Back Lot Bash

Backlot Bash

Back Lot Bash started in 2004 in response to the lack of women’s events and the limited presence of female artists in the Chicago LGBTQ community. What started as a one-day event to showcase local female artists and community organizations, has now grown into a 4-day festival due to the overwhelming response from local businesses, community partners, charitable organizations and the women’s community themselves.

Today, Back Lot Bash is an iconic staple of Chicago pride week and draws over 6000 attendees from Chicago, the Midwest and around the world to a unique outdoor venue in the historic Andersonville neighborhood. The event features local and emerging musicians and established performers of different genres as well as the first ever Chicago LGBTQ family day. Back Lot Bash highlights unity, equality, diversity and inclusiveness in an environment that is festive and celebratory of everyone in our community.

Every year, Back Lot Bash partners with local organizations such as HRC Chicago, CMSA and AIDS Ride Chicago to showcase their organizations at the event. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds are donated from Back Lot Bash to a number of charitable organizations including A Sister’s Hope, Girls in the Game, UCAN, and other groups focused on Women’s/LGBTQ issues.

In 2017, Roberts and Klujian had the honor and distinction of being recipients of the esteemed HRC Community Service Award in recognition of their community involvement and the impact they have had in supporting and advocating for Chicago’s LGBTQ community.

Please contact us at

Thank You,

Christina and Amie

Belinda Carlisle


Early career and The Go-Go’s
Belinda Carlisle’s first venture into music was a brief stint as drummer for the punk band The Germs, under the name Dottie Danger, although illness (specifically mononucleosis) prevented her from ever performing with them live. Soon after leaving this band, she founded The Go-Go’s (originally named The Misfits), with friend and fellow music novice Jane Wiedlin. With bassist-turned-guitarist Charlotte Caffey, guitarist-turned-bassist Kathy Valentine, and drummer Gina Schock, the Go-Go’s became one of the most successful American bands of the early 1980s, helping usher new wave music into popular American radio, and becoming the first all-female band in rock history to ever achieve a #1 album, who also wrote their own music, and played their own instruments. The Go-Go’s recorded two more studio albums (including 1982 Vacation, which went gold thanks to the title track). “Head over Heels,” from their 1984 album Talk Show, made it to #11, but they never repeated the success of their 1981 multi-platinum debut, Beauty and the Beat, which featured the hits “We Got the Beat” and “Our Lips Are Sealed”.

The Go-Go’s broke up in 1985, and Carlisle embarked on a solo career (although she continued to work with fellow Go-Go Charlotte Caffey). Carlisle’s first album, Belinda, was released on I.R.S. Records, in 1986. This album was successful in North America and was certified Gold in the U.S. and Platinum in Canada. Her summer hit “Mad About You” peaked at #3 in the U.S. and topped the Canadian Singles Chart. “Mad About You” was followed by the Motown-influenced single “I Feel the Magic”, and by a cover version of the Freda Payne song “Band of Gold”. All three songs were included on her debut album. The single Since You’ve Gone was used only for promotion.
During this time, Carlisle also had songs featured on movie soundtracks, notably “In My Wildest Dreams” from the movie Mannequin, as well as “Dancing in the
City” from the Whoopi Goldberg movie Burglar.

Heaven on Earth
Belinda Carlisle changed her hairstyle significantly for her second solo album, giving up her California Girl blonde bob for a long auburn style for 1987’s Heaven on Earth. The musical style eschewed the 1960s-influenced pop of Carlisle’s first album in favor of slickly produced 1980s power-pop, and was released in the United States through MCA, and in the United Kingdom through Virgin. The album became a Top 5 bestseller in the UK and Australia, and was nominated for a Grammy Award. The album’s producer, Rick Nowels, previously worked with Stevie Nicks, and would later collaborate with Kim Wilde, Jennifer Rush and Madonna.

The first release from Heaven on Earth was “Heaven Is a Place on Earth”, which topped the single charts, not only in the U.S., but also in the UK and in several other countries (the dance mix of the song also topped the dance chart). The radio-ready song was further propelled by a video, directed by Academy Award-winning American actress Diane Keaton. The second single from the album was “I Get Weak”, which shot to #2 in the U.S. and #10 in the U.K. The song was written by Diane Warren. The third single from the album was “Circle in the Sand,” another Top 10 hit in the U.S., the UK, and Germany. “World Without You” was another British hit, followed by 1988 low-charting ballad “Love Never Dies”, making this her fifth single from the album in the UK. In the U.S., the fourth and last single, “I Feel Free,” a cover of the Cream classic, failed to reach the Top 40.

Runaway Horses
Carlisle’s follow-up to the success of Heaven on Earth was Runaway Horses, released on October 23, 1989. The album hit the Top 5 in both Australia and the UK, certified double platinum in Australia and platinum in the UK and in Canada, but failed to reach similar success in the U.S. The first release, “Leave a Light On”, peaked at #11 in the U.S., and became another Top 5 smash in the UK, Australia and Canada. The song features a slide guitar solo by George Harrison (see ‘Collaborations’). The second U.S. single, “Summer Rain”, reached #30 in early 1990. The song, which Carlisle noted was the most difficult song she had ever sung up to that point,[citation needed] peaked successfully at #6 in Australia, where it has maintained popularity, and the tune saw a cover version, in 2004, by the Australian group Slinkee Minx. It was the final release from Runaway Horses in the UK where it was released as the album’s sixth single in December 1990, peaking at #23 in January 1991. Whereas in the U.S. Carlisle’s success was decreasing, her popularity remained big in Europe and Australia. In 1990, further singles from the Runaway Horses album were successful as well: the title track, the summer mood influenced “La Luna”, a Top 10 in Switzerland and top 20 hit in Germany and Australia, and “(We Want) The Same Thing”, remixed from a country-styled release into a massive Pop hit, reaching #6 in the UK.

In the late Autumn of 1990, the Go-Go’s reunited for a tour to support their first best-of album, Greatest, including a new recording of the cover song “Cool Jerk” (Go-Go’s original cover featured on Vacation).

Live Your Life Be Free
In 1991, Belinda Carlisle released her fourth solo album, Live Your Life Be Free. The album marked somewhat of a return to 1960s-influenced music for Carlisle. The single “Do You Feel Like I Feel?” was accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek video, inspired by the B-movie Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. The title track, “Live Your Life Be Free”, merged 1960s influences with producer Rick Nowel’s trademark bombast, and featured a video that emphasized colorful imagery, fashion, and Carlisle’s photogenic face. Subsequent releases, “Half the World” and “Little Black Book”, were also hits outside the U.S., and although Live Your Life Be Free as an album flopped in the U.S., it was a success in Europe (Top 10 in the UK), while the title track was a Top 20 hit single in the UK, Australia, Italy and Sweden. To date, “Do You Feel Like I Feel?” is Carlisle’s final single to enter in the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #73.

The Best of Belinda Vol.1
Still active in Europe and Australia with a record contract at Virgin Records, her 1992 greatest hits album, The Best of Belinda, Volume 1, reached #1, and was certified double platinum in both the UK and Australia. This first greatest hits album of her included all the hits taken from the Heaven on Earth, Runaway Horses, and Live Your Life Be Free albums, neglecting the ballad “Love Never Dies”, and the three I.R.S. singles from her first album; also, no movie-soundtrack songs appear on the collection. The US version of the Album was named “Her Greatest Hits” and included also songs from the first album Belinda.

Belinda Carlisle’s fifth solo album, Real, was released in 1993, on the Virgin label, in the U.S. and in Europe. Produced without Nowels, the disc was a departure from Carlisle’s polished pop music formula. Even the album’s cover photograph featured her with very little make-up. Belinda Carlisle co-produced and co-wrote much of the disc, collaborating heavily with friend and former Go-Go’s member Charlotte Caffey. The album reached #9 in the UK, and its first single, “Big Scary Animal”, peaked at #12 in the UK. The second single from Real was “Lay Down Your Arms”, which made the Top 30 in the UK.
At this time, Belinda Carlisle also recorded “One by One”, on the soundtrack for the 1993 movie The Harvest.

