Joan Armatrading at City Winery in April, Oct.
Musician Joan Armatrading will perform at City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., on April 23-24 as well as Oct. 7-8.
Over her 42 years of touring, the West Indies-born British singer-songwriter has never done a solo world tour. For her last major tour, which kicked off in Britain in September, the three-time Grammy nominee will perform her first ever full-scale solo concerts.
Her U.S. performances will include songs that span her entire career so far, with songs like "Love And Affection," "Willow" and "Drop The Pilot."
"I will never retire, but this will be the last major tour that I will undertake," Armatrading said of her 2014-2015 world tour. Although the celebrated U.K. singer-songwriter plans to continue performing on occasion, she's decided not to undertake large-scale tours in the future. She sees the occasion of her extended final world tour as an opportunity to connect with her passionate, fiercely loyal international fan base in an appropriately intimate and personal manner.
"I want it to be a special one-to-one experience," Armatrading states. "So for the first time, these concerts will be me solo on stage playing and singing. These will be lively interactive concerts, because I will be asking the audience to put their questions to me on the night."
Armatrading's resume includes three Grammy nominations, two Brit nominations and a coveted Ivor Novello Award. She performed for Nelson Mandela on two occasions, and is one of the first female artists to have been awarded with an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II. Armatrading is also the first female U.K. artist to have debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Blues chart and the first female U.K. artist to be nominated for a Grammy in the Blues category.
With her history-making tour already in progress and several months of concerts ahead of her, Armatrading is excited by the prospect of communing, and reconnecting, with her fans, in what promise to be some of the most intimate and personal performances of her career.
"I have absolutely enjoyed the last 42 years of performances," she said. "Now, with my final major tour, I want to capture a unique memory, for both myself and the audience."
Armatrading is private about her personal life but, as Wikipedia notes, "In April 2011, it was reported that Armatrading and her girlfriend Maggie Butler were to enter a civil partnership on 2 May 2011, in the Shetland Isles."
Tickets are $85-$105; visit www.CityWinery.com .
Lakeside Pride's 'Opus' on April 18
The Lakeside Pride Symphonic Band honors music educators with selections from the Academy Award-winning film Mr. Holland's Opus at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, at Northside College Prep, 5501 N. Kedzie Ave.
Concert selections include Beethoven, Gershwin and Sousa, among others.
Tickets are available at $25 ( $12 for students and seniors ) online at www.lakesidepride.org up to 60 minutes before the show, or onsite.
Visit www.lakesidepride.org .
Spandau Ballet moves Chicago date
The '80s group Spandau Ballet announced that it would move several North American tour dates of its "Soul Boys of the Western World" tour to this spring to coincide with the U.S. release of its feature film, Soul Boys of the Western World.
The concert is now scheduled for Saturday, April 25, at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn St., at 7:30 p.m. ( The previous date was Friday, Jan. 30. )
Previously purchased tickets will be honored for the new date.
Visit www.houseofblues.com .
Benatar, Giraldo in St. Charles April 22
Pat Benatar and Neil "Spyder" Giraldoone of the most successful teams in music historywill kick off their 35th-anniversary tour on Friday, April 10 in Jackson, California. ( It will conclude Wed., July 1, in Durham, North Carolina. )
The duo will stop at The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois, on Wed., April 22.
Benatar and Giraldo's collection of hits include "We Belong," "Promises In The Dark," "Hell Is For Children," "Love Is A Battlefield" and "Heartbreaker."
For more information, visit www.benatargiraldo.com .
Dar Williams' 'Emerald' out May 12
Singer Dar Williams will release Emerald on Tuesday, May 12.
The album will feature collaborations with friends such as Jill Sobule, Richard Thompson, Jim Lauderdale, the Milk Carton Kids, the Hooters, Lucy Wainwright Roche and mother Suzzy Roche, among others.
Raised in Chappaqua, New York, Williams spent 10 years living in the thriving artistic community of Northampton, Massachusetts, where she began to make the rounds on the coffeehouse circuit. Joan Baez, an early fan of her music, took Williams out on the road and recorded several of her songs.
Williams' tour will stop at Chicago's Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport St., on Saturday, April 25. Tickets start at $34 each; visit thaliahallchicago.com/ .
CGMC's 'Big Package Auction' on April 18
The Chicago Gay Men's Chorus ( CGMC ) will hold its annual "Big Package Auction" on Saturday, April 18, at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted St.
The VIP reception will be 4-5 p.m., with the live auction 5-8 p.m.
Famed performer Lady Bunny will host the live auction, augmented by models who will take off themed costumes as the bidding increases.
Tickets are $50-$100, with early-bird discounts on the general-admission passes if purchased by Monday, April 13. See http://www.cgmc.org/event/2015/big-package-auction-2015.