By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., Chicago Crusader
“If ever a movie earned its exclamation point, “Miss Sharon Jones!” would be it…Jones tears a hole in the screen.” — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
“An intimate glimpse at the fighting spirit that defines one of America’s great unsung rhythm artists.” — Peter Debruge, Variety
A soul/funk performer at the height of her powers is stricken with cancer, but fights with a diva’s will to channel the life force in this remarkable documentary by Oscar-winning director Kopple (“Harlan County U.S.A.”). Sharon Jones, once spurned by a music industry executive as “too Black, too fat, too short, and too old,” sets the stage on fire with explosive energy as front woman for her touring R&B band the Dap-Kings. Rousing musical sequences contrast powerfully with the film’s behind-the-scenes story of tenacious courage, as Jones rallies her band, her loyal friends, fans, and waning strength to battle a formidable adversary, all while preparing “Give the People What They Want,” the album that would become a smash hit.
First Chicago run! “Miss Sharon Jones!” will run through September 15 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, which is located at 164 N. State St. Membership is a year-round ticket to great movies for only $6 per screening! Memberships are $50 (Individual) and $80 (Dual).
The Film Center is located near CTA trains and buses. The nearest CTA L stations are Lake (Red line); State/Lake (Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple lines); and Washington (Blue line). CTA bus lines serving State St.: 2, 6, 10, 29, 36, 62, 144, and 146.
For more information about the Film Center, call 312-846-2800 (24-hour movie hotline) or 312-846-2600 (general information, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday), or visit www.siskelfilmcenter.org.
City Winery Presents….“super group” The New Stew featuring Corey Glover is presenting the classic Bill Withers – Live At Carnegie Hall album from start to finish at City Winery Chicago (1200 W. Randolph St.) on Monday, September 12, at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $22/$25/$32/$35.
The New Stew, a “super group” of musicians from all genres of music, was formed to pay respect to the recordings that influenced the players and to re-imagine recordings that they feel should be heard and experienced in a live setting. The first homage is playing the classic Bill Withers – Live from Carnegie Hall album from start to finish. It is more than a labor of love, it is a way to allow the public to experience something again or, in many cases, for the first time and reconnect with this classic recording in a way that hasn’t been possible in more than four decades.
Bill Withers’ performance at Carnegie Hall on October 6, 1972, was recorded and released as the live album Bill Withers – Live at Carnegie Hall the following year. Recorded less than a year and a half since Withers quit his day job to pursue music full time, the then rising soul star commands the historic New York stage with veteran poise and power. The album ranks at number 27 on Rolling Stones’ list of the 100 greatest live albums of all time.
Brunch Show: Shawn Maxwell’s New Tomorrow – Album release show, Sunday, October 2; 12:00 p.m.; $10 General Admission (seated).
Saxophonist Shawn Maxwell’s musicianship has been lauded by fellow musicians and critics alike as he’s become one of the pre-eminent performers in Chicago jazz. With several recordings featuring his quartet or his sonically expanded “Alliance,” Shawn Maxwell’s New Tomorrow adds the singular trumpet voices of three of Chicago’s finest – Victor Garcia, Chad McCullough, and Corey Wilkes – to his working quartet for a set of nine modern, electric originals with five short interludes. Focusing on composition as much as improvisation, the quintets reveal stunning melodies hidden within complex time signatures, textures and grooves.
Ginuwine: Wednesday, November 23; 7:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; $64/$68/$74/$78.
Ginuwine was one of R&B’s pre-eminent love men during the ‘90s heyday of hip-hop soul. Initially teamed with Timbaland, the most innovative producer of the late ‘90s, Ginuwine’s sultry, seductive crooning earned him a substantial female following and made him a regular presence on the R&B charts, even after the futuristic production he favored was eclipsed by the more organic, retro-leaning neo-soul movement. Meet and Greet tickets are available for both shows for $25, concert admission not included.
Sonny Knight & the Lakers: Saturday, November 26; $15/$18/$22/$25.
Sonny Knight & the Lakers exist in the afterglow that soul luminaries like Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin created with their raucous, kinetic and supreme live performances. Their 2014 double LP Sonny Knight and the Lakers Do It Live is a loving return to the height of live Rhythm and Blues, with Knight and his band perfectly capturing the uproarious vibe and rebellious musicianship of an era long gone in their first live album release. A year of steady touring around the world has allowed the group to hone a seamless set, mixing songs from their critically acclaimed debut studio album, I’m Still Here, with a couple covers of classic soul songs, and re-imagined bits from Led Zeppelin and James Brown.
For more information about the City Winery events, please visit www.citywinery.com.