First Night Evanston invites the community  to “wring out the old year and ring in the new” with harmonica legend Corky Siegel and friends in a virtual year-end concert.

“I want to spend this New Year’s Eve with you and the Evanston First Night crowd,” Mr. Siegel said. “We will offer each other big hugs and have the time of our lives together – and isn’t that what music is about?”

This New Year’s Eve concert is hosted by First Night Evanston and made possible by the support from Romano Wealth Management, Northwestern University, Kiwanis Club and Byline Bank.

Joining Mr. Siegel in this pre-recorded performance will be the Chamber Blues ensemble, jazz saxophone icon Ernie Watts and Chicago vocal diva Lynne Jordan. This will be a 95-minute celebration with wild blues harmonica and piano and songs about unity, corn, justice, bridges, lies, potatoes, and love.

The concert, which will begin at 10 p.m., will be followed by a live Zoom for a sing-a-long version Auld Lang Syne with Mr. Siegel, Ernie Watts and Lynne Jordan at midnight. There will be a special link to that version of Auld Lang Syne that can be watched separately at any time.

“My 77-year career sees its culmination in my most creative period as Mother Nature has sent me to my room, along with everyone else,” Mr. Siegel joked. “None of this production could have happened on stage, and you have front row seats from the comfort of your homes.”

Sign-Up for Concert and After Party

First Night Evanston in its current iteration receives no funding from the City of Evanston but instead relies on contributions from local businesses and organizations. Those wishing to sign up for this special performance and post-concert Zoom should register here. A $20 donation is suggested, but any amount is appreciated, and no payment is required to enjoy the performance or after-party Zoom chat.

About Corky Siegel

Mr. Siegel is known internationally as one of the world’s great blues harmonica players, blues pianist, singer and writer of unusual songs, a Chamber Blues progenitor and sole pioneer/composer of award-winning revolutionary works that weave blues and classical forms together.  He celebrates 55 years of performance, a co-founder of the popular Siegel-Schwall Band, a Chicago Blues Hall of Fame inductee and Lifetime Achievement awardee. 

About First Night Evanston (FNE)

First Night Evanston (FNE) began in December of 1992, affiliating with First Night Boston and known as First Night 1993. Joe Zendell, City of Evanston Arts Council staff person, was instrumental in getting funding from the Illinois Arts Council, the Evanston Arts Council and many local businesses and organizations. FNE disbanded in 2006, but then resumed as part of the 150th anniversary of Evanston’s incorporation event. Several former First Night board members came together in March of 2012 to discuss bringing back First Night Evanston to cap off all the many events planned for that year. The organization re-incorporated with the State of Illinois in 2012 and renewed the 501c3 status.

In December of 2013, despite a major snowstorm, more than 3,000 people attended the renewed version of First Night Evanston. This group continues to bring together first-class talent, both national and local.