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Chicago Honors Von Freeman, Delmark Owner, More

On Thursday, November 6, the School of the Art Institute in Chicago will present the 2003 Chicago Heroes Awards. Scheduled to be honored at the event are saxophonist Von Freeman (pictured), bluesman Buddy Guy, Ella Jenkins, a pioneer in the field of children’s music, and the head-honcho of Chicago’s legendary Delmark Records, Bob Koester.

Chi-town’s Delmark Records is the country’s oldest independent label and considered among jazz music’s most important. Bob Koester has been with Delmark Records since he founded the company in 1953, recording and issuing jazz and blues records. The label remains one of the most active, continuing to issue releases to this very day. Koester also runs Jazz Record Mart, the biggest blues and jazz record store in the world. (Check out

Von Freeman is one of Chicago’s most remarkable saxophonists, capable of swinging with the best while still playing with an edgy pitch and an avant-gardist’s aplomb. More info on the man they call Vonski can be found at and

Past recipients of the award include Sam Ley, Koko Taylor and even R. Kelly and the Smashing Pumpkins. The Heroes Award is considered among the highest honors a musician can be given and the highest honor from a chapter of the Recording Academy.

The ceremony will take place in the Chicago Ballroom, located at 112 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago. The awards presentation and live performances portion of the evening event will begin at 8:15 p.m. Call 312-786-1121 or go to for more information.

Originally Published