Chicago's Winter Delights Offer Something for Everyone

Many Chicagoans choose to leave the city in winter and seek warmer climates. For all those who remain, 'Chicago's 10 Top Winter Delights' will offer you so much to see and do, you'll forget the weather. There are 100 events in 10 very different categories including; dance, theater, jazz, blues and gospel, opera and classical music, culinary arts, international culture, culture, history, fashion arts, family fun and handmade arts. Clearly, there is something for everyone to do from now until February 28 and most of the events are free.

Blues Tour (courtesy City of Chicago GRC)

The blues category was especially interesting because Chicago is considered the blues capital of the world. Its musical roots run deep, and include jazz, gospel, and rhythm and blues. The ten events are very different and each is outstanding.

On January 13th two events kicked off The Blues and Gospel Delights. The Blue U's Chicago Blues Tour departed from the beautiful Chicago Cultural Center and shuttle buses took visitors to their choice of eight live blues lounges including Checkerboard, Lee's Unleaded Blues, Linda's and Rosa's.

Chainsaw Dupont

The Behind the Blues Tour scheduled for January 13th and 27th and February 10th and 24th includes a stop at Blues Heaven, the former Chess Records Recording Studio, for a private harmonica lesson from one of Chicago's own blues masters. The Palmer House Hilton is the departure point for the tour.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra presents Wynton Marsalis in a performance that bridges symphonic, choral, jazz, and gospel music. Marsalis' ambitious composition, based on the 12-bar blues form, is a celebration of community performance, If you are fortunate enough to experience 'All Rise' January 18-21 at Symphony Center you will see instruments you may never have seen and hear new sounds. The first night audience greeted the first Chicago performance of this work with thunderous applause and a standing ovation.

Wynton Marsalis "Live from Lincoln Center"

Winter Delights Jazz Fair is a mini-jazz festival at the Chicago Cultural Center that showcases Chicago's finest jazz talent and brings together many of the jazz community's diverse elements which takes place on January 26-January 27.

Discover the musical legacy of Negro spirituals and freedom songs from the Civil Rights Movement found in American song as the DuSable Museum of African American History hosts an unforgettable evening of music at Rockefeller Chapel. The DuSable Museum of African American History and Canti Classics present 'Generations: Simon, Sykes and Sims in concert' on February 2.

Buddy Guy's Legends, one of the nation's premier blues nightclubs, offers world-class music and a special 'Come On In From the Cold' tasting menu, featuring the best in Louisiana style Cajun comfort food that you can enjoy on February 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, and 22.

On February 7, you can join the fun at this intimate, interactive all-ages blues concert in honor of bluesman Fernando Jones at his 'Fernando Jones's B-Day Blues Bash' held at a Chicago landmark, the famed former Chess Records. Special guests include the Columbia College Blues Ensemble.

On February 9 at 'CAR-NI-VAL', you can dance while listening to the New Orleans Social Club and special guests celebrate the music of the Bayou at the winter carnival concert at Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom. Enjoy this Chicago-style Mardi Gras celebration!

Abodanza to perform 2/8 and 2/10 (courtesy City of Chicago)

Chicago's own legendary jazz giant Ramsey Lewis joins Jon Faddis and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble for an evening of jazz excellence at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park on February 16.

Cadillac Assembly Line: A Tribute to Albert King is on February 17. This jazz and blues extravaganza honors Albert King, the late great left-handed guitar player, and features the music of Sir Mack Rice and some of Chicago's greatest blues guitar players at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.

But Blues are only a small part of the total offerings. Some other possibilities are:

Lunchbreak Series are Staged Readings of New Works by Chicago Playwrights. You can participate in the play development process during two staged readings at the Chicago Cultural Center: 'An Actor Prepares' by Mark Young (January 11), a one-act play based on an actor who takes his former employer to breakfast with surprising results, and 'Acceptable Risk' by Margaret Lewis (February 8), a work that explores the personal and ethical dilemmas experienced by African and American doctors at a clinic in Nairobi that experiments primarily on children.

Necklace Jewelry Designers event on 2/8 (courtesy City of Chicago)

The Chicago Cultural Center Day of Opera on January 28 allows you to enter a wonderland of opera at the Chicago Cultural Center when all five stories of the 107-year-old Beaux-arts palace are transformed into an opera showcase. Five rooms of operatic scenes and one-acts are filled with performances from Chicago College of Performing Arts- Roosevelt University and Northwestern University students as well as young professionals from Millennium Chamber Players.

Attend a culinary event and learn to make this (courtesy City of Chicago)

The Valentine's Day Art Spree on February 13-February 14 displays the work of fourteen Illinois artisans who also sell a variety of one of- a-kind pieces including: jewelry accessories, wearables, ceramics and cards in honor of Valentine's Day at the James R. Thompson Center.

Come learn to knit or do other crafts (courtesy Karen Clements-knit 1)

Visit the first-time 'Winter Delights Stitching Salon' to see an exhibition of 'Knitting, Quilting, Crochet and Jewelry Making-Not Just for Grandmother's Anymore', and to celebrate handmade arts in Chicago with a variety of workshops and interactive demonstrations. At the Stitching Salon, 72 E. Randolph Street, you will receive assistance with a knitting project, help create an artwork, or start a knitted piece of your own to take home until February 28.

Destiny's Dances: Groundbreaking Ballets of the 20th Century (February 14, February 16-25). The Joffrey Ballet presents Leonide Massine's 'Les Presages', Tchaikovsky's 'Fifth Symphony', Maestro George Balanchine's 'Apollo' and Kurt Jooss's 'The Green Table', all performed in one incredible night at the Auditorium Theatre.

For more information, times and locations on more of the100 events call 1.877.CHICAGO) or visit

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