The Go-Go’s reunited again, later that year, to support the retrospective double-CD Return to the Valley of the Go-Go’s, their second collection, which featured three new songs, including the single “The Whole World Lost Its Head”. However, the band broke up again, soon after the promotional tour

A Woman and a Man
Carlisle returned to the recording studio, and resumed working again with Rick Nowels. In 1996, she released in the UK and Australia her sixth solo album, A Woman and a Man, on the Chrysalis Records label. This album, consisting of mostly relaxed adult pop, revitalized her solo career in Europe, and included several hits. The leadoff single, “In Too Deep”, returned Carlisle to the UK Top 10, for the first time in six years, reaching #6. “Always Breaking My Heart”, written and produced by Roxette’s Per Gessle, also made the UK Top 10, peaking at #8. The album spawned two more UK hits: “Love in the Key of C”, and “California”. The album reached #12 in the UK, and was certified gold. As a result of A Woman and A Man’s UK success, the album was released in the U.S., during the Summer of 1997, on the small Ark21 label. Despite the recent successful comeback in Europe, and the promotional appearances Carlisle made on American television and radio, the album did not enjoy similar success in North America selling only 17’000 copies.In 1996, Carlisle recorded “I Wouldn’t Be Here (If I Didn’t Love You)” for the Two If by Sea official movie soundtrack. In 1997, she recorded “I Won’t Say (I’m in Love)”, from Walt Disney’s Hercules,

A Place on Earth – The Greatest Hits
In 1999, Carlisle released a greatest hits album in the UK, a double-disc on the Virgin label, collectively entitled A Place on Earth – The Greatest Hits. Carlisle recorded three new tracks for the album first disc, properly called The Greatest Hits, including the single “All God’s Children”, and the songs “A Prayer for Everyone” and “Feels Like I’ve Known You Forever”. The second disc of her greatest hits album, in fact entitled A Place on Earth, contained previously released remixes of some of her hits, plus a couple of B sides, which were previously unreleased at the time. Some of the remixes were by William Orbit, who also worked with Madonna on her 1998 Ray of Light album. The album was certified Gold in the UK and went on to sell an excess of 1 million copies worldwide.

In 2007, the singer released her seventh album Voilà, which was her first full-length, solo studio album in more than ten years. The album was produced by John Reynolds. Consisting of a mix of French pop tunes and chanson standards, including covers of Françoise Hardy and Édith Piaf classics. Voilà was released via Rykodisc in the UK on February 5, and in the U.S. the following day, February 6, 2007. Carlisle was originally approached to make another pop rock album, but she declined immediately, in favor of recording this collection of songs, the style of which, she’d “absolutely fallen in love with” since moving to France in the early 1990

Betty Who

Betty Who

To understand where Betty Who currently stands in her career, it’s best to imagine her as she often stood as a kid: solo, in front of the bedroom mirror, belting out hits, dancing like everyone’s watching. Because as the Australian pop queen walked away from her record deal and in to her first independent album, she had a single mandate: “I am going to be the most me I can be.” That is, in part, why her third full-length statement is simply called Betty. It’s pure her: a brilliant swirl of pop—’80s, Y2K, and hyper-modern strains—that encompasses everything from intimate artful fare to darkly sexy bangers to full-on wedding reception shout-alongs. What’s more, these are songs about grown-woman emotions delivered by someone who rediscovered the drive and verve that fueled her rise through music in the first place. As Betty says, “It all came back to joy.”


There’s a reason Betty was tapped to remake the Queer Eye theme song for the uplifting series’ second season. It’s the same reason she’s soundtracked Pitch Perfect and made the Glee cast swoon, and that a certain legendary flash mob proposal video went viral to the tune of her 2012 debut single “Somebody Loves You.” Joy has always been in the music, but for Betty, her twelfth feeling had faded. “I didn’t understand how damaging it was to feel like I was never living up to expectation,” she says of her time on a major label. “When you’re in the middle of it, you think it’s driving you. When I came out the other side, I realized, no, I was devastated.” She wanted to handpick her team, sink or swim by her own choices, and share music while it’s fresh. With Betty, she did all of that and made an album that, as she puts it, “I’m more proud of than I could possibly say.”

The world got a taste of that with Betty’s first independent single “Ignore Me,” an uplifting ode to moving on set to warm, indie-tinged electropop. Likewise, synth-streaked dance cut “I Remember” takes on something sad—the dissonance that can bubble up in a relationship—and finds the sweetness there as Betty coos, “I don’t want perfect, I want you.” Our heroine not only split from her label in 2017, she got engaged, and the thrill of realizing you could spend your life with someone rings out on “Marry Me.” The song’s exuberance was inspired by the unabashed pop (namely Katy Perry) Betty loved as a teen. Meanwhile, the vintage JT-evoking “All This Woman” addresses a would-be lover but is really about Betty’s acceptance of her own body: “This is me saying to the man or woman I’m standing opposite, ‘This is what I want and you’re crazy if you don’t want it too.’”

These songs spilled out with a similar assuredness—among them, early teaser “Taste,” which Betty has described as “a little rock ‘n’ roll with just a touch of vampire fetish,” and Betty’s first official single, the achingly up-close, acoustic-powered “Between You & Me.” The process began in sessions between runs of her famously vibrant, intensely choreographed tour. She’d planned to write more when she came off the road, but instead realized she already had an album’s worth of songs she adored. So rather than iron them out in high-profile studios around Los Angeles, she absconded to a rental in Palm Springs with her two of her best friends, artist/producer Pretty Sister and decade-long collaborator Peter Thomas. They finished Betty in 10 days between shared meals and streaming sunshine. “It was one of the best times of my life,” recalls Betty. “I swear I’ll never make a record any other way.”

But that setting conjures the beginning of Betty Who, when the woman born Jessica Newham studied cello at Berklee during the week, then took the first train out to Providence so she could spend all weekend inventing her sound at classmate Peter’s family home. And that hustle itself mimics a theme of Betty’s childhood in Sydney: while her classical training began at age 4, she devoted every free second to Britney, Christina, *NSYNC, and MJ. The voices, the moves, the lyrics, the spectacle—she ate it all up, especially that feeling the best pop gives you: “When you hear it,” says Betty, “and go, ‘Oh my God, you literally wrote this about me.’ I’ve wanted to make music like that ever since.” In that spirit, Betty gives us what we need most right now: an excuse to dance in the mirror, license to trust our instinct, and knowledge that joy is never too far away.


Blake Lewis

Blake Lewis

Blake Lewis first came to national attention as one of the most unique contestants ever to compete on American Idol, and long before that, as a teenager, he was well-known as “Bshorty” in Seattle’s a cappella, hip-hop, and rave scenes. But with the release of his ambitious and completely independent third album, Portrait of a Chameleon, Blake is taking things to a whole new level.

The follow-up to the critically acclaimed Audio Day Dream (which sold 350,000 copies and spawned the top 40 single “Break Anotha”) and Heartbreak on Vinyl (the title track of which went to #1 twice on Billboard’s dance charts), Portrait of a Chameleon is “fun, sexy, and positive. I’d call it ‘future pop,'” says Blake. “Across the album, I juxtapose so many different kinds of music. It’s very anthemic, and there’s an epic feel. The album metaphor has to do with finding our colors, as we are all chameleons. I’m standing out on the cover because I’ve found mine. I will always continue to stretch the boundaries of the human voice and create the music that colors my life.”

Using Blake’s own painstakingly handcrafted library of sampled mouth sounds (“beatboxing, sound effects, vocal scratching, the works”) as its foundation, Portrait of a Chameleon runs the gamut from the reggae-tinged Nick Hexum co-write “She Gives Me Her Love” to the horn-laden funky-freshness of “Disco in Space,” from the sexy slow-jam “Lost in Heaven” to the poignant life-on-the-fringe cautionary tale “Not Today,” the latter inspired by Blake’s mother, whom he considers his main inspiration. The album also features the hard-hitting, bass-in-your-face “Your Touch,” the soundtrack to 2013’s Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 campaign — which starred Blake, played on more than 19,000 theater screens across the U.S., received more than 1.2 billion impressions, and has already sold 130,000 copies worldwide.

But perhaps the centerpiece of Portrait is the ’80s-tastic pop epic “Retro Romance.” A sonic sequel of sorts to “Heartbreak on Vinyl,” the frothy, feelgood ode to a Jordache-clad dreamgirl with “Suzanne Somers thighs” sounds like a final-love-scene song on a John Hughes soundtrack — meaning, of course, that it sounds totally awesome. “Duran Duran, the Cure, Depeche Mode, Prince, and Michael Jackson were always playing when I was growing up, on CD or on vinyl,” Blake says fondly of his proud ’80s influences.

However, Portrait of a Chameleon — out on Blake’s on Audio Day Dream Records and distributed through InGrooves — still has a hypermodern feel, and Blake is looking ahead, hoping that his “future pop” will connect with fans of all ages. “So here we go/A chance to start again/The melody is calling me/There’s no time to pretend,” he boldly declares in the album’s opening track.

“I never wanted to stick to one style or stay in one place,” Blake stresses. “And I haven’t been more proud of anything in my life than this album.”

“Blake Lewis is such an amazing talent, and Portrait of a Chameleon really delivers on showcasing all his skill and artistry.” — Ken Jordan, The Crystal Method

“Blake is a super-soulful and creative dude. We had a lot of fun writing ‘She Gives Me Her Love.’ Great vocal and beats.” — Nick Hexum, 311

Boy Band Review


Boy Band Review is the best Boy Band Tribute Show in the country! Bringing full production lights, video, choreography, harmonies, and energy, Boy Band Review has captured the hearts of fans with their #boyband shows that transport audience members back in time to the days of frosted tips and hunky front men professing their undying love.

