Author: Maja Rios

“How To Be A Rock Critic” by Jessica Blank and Erick Jensen at Steppenwolf Theater, Chicago, IL

“How To Be A Rock Critic” by Jessica Blank and Erick Jensen Steppenwolf Theater, Chicago, IL USA July 22, 2017 Play Review by Maja Rios “How To Be A Rock Critic” based on the writings of real Rock and Jazz Critic, Lester Bangs, acted by Erick Jensen who also co-wrote the script. Erick Jensen did a remarkable job inhabiting the real person and critic, Lester Bangs who wrote for Rolling Stone and Cream magazine. The scene opens in a disheveled apartment, strewn with empty beer cans, cough syrup bottles, and tons of books and magazines, and albums and bric-a...

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Al Jarreau Dies at 76 (March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017)

Al Jarreau Leaves Us at 76 Story by Maja Rios Veteran jazz vocalist supreme, Alwin Lopez Jarreau (March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017), left us this past week to his “gig in the sky” after 50 years on planet earth, on the music scene. I was deeply saddened to hear of his passing from undisclosed causes. Al Jarreau was 76 years old. Al had apparently been ailing in recent years, as I witnessed at North Shore Center For The Performing Arts, last March, during his last Chicago-area performance, whereby he came out on stage, on a cane, limping,...

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Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 Old Town School Brings In A African Legend to Chicago

Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 consisted of 14 piece band; Seun, vocal/alto sax and Egypt 80, consisting of baritone sax, tenor sax, trumpet, drums, bass two guitars, piano, 2 percussionists and two dancer/background singers(female). It was announced that many of Egypt 80 were former band members of Seun’s father, Fela Kuti’s original band. I was, and still am a huge fan of Seun’s father, Fela Kuti of Nigeria. I able to see one of the last concert performances of the late Fela Kuti back in Chicago, in the 90’s and it was fantastic. Quite naturally, I was anxious to...

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Robert Glasper Trio Chicago Performance at Jazz Showcase

Jazz Showcase – Chicago, IL, USA – September 11, 2016 Review by Maja Rios Pianist, Robert Glasper, started his set at the Chicago’s renown Jazz Showcase with about a ten minute monologue of music jokes and ‘hip talk’ that was barely audible on a mike that probably should have been turned up.  This was a bit distracting as the audience anticipated music rather than a lot of dialogue.  However, once the music started the full capacity Jazz Showcase venue of more ethnically and age diverse audience than usual, it gave a testament to the current popularity of spoken word,...

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