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One of CCP’s partners in producing Cabaret Week last March, Working In Concert, has been awarded $9,200 by the Illinois Art Council to underwrite Black Voices in Cabaret a network of African-American performers.

The BVIC premier concert “Healing through Song” has three distinct 30-40 minute episodes that will stream on consecutive Sundays in March: the 14th, 21st, and 28th, at 3pm. This concert is emceed by magician and singer David Stephens and vocalist Arlene Armstrong and is being recorded at PianoForte Studio and Epiphany Center for the Arts.

The premiere concert brings together two dozen artists including opera singer Gwendolyn Brown, classical soprano Dr. Ollie Watts Davis, cabaret notables Lynne Jordan and Cynthia Clarey, Natalie Douglas (“Princess of Birdland” in Manhattan), Chicagoan of the Year actress E. Faye Butler, jazz singers Bobbi Wilsyn, Margaret Murphy and Ava Logan, drag queen Coco Sho-Nell, rap artists Che Rhymefest and Seany-Doo, and many more.

According to singer Natalie Douglas, “We’ve always been here, and we’ve always been making music in the cabaret world. But those weren’t the pictures we saw in the movies or on television. It is only through us making a fuss and saying ‘I need to be represented there, too’ that people will be open to the idea that an evening of cabaret isn’t just pretty white ladies in sparkling gowns.”

David Stephens, the Managing Director of BVIC, explains, “Our mission is to showcase Black performers, to educate new audiences about the history of Chicago cabaret as seen through Black eyes, and to uplift its repertoire beyond the standard American Songbook. We are exploring the rich variety of performing styles, and highlighting both new and established performers from Chicago and beyond. We invite new audiences to get exposed to the art of cabaret and experience the intimacy of live performance.”

For more information visit: RSVP – Working in Concert (

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