Bringing some sweet hip thrusts and air grabs performed perfectly “N SYNC”, Boy Band Review, shows are an incredible throwback experience where fans relive the best years! They are playing to capacity crowds throughout the Midwest and spreading nationwide. They have played numerous high-profile events, private engagements, a Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood Casino, and countless venues across the country to capacity crowds. Boy Band Review is everyone’s favorite show since the 1990s!

Boy Band Review is the original 90’s Boy Band tribute from Chicago. Boy Bands Review has captured the hearts of fans with their show that transport audience members back in time to the days of frosted tips and hunky front men professing their undying love. The BOY BAND REVIEW is spreading nationwide and have already played high profile events including the NHL Stadium Series, Dustin Diamond’s Bayside Bash, Yelp’s Chi-beria Send-off, Summerfest in Milwaukee and numerous private events where BBR became everyone’s favorite Boy Band!

Brian Justin Crum

Brian Justin Crum 1

Brian Justin Crum is singer, songwriter, and stage actor hailing from San Diego, California. He attended the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. At the age of seventeen, BJC left San Diego to join the cast of the Broadway musical Wicked. He later joined the casts of the musical comedy Altar Boyz and the revival of Grease.

Brian became a part of the pop culture zeitgeist with his audition performance of Queen’s “Somebody To Love” on the 11th season of
NBC’s America’s Got Talent. He went on to secure his spot as a top 4 finalist. Brian’s energetic dance remake of Robyn’s hit from 1997, “Show
Me Love” hit number 2 on Billboard’s dance chart.

Brian has a brand new single, “Wild Side” released and is busy writing and recording his forthcoming EP with tour dates across the globe. He
continues to use his voice and new found visibility to advocate for the LGBTQ community in the hopes that future generations know they
matter in this world.

Carlito Olivero


27 year-old, Carlito Emmanuel Olivero hails from the windy city of Chicago, Illinois. Growing up in a household of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent, his parents have always aspired to share with their 3 children the rich history of song and dance engrained deep in their Latino roots. As far back as he can remember music has not only been an undying passion, but an essential part of his existence.

The bilingual artist has been performing in English and Spanish since the young age of 5, pursuing his life’s intention of changing the world through his love of music. In 2007 responding to a Craigslist ad, Carlito auditioned for a lead vocalist role for the Latin Pop group Menudo. Later that year, an MTV reality television series titled Making Menudo premiered with 15 contestants competing to land a slot in the new band.

Besides a return to the original name, this 2007 lineup would be the first to live under the new age cap of 20. Carlito Olivero, along with 4 other latin hopefuls were formed as the new Menudo with an album planned for release in the fall. Signed to Sony Music, the group toured in support of their debut singles “Lost” and “More Than Words”.

The group disbanded the following year and Carlito relocated to Los Angeles to continue to pursue his singing career and move into the acting arena. Upon his arrival to Los Angeles, Carlito was tapped as a lead in Mario Van Peebles directed teen based film entitled “We The Party” (released 2012) and a year later in 2013 auditioned for the Hit TV show “X Factor” on fox. Ending the competition as a TOP 3 finalist and becoming one of the first latino contestants to ever participate on the show, Carlito has walked away with fans hearts worldwide.

With a lead role on HULU original series East Los High Season 3 & 4 along with 2 major films hitting theaters everywhere in 2017, Carlito is continuing to grow on both his acting and songwriting skills while collaborating with numerous industry pros. His first album released July 16, 2015 “Dreams Don’t Become Reality While Sleeping” now we wait anxiously for the release of his 2nd album “V2” scheduled to drop mid 2017. Carlito’s Urban based Rhythmic Pop flavored with occasional Spanish language have created a unique sound which sets him apart from the male vocalists in the current pop/r&b landscape.



Chicks that Rock!

Catfight covers pop and rock hits from the ’80s to today’s top 40. This all-female group keeps proving time and time again that girls just wanna have fun.

This all-girl band has been called “the darlings” of the Chicago cover band scene. From covering top artists of today including Brittany Spears, Icona Pop and One Republic, to playing classic favorites by Prince and Queen, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Catfight’s pure fun, party show.

From their humble beginnings to a host of high-profile events in Las Vegas, NV, and beyond….this litter of kittens has been playing their hearts out for over a decade!!! Join, LoriCat, MollyPop, Julie Pants, Little Lisa, Kimikat, and BabyCat as they tear their claws into every rip-roaring event this summer! Get ready to, 1, 2, 3 SOCIAL!

Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus


Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus is an inclusive, community-based performing arts organization that creates musical experiences to entertain and enlighten, inspire change, and build community. Through colorful performances that blend traditional choral music with musical theater, jazz and pop, and a gay aesthetic, they seek to delight their audiences, enrich their members and explore issues relevant to LGBT people and their allies—enlivening Chicago’s cultural landscape and creating a better community for all.

The Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus (CGMC) has been an integral part of Chicago’s cultural and gay communities since 1983. For the last three decades, they have entertained audiences across the continent with innovative musical programming, exploring everything from love to politics to the sometimes fabulous, sometimes challenging world of being gay-often all at the same time. Their always-memorable performances have included original musical revues; five popular productions celebrating the Sidetrack show tune experience; full-length book musicals including The Wizard of Oz, The Mikado, H.M.S. Pinafore and our original work – Ten Commandments – The Musical; traditional choral concerts and intimate cabaret presentations-all punctuated with their signature joyous irreverence.

CGMC has traveled extensively across North America, representing Chicago in cities including Montreal, New York, Denver, Miami, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. They have also brought entertainment back home, hosting choruses from across the United States and Europe to sing with the chorus here in Chicago.

Most recently, CGMC proudly sang “America the Beautiful” for the Illinois Marriage Equality Act bill-signing ceremony and was the featured guest choral performer for the star-studded concert, Broadway Rocks, with the Grant Park Music Festival in 2011. Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in 2001 and currently has four cd-recordings available: Cool Yule, featuring jazzy holiday selections; I Will Be Loved Tonight, a collection of their favorite love (and not-so-in-love) songs; Favorite Things, their second celebration of holiday music; and So Happy Together: Festival Gems, featuring all live performances from their appearances at the last three quadrennial GALA Festivals. CGMC has performed the National Anthem multiple times at world-famous Wrigley Field and for the WNBA Chicago Sky.

We Entertain.

CGMC delivers a unique entertainment experience found nowhere else in the city. We produce professional-quality shows that combine the best elements of musical theater, cabaret and traditional choral performance. But only CGMC can add that special “twist of gaiety” that can make each show fun, moving and memorable.

We Inspire.

Whether we’re representing the community while singing the national anthem at Wrigley Field or we’re providing rarely-seen GLBT-friendly entertainment in smaller cities downstate, CGMC serves as ambassadors and provides a positive image to countless thousands every year.

We Motivate.

Sometimes the message to take action can be delivered more effectively through song than through speech. That’s why CGMC has been heard regularly in the dome of the state Capitol (supporting GLBT rights and domestic partner benefits) and at major fundraising events throughout the city (often supporting AIDS-related organizations).

We Comfort.

CGMC is not only an integral part of the community, but we are a family. When asked to help, CGMC heeds the call. We’ve sung at at the Auditorium Theater honoring the victims of Sept. 11. We sing at smaller memorial services honoring local community leaders… and sometime our own members. We’re humbled to realize that CGMC’s presence can bring comfort and healing to those around us.

Chicago Spirit Brigade


The Chicago Spirit Brigade is a community-based fundraising organization whose purpose is to raise money and awareness for non-profit groups that provide direct care services to individuals with life-threatening challenges.

Chicago Spirit Brigade is a 501c3 non-profit organization and was formed in January of 2003 to raise money and awareness for other non-profits providing direct care services to people with life-threatening challenges.
Each time Chicago Spirit Brigade performs at an event, we take along our “spirit buckets” to accept the generous donations of spectators who have been moved by our thrilling performance and inspired by our mission. 125% of the monies raised go directly to the pre-selected beneficiary for that event.

Crystal Waters

Market Days 2023 Performer CRYSTAL WATERS 01

Multi-platinum singer, songwriter, producer, pioneer, Dance Music Legend Crystal Waters was named by Billboard Magazine as one of the most successful Dance Music Artist in the history of the Billboard Dance Music Chart. In 2019 Ms Waters was featured in “Unsung” a TV documentary about the singers life . In 2022 Crystal received “Howard University’s Prestigious “Distinguished Post Graduate Achievement Award” and is also listed in the “Book of Who’s Who in Black America”.

Ms. Waters currently host her “I AM HOUSE Radio Show” on iTunes with over 7 million monthly listeners. Crystal’s radio show can also be heard on SiriusXM Channel 141 Saturday and Sunday nights 8pm EST.

