 20,000 attendees.

Soul Train 40th Anniversary In Chicago

Don Cornelius, the founder and host of the former nationally syndicated show was the honored guest. He is a Chicago native and started the show in Chicago.

Watch some Soul Train videos to get you in the groove for what the concert was like http://soultrain.com/videos/. We listened to the classic sounds of legendary R & B soul artists like Jerry Butler, the Chi-Lites, The Impressions and the Emotions. The “Vino con Vista” concert started at 6:30 at the Pritzker Pavillion. Many loyal Soul Train fans waited in line for hours to get a seat in front of the stage. Others sat in their lawn chairs eating snacks and drinking wine as they gazed at the gorgeous Chicago Skyline.

Chicago Skyline

The festivities started with a pre-concert Dance Party at  Cloud Gate  on Millennium Park’s Chase Promenade from 4-5:30 p.m hosted by Herb Kent. The “King of the Dusties”  was spinning  hit records from the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Admission to both the concert and the dance party were FREE. The dancers could see their reflection in the “Bean”.

Cloud Gate at Millennium Park in Chicago

On Sunday, Don Cornelius was available for questions following the screening of “Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America” at the Gene Siskel Film Center. The Soul Train Photo Exhibition, which includes more than 55 rare photographs from the show’s stage, has been extended through Oct. 2. Mr. Cornelius was awarded an Honorary Street Sign at the Corner of Halsted and Madison.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Filed under Attractions in Chicago, Chicago, Chicago Architecture, Chicago Concerts at Millennium Park, Chicago Jazz Festival 2011, Chicago Street Fairs, Chicago Street Festivals, Soul Train Concert in Chicago on Labor Day