Musican brings hip new jazz sound to The Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University

 Thinking back to when he was a child, Erik Privert remembers a time when he loathed piano practice.

Today the musician, composer and arranger has much different opinion.

Now Im so happy my mom made me do it, he adds with a laugh.

Privert, born in Palos Hills and raised in Libertyville and Naperville, will celebrate a homecoming when he returns Saturday, Feb. 27 to perform with vocalist Rachael Price as part of The Cabaret at the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University.

At 23, Price may be young, but shell be crooning as she performs some new renditions of jazz standards, including several arranged by Privert.

I try to take the old jazz, musical and Broadway songs and put them in a new, hipper vibe, Privert said.

At 30, Privert said hes always been drawn to jazz. As a child he remembered music in the house, including his parents favorite, Motown.
He said jazz is an American art form, something people of all ages and generations can enjoy.

Although he grew up playing classical piano, that changed when as a high school freshman the double bass chair opened in the jazz band. Privert said his years of piano lessons helped me to pick up the new instrument.

These days he continues to play bass, arrange music and compose, including his collaborations with Price, Grammy-nominated vocalist Nnenna Freelon and fellow Naperville North alum Sachal Vasandani, with whom he co-wrote We Move.

Though these days he calls Brooklyn home, Privert said he looks forward to the opportunity to return to Chicago.

Chicago has the nicest people and the best food, Privert said.

Art Shines at GSU

The Cabaret is thee latest feature at the Center for Performing Art at Governors State University, offering the intimate musical setting for a smaller audience, explains Burt Dikelsky, executive director at the center.

Located in University Park, the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University is celebrating its 15th season, striving to offer entertainment for all ages in the south suburbs.

The same quality show that can be found in Chicago is offered closer to home, and with free parking, Dikelsky said.

Music, theater, comedy, dance and more are included in the seasons offerings. While the Cabaret offers an intimate setting, the Performing Arts Center is preparing for one of its biggest concerts yet with Centerpalooza, featuring three bands, Mojo Daddies, Backyard Tire Fire and Los Lobos Saturday March 20.

We have to try new things, Dikelsky said.

Tickets for Centerpalooza start at $25.

Tickets for Price and Privert at the Cabaret, tickets are $37.

For more family entertainment, there is the mini musical If You Give a Pig a Pancake, based on the popular childrens book, Saturday, March 6, with ticket prices starting at $10.50.

And there are still a few tickets remaining for the improv comedy, Whose Life Anyway Friday, April 30, featuring comedians Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Chip Esten and Jeff B. Davis. Tickets for this show start at $45.

Find more information on these and all of the shows at the Performing Arts Center at Governors State University online at The Center is located at 1 University Pkwy., in University Park, off I-57 at Sauk Trail.

By Melissa R. Riske reporter


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