Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
In this episode: Duke Ellington is one of the towering figures in American music, but there's more to his story than hits like "Take The A Train." Cultural critic and writer Terry Teachout discusses his comprehensive biography about the iconic jazz composer and bandleader.
Plus: Amy Tan is best known for her literary achievements with books The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife. But the acclaimed author has a musical side as well: she's written an opera libretto and performs as "lead rhythm dominatrix" in the literary garage band The Rock Bottom Remainders. In an interview with Soundcheck host John Schaefer, Tan talks about her latest book, The Valley Of Amazement, and about the family-related obsession that inspired her to delve into the world of Shanghai courtesans in the early 1900s. Plus, she shares three of her favorite songs.
And: Matana Roberts grew up in Chicago hearing stories about her family, from its roots in Louisiana and Mississippi, to the Great Migration north early in the 20th century. These stories and her love of history have become the basis for her recent works for sextet, the ambitious COIN COIN project. Hear Roberts play accompanied by a slightly smaller quartet live in the Soundcheck studio.
This is an encore episode of Soundcheck.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Improvisational comedy relies on team work, thinking creatively on your feet, and being open to new ideas. Charlie Todd, founder of the prank collective Improv Everywhere and a performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, talks about the lessons you can learn from improv that apply in real life.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Del Close, who taught long-form improvisational comedy in Chicago in the '70s, passed away in 1999. But his memory lives on for 72 straight hours of improv in the city this weekend. The Del Close Marathon, which was started by the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), kicks off on Friday.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Amy Poehler is an actor and comedian. She became a featured player on Saturday Night Live in 2001, and officially joined the cast in 2002. Her impersonations of celebrities like Kelly Ripa, Sharon Stone and Sharon Osbourne have become SNL favorites. Poehler also performs with the Upright Citizens ...
Saturday, March 01, 2003
Kurt Andersen and actor Alan Arkin talk about improvisation and what we get out of it.
Alan Arkin is an actor and director. He helped form Chicago's Second City improvisational troupe. That helped launch an acting career on stage and screen that has lasted over 35 years, including lead roles ...
Saturday, March 01, 2003
In the world of the jazz standard, improvisation is a very specific thing: it's a way of embellishing or even re-inventing a melody, using the structure of a song as a basis. Sara Fishko tried to get jazz improvisers to tell her about how they do it and she ...