As a House Music Icon with over 2.5 million monthly listeners and 100,000 followers on Spotify, Crystal continues to consistently tour and engage her enormous fan base. She boasts 12 #1 Billboard Dance Chart hits and 11 top ten songs. Her music has been sampled and covered by the likes of T.I. , Mary Mary, Pit Bull,  Alicia Keys, G-Easy and many more.

Crystal is best known for her songs; the groundbreaking 1991 single “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)”, it was one of the first House songs to crossover into pop radio, her 1994 single “100% Pure Love” spent a record breaking 48 weeks on the Billboard Pop chart , in 2021 it re-entered the Billboard Electronic Dance Top 10 chart and in 2007 her #1 European hit “Destination Calabria” with Alex Gaudino, it went to number 1 on Pop Charts in over 40 countries. 

Her accolades include 6 ASCAP Songwriter Awards, three American Music Award nominations, a MTV Video Music Award nod and four Billboard Music Awards. Always prolific, her latest release “Party People” with DJ Spen and remix by Michael Grey is a massive success garnering major support from the likes of BBC Radio One, Nexus Radio, Pete Tong, Carl Cox, Low-Steppa and more.


Dancing Queen/ABBA Salute

Dancing Queen ABBA Salute cover 01

Dancing Queen: An ABBA Salute is the ultimate tribute to the music of ABBA – sure to capture the hearts of fans and audiences of all ages! This live show is full of musical prowess, fabulous flair and fashion, and promises a mesmerizing ABBA experience for every Chiquitita, Super Trouper, Fernando, and Dancing Queen around!

Fronted by a dynamic Agnetha and Frida duo, the music of the greatest pop band in history comes to life in a joyful celebration of these timeless tunes. Dancing Queen: An ABBA Salute is the Midwest’s longtime one-and-only resident ABBA tribute, with a repertoire of over 40 all-time favorite hits. From Waterloo to Mamma Mia, SOS to Knowing Me Knowing You, Honey Honey to Voulez-Vous, audiences won’t be able to help singing and dancing along with this high-energy homage to everything ABBA!


DJ Cajjmere Wray

DJCajjmere Wray


World renowned DJ & Producer Cajjmere Wray (aka: CCW) has been a staple in the dance music/club scene globally for many years. He stirs a mix of house styles primarily of circuit & tribal with vocals mixed in, which is definitely a part of what makes him a must see DJ.

In the studio Cajjmere Wray has officially remixed many of the world’s greatest talents including: Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Nelly Furtado, Paulina Rubio, Offer Nissim, and Deborah Cox to name only a few. His widely supported productions are a large piece in the history of his notable style and sound. His contribution to dance music has helped many artists land the #1 spot on the Billboard Club Play Charts. Cajjmere’s remixing effort on singer/songwriter Natalia Safran’s “All I Feel Is You”, is featured in the Sony/Columbia Pictures major motion picture ‘FLATLINERS’ from 2017.

With 20 years and counting now behind him in the business, Cajjmere Wray has successfully headlined festivals & events on 2 major continents in various cities including:

White Party – Miami, 1LIFE Festival – LA, PRISM Festival – Toronto, DIVERSITÉ Festival – Montreal, VINYL WARRIORS Tour – Serbia. COUTURE LA, SCORE Miami, TRACKS Denver, STEREO – Montreal, CIRCUS – Montreal, and others.

DJ Jesse Mercado



Jesse Mercado grew up in Crystal Lake and Cary, in the far Northwest suburbs, but he fell in love with Chicago as a kid and knew it was where he wanted to live – and he’s been a fan of local dance music since the late-1980s, when he used to sneak into Chicago on Sunday nights to attend the B96 dance parties at the Riviera Theater.

It was Steve “Silk” Hurley who inspired Mercado to be a DJ.

In 2005, Mercado watched Hurley spin one of the “DJ’s In The Park” events hosted by the Chicago Park District, “and he moved the crowd unlike anything I have ever seen,” Mercado said.  “The crowd erupted into a frenzy every time he introduced a new track; it was magical.

“At that point, I knew I wanted to be a DJ.”

In 2007, Mercado started learning the craft, and has since worked at multiple venues in Chicago as well as clubs in Dallas, New York, Kansas City, St Louis, Toronto, and elsewhere.

Jesse Mercado is now DJ Jesse Mercado, a fixture on the gay scene, known for his tribal/vocal house style.  He has been spinning at Hydrate Nightclub in Boystown for more than three years and has been an official resident since January, 2015.  Mercado spins at Hydrate six times a year, with his next stop at Hydrate is on April 29.  Plus, he’s been a resident DJ at Steamworks for the last five years, spinning at the bath house on the fourth Saturday of each month for its Bears, Bath and Beyond event.

“As a DJ (for gay venues), it’s very rewarding,” Mercado said.  “Everyone on the dance floor faces one another and feeds off of the energy of the music as well as each other, which allows me to take the crowd on a journey over the course of several hours.  I can play very high energy music and have them working up a sweat, then take them down a darker sexier path and watch sexual tensions rise.  It’s really fun to orchestrate and something that is very unique to the gay community.

“When I DJ a daytime event, the vibe is more carefree with lots of tracks that people can sing with and throw their hands up in the air.  When it’s a club event or something like Steamworks, it’s a sexier tribal or tech house sound with less vocals and hard driving beats.”

DJ Oscar Velazquez



DJ OSCAR VELAZQUEZ is easily one of the most influential DJ’s on the Mexican house music scene.

He started his career as an amateur disc jockey in 1984. In January 2005, he was invited to become a staff member at a Mexico City radio station named BEAT 100.9 FM. The station was the first in the country to program electronic music exclusively. In this position, Oscar catapulted radio listeners to the dance floor without leaving home. His weekly 2 hour broadcast, club diez cero nueve (club10/09), is dedicated to showing his abilities both as a DJ and as a producer.

In 2008 he won the DJ Concept Award for BEST MEXICAN DJ, and for the past 3 years he has appeared constantly on the Top Ten DJ’s list.

The beats which characterize Oscar’s style is the result of more than 25 years inside the music industry, using trends from house, progressive house, techno & tribal, he creates a very eclectic mix of rhythms, genres and crossovers which tend to satisfy the most demanding clubbers and allows him to keep doing what he likes most in life: mixing.

DJ Tom Stephan


Tom Stephan is an artist who truly marches to his own drum. The US-born, UK-based DJ has headlined the world’s most highly regarded parties and clubs from the Black Party New York to the White Party Palm Springs, from Space Ibiza to Stereo Montreal to Ageha Tokyo, while holding down residencies at Beyond London, Matinee Barcelona, WE Party Madrid, Big Paris, Rapido Amsterdam, Karmabeat Mexico City and Alegria NYC. In the studio, he’s among the most accomplished, with a discography of original and remix work that includes 18 Billboard Dance Chart Number One’s, and reads like a who’s-who of global dance music producers: from Basement Jaxx to Beyoncé, Missy Elliot to Major Lazer.

Most well known for his “Superchumbo” moniker, Tom’s sound was born out of the NYC after-hours scene and merged with his home base in East London. Never one to accept complacency, Tom has embraced the creative advantages of using Traktor as his DJing “instrument.” This full-fledged flexing of technology allows him to create an unrelenting dance-floor experience that is unrivaled in terms of intensity, creativity, and fluidity. Come hear for yourself why Tom Stephan is heralded as one of the best in the game.

DJ Toy Armada


Born in Quezon City, Philippines, in 1980, Toy started DJing at the age of 23. He was given the title “Head DJ” of BED Manila from the moment he received his residency till the day they finally closed it’s doors in 2015. He made his name with his own signature sound of thunderous tribal beats and soaring vocal anthems that is recognized instantly.
He has performed for major event’s like Jeffrey Sanker’s legendary White Party Palm Springs, New Year’s Eve at White Party Bangkok and the massive beach party at Winter Party Festival in Miami to name a few, establishing him as one of Asia’s mightiest talents.

Toy’s production work began in 2010, but it wouldn’t be until 2012 when he would meet his partner
DJ GRIND that would open more doors and lead to US & UK billboard #1 remixes with artists like Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Hailee Steinfeld, Carly Rae Jepsen, Kylie Minogue, Cher, Mel B, Demi Lovato, Inaya Day, Abigail, Ella Henderson and a lot more.
Today Toy Armada enjoys playing in main festivals, cities and events around the world.

Don’t Speak


Don’t Speak: A No Doubt Tribute is a full-band experience with keyboards & horns performing hits from the entire No Doubt repertoire – an energetic & dynamic performance that provides hours of live musical entertainment.


Expose 01

Exposé is an American Latin freestyle vocal group formed in 1984 in Miami, Florida. Primarily consisting of lead vocalists Jeanette Jurado, Ann Curless, and Gioia Bruno, the group achieved much of their success between 1984 and 1993. They became the first group to attain four top-10 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 since their debut album, including 1988 number-one single “Seasons Change.” In March 2015, Billboard magazine named the group the eighth most-successful girl group of all-time.

