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Mucca Pazza vs. The Chicago Sinfonietta!

sinfonietta poster hefner

Time to start getting excited: on September 20th and 22nd, 2014, Mucca Pazza is collaborating with a full symphony orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonietta!!! Together, we will perform music by David E Smith, Mark Messing, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, in brand-new arrangements by Joe Clark, under the baton of Maestro Mei-Ann Chen! AT SYMPHONY CENTER!!! – and also in Naperville. Wheeeeeee!!!!

Tickets available here!!!

almost summer

Looking forward to playing some accordion in Humboldt Park again on July 6 and 7 at 7pm for Theater Oobleck & El Circo Nacional de Puerto Rico’s production of SOS:  A Summer Clown Cruise! Completely free, should be a super fun time, lots of fantastic performers involved.

summer clown cruise


I’ve started working on recording some of the solo material that I developed for the Hideout residency last October! The wonderful and patient Nick Broste has been bringing lots of fancy recording equipment to the recital hall at Sherwood Community Music School where there is a gorgeous 9-foot Kawai grand piano that I get to play. And I have been lucky enough to get to take voice lessons with lovely Emmy Bean trying to get my voice to do what I want it to do.

Other than that… every first and third Thursday, Tom and I will continue to destroy the California Clipper starting around 9:30pm.

spring news!

Lots to be excited about this spring!

I’m thrilled to be helping opera-matic out with the Lights and Lullabies event that’s happening May 9th and 10th in Humboldt Park! Currently researching lullabies, planning some workshops, and generally plotting and scheming with other opera-matic folks to make this event magical.

I’ve been having lots of fun playing music with Julie Pomerleau throughout her Hideout residency month, and this coming Tuesday will be a culminating experience to remember! I think there’s a 12-piece orchestra? Everyone should come.

Looking forward to singing some of my songs at the HOMEROOM songwriter showcase April 5th.

Playing some music on April 12th at Cafe Mustache with a new project: Kvell! More details soon…

And of course continuing the Clipper residency with Tom Musick on the first and third Thursday of every month in perpetuity, steadfastly interfering with the never-ending birthday celebrations of drunken strangers.

poppy orange flowers yellow ranunculus

LOVE IS LOVE – The Hideout at MCA Chicago on February 7th, 2014

Ronnie Kuller’s Piano Bar! I’ll be in a freight elevator parked on the fourth floor at this First Friday event at the MCA on February 7th, 2014. 2 sets, 7pm and 8pm, mostly solo on singing and piano, and a couple of tunes with the lovely Janet Bean! Many other very exciting performances are happening all over the museum as part of the same event. Tickets are available here.

.Hideout at MCA

Screening of “The Poisoner” tonight at Lincoln Hall

I played violin on the score of this movie, the second feature by local filmmaker Chris Hefner, and am very excited to see it this evening!

Two showings, 7pm and 9pm. More information and limited tickets are available here. The Chicago Reader write-up is here. And you can find out more about Chris’s other wonderful work here.


Paper Mice – last show with Adam

I’m super honored to be opening for Paper Mice‘s last show with their bass player Adam tomorrow night at the Burlington.

with Mines

Tom Musick Residency at California Clipper

Tom and I are starting up a steady gig at California Clipper on the first and third Thursday of the month, beginning this Thursday, November 7th, at around 9:30pm or so.

Additional 1st and 3rd Thursdays for the rest of 2013, for those keeping track:

November 21

December 6

December 19

and into 2014!

January 2

January 16


I won a 3Arts Award!!!

I am incredibly honored to have received a 2013 3Arts Award. I am inexpressibly fortunate. It was so humbling and inspiring to meet all of the other amazing recipients tonight, and I look forward to getting to know them better and becoming more familiar with their wonderful work over the coming months.


week 4, 10/22/13: an evening of chamber music performed by members of Mucca Pazza

I’m very excited to present a program of new material and new arrangements written specifically for this ensemble:

Justin Amolsch, french horn

Paul Brannon, percussion

Nick Broste, trombone

Andy Deitrich, marimba

Greg Hirte, violin

Gary Kalar, various plucked strings

Ronnie Kuller, accordion

Dave Levine, flute and sax

Brent Roman, percussion

Dave Smith, sax and bass clarinet

Meghan Strell, concert poms

with special guest Jefferey Thomas, guitar

featuring compositions by Bela Bartok, Nick Broste, Andy Deitrich, Gary Kalar, Ronnie Kuller, Olivier Messiaen, and Dave Smith.

10/15/13: Dan and Ronnie; Kitchen Table Illinois!

My friend Dan Dorff and I have a composition and recording project that is very close to my heart. We made a record together that came out in April 2013, and he’s driving all the way from Cincinnati to play duets with me at the Hideout this Tuesday!

Two more very dear friends make up Kitchen Table, Illinois; I’m so very excited to hear Gabe and Becky play! They’ve made lots of records too and they’re all fantastic.

It’s going to be a really sweet night of Thoroughly Pleasant Music. Hope to see you there! October 15th, 9pm, at Hideout.


photo by Michael Wilson

***update: there are two beautiful sets of photos from this show by the ever-generous and wonderful C.B. Lindsey! here’s a set of Kitchen Table, Illinois, and here’s a set of me and Dan