Schedule of Events

Nov
11
Wed
2020
Rebecca Rego featuring Leah Casey – Songs for Cleaning Women
Nov 11 @ 7:00 PM

The Chicago Artists Workshop Presents:

Rebecca Rego featuring Leah Casey – Songs for Cleaning Women

Rebecca Rego has been a Midwest singer-songwriter, recording artist, and producer for over 15 years. She has written and recorded eight albums and toured the country many times over, solo and with her Chicago-based band The Trainmen.

Rebecca Rego. Photo by Chet White

In 2014, a mysterious package arrived on her doorstep.In it was Lucia Berlin’s short story collection, “A Manual For Cleaning Women.” The note simply said: “I think you’ll love this.” As Rego began picking through the dark, witty, romantic prose, the stories slowly began to seep into her consciousness and affect her songwriting. After a few years, she realized she had created a unique set of songs based on Berlin’s book.

In the fall of 2019, Rego traveled to Northern California, where a handful of Berlin’s stories take place, and recorded six of these songs at Panoramic Studio in Stinson Beach with engineer Beau Sorenson (Death Cab For Cutie, tUnE-yArDs,) backed by multi-instrumentalist J. Tom Hnatow (Horse Feathers, Ringo Starr,) and Alysia Kraft, Staci Foster, and Tobias Bank of Fort Collins, CO based band Whippoorwill. The resulting album “Songs For Cleaning Women Pt. 1” will be released November 11, 2020. The release will be celebrated with a livestreaming performance during Grammy Award-winning music ensemble Eighth Blackbird’s “Chicago Artists Workshop” series.

As an independent female artist, Rego is influenced by the unflinching, raw honesty found in Berlin’s art. Many of Berlin’s stories are semi-autobiographical accounts of her time working blue-collar jobs, raising four children as a single mother, and dealing with her own alcoholism. Berlin died in 2004, never receiving critical acclaim in her own lifetime. Rego’s goal with this release is to pay homage to Berlin’s stories and introduce new audiences to her work.

Rebecca will be joined by Leah Casey, a Chicago-based actress, writer, and dancer with a love for fictional podcasts.

Some of her previous credits include Frankenstein with Manual Cinema, For Colored Girls at Court Theatre, and Romeo and Juliet with Teatro Vista. When not onstage, she can be found behind the mic as Rebecca Neil, a reporter for The Onion’s daily news podcast, The Topical, or working with the cast of Project STELLAR, a science fiction podcast about a group of crazy kids who have close encounters of the awesome kind.

Nov
18
Wed
2020
Justin Roberts and Anna Steinhoff
Nov 18 @ 7:00 PM

The Chicago Artists Workshop Presents:

Justin Roberts and Anna Steinhoff

For nearly 20 years, Justin Roberts has been creating the soundtrack to families’ lives, helping kids navigate the joys and sorrows of growing up while allowing parents to remember their own childhoods. Along with his band, The Not Ready for Naptime Players, Justin has travelled the globe from Hong Kong to New York, and Miami to Seattle, performing at venues and festivals such as LEGO land, Ravinia, Lollapolooza and Austin City Limits festival. Justin has performed in front of millions of people on The Today Show, he’s been featured on Nick Jr. TV, and has received three GRAMMY nominations for his work.

On the other end of the musical spectrum, Anna Steinhoff specializes in baroque cello and viola da gamba, in addition to the modern cello. She is principal cellist of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and is a member of the Haymarket Opera Company, Third Coast Baroque, Wayward Sisters and Second City Musick.

Justin’s latest album, Wild Life, is his 14th album for families and his most personal project yet. Inspired by the birth of their first child, Justin wrote cello parts for Anna into almost every track. They were joined by an eclectic group of instrumentalists including pianist Lisa Kaplan (Eighth Blackbird), percussionist Gerald Dowd (Robbie Fulks), and vocalist Nora O’Connor (Flat Five, the Decemberists). Wild Life includes songs about anticipation, uncertainty, unconditional love and advice for a life well-lived, and aims to evoke the wonder of what poet Mary Oliver called this “one wild and precious life.”