The group was popular in dance clubs, mainstream Top 40, and adult contemporary charts in the United States. They actively toured and recorded music from 1984 to 1995, then retired from recording and public performances for 8 years until 2003. They currently tour today.

Feathered Beaus

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Chicago’s own cabaret act made up of Kylie Bear, Olin, Kiki and Dustin. The beaus sing the gambit of music styles from blues to jazz to musical theatre to pop! They do it all with style, sassiness, humor and dazzling vocal harmonies.

Established and incorporated in 2007, the Chicago Cabaret Project began entertaining and stimulating audiences at various venues throughout  the city of Chicago. The momentum gained after years in the cabaret scene marked a significant presence for the ensemble among the theatre and entertainment professionals of Chicago, garnering praise and admiration for their beautiful vocal stylings and their ever exciting and provocative, sexy presentations.

In 2012, The Chicago Cabaret Project reincorporated as The Cabaret Project. Continuing the spotlight in the following years, the troupe has worked all over the Chicagoland area, Lake Geneva (WI), St. Louis (MO) and Puerto Vallarta (MX).

Frenchie Davis


Frenchie can thank the smash hit NBC TV show “The Voice” for which she became a finalist, along with the hit Fox TV show “American Idol”, as they both gave her the platform for the world to take notice of this powerhouse DIVA that was born to SING!

Frenchie has severeal types of shows she can do, depending on what the situation calls for. She can do a track show, band show, and an acoustic show with her guitar player.

She left the show and went on to star in the touring road show of Dreamgirls, and recently ended a 4 year run starring in the hit “broadway” musical called RENT.

Frenchie recently finished a nationwide tour across the USA with her American Idol co-star (from season two) her friend, Ruben Studdard. She co-starred in the 30th Ann. award winning braodway play called “Ain’t Misbehavin” in the the role that won Nell Carter a Tony Award. Frenchie also received a “Grammy nonimation” (09) for the show recording.

Frenchie recorded a very hot “cover” of the million selling hit song by Shannon called, “Give Me Tonight” which went to #17 on the Billboard Dance Charts.

Frenchie had a smash hit song called “You Are” with the “legandary” DJ/Producer Tony Moran which went to #5 on the Billboard Dance Charts.

Frenchie recorded an amazing cover song called “Sweet Dreams” (made famous by La Bouche). Available on iTunes.

When Frenchie performs, she loves to throw in a few songs that everybody knows and loves like, “Born This Way”, “Crazy”, “Wanna Dance With Somebody”, “Sweet Dreams”, the dance classic “When Love Takes Over” along with “Like A Prayer” (which she performed on “The Voice”) as well as her recent debut single and video called, “Love’s Got A Hold On Me”.

The song features remixes by Dave Aude, Laszlo, Itay Kalderone, KlubJumpers, Rafael M. and DJ Tony Marinos. The video for “Love’s Got A Hold On Me” was directed by Brian Friedman (Britney, X-factor, So You Think You Can Dance.)

Frenchie is currently recording several more songs with some amazing people, and gathering songs for her long awaited debut album titled “Just Frenchie” to be released in Spring 2016.

Frenchie lives in New York, NY.

Girl Power Night

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Tired of shows that just fell short in the delivery, Anna and Mollie got together to create something fresh that encompasses energy, dance, and great songs… all in the name of Girl Power!  Now with a dynamic stage show complete with choreography and awesome mash-ups, Girl Power Night sets off as the cool new Chicago group dancing and singing their way into everyone’s heart.

Anna and Mollie rock the stage as their DJ  plays all the Girl Power hits mashed up and delivered uniquely girl power style. From Britney, Pink, Gwen, to Spice Girls, Destiny’s Destiny’s Child and more. With a DJ mixing the tracks and dancers fully choreographed, the show is a non-stop dance party.

Girls that Rock and Women who influence the world! Including: Michelle Bachelet, Benazir Bhutto, Katie Couric, Drew Gilpin Faust, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Sonia Gandhi, Melinda Gates, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Wangari Maathai, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Angela Merkel, Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, to name a few!

Hank & Cupcakes


Cheap Thrill brings the raw energy of Hank & Cupcakes’ live shows off the stage and onto your home stereo, with a grungier edgier record than ever before while holding onto their fierce signature off-the-walls infectious sound.

Seeing Hank & Cupcakes live, and hearing their latest album, Cheap Thrill, is like watching two of your best friends fall in love. The record truly captures the band’s sound: sensual, powerful, and highly energetic. There’s no careful choreography here, no proliferation of autotune to mold the songs into something palatable to the sterile chewed up standards of today’s Top 40 culture. The raw, unfiltered, uncensored reality of Hank & Cupcakes is what Cheap Thrill is built on. It’s a sonic revolution and it’s calling you to join in and rock out.

Hank & Cupcakes are Aliens of Extraordinary Ability… At least according to the US immigration services. Hailing from Tel Aviv to New York City in late 08’, the duo, consisting of powerhouse vocalist/drummer Cupcakes and bassist extraordinaire Hank were quickly dubbed a “must see” live act on the local scene. Attracting praise from MTV and New York Post, the buzzworthy band were signed to BMG with whom they released their 2012 ‘Aint No Love’ EP. When faced with the choice of creative compromise vs. artistic freedom, Hank & Cupcakes chose the latter, walking away from the deal to self release their debut LP ‘Naked’ in 2013, followed by ‘Cash 4 Gold’ in 2014. The two are known for their explosive live performance which has finally met it’s match in the form of the band’s forthcoming record, Cheap Thrill.

The album was recorded in a custom setup in the duo’s new Atlanta home where Brooklyn producer Van Goose, who spent a week down south, joined them, immersed in the project. Microphones were set up in & out of the house infrastructure including heating shafts, closets and different rooms all intended to create an array of sonic chambers & an ambient live record.

The striking cover art for Cheap Thrill is the fruit of a collaboration with internationally acclaimed Mexican artist Claudio Limon. Like their music, Hank & Cupcakes’ cover image comes across at first as pure energetic art but Shir explains that there’s more to it than meets the eye: “The on the album cover is deliberately gender-blurry and set in a religious-looking environment. The idea came to us while working on the record when many “religious freedom” bills discriminating against LGBT community & bills curbing women’s reproductive rights were (and still are) brought up constantly. We strongly object to this and wanted to comment on the absurdity and misuse of religion as a tool of discrimination and oppression and on the lack of equality we still see in our society.

Hank & Cupcakes will be taking Cheap Thrill on the road this summer with an explosive live show accompanied by a huge stage design corresponding with the album art and will be touring all over the East Coast, Midwest and South. Do not miss the chance to see them live this summer!

Hello Weekend

COVER Hello Weekend

Hello Weekend is a nonstop, hit after hit, party band. They not only bring high-energy sound with Christina’s heart stopping vocals, but they bring a captivating stage presence and an overall transfixing performance, the likes of which, you won’t soon forget!

Hello Weekend strives to keep you dancing with a wide ranging set list that covers everything from Gaga to Guns N’ Roses, Bruno Mars to The Beach Boys and performs countless festivals, weddings, private and corporate functions each year. When working with clients our number one goal is to truly provide an unforgettable Hello Weekend experience!

Hello Weekend delivers the goods and will have you wanting more! This group not only allures with their infectious stage performance, but will wow you with their raw musical talent. You’re sure to have an amazing time that will leave you shouting “Hello Weekend!”

Jessica Sanchez

Born in San Diego, Jessica Sanchez was two years old when her parents noticed she had a gift for singing. By the time she was 10 Jessica was performing on shows like, Showtime at the Apollo, and America’s Got Talent. As a final contestant on season 11 of American Idol, Jessica Sanchez rose to stardom by belting out soaring ballads by the likes of Etta James, and Whitney Houston. In 2013 she released her debut album with Interscope Records titled “Me, You, and the Music” and went #8 on the Billboard Pop Charts. The first single “Tonight” featuring Neyo has over 14 million views on YouTube.

After leaving Interscope, Jessica began touring domestically and internationally, garnering a #1 album and two #1 singles in the Philippines. In 2015 the California native released her first independent single “This Love”, which has more than 1 million views on YouTube and brought on a new management team, Mayhem Management Group, with Mark Lamica, who has worked with and managed award winning artists the late greats Michael Jackson, and Prince. In December 2015 she released her first ever Christmas EP, “Christmas with Jessica” that was featured on Billboard.

This year Jessica performed in front of millions of TV viewers for the series finale of American Idol that garnered rave reviews from TIME, USA Today, ELLE Mag, Latina Mag, and more. For the first time in her career Jessica also had the opportunity of performing alongside renowned artist, Andrea Bocelli for his World Tour with more dates to come.

From her newly released single, “Call Me”, to songwriting in the studio, Jessica has elevated her vocal artistry to a new level as she gears up for her second album.

