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« Review: Lindsey Buckingham @ Chicago's City Winery (and a Look at the New Venue) Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - September 2012 »

Event Wed Aug 29 2012

Dwyane Wade Proves Chicago Has Talent

For Chicago native and NBA superstar Dwyane Wade, all kids deserve a "shot" -- a chance to show their artistry -- and through the Wade's World Foundation's D. Wade's Chicago Has Talent, his annual youth showcase, they showed it in a huge way. "This is our fifth year with Chicago Has Talent and every year the talent gets better and better," said Wade.

Front: Dwyane Wade; back row, l to r: David Silbaugh (judge), Lil Rel (host), Tika Sumpter (host) & Billy Dec (judge).

For hundreds of kids, the showcase, held last weekend at the Chicago Theater as part of "Wade's World Weekend," was a welcome escape from the day-to-day ills that lately have plagued the city's youth. "Chicago Has Talent is a no-brainer for us to do; it's our way of answering the violence," said Tragil Wade, the foundation's executive director. "What we decided to do is to create a platform for all our creative babies out there."

Hosted by funnyman Lil Rel and actress Tika Sumpter (Sparkle), with judges that included Grammy award-winning singer/actress Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child and entertainment personality Billy Dec, the event put the spotlight on 17 contestants with talent in the world of music, theater and dance.

dwyane-wade_chicago-has-talent_winner.jpgFrom rap to rock and from The Beatles to Beyonce, the show's diverse line-up featured youth solo and group acts who performed songs that included classics by Etta James, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Aretha Franklin and more. Among the acts were 15-year-old opera singer Fadeke Oparinde, rock/pop band, Live Wire, performance artists The Last Two and popular Chicago tap dance troupe, M.A.D.D. Rhythms. Other highlights included musical performances by Disney star Coco Jones and teen R&B/pop sensation, Jacob Latimore.

Of the evening's talented performers, first prize went to 11-year-old singer and musician Mae Ya Ryan who gave a soulfully stirring rendition of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good" that brought everybody -- including Dwyane Wade -- to their feet. Rounding out the other top spots was third place winner Kristen Lowe, who performed a medley of Beyonce hits and in second place, guitarist Jake Julian.

The spirit of the evening and the level of talent especially resonated with Williams, who was moved by the performances. "I believe in our children and I'm so inspired by what they came with tonight," she said. "To me, they all could have been winners."

Photos by Jeff Schear.


BKW / August 30, 2012 11:41 AM

Very refreshing to read a positive and inspiring story about Chicago youth for a change. Need more stories like this, please...

j / August 30, 2012 11:29 PM

he's a joker. you seen him with his rim glassless glasses. shoot the bitch h3 can't afford the full eyeware.

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Classical Wed Aug 06 2014

Pulling Strings: For classical music in Chicago, you got a guy - August 2014

By Transmission

Before the main classical season kicks into gear in the next month or two, take advantage of these local artists and ensembles playing throughout the city.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records


Wed Aug 20 2014
Propagandhi @ Concord Music Hall

Thu Aug 21 2014
Invaders from Mars & The General w/Live Soundtrack

Thu Aug 21 2014
MC Frontalot @ Subterranean

Fri Aug 22 2014
Ken Vandermark's Audio One @ Constellation

Fri Aug 22 2014
Jeff Daniels and Ben Daniels Band @ SPACE

Fri Aug 22 2014
Boulevard Festival

Fri Aug 22 2014
The Boulevard Festival

Sat Aug 23 2014
Ken Vandermark's Audio One @ Constellation

Sat Aug 23 2014
Deer Tick @ Metro

Sat Aug 23 2014
Drivin' and Cryin' @ Reggies

Sat Aug 23 2014
The Boulevard Festival

Sun Aug 24 2014
The Boulevard Festival

Sun Aug 24 2014
Robyn & Röyksopp Do It Again @ Pritzker Pavilion

Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

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About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Anne Holub,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
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