Naperville musicians’ reward trip to Italy with families
Sun-Times Media July 14, 2011 3:28PM
Jacqueline Roller, 21, a senior at North Central College, hosts her first solo art show Saturday at the Naperville Art League, 508 N. Center St. | Submitted
Updated: October 29, 2011 12:43AM
Castel di Casio
In more than three decades as a musician, this gig has to top the list for Steve Grobl. Last week, the Naperville resident and 12 members of the Steve Grobl Orchestra returned from a 10-day trip to Italy where former Naperville resident Paul Magelli booked them to play at his dad’s 80th birthday bash.
“Yes, this is our biggest road trip,” said Grobl, one of the four founding band members. “Paul wrote and asked us to travel to Italy, starting the letter off with ‘this may come off as an absurd proposition, but we want you and the band in Italy for the 80th birthday celebration.’”
Grobl said the 13-member band traveled to Italy with their spouses and children, making for a total band entourage of 30 people.
“That really says a lot because transporting the band and equipment, paying for the hotels and meals, was a major, major expense,” said the musician. “This means quite a lot to working musicians, as wives and children sit home alone when the band members are away performing. It was a big payback for those 32 years of lonely nights.”
The highlight of the trip: performing in the town square in Castel di Casio, Italy, for the actual birthday bash.
“Mr. Magelli had invited the entire town to join the 500 or so guests who traveled from the U.S.,” Grobl said. “It was a major party, with lots of dancing until midnight.”
in Chicago exhibition
Two Naperville artists are showing a different side of themselves this summer.
Blaine Bradford and Diana Leviton Gondek are among about 150 artists whose work will appear in the seventh annual self-portrait gallery exhibition by 33 Contemporary Gallery at Zhou B. Art Gallery in Chicago. The exhibition starts Friday and ends Aug. 13.
Using oil paint, Bradford created a portrait of himself laying on the floor holding a clear face mask he just removed.
“The inspiration deals with how we’re influenced by the external world and the superficial façade that we wear around,” he said.
Godek painted herself in various human figures.
“I think it’s fascinating to see this expression of self from artists. It’s very personal, something that you usually don’t see artists do,” she said.
She specializes in water colors but said she recently dabbled in oil painting and fell in love with it.
Although they both live in Naperville and studied at Northern Illinois University, Bradford and Godek met only recently through a mutual friend. Godek was art director at Northwestern University before becoming a stay-at-home mom, and Bradford works for NIU as an undergraduate adviser and recruiter for the art department.
first art show
Jacqueline Roller would like to think of her artwork as a reminder to inhale deeply and smile — with teeth. Art enthusiasts should get ready to grin Saturday when the 21-year-old hosts her first solo art show at the Naperville Art League, 508 N. Center St.
“I love exploring the textures, patterns and colors found in the ocean and in nature,” said Roller, a senior at North Central College. “The work I’ve been doing the past three years has been very experimental; I’m trying to find what expresses the appreciation I have of the natural world, while adding touches of the free-spirited youthful energy I have coursing through me.”
Between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, the public is invited to view and purchase pieces of art Roller has created during the past three years. Her goal is to use the money from the show to study art and art history in Greece this fall, and that is reason to smile, too.
Hero to homeless
lauded in D.C.
A federal lawmaker from a renowned bedroom community near here was honored this week in the nation’s capital for her work on behalf of those who have no place to lay their heads each night.
U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Hinsdale, was among those singled out for recognition at an annual awards ceremony Thursday at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Event host the National Alliance to End Homelessness chose the longtime legislator for her efforts to prevent homelessness.
Also chosen for an award was U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Florida. Both House members received the Public Sector Achievement Award.
Music to our ears
come to NCC
The Tony Award-nominated Callaway Sisters will return Sept. 17 to North Central College to perform their show, “Boom!” an evening of popular 1960s hits.
Childhood memories come alive when Liz Callaway and Ann Hampton Callaway perform the music of such greats as Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, The Beatles, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder. The sisters share heartwarming and humorous stories of their years growing up in Chicago and New York.
The Callaway Sisters have put their stamp on solos and duets of songs such as “Up, Up and Away,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Downtown,” among other classics.
Liz Callaway is an award-winning actress, singer and recording artist who made her Broadway debut in “Merrily We Roll Along.” She received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in “Baby” and for five years sang “Memory” as Grizabella in “Cats.”
Off-Broadway, Liz Callaway is also the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s “Aladdin and the King of Thieves” and “The Return of Jafar.” Other film work includes the singing voice of the title character in “The Swan Princess,” as well as “Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride” and “Beauty and the Beast.” She also received an Emmy Award for hosting “Ready to Go,” a daily, live children’s program on WBZ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Boston. Visit lizcallaway.com to learn more.
As a champion of the great American Songbook, Ann Hampton Callaway has made her mark as a singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress, educator, TV host and producer. Best known for her Tony-nominated performance in the hit Broadway musical “Swing!” and for writing and singing the theme song to the hit TV series “The Nanny,” her versatility has made her a mainstay in concert halls, theaters and jazz clubs as well as in the recording studio, on television and in film. Visit annhamptoncallaway.com to learn more.
The evening marks the return of the Callaway Sisters to North Central College. They performed their show “Sibling Revelry” at Wentz Concert Hall in 2009.
The performance of “Boom!” begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, in the College’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $50 and $45; call the North Central College box office at 630-637-7469 or visit northcentralcollege.edu/showtix.
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