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Best Local Female Musicians In Chicago

By Megan Horst-Hatch

If you're looking to broaden your musical horizons, then Chicago is the best place to do it. Whether you catch a live performance or just want to support local musicians by purchasing an album, there are plenty of ways to hear acclaimed female musicians in the Chicagoland area. Regardless whether your favorite genre is opera, jazz, classical or something else -- or even all of the above -- there is something for everyone. To get started, check out the following female musicians.

Related: Best Female Musicians Of The 2000s

Jeannie Tanner

Jeannie Tanner
Andy's Jazz Club & Restaurant
11 E. Hubbard St.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 642-6805

Date: March 22

Composing what she calls "jazz-pop," Jeannie Tanner's music is based in jazz but has a strong pop influence. She is also a trumpeter, plays the piano and sings, offering new twists on favorite songs. Tanner also has a page on Sonicbids with samples of some of her music, including "Promise Me the Moon" and "You Can Kiss Me into Anything." Tanner's music can be found outside of jazz clubs, as some of her music has also been used in various shows on PBS, ABC and CBS. Tanner also performs solo or with a band throughout the Chicagoland area; for additional dates, check out the calendar on her website.

Patricia Barber

Patricia Barber 
Green Mill Jazz Club
4802 N. Broadway Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 878-5552

Date: April 1

There is no fooling with this date. The Patricia Barber Quartet, led by songwriter, vocalist and pianist Patricia Barber, plays every Monday in April at the legendary Green Mill Jazz Club in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003, Chicago-based Barber regularly performs around the world. Barber's career in jazz music has since earned her acclaim and accolades, and she regularly teaches the craft both stateside and overseas. Her latest album "Smash" was released earlier this year; check out her website for a sample of her work.

Emma Gerstein

Emma Gerstein
Musicians Club of Women
Fourth Presbyterian Church
126 E. Chestnut St.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 787-4570

Date: April 5

If you are looking for a performance by a flutist, consider attending a concert where Emma Gerstein will play. The Chicago native has performed in numerous venues, including Carnegie Hall and Chicago Symphony Center. Although Gerstein was named the principal flute of The Lexington Philharmonic in Lexington, Kentucky, she still performs in Chicago. Her upcoming concert on April 5 takes place in Fourth Presbyterian Church's Buchanan Chapel. For a list of Gerstein's other upcoming concerts, as well as a recording of some of her performances, check out her website.

Related: Best Bars To Catch Mid-Week Live Music

Sara Su Jones
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State St.
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 747-4300

Date: April 19

When Sara Su Jones isn't coaching her students on test preparation, she's a solo violinist. The Chicago-based musician has performed all over the world at such venues as Symphony Hall in Boston and Grieg Hall in Norway. She is also concertmaster of the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra. Jones isn't just limited to the violin, either; she is an accomplished soprano who sings in the professional choir of St. James Cathedral in Chicago. Her upcoming concert at the Harold Washington Library Center will be held at the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium in the lower level.

Hilary Ann Feldman

Hilary Ann Feldman
Davenport's Piano Bar Cabaret
1383 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 278-1830

Date: May 4

Feel like a bit of cabaret? Then consider seeing Hilary Ann Feldman perform. Feldman is a Chicago-based vocalist who sings classic hits from John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Eric Idle, Paul Simon and Susan Werner. Feldman has a solid training, with degrees from the University of Illinois and Berklee College of Music. She's also an award-winning vocalist, with her debut solo album named "Cabaret/Folk CD of 2008" by Cabaret Hotline. To get a sample of Feldman's style, check out her page on CD Baby. Feldman's performance at Davenport's Piano Bar is "My Fair Audrey," a musical tribute to the famed actress. For more information on Feldman's upcoming events, see her website.

Related: 2012 Sounded Good: The Best Breakout Music Acts In Chicago

Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in "-er." She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I'm a Trader Joe's Fan. Her work can be found at

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