News Column

Soulful sounds

October 20, 2013


Songwriters Lizz Wright and Raul Midon to join forces for a soul nourishing night of jazz, R&B, soul and gospel on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Elgin Community College. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the ECC Arts Center's Blizzard Theatre located in Building H on the Spartan Drive Campus, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin.

Wright has been the recipient of nonstop critical acclaim and ever-increasing audiences ever since her Verve debut, "Salt," in 2003. She is known for topping the jazz charts, but is far from most people's idea of a traditional jazz singer. Wright continues her genre-defying journey with her latest album "Fellowship," a nod to her roots in gospel on the one hand and her gospel of eclecticism on the other.

"The funny thing about the transition from only gospel to jazz," says Wright, "is that I felt that jazz had a familiar sacredness to it. In all of my adventures in music, I've been drawn in by sparks of the familiar inside of the unfamiliar. For example, when I first heard what people were calling the blues, I was taken aback, because I had heard that sound all my life. That was how the mothers sang in church."

The New York Times described Wright's voice as "luminous and smoky and perfectly pitched" and describes her as "one of the most wondrous rhythm-and-blues instruments of our time."

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Raul Midon has earned renown as one of music's most distinctive and searching voices. The New Mexico native, blind since birth, has three major label records under his belt; "State of Mind," "A World Within A World," and "Synthesis."

Guitar Magazine describes him as "One of those rare musical forces that reminds us how strong and deep the connection between man and music can sometimes be."

Midon has been featured in recent documentaries including the acclaimed Bill Withers biopic Still Bill, the Herbie Hancock documentary Possibilities, and a film on the life of legendary producer Arif Mardin All My Friends Are Here, in which he declares that Midon is the only artist he ever signed to a label.

His musical collaborators include Jason Mraz, Marcus Miller, and Roberta Flack. Deemed an "eclectic adventurist" by People magazine, Midon contributes something honest and unpredictable to the musical landscape.

Tickets for this event are $34. Visit for more information about the ECC Arts Center, including video clips of upcoming artists and events.

Tickets for all performances in the ECC Arts Center are available online at or at the ECC box office located in the arts center. Box office hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and noon to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. To purchase tickets by phone, call (847) 622-0300. All major credit cards are accepted.

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