#SongsAndStories: An Intimate Evening with Zo! and Carmen Rodgers

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Thursday evening, I headed to Wicker Park to attend Songs and Stories with Zo! And Carmen Rodgers.  Presented by the Armour Agency and held at Davenports Piano Bar Cabaret, the evening was a perfect blend of artistry and musicianship.  Davenports Piano Bar Cabaret was the perfect space for such an intimate affair.  Appropriately titled, “Piano & A Microphone”, these two incredibly talented artists performed to a sold-out crowd in the most intimate of settings.  Zo! & Carmen Rodgers had incredible musical chemistry as they shared stories from their musical catalog often laughing and interacting with the crowd throughout the night. Opening the night with “Packing for Chicago” and interweaving an ode to house music for the Chicago crowd, I knew we were in for something special.  The audience enjoyed some of their favorite songs like, “Wishing You Well”, “Lifelines”,” Tell Me Something New”, “I Don’t Mind”, and a few classic R&B jams that the audience sang along to with sheer delight. 

The concept of Songs and Stories, in the tradition of VH1’s Storytellers or MTV’s unplugged, is a welcome breath of fresh air in the Chicago music scene, allowing audiences an up close and personal experience with artists and musicians.  It felt like a gathering of friends instead of a show where artists are usually untouchable and unapproachable. Zo! & Carmen Rodgers were personable and completely relatable.  Carmen’s soulful and sultry vocals were the perfect compliment to Zo’s musical instrumentation.  After the show, Zo! & Carmen Rodgers met fans, took photos and hung out with the audience in a beautiful display of humility rarely seen.  They put on an intimate, enjoyable show that amplified the incredible talent, artistry and chemistry.  I left an even a bigger fan and cannot wait to see them again.

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Black Widow

D.Sanders, a Chicago native, is a devoted mother, blogger and writer who is passionate about her family, friends, women's rights, living authentically and telling her story.   She is also a spoken word recording artist under the name, Black Widow. She has been writing and blogging for over 15 years providing commentary and expressing thought on life, love and relationships. Her artistry can be heard on two house music singles, “Rough”, and “Gruv Me” released by Grammy Nominated Producer and CEO of T’s Box Records & T’s Crates, Terry Hunter under the production of Mike Dunn and Dee Jay Alicia. . Both singles reached #1 on Traxsource’s Afrohouse and charted top ten overall as well reaching the top ten in their year of release.  She splits her time blogging about the Chicago Dance Music Scene on www.blkwidowmusic.com and on her book’s website, www.thesumofmanythings.com.  She is excited about her debut book, The Sum of Many Things, scheduled for release in June 2017.   She wears many hats but refuses to be placed in a box.  She believes that women are "The Sum of Many Things".  Embracing all of her roles as a woman, she firmly believes in breaking free of preconceived notions of womanhood.   She believes it is her mission to define her own life experience, femininity and sexuality and not have it defined by society.  She openly shares her story with hopes that women understand their worth, power and place in this world.