Is it blues? Is it classical? Few can claim to have forged an entirely original genre of music, but in 1966, Corky Siegel did just that. Guiding the blues of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters out of the smoky cavern of Big John’s and onto the stages of the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic and beyond, the harmonica-playing mad scientist had the tuxedo-and-gown crowd on its feet, clamoring for more of this blues-classical alchemy. These days, the harmonica virtuoso and composer is continent-hopping with Indian percussion and string quartet in Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues, continuing to bring classical and blues fans shoulder-to-shoulder… and obliterating musical categorization in the process.
– Doyle Armbrust
On April 8, EYSO joins forces with Corky Siegel, Chicago’s legendary blues harmonica player, composer, and singer/songwriter, for a collaborative performance breaking barriers between blues and classical music. Siegel’s Chamber Blues ensemble has garnered international acclaim and has been a beloved fixture of the Chicago music scene for decades. “Gritty Chicago Blues and rarefied classical chamber music might not seem like a match made in heaven,” the Chicago Tribune wrote, “until you’ve heard Corky Siegel bring the two together… a crowning achievement.”
This performance features EYSO’s Brass Choir and Youth Symphony in exciting selections from both genres, including a world premiere by Composer in Residence Ethan T. Parcell. Siegel will join EYSO for two rehearsals ahead of the concerts, and will present a free, public masterclass on the afternoon of April 8.
Reserve your seats at tickets.elgin.edu.