Leslie Witt

I can’t help it. It’s my passion, though people who know me would argue that it is an obsession. XRT became “Chicago’s Finest Rock” station more than 40 years ago, and doing the math, I realize I’ve been a weekend DJ here for most of those years. Yikes! For now I’m just popping in for a shift here or there. [Read Leslie’s Full Bio]

Getting Down With Fitz and The Tantrums at the Double Door [Watch]

Fitz and the Tantrums hosted a blissful, non-stop dance party at the sold-out Double Door XRT show 4/23/13.


Jim James’ Dazzling Chicago Premiere [Watch]

Jim James, front man for My Morning Jacket, performed his entire debut album, Regions of Light and Sound of God for a WXRT sell-out at the Vic Theater Saturday night. He emerged as a solo artist, a visionary, a rock ‘n roll messiah.


Waxing Nostalgia for the Deerfield Record Shop on Record Store Day 2013

It was a mecca for music-lovers of every stripe, a teen hang-out, and most of all, place of magnificent discovery. Just about everyone who lived in north suburban Deerfield back then has a story to tell about the Deerfield Record Shop, in the heart of town, near the main intersection of Deerfield and Waukegan Roads. […]


Allen Toussaint Brings a Taste of NOLA And A Sense Of Adventure To Chicago’s City Winery

Playing the part of “Mr. Mardi Gras,” Allen Toussaint, at one point, tossed into the crowd souvenirs from his hometown of New Orleans. But it’s his treasure trove of music that makes a night with Allen Toussaint special.

The sweep and scope of Toussaint’s set is like a history lesson in New Orleans jazz, blues and R&B. His gentlemanly charm and wonderful stories make it accessible. And the danceable, irresistible rhythms are omnipresent. Performances are loaded with his many hit songs, like “Mother-In-Law,” “Yes We Can Can,” “Southern Nights, ” and, famously covered by Jerry Garcia, “Get Out Of My Life Woman.”


Music For The Ears, Dancing For The Eyes

XRT listeners are, by definition, music lovers with open minds, so I’m urging you to take a leap from music concert to dance performance. No better time to make the move than now, with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performing at the Auditorium Theater through March 17. Much as XRT types delight in genre-bending […]


Suzanne Vega Charms XRT Crowd At S.P.A.C.E. 2/22/13

Suzanne Vega possesses much of the elegance of stars like Marlene Dietrich, who inspired one of her best-known songs, and her top hat and tux attire, at two XRT shows at SPACE. Vega opened her classy set with “Marlene on the Wall,” explaining that a poster of the German actress/singer kept a watchful eye on […]


Treat Your Valentine To Vaud And The Villains

Planning an outing with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day? Ditch the quiet, candlelit dinner and let it all hang out with a 19-piece, 1930’s New Orleans style cabaret show playing at Martyrs’! I had the good fortune to catch Vaud and the Villains’ Chicago debut a year ago November at Martyrs’. Those who piled into […]


Ben Prestage Spreads His Rockin’ Okeechobee Roots

America is a big country, with musical influences spreading far and wide, so you never know where you might discover a musician who puts a new twist on old styles in an unlikely place. Like Ben Prestage, a roots revivalist who last weekend brought his one-man band to the Riverfront Fine Art and Music Festival […]


Local Faves Save New Year’s Eve At S.P.A.C.E.

When bad news comes, as it did so often this past year, we can cry, or we can, in Beatles parlance, try to take a sad song and make it better. So when Alejandro Escovedo cancelled his New Year’s Eve gig at the eleventh hour, due to illness, S.P.A.C.E. tapped into Chicago’s rich talent pool […]


Renew Your Holiday Spirit With A Capote Classic

May I suggest a beautiful little book for your holiday reading pleasure? May I suggest a beautiful little book for a last-minute holiday gift? I was surprised and delighted when I discovered, a few years ago, a collection of three short stories by Truman Capote: A Christmas Memory, One Christmas, & The Thanksgiving Visitor. Who […]




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