Guitar Chicago

House of Blues stage welcomes guitar gig by lawyers, financial analysts

Crain's Chicago Business,  April 19, 2010

By: Kevin Davis

A group of downtown professionals who have been taking guitar lessons during lunch are getting the unusual opportunity to play the House of Blues. James Lenger, founder of Guitar Chicago, arranged the April 27 show through a student who is a booking agent. "They can say, 'I played the House of Blues once.' That's a pretty cool thing," Mr. Lenger says. He promises a decent show -- there will be professional backup musicians and a vocalist -- and hopes the curious will come out, especially since it's for a good cause. Part of the proceeds from the $10 tickets, available at the House of Blues Web site or via Ticketmaster, will go to the Israel Idonije Foundation, a Chicago-based charity founded by the Chicago Bears defensive tackle. "I've done all kinds of things during my career as an attorney, but none of them has proved to be the challenge I face with this," says student Frank Pawlak, 57, a labor and employment lawyer from Bolingbrook. He plans to play an acoustic version of Eric Clapton's "Layla." Chicagoan Scott Maleki, 42, a financial analyst who took up guitar just two years ago, was taken aback when Mr. Lenger asked if he would be interested in performing at the club. "First I was like, 'That sounds really cool.' Then I thought, 'Should I be doing this?' " Mr. Maleki says. He decided he was in and will play "Crush With Eyeliner" by REM. "When am I ever going to have a chance to do this in my life?"

©2010 by Crain Communications Inc.

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