Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Rainbow Railroad set to hold fundraising event with out singer Patricia Barber
by Carrie Maxwell
2022-10-11

This article shared 842 times since Tue Oct 11, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Rainbow Railroad will hold its fourth annual fundraising event, "When I Am Free"—featuring renowned lesbian jazz singer, composer and pianist Patricia Barber—on Wed., Oct. 26, at Jazz Showcase, 806 S. Plymouth Ct., 6:30-9:30 p.m.

This event kicks off Rainbow Railroad's fourth annual Chicago 5 Lives fundraising campaign. Rainbow Railroad is looking to raise $50,000 this year to help at least five LGBTQI+ people who are facing persecution worldwide find a safe place to live through this campaign. Over the past three years, the Chicago 5 Lives campaign has raised more than $150,000.

Since its founding in 2006 as a volunteer-run organization, the global non-profit Rainbow Railroad has helped more than 5,000 LGBTQI+ people who are facing persecution relocate due to their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or sex characteristics.

Barber told Windy City Times she decided to headline this event because "my marriage to Martha means the world to me. We had to wait a long time and fight politically for the right to marry. This right is not merely symbolic; it includes the ability to own community property, inheritance, healthcare visitation and power of attorney, and much more. There is an ultra-conservative faction in the American political scene that wants to take away our right to marry. I will fight that, and fight for a woman's right to choose, voting rights and civil rights. Rainbow Railroad puts their money to good use in protecting gay and trans people who are under imminent threat around the world."

Accompanying Barber at this event will be Larry Kohut (acoustic bass), Jon Deitemyer (drums) and Neal Alger (acoustic guitar).

"These are the best musicians on their instruments anywhere," said Barber. "They know me and my music well as we have recorded together and played the world together."

Barber said she became a jazz musician because it is a "family legacy" for her since her father was also a jazz musician and her mother, who loved Billie Holiday, was a "great singer with a huge voice who sounded like Mahalia Jackson." She added that her father taught her the piano at age five and would play the saxophone around the house while she was growing up and let her "feel the music by putting my hand inside the bell."

Among Barber's musical inspirations are singers Elis Regina and Shirley Horn; pianists Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans; and composers Rodgers and Hart as well as Cole Porter, adding that she loves the entire American Songbook.

Barber has also developed a love of classical music and is now "hooked on opera and many of the classical composers of song. This informs my composition as well as the composers of the American Songbook. For classical song, Faure is a favorite, but I also find inspiration from Samuel Barber, Chausson and Ravel."

When asked which of her many recordings people should listen to if they are just now diving into her work, Barber said that is a difficult question to answer because it is "like asking a mother to name her favorite child." She added that her fans have their favorite albums—Cafe Blue, Modern Cool, Mythologies, The Cole Porter Mix, Higher and Clique.

Barber said she is excited that her songs are "filtering into the jazz canon" and classical singers are asking for her to write piano accompaniment for their songs.

Barber, who has mostly performed at the Green Mill and will be playing at Winter's Jazz Club this coming fall and spring, is looking forward to bringing her talents to Jazz Showcase for this upcoming Rainbow Railroad fundraising event.

Rainbow Railroad Board of Directors Vice-Chair Bruce Koff said the board chose Jazz Showcase because "it is a Chicago institution" and has the "right space and atmosphere for this event. You feel immersed in the city's great jazz history, and that giant inimitable Charlie Parker at the front of the room says, 'This is going to be something special.'"

Koff previously worked for 42 years in the mental health and social services field helping Chicago's LGBTQI+ community. Koff told this publication that just before he retired, he heard about Rainbow Railroad while assisting a young gay Russian emigre living in Chicago.

"I was deeply impressed with the organization's capacity to help LGBTQI+ people fleeing extreme persecution all over the world. I began as their Chicago area 'ambassador' and in 2019 joined Rainbow Railroad's board of directors," said Koff. "My commitment to the organization has grown because the organization is so successful and working in so many ways to save LGBTQI+ lives."

When asked why Rainbow Railroad approached Barber to headline this fundraising event, Koff said each year they feature Chicago-based musicians and since this year's theme was jazz "inviting a great interpreter like Patricia who knows how to fuse its freedom and authenticity with spectacular results to perform made perfect sense. Those same themes reflect the work of Rainbow Railroad as we strive to give others the freedom to live and love authentically. We couldn't be more thrilled and grateful that she agreed."

This is Barber's first foray into direct activism using her talents to raise money for an LGBTQI+ organization. She called herself "a very active Democrat" who has "been out for a very long time. I was out before it was cool … when my boss could have easily decided to fire me."

Barber said that being a well-known out gay composer and musician is "an important form of activism" and wishes every actor and musician who is LGBTQI+ would come out to reduce the stigma, especially now when the queer and trans community is under attack in all corners of the world.

"As someone who lived through the AIDS era, the epidemic of anti-LGBTQI+ persecution is remarkably reminiscent," said Koff. "In both, those affected are stigmatized, abandoned and filled with fear. Because their lives are deeply devalued, they can rely on neither families nor governments to save them. So, like then, it is up to us now to do the work. When we support Rainbow Railroad, we are doing the work, and when I see the dedication of our staff, the commitment of our donors and the gratitude of those we serve, I feel strength and hope."

