Here are the people on our team who make Working In Concert a success.

Board of Directors

Lynn Colbert-Jones is an award-winning, multifaceted talent in the music industry. She is known for her elegant songwriting, warm-hearted personality, and her passion for music. With a career spanning over three decades, Lynn has established herself as a creative force in the industry, earning accolades and admiration for her love songs and her ability to bring people together.  

Born and raised in Chicago, IL. into a musical family, Lynn began writing lyrics at the age of seventeen, drawing inspiration from the great composers of the past while also infusing her own style and sensibility. She has collaborated with many talented musicians, songwriters, and producers such as: Howard Sandifer, Keith Henderson, Jamie Foxx, Carmen Stokes, Russell Hall, Bill Demis, Bob Solone, Sami Scot, and Eden Atwood. Over the years, she has become one of the most respected and sought-after lyricists in the industry, with her songs performed by a host of artists.  

But Lynn is not just a songwriter. As an impresario, people-connector, promoter of artists, artist manager, host, and curator, she has played a pivotal role in shaping the music landscape. She brings together vocalists, musicians, producers, and music lovers in a spirit of love, community, inclusivity, and collaboration.  

In 2020, she created and still hosts two virtual platforms. The weekly “Good Hearts Club Music Jam” brings singers and musicians together from around the world to display their talent. This has become “the place to be” on Friday nights, while also being a refuge and a family community for those that attend the jam. You might also spot a celebrity in attendance every now and then. “Composer’s Café” is a monthly show that shines a spotlight on lyricists, songwriters, and composers. Lynn interviews three songwriters per episode and they perform their original songs live on the show. Many of them bare their souls and share vulnerabilities as Lynn always creates a safe space for every guest. There have been several esteemed and legendary guests at Composer’s Café, and she continues to add to that impressive list.  

Whether she is curating a lineup, writing a song, managing an artist, or connecting an artist with a resource, Lynn is always driven by her love for people, her keen business acumen, and her deep commitment to the music she holds so dear. Her warmth, generosity, and impeccable ear for talent have made her an irreplaceable figure in the music community and a beloved friend to countless singers, songwriters, and musicians.  

Lynn is a 2023 JEXA (Jazz Excellence) Award Recipient, Planning Committee and Host Committee member at the Jazz Institute of Chicago, Board member at Working In Concert, Managing Director at Black Voices in Cabaret, Board member at Shalom Music Inc., Planning Committee at The Dream Awards, member of ISSA (International Singer-Songwriters Association), member of BMI, has served as an Associate member of The Recording Academy and served on the Michael Jordan Foundation committee. She studied business and marketing at Northwestern University and Illinois State University and has spent more than 25 years in Corporate America. Lynn has served as Contract Negotiator, Account Executive, Regional Sales Manager, Director of Business Development and Consultant for such companies as: American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, BTI Americas/World Travel Partners, SCR Transportation, ADT, and Tyco IS. 

A Chicago native, Jeanne Franks is director of marketing for Brook Architecture, Inc, of Chicago received her BA in Political Science and Spanish from Know College and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

Jeanne Franks has been one of the hosts of “DCB Jazz” (WDCB-90.9 FM radio) for more than a decade. Music has always been an important life of her life. As a kid she listened to her father’s jazz combo rehearse the popular tunes of the day. After one of those rehearsals, the 5-year old informed her dad that she wanted to play the piano. He took her seriously, bought her a piano and she’s been playing music ever since.

She played the flute in her school bands and studied classical and jazz piano. She currently performs as a jazz vocalist for corporate and private functions.

Executive director and treasurer of Working In Concert, Claudia directs the Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion, SongShop workshops and concert productions.

Claudia received her Master’s in Library Science from Wayne State University and founded the archives of the Detroit Institute of Arts prior to pursuing a full-time career on stage, first in New York City, then Chicago. Actor-singer, teacher, cabaret promoter, Claudia brings her personal connections and passions to Working In Concert. Her recordings of Paris/Paree, Paris in the Jazz Age, Romance Language: French Songs for Lovers, and the two Jazz Fauré Project albums are a reflection of her Paris-centric repertoire. The Vocal Canvas concerts bring projections to the recital stage to “hear the painting and see the song”.

