Bonnie Koloc with Don Stille at Mendelssohn

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11115966298661.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of’, ‘Bonnie Koloc performs March 26.’);

Charlotte’s Web is pleased to welcome back Bonnie Koloc, this time accompanied by Don Stille. See them at 8 p.m., Saturday, March 26, at Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 415 N. Church St.

Once the queen of the Chicago folk scene, Koloc has opened a new chapter in her life, still singing but including artwork and publishing a book featuring some of her work.

The New York Times says, “A folk-ballad-pop-blues singer of enormous range, charm and charisma.”

According to the Milwaukee Sentinel, “She’s a woman who makes a hot night seem hotter, passions seem more vivid and life seems fuller.”

These days, she resides in a rural Iowa home and is content. She’s been part of the scene in both Chicago and New York, and performed on the Broadway stage. Writer Stuart Rosenberg explained, “Despite the release of eight albums between 1971 and 1978, the hit singles never came, and the big record companies moved on to disco, punk, and New Wave. Through it all, Bonnie held her musical ground.”

She has collaborated with Howard Levy, Chicago’s resident musical genius and sideman to the stars. Pop-music mastermind Irving Azoff managed her career for a time but then lost interest in her. By the late ’70s, folk music was falling out of favor, and she did a few advertising spots, but didn’t want to get categorized in commercials. She moved to New York and started over, finding a warm reception in the world of theater.

In 1988, Koloc stopped in to the Green Mill to watch her old friend Howard Levy, who introduced her to Robert Wolf, a writer and community activist. They were married and moved to Nashville; then, on a trip to Iowa, they bought a farmhouse, where they’ve been ever since.

At this point, Koloc can look back on her career, cherishing the success and putting the less-than-happy moments in perspective. All of this gives her songs the character of one who has experienced life deeply—both the highs and lows—and survived to become stronger.

Whether your taste is folk, jazz or blues, she does it all with a clarion voice that is dusky and crystal clear at the same time. Don’t miss this chance to see Bonnie and celebrate good music. Joining her is Don Stille, performing his masterful artistry on the Steinway.

Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Tickets are available at the Mendelssohn PAC, 415 N. Church, 964-9713; Rockford Area Arts Council, 713 E. State St., 963-6765; The Postal Shoppe, Edgebrook Center, 397-7301; and Tin Whistle, N. Main & Auburn, 963-0270; or by mail with check and SASE, 10928 N. Main, Rockton, IL 61072. For Web information, call 964-2238.

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