Jamie’s Legacy Project Progress Report

Looking forward

A Note from Jamie
They say if you really knew the effort something will take, you might never do it at all. In my role as a cultural arts producer, I live in the now. And I keep track of my projects. It is always quite something to read after-the-fact what went into taking an idea and making it happen. (A whole other thing to get the public to pay attention.) I prefer to live by the another adage: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Here’s the progress report for 2023 thus far. – Jamie

September 1, 2023

Dear Friend and Supporter,

The Legacy CD shipped from the East Coast yesterday! The second title – In Old Chicago, will arrive in a few weeks, in time for the CD Release concert. This special event is at Chief O’Neill’s Pub 3471 N Elston Ave, Chicago, Il PH: (773) 583-3066, on Thursday, Sept 21 at 7 PM. Music starts at 8 PM. The evening will feature a dinner-theater style concert. I’ll be accompanied by John Erickson on piano. Joining me on stage and singing harmonies will be my daughters Meg Broz and Nia O’Reilly-Amandes, with whom I appeared at a standing-room only event recently at Tre Kronor Swedish Bistro, (where we host the bi-monthly Roots Salon.)

Ad for the companion CDs.

In Old Chicago Ensemble members Judi, Chris and Victor are planning be there as well. A highlight of the evening will be the Heritage Bake Sale & Raffle, featuring baked goods from home cooks created from treasured family recipes gathered from the community. The Great American Baking Show finalist Sarah Chang and esteemed food writer, cook and photographer Monica Rogers (https://www.mkrogersfoodbeauty.com/) will contribute premium bakes to a Raffle, as well as my eldest brother Willem.

Thank you for your support of this ambitious project, and specifically for helping us produce the CD recordings! WFMT’s Marilyn Rea Beyer made the audio files available to us after our live WFMT May broadcast. With Peter Swenson’s valuable assistance, we’ve created two lovely recordings: Legacy, a songs-only CD and In Old Chicago: Stories and Songs of a Beloved City, the play with music.

Last January I launched the Voices of Old Chicago Project, and spent this year exploring how one integrates their roots and family history; making the music, stories, heirlooms and artifacts into art and creating a legacy.

April Showcase

Here’s what we’ve accomplished in 2023 so far:

6 Roots Salon events – now in our third year
3 In Old Chicago events
Research, acquisition of family photographs and photographs from the community
2 song videos created by Anne Hills with assist from photographer Iwona Biedermann https://www.jamieoreilly.com/videos/sanctuarycity-video/
Acquisition of family artifacts: painting of Great great grandfather O’Reilly and more
Story-gathering and research of family history, genealogy
Research and development of a play with music, 3 revisions
Showcase event at Rare Nest Gallery of In Old Chicago; viewing the videos
Recording and broadcast of In Old Chicago as a radio play live at WFMT Levin Studio
Interview, presentation, video of In Old Chicago at Stage Left Cafe in Woodstock, Il
Production of a 2-CD recording with artwork designed by Nia O’Reilly-Amandes
A stunning essay by my sister Bridget O’Reilly for the In Old Chicago CD liner notes
Research into heritage recipes and family stories around ethnic foods
Press releases, marketing and social media campaigns
High-profile radio interviews, including WGN Radio with Rick Kogan

Sample of gigs

Here are the events we produced in 2023.
Jan Roots Salon Epiphany Night
Feb Roots Salon Feast of St. Brigid at the Heikes Glen Ellyn home
Mar Cliff Dwellers Tough Broads & Tender Lasses concert
Mar Roots Salon Women’s History Month Poetry Night at Tre Kronor
April In Old Chicago showcase with videos, preview Rare Nest Gallery
May Roots Salon Mothers and Daughters at Tre Kronor
May WFMT 70th Anniversary Midnight Special broadcast In Old Chicago
July Off Square Music & Woodstock Folk Festival In Old Chicago, interview, show and video
July Tre Kronor Roots Salon Bastille Day concert with Meg, Nia, Sarah
This Sept Roots Salon Jazz Night with Peter Swenson Trio at Tre Kronor
Chief O’Neill’s Legacy and In Old Chicago CD release concert and Heritage Bake Sale

And so, my friends, with relief and resolve we move forward in the journey! I’d love to see you at the September 21 event. If this isn’t possible, I hope you will add our new companion CDs to your recording collection. (No CD player? We’ll offer digital files to you.) And if you haven’t watched them yet, see the lovely videos on my website.

With appreciation,

Jamie O’Reilly
J. O’Reilly Productions Cultural Arts
jamie@jamieoreilly.com; Text/Ph 773.203.7661

Order the CDs: https://www.jamieoreilly.com/voices-of-old-chicago-recordings/

Order concert tickets: https://www.jamieoreilly.com/events/jamie-oreilly-legacy-album-release-concert/