She is on faculty at the Community Music Division of DePaul University School of Music with SongShop, her ongoing class in song interpretation. She initiated the founding of Chicago Cabaret Professionals in 1997 and is a coordinator for the annual Chicago Cabaret Week, launched in 2022.

As secretary of the board, Cappy is the go-to person for fund-raising, outreach and logistics for Working In Concert. Cappy was principal of Informed Energy Decisions, an environmental services and engineering consulting firm.

As a certified energy manager and independent consultant, he advised commercial and institutional building owners and managers, including supervising LED lighting retrofitting. In recognition of his contributions to improving building energy performance, he was inducted into the Environmental Hall of Fame and received an Energy Star leadership award for work at the Great Lakes Naval Training. Read his Energy Detective stories at



Amit Patel, a Finance and IT Consultant and Project Manager, at DLC Inc Consultants, is an avid francophile who has spent several years studying the French language and culture.  He is also proficient in Spanish and Hindi.  He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)/, Chartered Accountant (CA) and Project Management Professional (PMP).

Amit has a dual bachelor’s degree in French and Accounting from the University of Southern California, along with Masters Degree from University of Notre Dame and Arizona State Thunderbird School of Global Management.  He lived in Belgium and France for eight years, working for accounting firms Arthur Andersen and KPMG, before returning to the US to work as an Internal Audit Manager and Corporate Profit Reporting Director at J. E. Seagram and Sons, Inc. in New York City. In Chicago, Illinois for the past twenty years, he has worked for French multinational companies within several fields of Finance and IT. He brings to our board his rich experience with Financial and Tax Reporting, General Accounting, Financial Auditing and internal Controls, Financial Planning and Analysis, Financial Modeling, Project Management and Business Process Improvement, and Transaction Due Diligence.

His personal interests include tennis,badminton, volleyball, hiking and biking, all forms of the Arts including cinema, music, painting, sculpture, world history and politics, the preservation of wildlife, curing childhood cancer, and of course foreign languages and traveling the globe!

Carl Ratner began his career assisting directors at the world’s major opera houses, including Covent Garden in London, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Munich Opera, the Spoleto Festival in Italy, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, among others. He served as Artistic Director of Chicago Opera Theater from 1994-1999, and of Chamber Opera Chicago from 1985-1993. 

An accomplished baritone, he has portrayed the title roles in Verdi’s Falstaff, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Britten’s Noye’s Fludde, as well as Papageno in The Magic Flute and John Proctor in The Crucible and the leading baritone roles in Madama Butterfly and Turandot. A frequent soloist in oratorio and recital, he has performed Handel’s Messiah, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and many other concert works. He has sung in 14 languages and has performed in 7 countries, 10 states, and the District of Columbia.

He created the role of Oxóssi in the world premiere of Future Perfect and directed and created the role of the Lebanon Health Care Worker in the world premiere of On Call: COVID-10 for Bellissima Opera. He recently directed Verdi’s La Traviata and performed the role of the Doctor for South Bend Lyric Opera. 

He studied at Oberlin, Northeastern Illinois University, Northwestern, Juilliard, and the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in Russia through a Fulbright grant. He retired from his position as Co-chair of Voice and Director of Opera at Western Michigan University in 2023.

Retired real estate broker, David serves as co-chair of the Paris Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International (supported by World Business Chicago). David was asked to join the committee upon its inception in 1996. Having already spent much time in France—one school year in Normandy and six months in Geneva teaching French to America business students—this was a fortuitous invitation.  He had already helped create a “sister” relationship between the Chicago and Paris marathons, welcoming French runners in Chicago and promoting “Go, Go Chicago” at the Paris Marathon.  These activities continue to this day, along with many other successful exchange programs.

David is an amateur violinist and singer who loves music in its multiple forms.  He finds cabaret to be a fine way of blending music and words as an expression of the spirit.

In 2012 the French Republic decorated David as Knight of the National Order of Merit (Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite). 

