Kurt Elling, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, & The Second City perform at Chicago’s Fifth Star Awards

Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, acclaimed contemporary dance company Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and legendary improvisational comedy enterprise The Second City are among the performers at the Chicago's inaugural Fifth Star Awards on Wednesday, September 17 at 7:00 pm.
Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), the FREE show at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park features a diverse lineup of live performances and video tributes for this year's honorees: Lou Conte, Richard Hunt, Ramsey Lewis, Lois Weisberg and the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

Grammy winner Kurt Elling is among the world's foremost jazz vocalists. He topped the DownBeat Critics Poll for an unprecedented 14 straight years and has been named Male Singer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association on eight occasions. Every one of Elling's 10 albums has been nominated for a Grammy. He is performing in tribute to Ramsey Lewis.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is among the most original forces in contemporary dance. As one of the only professional dance companies to perform year-round, Hubbard Street is continually touring nationwide and internationally. Now in its 37th year, the main company has appeared in celebrated dance venues in 44 states and 19 countries. They are performing in tribute to Lou Conte. Legendary dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp is among the presenters at the event, also in tribute to Lou Conte.

The Second City is the leading brand in improv-based sketch comedy. With theatres in Chicago and Toronto, Training Centers in those cites as well as Hollywood, 11 full-time touring ensembles, thriving corporate communications and theatricals divisions as well as television and film operations, The Second City has been called “A Comedy Empire” by the New York Times. They are performing in tribute to Lois Weisberg.

This year's honorees include five Chicago artists, arts advocates and cultural institutions:

  • Lou Conte is a dancer, choreographer and founder of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago — among the world's top contemporary dance companies and a global cultural ambassador, celebrating its 37th season in 2014/2015.
  • An internationally renowned sculptor, Richard Hunt has completed more public sculptures than any other artist in the United States.
  • A Grammy-winning jazz composer, pianist and radio personality, Ramsey Lewis has recorded over 80 albums.
  • Lois Weisberg was Chicago's cultural affairs commissioner for over 20 years and served as head of the Mayor's Office of Special Events; she created the Gallery 37 job training program in the arts, Taste of Chicago, the Chicago Blues Festival and the Chicago Gospel Music Festival, among others.
  • And the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, was the first home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Opera Company; today, the National Historic Landmark designed by the famous architectural team of Adler and Sullivan hosts more than 200 performances and events – and more than a quarter of a million visitors – every year.

Fifth Star Awards coincides with EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art (September 18-21), and EXPO ART WEEK, a citywide showcase of Chicago's art and cultural community (September 15-21).