Joe Policastro Trio


The Joe Policastro Trio is a Chicago-based jazz trio led by bassist Joe Policastro featuring guitarist Dave Miller and drummer Mikel Avery. While firmly rooted in jazz, the band’s open-minded, inclusive nature also brings rock, soul, funk, Brazilian, and free jazz to the surface while keeping the aesthetic of an acoustic jazz trio intact. Their third album, Screen Sounds (JeruJazz Records, August 11, 2017), is an assemblage of movie/TV music re-imagined by the trio. Both a musical tapestry and personal soundtrack, the trio has re-purposed these selections blending each member’s unique voice into a unified sound while shedding new light on these musical touchstones. Other releases by the band include 2013’s West Side Story Suite For Jazz Trio, and 2016’s POPS!, also on JeruJazz Records.

Bands are a rarity in jazz these days, especially ones who hone their craft as consistently as this one does. Their last album, POPS! (2016), was a collection of the trio’s re-workings of “pop” tunes, and a nod to Pops For Champagne, the famed Chicago nightclub where the trio continues its long-running, three-nights-a-week residency. Beyond Chicago, the band has been extensively playing together on the road having completed several tours even performing for President Barack Obama in October of 2016.

As sidemen, Joe Policastro (Jeff Hamilton, Pat and Debby Boone, Phil Woods, Diane Schuur), Dave Miller (Clarice Assad, Patricia Barber, Algernon), and Mikel Avery (Joshua Abrams, Theaster Gates, Rob Mazurek) have shared the stage with a wide array of musicians but dedicate collectively to this trio. Whether highlighting the original music of its member, re-contextualizing modern music, or performing jazz classics of the likes of Thelonious Monk, Chico Hamilton, or Charles Lloyd, the trio readily displays its singular approach, sound, texture, and simultaneity.

“The trio have refined their layered blend of the familiar and faintly far out, playing three nights a week at Chicago’s Pops For Champagne and through extensive roadwork. Their deep understanding of each other and deft analysis of choice repertoire repays repeat and close listening.”
– Michael Jackson, Downbeat

Known for its eclectic taste and approach, the Joe Policastro Trio “makes the case that such musical hybridity is worth celebrating.” “Policastro…is a melody-minded bassist who prioritizes group cohesion over individual displays of virtuosity.”
– Brian Zimmerman, Downbeat

“There are always new wrinkles to be found in the familiar. That’s a political stance that seems to serve the Joe Policastro Trio well…putting alternately gritty and focused touches on songs we’ve come to love….Policastro and company have found their niche tapping into different breeds of treasured songs.”
– Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

The Joe Policastro Trio is a band that can turn “pop tart into Jazz art” (Travis Rogers, Jazz Owl) and one that “should have wide appeal among both jazz fans and listeners of other genres.” (Hrayr Attarian, Chicago Jazz Magazine)

Kim English

Kim English

Kim English is an American electronica, soul, gospel, and house music singer, born in Chicago, Illinois. Throughout her career, English has experienced success on the US Hot Dance Music/Club Play, Hot Dance Singles Sales, Hot Dance Airplay charts and the UK Singles Chart, beginning in the mid-1990s and continuing into the 21st century. Though her first chart entry on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play came in 1995 and was only a moderate hit (“I Know a Place”, No. 32), her debut single was actually “Nitelife” in 1994, produced and written by Ten City. Between 1999 and 2002 she scored six hits in a row that hit the top two, five of those went to number one: “Unspeakable Joy”, “Missing You”, “Bumpin’ and Jumpin'”, “Everyday” and “Treat Me Right”. All of these hit singles (excluding “I Know a Place”) are featured on her debut album Higher Things, released in late 1998 on the New York City based record label, Nervous Records NYC. Both “Unspeakable Joy” and “Everyday” became her most successful radio hits to date. The album also featured a cover version of Anita Baker’s song “Been So Long”.

English began as a gospel singer and many of her most popular songs contain references to God, faith and belief in oneself. By 2007, English had earned her sixth, seventh and eighth US dance number-ones with “It Makes a Difference”, “C’est La Vie” and “My Destiny”. All three hits are from her second album, titled My Destiny, which was released in late September 2006. So far, all of her hits have been released on Nervous Records. September 2009 saw the release of the single “Nothing’s Impossible”.

Kimberley Locke

Kimberley Locke

When Kimberley isn’t helping other artists to make their dreams come true, she’s creating and performing her own music.

Auditioning for the 2003 series of TV talent show American Idol® was a life-changing decision for Kimberley. She successfully passed the audition and became a firm fan favorite, eventually placing as second runner up and setting her on a new career path in the music industry.

Kimberley signed to Curb Records immediately after her American Idol journey, where she became a very successful recording artist and released three full-length albums with the label. Among her many achievements she’s had eight Top 20 Adult Contemporary hits and four #1 Dance hits across various Billboard charts. Her #1 club hit, a remake of the Freda Payne classic “Band of Gold,” was included on Billboard’s “Top 50 Dance Songs of the Decade” list. She’s also made history as being the only recording artist to score a #1 Christmas song on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart three years in a row.

In 2009, Kimberley parted ways with Curb Records and became the first artist to sign a deal with Randy Jackson’s record label, Dream Merchant 21 Entertainment. Two years later, she announced she was launching her own artist consulting company, I AM Entertainment, LLC. She released her first independent EP album, “Four for the Floor” through I AM Entertainment in July 2011, followed by a cover of “Silver Bells” four months later, and “Finally Free” the following year.

Most recently she was seen at the 2016 finale of American Idol, which was watched by around 13 million viewers. At the finale she sang her hugely successful 2004 single “8th World Wonder,” along with additional solo and group performances with other American Idol favorites.

Kristine W


Kristine Elizabeth Weitz, widely known by her stage name Kristine W, is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and entrepreneur. She is most widely known as a dance music artist. Born and raised in Pasco, Washington, she found early success competing in pageants and talent contests, winning Miss Washington and a preliminary swimsuit award as well as a NFT award in the Miss America pageant. Kristine W is now one of the most popular dance club artists of all time, with 17 #1s to date on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. She is currently listed among Billboard’s 8 Greatest of All Time Top Dance Club Artists, and she was ranked number three in Billboard’s Top Dance Artists of the Decade.  She is especially popular in the gay community and is an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights, frequently performing at pride rallies and charity events for pro-LGBT organizations throughout the U.S.

After competing in Miss America, Kristine W moved to Las Vegas, where she regularly performed at the Las Vegas Hilton and won “Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year” for several years. Kristine W was recognized by the city of Las Vegas for her record-breaking number of shows, which lead to June 28 being officially designated as Kristine W Day by the state of Nevada. Those performances lead to her first record deal and subsequent debut single, “Feel What You Want”, marking the singer’s first of 17 #1s on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. Kristine W is also tied for third place with Beyoncé for the most consecutive #1 hits with nine. In addition, her album The Power of Music is one of only three albums in the history of the chart to produce at least seven No. 1s from one album (Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream [2010] also had seven, and Rihanna’s Anti [2016] had eight).

La Bouche

La Bouche

Sweet dreams of rhythm and dancing, sweet dreams of passion through the night!! 90s Dance Sensation La Bouche is back!

In 1994  Electronic Dance Music (EDM) took world by storm and ushered in a new sound for an entire new generation. With over 12 Million records sold worldwide, Billboard and MTV music award nominations and an “Echo” (German Grammy award) and with Mega hits such as  “Be My Lover”  “Fallin’ In Love” and the infectious “Sweet Dreams”  La Bouche remains one of the most popular bands touring today.

Now 23 years later front man Lane McCray Jr. brings LA BOUCHE back with an amazing new rendition of “Sweet Dreams” Enter Hungarian Chanteuse  Sophie Cairo. This coupling of these two golden voices is magic. The two have been touring the globe for the past two years all the while listening to fans who want more new music from the duo so they decided to take action and began working on new material.

“It´s amazing how popular 90’s music is today in fact it has become a genre unto itself. More and more people kept approaching me asking for new music so I finally decided to open a new chapter for La Bouche and McCray Records” says Lane.

SWEET DREAMS 2017 producers Richard Ulmer and Oliver Aitzetmueller said “ We have been huge fans of La Bouche and a great deal of our memories are connected to the 90’s so it turned out to both an honor and a very pleasant journey having the group record in Vienna at our studios”.

“I had been wanting to do a new  version of “Sweet Dreams” for many years because it was one of my favorite 90s songs. La Bouche were not just another EDM project, their records had several wonderful pop songs so they certainly always stood out. I just knew that Sweet Dreams still had great potential for a new audience so we turned it into the perfect pop song” says Richie as he’s known “Sweet Dreams”  will be released worldwide September 22, 2017 on McCray Records and in Cooperation with WunderLand Records.