Board member Barbara works on logistics and communications for Working In Concert. Retired from AT&T where  she was responsible for Sales and Customer Service training, Barb has taught at Loyola University and Harper College. She holds a Master’s degree in English and is a certified instructor for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

As a singer, Barb’s repertoire includes jazz, blues, folk music and cabaret. She has performed at Davenport’s, Underground Wonder Bar, Rosa’s Lounge, Chief O’Neill’s and the Cliff Dwellers Club, and was the winner of the 2018 Skokie Idol Contest. She participated in the Singers Jazz Workshops in 2014 and 2015 in Paris; participated in the first Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion in 2017, and has been an active volunteer organizer of the Cabaret Connexion ever since.

After 35 years of entertaining as a magician and circus clown in the Metro New York City area, David moved to Chicagoland in 2014 and, under the influence of his spouse Dan Johnson, has embraced the art of singing. A frequent participant in SongShop, his musical influences lean towards jazz, pop and R&B (with a touch of Broadway). In 2016 he debuted in CCP’s “Strut Your Stuff ” showcase and premiered his first solo show The Times of My Life at Davenport’s in 2019.

He initiated the call in 2020 for Black Voices in Cabaret and serves as its managing director, successfully steering the March 2021 online Healing through Song forum and concert series, and emceeing BVIC’s shared concert of 100 Years of Chicago Cabaret. He worked for many years as a municipal and federal employee.

Christine Steyer, soprano, has distinguished herself as an artist of great versatility. The 2020 recipient of The American Prize for outstanding contributions to the arts, and winner of the Johnny Mercer Award, Steyer has received acclaim for her portrayals of the title role in Madama Butterfly and Violetta in La Traviata. Since 2000, she has sung in 40 productions at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Steyer is an avid recitalist specializing in contemporary works by women lyricists and composers. Prior to the pandemic, she sang at the Schubert Festival at Unity Temple sharing the stage with Lawrence Brownlee, members of the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestras, and was featured on WFMT’s program Music Notes: Music of Healing and Peace.

In 2019 Steyer sang in France with Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion at the Montpellier Opera House, Paris’ Salle Olympe de Gouges and the Lapin Agile. She and French composer, Jean-Claude Orfali, are writing a book of original cabaret songs to release in 2023.

In April 2021, Steyer premiered the role of the Rio de Janeiro Health Care Worker in the opera On Call: COVID-19 and in 2022, premiered the role of Flanna in the opera Future Perfect–a tale of curiosity. Additionally, Steyer served as librettist for these two operas (composed by David Shenton) which are part of Bellissima Opera’s Award-Winning Tales of Transcendence

Steyer is President of Working In Concert and Artistic Director of its Bellissima Opera initiative, an organization founded by Steyer in 2008. Bellissima’s In the Classroom, has brought classical music to 24,000 youths in under-served areas throughout the Chicago area. She teaches voice privately in Oak Park, is a member of the voice faculty at Concordia University in River Forest, and music instructor for Ascension Catholic School in Oak Park, sharing her deep love of music with a new generation of young people.

Staff, key volunteers & consultants

Tom Arvetis is a values-driven leader with over twenty years’ experience in the Chicago theatre community building adaptive capacity in teams and organizations by nurturing a culture of curiosity, clarity, and collaboration in order to achieve sustained success.  In 2021, he served as Working In Concert’s strategy consultant. Later that year, he joined the Oak Park Theatre Festival as Managing Director. He founded the award-winning professional theatre for families and youth, Adventure Stage Chicago, in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood in 2004.  Tom brings expertise in community engagement and organizational development to the Festival and has designed and led initiatives supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as several state and local foundations and agencies.

As an artist, Tom is an accomplished director and his published plays are regularly performed by professional and amateur theatres across the United States. Tom is an alumnus of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education’s Theater Leadership Institute as well as a former Ann Shaw Fellow with Theatre for Young Audiences/USA.  He has served as an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University’s School of Communication and on the boards of the League of Chicago Theatres and the American Alliance for Theatre and Education.

Tom lives in Oak Park with his wife and four children.

ANDY BOSSOV enjoys a dual career as musician and Reform rabbi.  He performs regularly as a singing pianist; teaches piano and voice; leads Sabbath and holiday worship at senior facilities, serves as a Guardian Hospice chaplain, and conducts Jewish life cycle events and civil wedding services. Having received a live kidney donation 15 years ago, he served in 2022 as the Chair of the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois Chicago Walk For Kidneys   When not driving from gig to gig, he enjoys tennis and gardening, and he is thrilled that he likes his two daughters’ respective fiancés!  

