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Q&A: Sidewalk Chalk

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Friday June 23, 2017

From Richmond Magazine

Q&A: Sidewalk Chalk
By: Briana Thorton

The members of Chicago band Sidewalk Chalk are passionate, energetic and soulful, and, presenting a wide variety of sounds through their live instrumentation (take a listen on their YouTube channel), the group’s music can be described in one simple word: fun.

Sidewalk Chalk uses its platform to speak out about prominent social issues, and their fourth full-length album, “An Orchid is Born,” holds a special significance to the band because it is the first they created with an intentional underlying message. Produced by Grammy Award-winner Robert “Sput” Searight on Ropeadope Records, the album represents the band’s development over years of touring. They bring their soulful sound to The Camel Friday, June 16; doors open at 8 p.m., and the show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. Our Q&A with the group’s bassist, Josh Rosen, follows.

Richmond Magazine: If you were introducing your music to a brand-new listener, how would you describe it? What sets your band apart from other jazz bands?

Josh Rosen: We describe our music as the evolution of jazz, hip-hop and soul. We’ve got our toes in the jazz pool as well as hip-hop, soul, spoken word and more. We can play to jazz audiences and give them a taste of the other aspects of our music and vice-versa.

RM: Is there a story behind the name Sidewalk Chalk?

Rosen: It would be really great if there was an interesting story behind the name, but unfortunately, it’s not. When the band was on the way to the first performance at an open mic, it was tossed out there by someone, and it stuck.

RM: How did the band meet and how long have you been together?

Rosen: The majority of us met at Columbia College in Chicago, where we were studying music. The lineup has undergone some small changes over the years, but the band has been together since 2008…

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