This is just the news, to get a lot of South Asian Americans in Chicago, all excited. None other than A.R. Rahman, the globally renowned composer, songwriter and record producer will be taking the stage at the famed Ravinia Festival that is held every year in Highland Park, just north of Chicago.
Rahman who is currently on his North America Tour 2022 has been performing at Seattle, LA and Texas. He will be performing in Florida, NJ, Atlanta, Michigan and North Carolina before heading to Chicago for the festival.
Rahman’s performance at Ravinia this year, is especially significant as after the unfortunate incident of July 4 at Highland Park, where a shooter mindlessly shot people watching the parade, this gives many festival goers another reason to carry on the love and pride of the event.
For many in North Chicago and for locals in Highland Park, the incident understandably shook them up. As businesses reopen and people continue to pay respect to the memorials, the town is gearing up with a braver front. And a major celebrity like Rahman performing at the festival comes as a much needed boost and also is bound to attract a large number of Indians living in and around Chicago, to Highland Park.
While Indians are no stranger to Rahman’s music, the local Americans who may not have heard his music must be encouraged to know that Rahman is a proud winner of two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe Award. He has also been on the TIME magazines’ list of 100 Most Influential People and has an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music. This gives everyone who appreciates good music a reason to check out the performance.
The music festival that has been Highland Park’s legacy and attracts over 600,000 guests to over 120 events each year. The history of Ravinia goes back to the early 1900s when the first edition was opened on August 15, 1904. Ravinia continued to grow in popularity since its inception and from 1919 to 1931 Ravinia became known as the ‘summer opera capital of the world.’ The event earned such a popular spot that renowned musicians from Europe would sail all the way to perform at the Ravinia.
Now Ravinia operates as the self-owned non-profit – The Ravinia Festival Association
Just 25 miles north of downtown Chicago, Highland Park has earned the reputation of a cool neighborhood for its downtown and Ravinia Festival. With Rahman taking the stage, the festival definitely is on its way to register another memory for years to come!