Anne Burnell comes on board as managing director for the 3rd annual Chicago Cabaret Week. She is a founding member of Chicago Cabaret Professionals and served as President from 2019-2023. Along with her husband pianist/vocalist Mark Burnell, she has been featured at jazz clubs and festivals in Chicago, Pittsburgh, NYC, Paris, Amsterdam and other cities, singing cabaret and participating in tribute theatre concerts. One of Chicago’s most versatile live performers, her recordings have also met with acclaim on jazz and blues radio shows around the world. Anne is also a nationally renowned Pilates trainer, specializing in Peyow Aqua Pilates.

Kerri Rosenberg Burkhardt (Administrative Assistant, Registrar and Bookkeeper) received her B.A. and M.A. in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa, where she also completed coursework for the Doctorate of Musical Arts. She sang with the Zurich International Opera Studio in Switzerland, the Zurich Opera (where she worked with conductors such as Nello Santi and Nikolaus Harnoncourt), Muddy River Opera, and Iowa Opera Theater, among others, where her favorite roles included Nedda/I Pagliacci, Mimi/La Boheme, Marenka/The Bartered Bride, Blanche and Constance in different productions of Dialogues of the Carmelites, Felice/Die vier Grobiane, Adina/L’Elisir d’Amore, Zerlina/Don Giovanni, Helena/A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Frasquita/Carmen, Casilda/The Gondoliers, and Mabel/Pirates of Penzance. She has also soloed with symphonies and choruses throughout the United States and Europe and has performed in recital with Simon Estes and on national television as a finalist in the Miss America Pageant.  As the Artistic Administrator for Chamber Opera Tours, she has been instrumental in arranging tours of a new musical adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion to England, Scotland (including the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Wales, Canada, and NYC.   Kerri was also the Director of Auditions and Admissions for the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria for 14 years. She and her husband, Brian, are the proud parents of Brandon and Karissa Burkhardt.  

David served as Working In Concert’s executive assistant for a year before taking a full-time position with the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). He continues to bring his background in communication, technical and customer support, and administrative services to help Working In Concert with myriad volunteer tasks, including his experience in the French community in Chicago.

Communications Coordinator for Working In Concert, Juliana creates and manages our social media and marketing campaigns and many of our live event experiences. She serves as Summer Religious Education Coordinator for Unity Temple of Oak Park. She produces and/or curates video-based educational materials, and nurtures partnerships with local organizations to create local connections and development with peers. Her own service Eventivities plans all the details for fundraising for charitable events, small business networking outreach, environmental education workshops, weddings, and more.

Lou Galeki has been performing for five decades! Recent performances include Broadway Broads at Davenport’s, Chicago Cabaret Professionals’ productions of Merry Measures and Strut Your Stuff. She joined the Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion’s Tour de France in 2019. She is a concert producer and wardrobe mistress for Working In Concert’s opera Future Perfect, and heads her own theater ensemble, S.W.A.G.

Paul is Working In Concert’s master carpenter, videographer, lyricist. Trained as a bass-baritone, he has performed throughout the United States. With Chicago Opera Theater, he sang principal roles in The Marriage of Figaro, The Turk in Italy and Belcore in The Elixir of Love, Mustafa in The Italian Girl in Algiers. With Des Moines Metro Opera he sang Olin Blitch in Susannah, the Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffman, and the title role in Sweeney Todd. He recently toured the U.K. with Chamber Opera Chicago’s Persuasion as Admiral Croft. Bellissima Opera audiences remember him as Germont in La Traviata and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly.

Currently acting as webmaster and online media consultant for Working In Concert, Kenneth Gourlay has provided Internet services for this and related organizations on and off since 1998.

Kenneth also provides website development and social media marketing services for Art & Element, an independently owned art studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Additionally, Kenneth authored the book, Lessons Learned: Life-Altering Experiences of Incarceration, exploring some of the more impactful experiences of life behind bars.

