Musical livestreams near at The Venue in Aurora – Christmas blues to holiday specials

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The Venue, the 200-seat music performance space in Aurora, will return to livestream performances in December because of the pandemic.

All performances will be broadcast live via The Venue's Facebook page and YouTube channel. At each performance, a donation is suggested and donations are split between the artists and The Fox Valley Music Foundation. All information and schedules can be found at http://themusicvenue.org.

Tuesday, Dec. 1, kicks off the Fox Valley Music Foundation’s annual Giving Tuesday fundraising drive with a livestream performance featuring music of The Doors, led by The Venue's Special Projects Producer Scott Tipping.

"Now, more than ever, funds are needed to support The Venue as COVID-19 has seriously affected our ability to operate, pay our staff and provide live performances to audiences," a news release stated. Donations made specifically on Dec. 1 will make the Foundation eligible for additional funding."

The Giving Tuesday link is https://themusicvenue.org/donate.

Two holiday, special performances are scheduled. The first will be the "Dennis O'Brien Holiday" at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. O'Brien is a fervent vocalist and guitar player who has been performing classic acoustic covers for 35 years. He is an accomplished entertainer who has shared the stage with such notable artists as The Eagles, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, America and Poco. Visit https://www.dennisobrienmusic.com/.

The second holiday show will be "Dick Smith's Holiday Hoo Hah: A Dark 'n' Shiny Quarantine Wrangle" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec 23.

"OK, first of all, these cats are mighty whacked. But they're hella good. They take old forms and play the [heck] out of them in new ways. It's bluesy old-timey, it's inbred urbane country, it's – I don't know what it is, but I'm diggin' it," states Frank Goodman of puremusic.com.

"Join us for a night of hilarity and wonderful music by a band led by Dave Nelson (Heartsfield) and Dave Ramont (a Fox Valley folk staple)," invites The Venue.

Everyone can get the blues at Christmas, so to help shake it off, the guys who rocked Mundy Park in Aurora this past summer, The Blues Angels Trio (https://www.chicagobluesangels.com/), will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, and blues great John Primer will perform in a duo at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18 (https://www.johnprimerblues.com/).

Two special presentations produced by The Venue will fill out the month. The Album Covers Series will feature an acoustic tribute to The Allman Brothers Band at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 27, The Venue for Venues series will feature S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston. The special series showcases an interview with the proprietor of a Chicago area music venue combined with a live performance. Bluesman Dave Specter, co-owner of S.P.A.C.E., will elaborate about the history and magic of S.P.A.C.E., combined with a live performance.

"We’re all in this together, so the Fox Valley Music Foundation is working with area venues to showcase their clubs and their performers and to draw attention to the plight of music venues in the Chicago area," the release stated. "A recent NBC News segment predicted that 90% of the small music venues in Chicago will close unless there’s some significant government help."

The Venue already has featured the iconic Chicago music room Martyrs, and in January plans to highlight the rock club Reggie’s. The unique series runs every fourth Sunday of the month. Donations collected during the Venue for Venue livestreams are shared with the featured music rooms.

All of The Venue livestreams remain available after the performances on both Facebook and YouTube, but donations are only shared during the real-time livestreams with performers and other venues, so it's best to catch them while they are in progress, organizers said.

About The Venue and Fox Valley Music Foundation

The Venue is owned and operated by the Fox Valley Music Foundation and can be found at http://themusicvenue.org. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization comprised of music lovers, music educators, arts enthusiasts and people who have spent many hours, days and years in the business of music (http://foxvalleymusicfoundation.com).