Bonnie Koloc. (Submitted photo)
Bonnie Koloc, of Decorah, along with Howard Levy, and Fox Fehling-a triumvirate of Chicago musical talent-will perform an evening of jazz, blues and folk music at T-Bock's Monday, April 15, in a benefit for the Humane Society of Northeast Iowa.
Koloc's voice consistently garners high praise. Rich Warren, host of WFMT's "The Midnight Special," wrote, ". . . she is fabulous. She sings blues, jazz and the odd folk song. Her versatile, fluid soprano pours forth effortlessly wrapping itself around whatever song it touches. Similarly, the songs wrap themselves around Koloc."
In his review of Koloc's 2012 CD, Bonnie Koloc-Rediscovered, Arthur Wood wrote in Maverick music magazine that "Rediscovered features one of the greatest singing voices of all time."
Koloc first came to prominence in Chicago in 1968 at The Earl of Old Town. There she developed a huge following that stood on winter nights, wrapped around the block to catch her next set. By 1973 the earned the Illinois Governor's Award for Best Singer. Many of her albums from those years are now collectors' items.
In 1985, having sung in every major Chicago venue, Koloc went to New York "to see if I could pitch in the major leagues."
She was cast in the lead female role in The Human Comedy, produced by Joseph Papp at the Public Theater and later on Broadway. This earned her her the theatre World Bronze Award for Outstanding New Talent on Broadway and a Drama Critics Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.
Koloc has 14 CDs and albums in her list of musical accomplishments.
She and her long-time friend, Howard Levy, have performed together, off and on, for 26 years. Howard has accompanied her on piano and harmonica, introduced her to many of her musicians, and arranged many of her best-known songs.
Levy, who is not only a virtuoso pianist, but also a master harmonica player, is best known for his work with B́ela Fleck and the Flecktones. He was a founding member of the Flecktones, but now tours worldwide with a variety of musicians, and is a frequent guest on Prairie Home Companion.
Last year Levy and B́ela Fleck shared a Grammy Award for their 2012 composition, "Life in Eleven."
The third friend in the April 15 trio, Fox Fehling, has been a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1979.
Fehling studied in New York at the Manhattan School of Music and at the Juilliard School. While in New York, she had the distinction of becoming the first winner of the Mischa Elman Award.
She has performed with symphonies across the United States and with the orchestras at the Spoleto and Aspen music festivals. In addition, Fehling plays bluegrass and western swing with the CSOkies, the 1980s country-western band comprised of CSO members.
Fehling, Levy and Koloc all contributed to the latter's 2006 album, Here to Sing. Produced by Levy, Fehling played fiddle on two of its songs.
T-Bocks has donated its second floor space for the April 15, benefit and the musicians are donating their talent.
The performance begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $15.