While he loves working in the Internet industry, his current plans have taken him to Wayne State University where he is pursuing a PhD in Sociology. His goal is to study social discourse around sexuality and gender.

Susan is a long-time supporter of Bellissima Opera. She makes sure our hospitality needs are met when creating after-concert receptions or making sure cast and crew are taken care of during an opera production. She and her husband founded the Kinslahger Brewery in Oak Park.

Certified as WBE with Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Ms. Kurlander has been advising business owners on legal matters for more than 45 years. She is an award-winning advocate and expert on small business issues. She is a past President of the Chicago Area Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), and served on its board for many years. She was an elected delegate to the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business. A participant in the 1993 Illinois Women’s Economic Development Summit and the City of Chicago task force that legalized home based businesses in the City’s zoning ordinance, as well as a member of the Women in Entrepeneurship Working Group of the Governors Commission on the Status of Women. She won the SBA’s 1999 Women’s Advocate of the Year award for Illinois and the Region. She was a member of the Executive Committee of WE-WIL (Women Empowering Women in Illinois), and was NAWBO Chicago’s local government matters liaison to its National organization. She was graduated from the University of Michigan and from Northwestern Law School, a past Board member of the Chicago Abused Women’s Coalition She is the mother of three grown children and grandmother of six, and also a freelance writer of travel articles (mostly about France) and a writer of short fiction.

Jade is a mezzo-soprano and passionate music educator from Miami, FL. Along with serving as William Brown Elementary’s music teacher, she is a guest teaching artist at The People’s Music School. Excited to start a career in arts administration, she is pursuing a Master of Science at Northwestern University in Leadership for Creative Enterprises. 

Jade has sung in several church choirs from the Frost Chorale at her alma mater University of Miami to Chicago’s Apollo Chorus. She will be joining Lawrence Opera Theater this summer in the chorus and covering the role of Elvira in Don Giovanni.

Actor, singer, dancer, Lexa Maxa started her career in solo shows, cabaret, and as a show opener singer-songwriter. In New York, she has performed at the Metropolitan Room, Triad Theatre, The Bitter End, and the Schimmel Center opening for JoJo and Jesse McCartney. In the Midwest, Lexa has been part of the Broadway World Regional Award-winning production of Disenchanted! (Nicely Theatre); on stage as Selene in the moving drama Night Blooming at Detroit Repertory Theatre, and Elvira in the award-winning Blithe Spirit at Act Two Theatre in St. Peters, MO.
In addition to choreography, film acting, commercials and print campaigns, she enjoys playing the piano, songwriting, and traveling. Her first love will always be entertaining and performing—be it plays, musicals, solo music shows, dance, or film—aiming always to communicate and inspire through creative expression what words alone cannot express.

Dan Perkins has built a solid professional reputation as a facilitator, community leader, cultural historian, and business consultant specializing in the field of supplier diversity. Throughout his forty-year career, Dan has completed numerous consulting engagements in collaboration with RGMA, Inc., a Chicago-based African American consulting firm distinguished for pioneering inclusive business strategies for corporate procurement teams. In addition to advancing solutions for large entities, Dan is passionate about developing community-based organizations. He presently lives in Maywood and serves on the board of the Maywood Chamber of Commerce (MCC). In 2017, MCC named Dan Perkins its Person of the Year. Dan is a graduate of Williams College in Massachusetts and holds a Master of Management Degree from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Katie played the key role of Paloma in our 2022 opera production Future Perfect. As executive assistant she brings several years experience as performer in musical theatre, stage plays and operas, directing and costume design, production assistance, and more. We share her many administrative and technical talents with Elgin Community College where she is a part-time events coordinator for the Performing Arts Center.

Nick is a renowned actor, director, and fight choreographer. He serves as creative consultant to Bellissima Opera’s Tales of Transcendence. A graduate of Cambridge and Loyola universities, Nick is a certified teacher and fight director with the Society of American Fight Directors. He has been adjunct faculty at the DePaul University Theatre School and has choreographed there. He serves as resident fight director at Lyric Opera of Chicago and has choreographed violence for the Goodman Theater, Steppenwolf Theater, and others.

He is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, and American Guild of Musical Artists. He is the producing artistic director at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company and an artistic associate at First Folio Theatre.