Lakeside Pride Jazz Orchestra

Lakeside Pride Jazz Orchestra

The Lakeside Pride Jazz Orchestra is a twenty-piece jazz band that offers thrilling and engaging performances spanning the full spectrum of the jazz repertoire. This group of advanced players has been honored to perform at many large-scale events throughout Chicago, including appearances headlining the Chicago History Museum’s Last Speakeasy Annual Gala and the Adler Planetarium’s Adler After Dark series. Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles is a non-profit organization that provides a welcoming environment of inclusion and diversity for LGBT and allied musicians to find community.

Martha Wash


Martha Elaine Wash (born December 28, 1953) is an American singer-songwriter, actress, and producer. Known for her distinctive and powerful voice, Wash first achieved fame as half of the Two Tons O’ Fun, who sang backing vocals for the disco singer Sylvester including on his signature hit “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)”. After gaining their own record deal, they released three consecutive commercially successful songs which all peaked at number two in the dance charts. The duo was renamed The Weather Girls in 1982 after they released the top-selling single “It’s Raining Men”, which brought them to mainstream pop attention. The Weather Girls released five albums and were heavily featured on Sylvester’s albums.

After disbanding in 1988, Wash transitioned to house music as a featured artist on several successful songs. Her success on Billboard’s Dance chart has earned her the honorific title The Queen of Clubland, with a total of fifteen number-one songs on the chart to date.

Wash is also noted for sparking legislation in the early 1990s that made vocal credits mandatory on CDs and music videos. Starting in the late-1980s, her studio vocals were used in several successful dance songs without her permission or proper credit. Models lip-synced to her voice in music videos and during live performances, obscuring Wash’s contributions and hiding Wash’s size as a full-figured woman. As a result, she was denied credit and royalties for many of the songs she recorded. This included platinum-selling song “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)”. Subsequently, in Rolling Stone, music critic Jason Newman described Martha Wash as “The Most Famous Unknown Singer of the ’90s”.In December 2016, Billboard magazine ranked her as the 58th most successful dance artist of all time.



MAX is a New York City born pop-soul singer, actor & dancer, known for his powerful acrobatic tenor which commands attention. His devoted fanbase and original voice has given him an incredibly strong social media presence with over 1.2 million followers on YouTube, 400,000 followers on Twitter and over 940,000 likes on Facebook.

2015 was a banner year for MAX — in February, he signed with Pete Wentz’s DCD2 Records and in March, he released the single “Gibberish” featuring Hoodie Allen. The song was one of the selected tracks featured by YouTube for the 2015 YouTube Music Awards alongside songs by Ed Sheeran & Charli XCX, and its groundbreaking music video accumulated over 4.5 million views in just one week and has racked up more than 12 million views to date. Additionally, he was one of MTV’s 2015 Artists to Watch Summer Class list, named Elvis Duran’s Artist of the Month (June), KISS-FM ‘s Artist of the Week, performed on NBC’s TODAY show, and was nominated for Best Breakthrough Artist and Original Song for the 2015 Streamy Awards. MAX spent the summer on the road as a featured performer on the Boys of Zummer tour with Fall Out Boy & Wiz Khalifa before releasing his DCD2 Records-debut EP Ms. Anonymous in September. In October, MAX embarked on his first headline tour across the U.S., which included multiple sold out dates. A lifelong entertainer, music is not his only talent — MAX starred in the Beach Boys biopic, “Love & Mercy,” as Van Dyke Parks.



Grammy Award-Winning Recording Artist, Mýa, celebrates 23 years as an internationally known, singer, songwriter, producer, dancer/choreographer, actor, activist, and philanthropist. A young 18-year-old when she released her self-titled, double-platinum debut, Mýa was no stranger to the stage with piano lessons at 5, violin and orchestra, and gospel choir throughout her grade school years, studying many styles of dance and acting in several plays, which were all in preparation for her big break in the entertainment business.

In 2021, Mýa is still going strong, running her own independent record label Planet 9 for 13 years, as she completes her 14th & 15th music projects, two films, and an audiobook catered to those looking to transition to a healthy, vegan lifestyle. All of her new music projects are available on all digital and streaming outlets worldwide and viewable at On February 26, the independent action film “Lazarus” debuted on Fox’s new streaming platform Tubi, in which Mýa plays a psychic, also appearing on its soundtrack. On March 27, Mýa celebrates the 20th Anniversary of her international collaboration hit “Lady Marmalade” with her peers Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil’ Kim, and Missy. In June, Mya partnered with Verizon and Visa for the virtual “Songs & Stories” live performance series with Looped Live. Mýa also made appearances on Disney’s Atlantis: Lost Empire Animation’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Live Stream as a guest speaker, Mercy For Animals’ Hope Gala as a presenter, and DJ Cassidy’s “Pass the Mic” as performer serving summer nostalgia with Beenie Man and their international hit “Girls Dem Suga” BET Awards weekend. On July 2nd, Mya returns with a fresh, new sound as MÝA LAN$KY documenting the struggle and reward of being an independent thinker and doer on her first rap single “Worth It” spitting conscious, meaningful bars as the boss of her own life, body, mind, spirit, decisions and independent record label. With 2 completed albums on the way, Mýa shares her excitement about her new upcoming music…

She says, “‘Worth It’ is in essence about the reward at the end of the tunnel after a long journey of centering self and finding your own voice in a world of noise and chaos, holding onto faith for the fight to continue, alongside the relentless grind, mental, physical and spiritual conditioning and sacrifice necessary to not only survive on the road less traveled to ownership, but to thrive with victory and glory on the other side. Though it hasn’t been easy, it has truly been an educational and rewarding journey these past 23 years in entertainment. I am truly grateful for every experience, encounter, and individual who has been a part of this ride. My passion & love for music has never been greater and the best of me has yet to come with the intention to inspire.”

One Night Band


One Night Band creates a high energy evening to remember while you shake it to decades of Rock n’ Roll, cut a rug to Motown’s finest, bust a move to some hip hop, get down with a lil’ country and sing your heart out to a Pop Rock guilty pleasure. With a diverse repertoire of Top 40’s hits spanning over 6 decades the band can customize a set list to fit your needs. From Sinatra to Snoop Dogg – One Night Band has you covered.

Rod Tuffcurls/Bench Press

Rod Tuffcurls Feature

Rod Tuffcurls and The Bench Press is a peak experience band from Chicago. With a focus on bone-crushing 3 part harmonies, laser-sharp musicianship, and a top tier light show, Rod Tuffcurls and The Bench Press is a live performance powerhouse. The band carefully curates each show from a truly eclectic and massive repertoire in order to cultivate an unclassifiable experience of joy and entertainment for everyone in attendance. Go see Rod Tuffcurls and The Bench Press!


Sam Fazio

Sam Fazio

Chicago-based vocalist Sam Fazio has established a name for himself in the music scene over the past several years. A graduate of DePaul University’s School of Music, Sam’s repertoire includes a unique mix of jazz standards and pop classics. His heartfelt interpretations showcase his soulful, yet classic style.

Sam has entertained audiences at some of the most prestigious venues in the country, including Green Mill, Jazz Showcase, Andy’s Jazz Club, City Winery, Untitled, and SPACE (Chicago); Cliff Bell’s (Detroit); Noce (Des Moines); and Feinstein’s at the Loews Regency and 54 Below (New York City). Sam has also taken the stage at numerous performing arts centers, including Overture Center, Schauer Arts Center, Trueblood, and Metropolis. Sam has held residencies at many renowned hotels including the LondonHouse, Chicago Hilton, and a 6-year run at the historic Drake Hotel. In addition, Sam has performed at many festivals, casinos, and events across the country. For a complete listing, see Sam’s EPK.

Sam shares the stage with some of the top musicians in the Chicagoland area and across the country. Whether performing as a trio or big band, Sam always leaves the crowd wanting more.


Sixteen Candles

Sixteen Candles Pride Fest 01

Experience the nostalgia and energy of the greatest decade of music – the 1980’s!! Entertaining audiences since 2003, Sixteen Candles travels the country to bring 80’s music to life in full force for a memorable and exciting concert experience that you won’t soon forget.


Sushi Roll


Formed in early 2012, Sushi Roll quickly perfected their unique blend of high-energy dance music and rock ‘n’ roll swagger and topped it off with memorable stage costumes! Founded by music industry vets and fronted by two of the most mesmerizing young lead singers in Chicago, they easily transition between revved-up versions of your favorite pop and rock hits by artists like Bruno Mars, Rick Springfield, Lady Gaga, Nelly, AC/DC, P!nk, Neon Tree’s and the Jackson 5–connecting them into one a non-stop musical journey that is perfect for casinos, fairs, festivals, corporate and private events, fundraisers and showcase venues. Sushi Roll’s mass appeal crosses all genres and appeals to all ages.

The Flat Cats


The Flat Cats, based in Chicago, IL, play a range of vintage and modern music rooted in the hottest swinging jazz and blues, contemporary classics, and timeless standards. Whether you choose to listen, tap your foot, or cut a rug on the dance floor, you are sure to be entertained! The group is comprised of six talented musicians with years of performing, arranging, and composing experience.

