Jamie’s Women’s History Month concert, a review

Our concert downtown at Cliff Dwellers in March was a great experience; singing for this venerable organization with their focus on cultural and history was tailor-made for me.

Judi Cogan Heikes and Jamie overlooking Chicago’s Millennium Park

Here is the the article my new friend, the vibrant Eve Moran shared with me she wrote for the Cliff Dwellers Journal.

Tough Broads & Tender Lasses: Songs of Resilience
March 23, 2023
By: Eve Moran

Women’s History Month was celebrated at the Club in grand style. The incomparable Jamie O’Reilly took us on a musical journey in honor of the 20th century chanteuse. Her program focused on women who weathered the stormy entertainment world with determination and vigor, surviving world wars, poverty, and personal loss to leave behind great songs and stories.

Jamie truly had the voice and sensitivity of spirit to bring this classic material to life. Her intimate song interpretations came wrapped in the passion of a theater artist. Lyrical jazz pianist John Erickson showed himself to be the perfect accompanist. And, Judi Cogan Heikes, enriched the program with her stirring poetry readings. The audience was fully captivated throughout the evening and mightily applauded the program.

We also heard some of Jamie’s own interesting story. A childhood inspired by theatrical, musical and activist family traditions brought Jamie O’Reilly to study opera at DePaul University. (Notably, Jamie made her vocal debut steps away from the Club at Orchestra Hall in the John McCormick Centenary Concert in 1984). Initially, folk music captured her interest. But, Jamie soon grew restless. Her wildly creative spirit drove the writing of new material, the embracing of other arts cultures and collaborations, and a breaking-out in multiple new directions.

The 30 + passing years would find Jamie evolving into a spirited writer, producer, teacher, consultant and social justice activist. And, as we witnessed on March 23, she continues to powerfully charm each audience with her love of singing and music performance.