Jeff joins our crew as our volunteer videographer, audio and video editor and producer. Jeff is an electrical engineer and computer and microprocessor programmer with over 40 years experience. He has 50 years’ experience of audio recording and 20 years of video recording.

Lydia assists organizing our Connexion conferences, website updates, graphic design and press releases. Lydia holds a B.A. in Theater from Kent State University and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Northwestern University. Now retired, she worked in the development department of the Museum of Contemporary Art, for the ACLU of Illinois before directing marketing and arts programing at Skokie Public Library.

Craig is a C.P.A. with experience in auditing, tax, and business consulting. Craig received a Master of Taxation, with distinction, from DePaul University. He is an adjunct professor at Oakton Community College, teaching classes in taxation. Craig is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society. He is a certified QuickBooks adviser.

Volunteer corps from 2020-2023

We are eternally grateful to our wonderful volunteers who have helped our organization grow. Since 2020, they have donated over 6,300 hours doing everything from graphic design, writing and editing, making calls, performing, stage managing, hosting events, rehearsals, and so much more.

Amit Patel
Andy Bossov
Ava Logan
Barbara Smith
Beth Halevy
Beth & Paul Ahlrich
Bradley Schuller
Cappy Kidd
Cardi Fleck
Carl Ratner
Carmen Bodino
Carolyn Broquet
Cathy Dunn
Charles Kouri
Christian Halvorsen
Christine Steyer
Craig Weissman
Cynthia Clarey
Dan Perkins
David Hoffman
David Stephens

David Reithoffer
Diane Deckert
Diane Piette
Dominique Frigo
Doug Cotsamire
Elisabeth Howard
Evelyn Danner
Jeanne Franks
Jeffrey Skender
Jessie Bolger
David ReithofferJethra Kapp
Judith Gaietto-Grace
June Tanoue
Kathleen Irion
Katie Rub
Kerri Burkhardt
Kimberly Huizinga
Larry Ritsert
Laura Brussel
Lexa Maxa
Lou Galecki

Lynne Jordan
Marianne Zapotocny
Melissa Rub
Meredith Morris
Mila Tellez
Patricia Downs
Paul Dkystra
Paul Geiger
Peter Storms
René Lara
Rosalind Hurwitz
Rozane Assaf-Lynn
Ruth Fuerst
Sean Harris
Staci & Scott Kelley
Susan Arjmand
Susan Dennis
Susan Huizinga
Susan Lewis Friedman
Suzanne Walsh
Tirzah Blomberg

To our many other volunteers and promoters, THANK YOU!

Associated artists (more to follow!)

In addition to the many artists who serve on our Board, and as staff, volunteers and consultants, we are proud to be associated with these fabulous artists:

Visit the roster of Black Voices in Cabaret, established in late 2020 to spotlight the breadth of Black talent in and beyond Chicago.

Visit the roster of artists engaged in the fifth Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion, France 2023.

Susan Lewis Friedman has been a Cantor at Temple Jeremiah in Northfield, IL since 2018. Prior to that, she was seen on the stages of musical theater, regional opera, and in symphonic concerts throughout the U.S. She played leading roles in the Broadway National Tour of Cats, regional productions of The Producers, Barnum, Swingtime Canteen, and Sweeney Todd, to name a few. She has sung roles with Des Moines Metro Opera, Nevada Opera, Phoenix Symphony,
American Symphony Orchestra, and Brooklyn Philharmonic, and has performed with artists such as Betty Buckley, Alberto Mizrahi, George S. Irving, and composer/musician Anthony Newman. She can be heard on the recording of his opera, Nicole and the Trial of the Century. She is a composer/arranger of Jewish music and recently released an album of her original songs entitled Sing, Pray, Repeat! She also performed in a concert of music by composers of the Theresienstadt ghetto in a benefit for the Virginia Holocaust Museum. Her music has been heard on Jewish Rock Radio. She is the proud mother of Abigail and Zev.