Dec
1
Tue
2020
Xuan
Dec 1 @ 7:00 PM

The Chicago Artists Workshop Presents:

Xuan

Xuan is a new media artist, filmmaker, and pianist working at the intersection of music, visual art, and technology.

Photo by: Nadine Sherman

Her work focuses on the distinct interconnectivity between sound and image, and encompasses experimental animation, narrative documentary shorts, music videos, abstract scenography, interactive installations and real time audio-visual programming. With a background as a contemporary classical pianist, she actively develops innovative, cross-disciplinary projects that broaden the immersive scope of new music through technology.

She has collaborated with artists such as Glenn Kotche, Pierre Jodlowski, Michael Burritt, Gemma Peacocke, Annika Socolofsky, Third Coast Percussion, Nois Quartet, Parhelion Trio, Rubiks Collective, and Ensemble Garage, which have led to performances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MCA Chicago, the Smithsonian Institution, University of South Carolina, Carnegie Mellon University, Constellation, SF Jazz, Le Poisson Rouge, and the Indie Grits Film Festival. Recent projects in interactive design have been exhibited at the ErsterErster Gallery in Berlin, DE, the ibug Urban Art Festival in Reinchenbach, DE, and Design Biennale 2019 in Zürich, CH.

Xuan is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and has studied Media Spaces at the BTK University of Art and Design in Berlin.

Dec
8
Tue
2020
J. Ivy
Dec 8 @ 7:00 PM

The Chicago Artists Workshop Presents:

J. Ivy

J. Ivy is an Award Winning Performance Poet, Recording Artist, Song Writer, Author and Actor. Over the years his work has earned him a Peabody, Clio, Telly, and NAACP Image Award and he is widely known for being the “Poet” featured on Kanye West’s Grammy Winning Album, “The College Dropout,” on the classic song “Never Let Me Down,” along with Hip-Hop icon Jay-Z.

Early in his career Ivy was featured on three seasons of HBO’s Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry. From there his work has been featured everywhere from commercials to classrooms. From hosting and performing at conferences for Deepak Chopra to penning and performing a poem for the NBA Hall of Fame Legend Michael Jordan, J. Ivy has used his unique style of poetry to navigate the art form to arenas of all facets. He has poetically narrated, acted, and starred in two B.E.T. documentaries, “Muhammad Ali: The People’s Champ” and “Martin: The Legacy of a King,” which paid homage to two of the world’s most iconic voices. He has done voice-over work for dozens of commercials, starred as the spokesperson in AARP’s national ad, and can be heard on Coca-Cola’s new History Shakers commercial. The author of three books, his latest being “Dear Father: Breaking the Cycle of Pain,” has inspired many to pick up the pen and write their own Dear Father Letter in hopes to promote the Power of Forgiveness. After the world shut down due to Covid-19, in July of 2020, J. Ivy wrote and narrated Beyoncé’s Black Is King promo for the Return of the NBA.

Not only has he collaborated with countless musical artist, J.Ivy has recently released his 4th studio album, “Catching Dreams,” which is a beautiful blend of poetry and music. He also recently finished co-writing and co-producing, singer-song-writer, Tarrey Torae’s upcoming album, “Thanks for the Love,” and co-wrote the new song, “Freedom Ride” with Grammy Nominated House Music Legend, DJ Terry Hunter, which is also by Ms. Torae. He is the Poet Laureate for the famed visual artist Ernie Barnes’ Foundation.

A fun fact for many, is J. Ivy is the man who gave Emmy, Oscar, Grammy, and Tony Award-Winning singer, songwriter, actor, and activist John Stephens the stage name John Legend, as told by John himself on Oprah’s Next Chapter. In 2019 J. Ivy became the first Spoken Word Artist to hold a Chapter President’s seat (Chicago Chapter) in the history of the Recording Academy.