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Whitney Young musical talent on display in triple bill

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Sima Cunningham,
Macie Stewart and
Alaina Stacey

◆ 7 p.m. Monday

◆ Schubas, 3159 N. Southport

◆ Tickets, $10

◆ (773) 525-2508, schubas.com

Updated: January 16, 2013 6:07AM



Whitney M. Young Magnet High School has been pumping out some superb talent lately.

Not just in the classroom or on the athletic field — the school has become known for its musical talent.

On Monday at Schubas, that musical talent will be on display when Whitney Young student Alaina Stacey, and graduates Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham headline an all-ages show.

Stewart is best known as the female side of the eclectic Chicago band Kids These Days. Her beautifully piercing, poignant voice adds yet another dynamic to the multi-talented group.

As a solo performer, Stewart has packed the Underground Wonder Bar and was a featured performer at the 2011 Bucktown Arts Festival.

Fresh off the band’s national tour, which included a sold-out show Oct. 24 at the Vic, Stewart is ready to show off her solo skills with support from Lane Beckstrom of KTD and Rob Fletcher.

“I have all these songs that I’ve been writing since I was 13 that have just been building up,” Stewart said. “At some point in the future, I’m definitely going to record a project of my solo material.”

Keeping with the Kids These Days connections, Cunningham is the sister of KTD frontman Liam Cunningham, who will join her onstage.

Cunningham got her start at the age of 15, releasing an album, “Squeeze,” with Brian Deck. Since then, her music has taken her everywhere from Venezuela to Ireland.

With college out of the way at New York University, Cunningham is back in the Windy City and ready to make her mark.

“I was really determined to go to college because I’ve always been interested in cultural diplomacy and making peace through music,” Cunningham said. “It’s fun being back. I just graduated, so now I’m excited to put out my next album and actually get to tour on it.”

Alaina Stacey brings a bit of country flavor to the showcase. She got her start singing background vocals for the country-music band Janesville and has since built a strong following in both Nashville and Chicago.

Stacey should prove an entertaining solo act, having taken pointers while sharing the stage with the likes of Trace Adkins and LeAnn Rimes. If nothing else, Cunningham and Stewart are excited for her set.

“Alaina Stacey is 17 years old and blows people away,” Cunningham said.

“I would come just for Alaina, definitely,” Stewart said.

With three powerful voices in the house, Schuba’s had better watch that the roof stays attached as the three Whitney Young products look to make the night a special one.

“Everyone that comes needs to be sure to stay until the end,” Cunningham said. “Because there will be a set at the end where we will all sing our favorite songs with magical harmonies. It will be like an opera; you can’t miss one part.”

Jake Krzeczowski is a locally based free-lance writer. Follow him on Twitter: @JakeKrez



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