Currently a collaborative pianist at North Park and DePaul Universities, Jennifer McCabe has been described as “the new Gerald Moore” and “an infinitely sympathetic pianist”. An Associated Artist with Working in Concert, she has performed with organizations such as The Kennedy Center, Northwestern University, Music Institute of Chicago, NATS, Bellissima Opera, Sinfonietta Bel Canto. Pianist for the world premiere staged performance of Chicago composer Philip Seward’s operetta “High Fidelity” at the Royal George Theater, she was also the pianist for the world premiere of the operatic quartet “Transcendence” by David Shenton and Christine Steyer.  Jennifer was vocal coach, pianist and conductor for North Park University’s 2023 opera production of “Buried Alive” which was awarded 2nd place in Division 5 by the National Opera Association. 

 She has performed with Nisanne Howell of the CSO, Chicago-area university faculty and Lyric Opera and Grant Park chorus members. She has played in master classes and educational settings for Renee Fleming, Katelyn Lee, Ramsey Lewis, Elizabeth Futral, Jane Bunnell, composer Libby Larsen and Michael Ehrman. Notably, Jennifer was pianist/coach for the Merit School of Music’s ground-breaking “Renee Fleming Voice Initiative” working with teens in its first two years and pianist for their first ever virtual master class, documented in the Chicago Tribune by arts critic John von Rhein. 

Jennifer’s contributions as managing director, pianist and board member of Opera on Tap Chicago were hailed by Anne Hiatt (founder of Opera on Tap USA) as “…top notch…crucial to the Chapter’s survival and success.”  An in-demand private piano teacher for over 25 years, Jennifer frequently contributes her time to underserved communities as a piano teacher and adjudicator. In her work as a ChiArts Teaching Artist, Jennifer was praised by world renowned pianist and teacher Ramsey Lewis as “a wonderful teacher!” Additionally, Jennifer’s students have been accepted into prestigious collegiate music programs and have attended distinguished summer programs at Interlochen, University of Illinois, and Blue Lake.

As a result of her dedication to arts education, Jennifer was the recipient of “Best of Chicago 2019” for Harmony Piano Studio and a Sycamore Music Boosters Legacy Award Recipient in 2020 where she was an inductee into the Music Hall of Fame at Sycamore High School for her lifetime contributions to music. A 1995 graduate of Northern Illinois University with a BA in piano, she also completed additional graduate studies at NIU and MTSU in piano performance and education. Jennifer has studied voice, acting, writing, clarinet, saxophone, steel pan, organ, guitar, piano tuning, and composition.

Jennifer’s greatest passion is fostering a love of music in her students and audiences through her teaching and performing. Music is life. 

Sarah Kropski is a soprano soloist and main stage performer in the Chicagoland area. As a collaborator and performer of children’s sing-a-long programs at libraries and a recital series educating audiences on a variety of classical soprano traditions and styles, Sarah is always seeking opportunities to bring a classical vocal style to all music genres and venues.

Sarah was a member of the original cast of Jane Austen’s Persuasion: A Musical Drama, and has performed the role of Henrietta in numerous international productions with Chamber Opera Chicago. Most recently, Sarah was in the original cast performance of Future Perfect from Bellissima Opera’s Tales of Transcendence, and was a featured artist in Bellissima Opera’s 2023 International Women’s Day Concert. Other credits include: Liesl in The Sound of Music (Chamber Opera Chicago), Kitty in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Chamber Opera Chicago), Rapunzel in Into the Woods (Southland Area Theatre Ensemble), and Phyllis in Iolanthe(Prairie Fire Theater).

Sarah earned a Vocal Performance degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and is the recipient of a Bella Voce Award from Chicago’s Bel Canto Foundation. She is the project specialist for the Music & Theatre Department and Performing Arts Division of New Trier High School.

Howard has worked extensively as a pianist, composer, arranger and musical director for 30 years in the fields of television commercials, feature films, variety shows, T.V. series and record albums in Los Angeles and Chicago. Some of the more  “high-profile” performers Howard has worked with are Patti LaBelleMel Torme, Take 6, Johnny Frigo, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, Karen Carpenter, The Lennon Sisters, The Chipmunks, Jim Brickman, B.B. King, Marie Osmond,and Buster Pointdexter

While in Los Angeles Howard worked on over 1000 commercials (as pianist/composer/music director) for clients such as Budweiser, Burger King, McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Cadillac Coca Cola, Pepsi, Gatorade, Sears, Kellogg’s, Reebok, Nikeetc….. 

