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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Pulse of Naperville Music Scene – Steve Vai takes the stage for Little Friends


Above / Three-time Grammy winner Steve Vai will take the stage in Wentz Concert Hall at 6PM Sun., Aug. 4, 2019, to give a special benefit performance for Little Friends. 

UPDATE, Aug. 4, 2019 / Bursts of color illuminated the stage at Wentz Concert Hall when Grammy-winning Steve Vai and his band entertained for the benefit of Little Friends on Aug. 4.

Original Post, June 15, 2019 / Thumbing through the May issue of Positively Naperville, I came upon Mike Briggs’ column announcing that guitarist Steve Vai would be performing at Wentz Concert Hall on August 4. Mike Briggs is the CEO of Little Friends, a nonprofit organization that empowers children and adults with disabilities to thrive in their communities. My heart skipped a beat knowing that Vai would be performing, and then it began racing as I learned that the show would be benefiting Little Friends.

Steve Vai is the devil. I know that sounds bad, so allow me to explain. Vai plays Jack Butler, the maniacal looking “devil” character in the film Crossroads. I had actually been a fan of Vai’s music before seeing this film, but this was my first visual. As I watched him battle against a baby-faced Ralph Macchio in a guitar duel, I was immediately drawn in by his unique stage presence. The tall and lanky Vai seemed otherworldly, as I watched him wield his guitar like it was part of his anatomy.

Vai’s history is extraordinary, having played with some of the greatest artists in music history. He was formally educated at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston and started working with Frank Zappa at 18. He was also an early student of guitar god Joe Satriani. A 3-time Grammy winner (and 15-time nominee) and often considered one of the Top 10 greatest guitarists of all-time, Vai’s greatest accomplishment just might be what he’s done without a guitar. Vai has been married to his wife Pia for more than 30 years, and has been a father to two boys, Julian Angel and Fire.

I look forward to speaking with Vai about his family, his career, and this very special performance! Get your tickets now at finearts.northcentralcollege.edu/event/evening-steve-vai-benefit-concert-little-friends.

Wentz Concert Hall is located at 171 E. Chicago Avenue, on the campus of North Central College.

Editor’s Update, July 26, 2019 / If you’ve yet to experience a concert in the 617-seat Wentz Concert Hall, here’s a link with photos of this premier stage venue for concerts. Great seats for Steve Vai’s performance remain available in the balcony.

Located at Chicago Avenue and Ellsworth Street in the North Central College Fine Arts Center, Wentz Concert Hall is just steps from downtown Naperville.

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Scott "Dr. Music" Itter
Scott "Dr. Music" Itterhttp://DrMusic.org
Scott Itter resides in the Willowgate subdivision with his wife, Barbara, and their two children. Contact Scott at DrMusic@wowway.com.

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