Jamie O’Reilly 2023 (NEW) SEASON PAGE

Cultural Artist and dynamo Jamie O’Reilly introduces the next phase of her arts programming, an audio series, a subscriber option, and a thrilling multimedia project.

“Throughout the nineteenth century, Americans took great delight in making music together by performing in instrumental and vocal ensembles, and by attending musical soirees, sing-alongs, and other interactive musical events. Families entertained themselves in the home by making music together.”

Library of Congress Archives

The roots of Jamie O’Reilly’s musical heritage are explored in parlor concerts, soirees, and concert events celebrating her love of Chicago as a “A Voice for the Soul of the City.”

In 2023 Jamie will embark on new adventures in her journey as a voice for Chicago culture, hosting regular Salon gatherings, producing an audio series based on her essays and blogs, and developing the From Parlor to Print: Voices of Old Chicago multimedia program!

Support the work of JAMIE O’REILLY, an artist with heart and vision.  Will you help Jamie get 2023 off to a good start

6 Ways to Contribute to this important work:

Arts sponsorships contribute to the value of the artist in the community. All Jamie’s programs have significant community outreach, the result of years as an arts activist and high profile networker. Businesses and Patrons contributing to our programs will have customized brand presence on the jamieoreilly.com website, in e-newsletters, blogs, and on social media, with personal recommendations, logo placement and backlinks leading to websites.


With your support of Jamie’s work and this project, you become part of a community of artists and businesses built in Jamie’s over 40 years as a professional performer, producer and activist

You become:

  • A patron supporting the livelihood of an independent freelance creative
    A fan celebrating the talent and tenacity of a beloved performer
  • A sponsor aiding a small woman-owned business with its broad reach and a proven track record
  • A partner in high profile projects that model best practice ideals for the role of artist in community
  • A participant in an ambitious legacy project 
  • A contributor to the development of new work by Jamie and her team; to the research and acquisition of historical materials and artifacts
Make our 2023 Season Sing! Donate here via Paypal

Contribute to via our donor form here at PayPal.
Link: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=HF6HMTJFLG7SY

OR Donate here via Venmo. https://venmo.com/code?user_id=3673810880431830199

The 2023 Winter/Spring Project
From Parlor to Print: Voices of Old Chicago is the latest project of Jamie O’Reilly in development.

In her next show From Parlor to Print: Voices of Old Chicago, singer/writer Jamie O’Reilly will capture an explosive time in Chicago history, as a great city comes of age, from the early 1900s to the late 1920s. Through stories and songs, archival images and family photos, and video, she will share the rich aural history of her Irish American family (who have been in Chicago for over 120 years), and of other formidable literary figures, whose voices were heard in poems, newspaper columns, on stage and on radio. And whose voices were the inspiration for the songbird-vocal styling for which Jamie is known, as she is performs songs — from the front parlor to chamber concert repertoire; from vaudeville to music hall stages.

With From Parlor to Print: Voices of Old Chicago, Jamie is creating a living history project, bringing myriad skills and talent and extensive cultural arts network of artists, presenters, businesses, historic venues and the media, to a public thirsting for hope and connection. And creating a legacy for the next generation of O’Reillys. (See the Roots in Ireland video) 

With support from granting organizations and patrons, Jamie plans to create a new show, with a multimedia presentation, with songs and stories from the In Old Chicago program as well as new material.

2022 – 2023 Current live programs from Jamie O’Reilly

  • In Old Chicago: Stories and Songs of a Beloved City
  • Tough Broads and Tender Lasses: Songs of Resilience
  • Gramma Jamie’s Children’s Storytime at the Sweden Shop
  • Roots Salons, musical evenings at Tre Kronor Swedish Bistro and other venues

This singer/writer/activist’s concerts, recordings, theatrical productions and essays have inspired the Chicago cultural arts community, and beyond, for over four decades. As an arts coach, speaker and teacher, Jamie developed a singular approach to self-production in the Arts with guidance on story-gathering, promotion, creating high caliber productions, and more for established educational and cultural institutions and organizations, including Columbia College and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and many others.

Read more! https://www.jamieoreilly.com/projects/

Jamie’s recent work includes The Roots Legacy Project, which includes Roots In Ireland, and more recently, The Resilience Series. The Resilience Series launched during J. O’Reilly Productions’ 2022 Programming Season, is entering its second year. In 2021/2022 Jamie brought 15 concerts and salons, through the pandemic, to venues and outdoor spaces in Chicago and the suburbs. Her stories and songs, performed with a small ensemble brought joy, tears and standing ovations from an audience thirsting for positivity in these trying times.

More about the Chicago History Program: In Old Chicago, read the whole project page, https://www.jamieoreilly.com/projects/in-old-chicago-songs-stories-of-a-beloved-city/

With In Old Chicago, singer/writer Jamie O’Reilly captures a time of a great city, as it comes of age, sharing an aural history of the roots of her family who have been in Chicago for over 120 years!

“It was not a pretentious house nor was it furnished in grand style but it was comfortable and warm with love and happiness. The south parlor led into a large kitchen dining room which was the heart of the whole place.” 