Howard arranged and produced music as well as performed as the singing voice of Alvin in more than 150 songs for the Chipmunks TV series in the 80s.

Howard has regularly played keyboards in the orchestra pit for Broadway musicals in Chicago such as Hamilton, Beautiful, West Side Story, Billy Elliot, and Dirty Dancing. Additionally, Howard has been music director for many gifted Chicago Cabaret artists and is often involved as a pianist/MD for CCP events

Howard is available as a musical director, accompanist, arranger, and recording session producer.

5974 N. Leader

Chicago, IL 60646                   


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Peter Storms is a Chicago-based singer and multi-instrumentalist who has built a reputation as a sensitive accompanist and interpreter of many musical styles, a detailed transcriptionist, a fearless sight reader, and a skilled orchestrator and arranger.  Second to collaborating with fellow musicians, his favorite activity is finding new ways to understand and interpret works that are over- (or under) played.  His work as music director and sound designer has been heard on many stages throughout Chicago, work for which he earned a Joseph Jefferson Equity Citation for Outstanding Sound Design.  Peter has created music for performing artists and ensembles across the country and has toured with Irish tenor Michael Londra, also conducting the orchestra on Michael’s Emmy-nominated PBS special, Beyond Celtic.  Outside of music, Peter does IT work for a national non-profit organization and advocates for justice alongside his beloved partner, Juliana.

Sol y Canto is the Boston-based award-winning Pan-Latin ensemble led by Puerto Rican/Argentine singer and percussionist Rosi Amador and New Mexican guitarist and composer Brian Amador. Featuring Rosi’s crystalline voice and Brian’s lush Spanish guitar and inventive compositions, Sol y Canto is known for making their music accessible to Spanish- and non-Spanish speaking audiences of all ages. They are frequently joined by other outstanding musicians steeped in Latin rhythms, including a cellist/singer, wind instrumentalist and acoustic bassist.

Founded in 1994, Sol y Canto’s socially conscious original songs are distinguished by poetic, often quirky lyrics set in a framework of varied musical styles with surprising twists featuring lush vocal harmonies. They can make you dance, laugh, cry and sigh all in one concert. Their arrangements of classic and contemporary Latin tunes are always fresh and original.

Visit the list of artists engaged in SongShop Live concerts since 2004!

Eric Vincent is one of the best French singer-songwriter, in the tradition of la Chanson Française of Jacques Brel, Claude Nougaro, Georges Brassens, Georges Moustaki. He began his career in Paris at the cabaret Le Port du Salut, with Coluche. Born in Forcé (Mayenne), Eric Vincent began playing banjo and violin, followed by years of classical studies, guitar, and composition. He was guitarist for a local rock group, then for a Jazz quartet. A concert-tour in the Indian Ocean Islands launched an amazing international career… first, in the French speaking countries, and soon, everywhere in the world (in more than 140 countris), proving that there is no language barrier for his songs.

In his youth he won the honor of opening for Jacques Brel in Quiberon (Brittany) and was encouraged by Brel to try his luck in Paris. A few months later, he was invited by France Inter television for a live performance, with Claude Nougaro. He soon signed his first contract with Eddie Barclay, a Major French record company and performed regularly in the Left Bank cabarets such as Le Port du Salut. He opened for Johnny Hallyday, Charles Aznavour, Gilbert Bécaud, etc… More recordings, radio and television appearances followed.

For decades he has toured the US every year, playing especially to schools and language teacher audiences. Especially adopted by the Haitain community, they fill the Brooklyn Auditorium in New-York at each return. His songs, a blend of jazz, rock and ethnic rhythms, flavored by his world travels, offer audiences direct contact with modern music and French contemporary songs and poetry. When he performs a one man band show, we forget he is alone on stage. His universal themes touch deeply both adults and young people. He has been involved in the world-wide project Opération Boule de neige,  initiated by school French children to counteract the impact of TV violence on youngsters. Eric helped them write the song Jamais plus de violence, directed its recording and has promoted  the project all around the world.

To newcomers, we welcome your support and participation.