Messages, stories and anecdotes submitted to CSM from fans of street performance.


April 18, 2011 | Chicago Street Musicians!!!

Hi Chicago street musicians!!!

How are you guys!

It is amazing that I googled your website. After watching your video, I felt I totally love your songs! That is awesome!

Just call me Yu 🙂 i am a girl, a pianist and a student now. I was a keyboard player in a band in college before and also had a band last year. I loooove music. I started to practive piano since i was five and I never stop practicing it. I also learned a little about singing. Now i stay in chicago for study. I really wanna have more contact with you guys, listening to your music. Actually , i always think that it will be great if I get a chance to record your stories ( i have no idear whether someone had done that for you guys? ) or I want to join in your world. Anyway, fully support for you! and looking forward hearing from you!


March 11, 2011 | Chicago Street Musicians

I became interested in CSM after I started taking drum lessons with Chicago street musician Dave Russell. Earlier this year I had a brain tumor removed and I was having difficulty coping with the loss of hearing in my left ear and dealing with the overall recovery process. Practicing in the subway has become quite the healing experience for me, from the confidence boost in practicing to the heartwarming interactions with passer bys, especially the dancing children. With that being said I would love to be able to provide CSM with whatever assistance I could provide so others can reap the many benefits of experiencing and interacting with Chicago street musicians while they do what they love to do, play music. If there are opportunities available please let me know and I could send over my resume and elaborate a little more on my passion and plans for music.

With hopes of a better future,
Joe Fitzpatrick 

March 6, 2011 | Street Home Chicago at the House of Blues

Just wanted to let you know that I was blown away by the show last Thursday at the House of Blues. I was only able to catch 2 acts – Meisha Herron followed by The Real Connection – but they were 2 of the best performances I have seen for a long time. Such natural talent just amazes me. My only regret is that I am from Pittsburgh and I won’t have very many opportunities to see them perform (although Ronald Christian did say that they would be happy to come to Pittsburgh if I would cover their expenses on top of a their fee. If I were a richer man I would actually consider it ;-)).

I just happened to be staying locally and just dropped by to see what was going on. I never expected that I’d have such an enjoyable evening of listening. Fantastic. I only got to hear a little bit about the Chicago Street Musicians project but if that’s what’s out there on the street in Chicago I may have to consider moving.

Thanks again for a great evening of music.


January 21, 2011 | O’Hare Question

Hi, Gabriel! I’ve been enjoying your website recently, and I’m hoping your organization could assist me with obtaining some information. I’ve made a good living off busking your many years (we used to refer to ourselves as troubadours) with a classical group I started in Chicago named Amadeus Chamber Ensemble back in the late eighties. Back then, we had very little competition with other buskers and regularly played in front of Water Tower Place and what is now Bloomingdale’s. I also used to play at O’Hare airport in the cold weather months, and always did pretty well there (there don’t seem to be very many high quality classical musicians around, although I’ve seen a couple in the last few years).

My act is to play violin & piano sonatas (Mozart, Schubert, Bach) non-amplified on violin, accompanied by digital recordings of the piano accompaniment on a small iPod boom box. People seem to really like it. Today, I decided to go to O’Hare to play right outside the Blue Line stop, when a Chicago cop informed me that I need a permit from the City in order to play, and then only in certain designated areas (of which he was clueless). I then heard music from my right and went over to meet singer/guitarist, Mark Andrews. I tipped him, then asked how one gets to play here: he was understandably secretive with that information, but he did tell me that the musicians at O’Hare are on a rotation schedule. So, my questions to you are:

1. Do you know where the designated playing areas in the airport are located?
2. Do you know how I can get on that playing schedule?

Any information you provide will be greatly appreciated 🙂


November 29, 2010 | Where are all the street musicians?

I’ve lived in Chicago for almost 5 years. I am a musician and music lover and apart from the occasional subway musician and sparse street performer downtown, I cannot for the life of me understand why there isn’t more street music. How can this be? Can you shed some light?


April 13, 2010 | CD Made In 1996?

I moved from Chicago about 15 years ago. I took with me a CD of Chicago Street musicians which I loved to listen to. Somehow I’ve lost it…I must have loaned it to someone and not gotten it back. Do you know of this recording and if you do could you email it’s title so I can try to track down another copy?

Follow-Up: A while back I contacted your organization trying to track down a recording made in 1996 that had been made of Chicago street musicians. I have found a copy through a friend. I would be happy to mail you pertinent information so that maybe you can find it too. Thank you.


Does anyone have a copy of this album? We would love to make a copy and post the recordings to our site. If you have access to a copy, please email