"As an organization, Rainbow Railroad is united by our mission to help LGBTQI+ people internationally attain safety," said Rainbow Railroad Development and Communications Director Dane Bland. "One of the ways to further our impact is with our valued partners in the U.S. and around the world. The funds raised from our generous donors help to support our six streams of initiatives including emergency resettlement, direct support of LGBTQI+ partner organizations and direct financial assistance. Thank you to our Chicago area supporters and to Patricia Barber, our headline talent for the evening, for their ongoing support of Rainbow Railroad and our mission. We look forward to continuing our partnership for years to come."

To make a donation to the Chicago 5 Lives Campaign, visit donate.rainbowrailroad.org/give/409035/#!/donation/checkout.

See eventbrite.ca/e/when-i-am-free-a-benefit-concert-for-rainbow-railroad-tickets-404788231497 to purchase $100 general or $150 VIP admission tickets.

For more information, visit rainbowrailroad.org/take-action.


This article shared 842 times since Tue Oct 11, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Elton John, Leslie Jordan, Joel Kim Booster, Janelle Monae
2022-11-27
Elton John gave Los Angeles concluded a three-show run on Nov. 20 back inside Dodger Stadium, taking a final bow as part of his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour," according to The Hollywood Reporter. The concert ...


Gay News

MUSIC: Sophie B. Hawkins talks LGBTQ+ youth and living an authentic life
2022-11-24
In the '90s, singer-songwriter Sophie B. Hawkins made quite an impression on people with the entrancing song "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" and its accompanying video. She also had hits such as "Right Beside You" ...


Gay News

Transgender Day of Resilience: Town Hall panelists tackle allyship, discrimination and immigration
2022-11-23
Brave Space Alliance (BSA), Life Is Work (LIW) and Chicago Therapy Collective (CTC) hosted three free events across the city that they named—TDOR Weekend: A New Era, Together— to celebrate ...


Gay News

WORLD Brazilian musician, top LGBTQ+ cruises, Elon Musk, anti-trans attack
2022-11-20
Brazilian musician Pedro Sampaio revealed that he dates men and women, Out noted. Sampaio has 7 million monthly listeners on Spotify, more than 5 million followers on Instagram and several music videos with more than 50 ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Grammy nominees, Gabrielle Union, Trevor Noah, Brendan Fraser
2022-11-20
Out Magazine compiled a list of some of the 2023 LGBTQA+ Grammy nominees. Among those on the list were Brandi Carlile (who earned another seven Grammy nominations this year, raising her career total to 25), Lady ...


Gay News

Billy Masters: Everyone counts their eggs before they're hatched, and other dish to start the week
2022-11-14
"I'm Not Defending us.Haters are Gonna Hate...Doesn' Matter That we're Happy & Not Bothering Anyone" —Cher tweets her response to criticism of her relationship with music producer Alexander Edwards—who is less than half her age. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Queer channel, gay actor dies, Jeopardy!, Luke and Chris Evans
2022-11-13
Fuse Media—a Latino-owned, multiplatform entertainment company—announced that in partnership with OUTtv, it is expanding its suite of DEI FAST channels with the launch of the channel OUTtv Proud, per a press release. Set for a 2023 ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal challenges anti-HIV military policy
2022-11-13
Lambda Legal filed a legal challenge to the U.S. military policy that prevents people living with HIV from enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces, according to a press release. The current policy requires that applicants for ...


Gay News

Theater Review: Porchlight's Rent is a winner
2022-11-09
By Jonathan Abarbanel - Title: Rent. Playwright: Jonathan Larson (book, music, lyrics) At: Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center. Tickets: 773-777-9884; PorchlightMusicTheatre.org; $25 and up. Runs through: Dec. 11 From its 1996 premiere ...


Gay News

Sydney WorldPride plans a celebration like no other
2022-11-08
Special to Windy City Times - WorldPride is heading Down Under in 2023. Sydney has been named the official location for WorldPride next year, and the cosmopolitan city is planning to go all-out to welcome LGBTQ+ guests from all over the world. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Gay racer, GALECA, Lena Waithe, 'Chicago,' LGBTQ+ films
2022-11-06
Gay motorsports racer Zach Herrin made his long-awaited debut in a NASCAR-affiliated race in Phoenix, The Advocate noted. "I know I have a lot of eyes on me, and all I want to do is get out there and blur everything ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Singer Aaron Carter dies at 34
2022-11-05
Singer Aaron Carter—the brother of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter—has died after apparently drowning at his L.A. home at age 34, according to media reports. TMZ originally reported the news. The outlet said that he was ...


Gay News

Openly gay country performer Patrick Haggerty passes away
2022-11-04
Patrick Haggerty was the first of his kind. Long before Ty Herndon, Paisley Fields, Brandi Carlile, Orville Peck, Andrew Sa, or Trixie Mattel, Haggerty recorded what is widely cited as the first gay Country music album ...


Gay News

Washington DC to host WorldPride in 2025
2022-11-04
-- From a press release - Washington DC, November 4, 2022… InterPride, an international association of over 400 Pride organizations from over 70 countries, announced that the Capital Pride Alliance (CPA) has been selected to host WorldPride in 2025. "CPA is thrilled ...


Gay News

Touche Chicago's 45th-anniversary celebration marred by racist performance
2022-11-03
Racist performance mires Touche Chicago's 45th anniversary celebration By Carrie Maxwell On Nov. 1, the leather, fetish and bear-focused Touche Chicago celebrated its 45th anniversary with a feature performance by ...


 




Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.