The Flat Cats have performed at many different venues and events throughout the Midwest, including Navy Pier, The Drake Hotel, Arcada Theatre, Willowbrook Ballroom, Pete Miller’s, Green Dolphin Lounge, and the Summer Dance Series in Grant Park. The band has also backed legendary singing groups such as The Drifters and The Crystals at major venues like The Chicago Theatre, Star Plaza, and Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee, WI. In 2009, The Flat Cats were featured on the WGN Chicago Channel Nine morning news show.

The Flat Cats perform their music equally well in any environment, from cocktail music for your dinner event to a full theater/stadium show for thousands. The variety of our music library allows us to tailor our style and sound to fit your special event. From weddings to corporate parties to a feature act for your festival, The Flat Cats deliver quality entertainment for all ages.

The Four C Notes


Pioneered and headlined by John Michael Coppola, best known for his appearance in Chicago’s long running production of the Broadway, smash hit JERSEY BOYS, THE FOUR C NOTES are the Midwest’s ONLY tribute dedicated to recreating the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons!

While they call Chicago home, they have been seen at private events, performing arts centers and outdoor festivals ALL OVER THE COUNTRY!

The tribute features all of your favorite hits, including: “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like A Man”
“Workin’ My Way Back To You, (Babe)”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”, “Let’s Hang On” and many more

Having appeared throughout the United States THE FOUR C NOTES are quickly becoming the country’s premier Frankie Valli tribute and they’re not to be missed!

Thea Austin

Thea Austin

THEA AUSTIN formerly of SNAPP!

Thea Tereese Austin is an American female dance/house singer/songwriter/composer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 1991, she sang lead vocal on Snap!’s cross-Atlantic hit “Rhythm Is a Dancer”. Originally, Snap! band member Penny Ford was going to sing lead vocals but could not after she signed to Sony Music as a singer, whereas the rest of Snap! was signed to BMG Music. As she was not signed to Sony as a writer, she wrote “Rhythm Is a Dancer” and had Austin sing it. In an interview with Songfacts, Ford said that Austin was interviewing her for a magazine, and stated that she was a songwriter and asked if Ford could listen to her song. She described the song as “a good song, I can’t remember [its name]. (hums to herself) ‘Do You Believe In The Power of Love.’ Or ‘The Power of Love.'” Ford wanted that song for her self-titled album, and “needed to get rid of her so she didn’t need that song any more”, so she asked her if Austin had a passport and three days later she was sent on a plane to make “Rhythm Is a Dancer”.

Originally, “Rhythm Is a Dancer” was going to be released as the lead single, but after objections from Turbo B, “Colour of Love”, also featuring Austin on lead vocals, was released as the lead single. The song charted at #6 in France and Sweden, #9 in Germany but only #54 in the UK, so the two producers insisted that “Rhythm Is a Dancer” was released next. “Rhythm Is a Dancer” fared much better, charting at #1 in the UK, France, Netherlands, Italy and Germany, and #5 in the US. Austin left Snap! shortly after the release of The Madman’s Return in a hemorrhage of members also involving Turbo B and Ford.

In 1999, Austin teamed with Marc Pomeroy to form Soulsearcher, which had a #8 hit on the UK Singles Chart with “Can’t Get Enough” which drew inspiration from and sampled Gary’s Gang’s “Let’s Lovedance Tonight” and later on that year charted at #20 on the Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart. The duo performed at The Prince’s Trust Party in the Park all-star concert in London in 1999. Their second single, “Do It to Me Again”, charted at #32 on the UK Singles Chart (AllMusic’s entry for Soulsearcher states that the song charted at #13) after which Austin and Pomeroy split up.

Austin joined Pusaka and wrote and sung lead vocals for their 2001 hit “You’re the Worst Thing for Me”, which was awarded the Best Underground 12″ Award at Miami’s Winter Music Conference in March 2002 and charted at #34 on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #1 on the Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart.

TL Williams & Band

T. L. Williams

Chicago native T. L. Williams is a multiple awardwinning singer-songwriter and producer from the city’s West Suburbs. Since bursting onto the scene in 2015 with his smash hit Gettin Mo Money Than You, T. L. received numerous awards; including a Chicago Music Award for Songwriter Of The Year. T. L. then followed up with The New Normal. The album included the chart-topping hit Melanin, which sat for over 12 weeks in the top 150 for national digital radio airplay. Along with appearing on the hit TV series Empire, the CEO of Quiet Kingdom released his latest project Love In The 3rd Wave to critical acclaim. The album hit 20,000 streams within a month of its release. Hits from this latest release include You Got It, & Really Friends. T. L. is also Founder of Symphony Of Change; an organization dedicated to restoring band programs in schools in the Chicagoland area.

Todrick Hall


Todrick Hall is a multi-talented singer, rapper, actor, director, choreographer, and social media personality who rose to prominence on and after his appearance on American Idol. His popular YouTube channel has over 3.5 million subscribers and 740 million channel views, consisting notably of original songs, musical collaborations, and choreographed flash mobs for Beyoncé. Todrick also appears regularly on RuPaul’s Drag Race and season two of The Greatest Dancer on BBC.

Todrick distinguished himself as a Broadway star completing successful runs in Chicago, The Color Purple, Kinky Boots, Memphis, and Waitress. He visited over sixty cities worldwide with sold-out tours of “Straight Outta Oz”, “Forbidden”, and “Haus Party”; and won the 2019 “Video for Good” VMA as co-executive producer on Taylor Swift’s LGBTQ+ anthem “You Need to Calm Down”.

His newest EP “Quarantine Queen” is currently available on all media platforms.



Trenyce 1

Trenyce has always had a passion for singing, songwriting, acting, fashion and philanthropy. After appearing on the hit FOX TV Show AMERICAN IDOL season 2, she has been consistently working in the industry including theatrical productions such as DREAMGIRLS, AINT MISBEHAVIN’, London’s West End show THRILLER LIVE and now Franco Dragone’s TABOO in Macau China, but her talent has also expanded to the big screen. Alongside Jim Carey and Chloe Moretz, she stars in the MARVEL Comic Movie KICK ASS

Ty Herndon

Ty Herndon

The Grammy-nominated and Dove award-winning recording artist has the ability to connect with an audience far beyond his onstage performance. More than 20 years into his career, Herndon shows no signs of slowing down.

Herndon made his chart debut in 1995 with “What Mattered Most,” which became his first No. 1 song and garnered a Song of the Year award (Music Row Magazine). It was also the title track to his debut album, which debuted on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and had the biggest first-week shipment in the history of Epic Records’ Nashville. Between 1995 and 2002, Herndon charted 17 singles, including his three No.1s and numerous top 10 hits, such as “I Want My Goodbye Back,” “Loved Too Much,” “A Man Holding On,” and “Hands of a Working Man.” He topped the charts in 1996 with the single “Living in a Moment” and again in 1998 with “It Must Be Love.”

In 2014, Ty was the first major male country artist to publicly come out as gay in an exclusive with People magazine. He received an outpouring of support that only strengthened his relationship with fans and the country music community, all while expanding his reach to new and diverse audiences. Shortly after, he made history when he hosted a first-of-its-kind country music event, The Concert for Love and Acceptance. The event, designed to raise awareness and support for LGBTQ youth and families, received national attention from Boston Globe, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Tonight, and many more. Since the launch of the event, Herndon has partnered with GLAAD to produce the event each year and created the Foundation For Love & Acceptance in 2020 to further his work on behalf of LGBTQ acceptance.

Ty found himself back at No. 1 in 2020 — this time on iTunes with his remake of “Orphans of God,” a collaboration with Kristin Chenoweth and Paul Cardall featured on his holiday release, Regifted. He is currently in the studio writing and recording a new album — his first of all new music since 2016’s House On Fire.

Ultra Naté


I am Ultra Naté and am based in Baltimore, Maryland as a singer, songwriter, DJ, producer and promoter.
I have released eight studio LPs [1990-2013] and travel around the globe performing and spinning
live for a variety of audiences.

I’ve been writing my own songs since the beginning of my career. This was pivotal in establishing me as an artist with a distinct style all my own. I was one of the first artists in house/dance music signed to a major record deal with Warner Brothers in the UK in 1989 and I have more than 25 years of experience making groundbreaking music having collaborated with a wide array of artists such as: The Basement Boys, Nellee Hooper, D-Inflience, Mood II Swing, Nona Hendryx, Lenny Kravitz, N’Dea Davenport, DJ Class, NERVO, Tony Moran, StoneBridge, Todd Terry, David Morales, Michele Williams (of Destiny’s Child), Boy George, Morgan Page, Quentin Harris and others!

My sound embraces a variety of genres including house, soul, disco, electro pop, R&B/hiphop and rock and I am honored to be considered an icon of the Dance and LGBT communities worldwide.