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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

‘Chicago Legends For Ukraine’ Bringing Local, International Musicians To Wicker Park For Benefit Concert Friday

The concert at the Chopin Theatre is raising money to support artists unable to work in Ukraine. Organizers are also setting up a livestream for people to watch.

Lela Headd Dyrkacz, Zygmunt Dyrkacz and Marta Farion at the Chopin Theatre ahead of a benefit concert to support Ukrainian artists impacted by the war with Russia
Quinn Myers/Block Club Chicago
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WICKER PARK — Musicians from Chicago and Ukraine are joining forces Friday to raise money for artists impacted by the Russian invasion.

The Chicago Legends For Ukraine concert will feature live performances from about a dozen musicians 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. The theater is co-hosting the event with the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.

Tickets are $50, and they are almost sold out, organizers said. To accommodate additional interest, they’re organizing a livestream of the show. More information will be available soon on the museum and theater’s websites.

The concert will include a range of musical styles and genres, from classic jazz numbers to reinterpretations of popular Ukrainian songs.

All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to artists who are unable to work in Ukraine because of the war. Marta Farion, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art vice president, said the museum is working with cultural authorities in Ukraine to distribute funds.

“Theaters are getting totally bombed out. Artists are getting killed. And everybody forgets about the artists and the culture, the cultural aspect that’s being destroyed. So, this is what we’re trying to do,” Farion said. “It’s humanitarian aid for artists.”

Several of the performers, including trumpeter Orbert Davis and vocalist Lynne Jordan, traveled to Ukraine with Farion in 2000 for a series of performances in Kyiv, one of Chicago’s sister cities, she said.

During a performance at Independence Square in Kyiv, Jordan performed Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” which electrified a crowd of thousands, Farion said.

Jordan will perform the song again Friday, this time with a new resonance as the war continues to rage in Ukraine.

Also performing is Olha Tsvyntarna, a Ukrainian singer who fled to Chicago with her family last month.

Tsvyntarna will sing an original composition she wrote in English about the war, as well as a popular Ukrainian song in a blues style, Farion said.

The Chopin Theatre has long collaborated with Ukrainian organizations to hold events and performances, said Lela Headd Dyrkacz, who runs the theater with her husband, Zygmunt.

“Marta called us, and we donated the space, our time, equipment to help. The idea of artists helping other artists is really important,” Headd Dyrkacz said. “They’re in a really precarious position.”

Credit: Provided
“Chicago Legends For Ukraine” will feature almost a dozen musicians raising money to support artists in Ukraine during the war

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