Memoir, Dorothy (Dottie) O’Reilly

In Old Chicago brings songs and stories of Chicago’s vibrant early 20th century history — Its people and neighborhoods, rich with arts and culture. Feisty activists. Family lore.
Period songs and poetry by one of Chicago’s most treasured artists.

In her program In Old Chicago, singer/writer Jamie O’Reilly captures an explosive time in Chicago history, as a great city comes of age. Through stories and songs, she shares a rich  aural history of her Irish American family who have been in Chicago for over 120 years. The program celebrates Chicago’s vibrant history and her connection to it, as she reflects on forty-five years in a beloved city, with tales of its neighborhoods, and stories of her Irish and German ancestors and others: artists, writers, and feisty activists around the turn-of-the last century, into and following the first world war.

Jamie debuted the In Old Chicago program in October, 2019 at Chief O’Neill’s glorious pub in Chicago, to a full house and standing ovation. In fall of 2021 and again in 2022, with pandemic challenges, Jamie and Company returned with revised versions of the In Old Chicago program. She is accompanied in the live presentations by gifted pianist John Erickson. Judi Cogan Heikes and Christopher O’Reilly provide narration and read poetry.   

Jamie, whose expansive voice can navigate a wide range of musical genres and styles, embodies the vocal tradition of her ancestry in lush interpretation of songs; from the front parlor to chamber concert repertoire; from vaudeville and music hall stages. Songs showcase Jamie’s signature soprano in songbird-style ballads, romantic standards, sultry gypsy ballads, parlor songs, Americana ballads, and Irish songs. There are also songs written for her by late musical partner, esteemed songwriter Michael P. Smith (Grapes of Wrath, Steppenwolf.)

Published memoirs, and poetry from Edward (Tex) O’Reilly, Irwin St. John (Friar Tuck) Tucker, Ellen (Nell) O’Reilly Tucker, Mame O’Reilly and Dorothy O’Reilly provide a substantial part of the text in the program. Integral to the piece is the role that radio played in her career, and a bit of lore from and about Studs Terkel (a friend of Jamie’s), the truest voice for a by-gone era.

And they all sang — hosting salons where music, poetry, politics and philosophy merged in spirited gatherings. These traditions and events inspired Roots Salon, which Jamie established in 1993.  Jamie’s aunts, uncles, parents and siblings (her late father James O’Reilly was a respected classical actor at Court Theater and Body Politic Theater) have contributed to the Chicago music and theater scene for over 95 years. Now the sixth generation of O’Reillys is part of the cultural landscape of Chicago: Jamie is a grandmother of three. 

Recommended links
Recent Article
“Singer Jamie O’Reilly is hosting a children’s story time this weekend

 — but the real story has been her life.”  – Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune 10/11/22

 —Video Roots in Ireland https://www.jamieoreilly.com/videos/jamie-oreilly-roots-in-ireland-a-video-a-musical-journey/

 —Blog SongNotes Mame’s White Fire Letter

 —Blog In Old Chicago Program

 —Blog Halcyon Days Songs in the Parlor,  Jamie Revives a Vocal Tradition

 —Blog In Old Chicago reimagined: Jamie sings Love’s Old Sweet Song and other songs 


Recent Events

Children’s Storytime at Sweden Shop

In fall of 2022, Jamie developed Gramma Jamie’s Children’s Storytime for the Sweden Shop, and an acoustic autumnal soiree indoors at Tre Kronor Restaurant. In late October, Jamie and ensemble returned to Chief O’Neill’s Pub with a revised version of In Old Chicago.

In a recent presentation for the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring Rick Kogan, Jamie spoke of her family’s work for over 100 years in journalism and the arts.

“Singer Jamie O’Reilly is hosting a children’s story time this weekend — but the real story has been her life.”

Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune Oct. 11, 2022

Poster by Nia O’Reilly Amandes

What did 2022 Support?  Our 2022 programming expanded under the umbrella name of Jamie O’Reilly’s Resilience Series, a fundraising effort supporting Jamie’s work: performances, rehearsals, hiring musicians, technicians and visual artists.  Patron contributions and ticket sales contributed to development, production costs and marketing of: Roots in the Garden, Tough Broads & Tender Lasses: Songs of Resilience, In Old Chicago, Harvest Home: An Autumnal Salon, Gramma Jamie’s Storytime, Jamie’s SongNotes and e-newsletters.

All Jamie’s programs include significant community outreach. Contact Jamie, jamie@jamieoreilly.com

Jamie at Chief O’Neill’s Pub

What does the 2023 next stage support?  Working with archival photos of Chicago, family albums and private collections Jamie and visual and graphic artists will create an audio/visual project to serve as a model for creatives seeking inspiration for their own stories. Among the 2023 plans is a series of talks and workshops about researching and creating a personal legacy.

On creating visuals. No stranger to visual productions, Jamie created visual components for Pasiones: Songs of the Spanish Civil War, with images from the Veterans of the Spanish Civil War Archives. And for Hello Dali: from the Sublime to the Surreal, an award-winning musical revue at Victory Gardens Theater.

She has presented workshops and talks on history, women’s issues, social justice and arts development. And provided guidance on self-production, promotion and production, throughout her decades long career.

Contribute via Zelle. Joan O’Reilly, 773-203-7661.
Personal check accepted. Email first jamie@jamieoreilly.com

OR Download our patron form. PayPal Link.