“The Life and Legacy of Stuart J Rosenberg: A Tribute to a Musical Pioneer”


Stuart J. Rosenberg pursued a unique path in the music industry, whether it be through his performances, radio programs, event productions, or contributions to concert spaces. With a background in mandolin and violin, Rosenberg ventured beyond conventional boundaries to introduce audiences to lesser-known musical genres. His innovative approach was evident in the free-form radio shows he hosted on WBEZ-FM during the s and 's. In his later years, he played a key role in establishing the SPACE concert hall and recording facility in Evanston. His mission was centered on connecting individuals with the profound aspects of music, as he once expressed, It’s all about getting people in touch with the deepest parts of their soul.

Remembered as a conduit to the eternal by his longtime friend and former bandmate, Randy Herman, the late Rosenberg was praised for his connection with elves, confirmed Rachel Lerner Rosenberg, his wife. Rosenberg, who passed away at the age of due to heart failure on May , was a respected resident of Skokie for many years. Born in Evanston, Rosenberg relocated to Skokie with his family during his childhood and later graduated from Evanston Township High School. Fondly remembered by friends for his resourcefulness in obtaining a press pass during high school, which granted him access to numerous bands’ performances free of charge, Rosenberg began penning reviews for his school newspaper at that time.

Ble Rosenberg was a prolific musician who contributed his talents on the mandolin, violin, and fiddling to various bands within the Chicago music community. Alongside performing with groups such as Jamie O’Reilly and the Rogues, the Laketown Buskers, the Otters, and even Jonathon Brandmeier’s band, Johnny and the Leisure Suits, Rosenberg devoted his time to teaching klezmer, a sacred Jewish instrumental music form, at the renowned Old Town School of Folk Music for an extended period. Additionally, he played a significant role in organizing the biannual Greater Chicago Jewish Festival. Beyond his work in Chicago, Rosenberg’s wife revealed that he also undertook the production of Yiddish music theater productions on Broadway in New York City.

With his expertise in audio engineering and production, coupled with access to a basement studio that allowed him to remain close to his family, the individual also engaged in producing demos for blues and jazz vocalist Catherine Russell’s acclaimed album Cat. His active participation in Chicago’s music community quickly propelled him to wider recognition within the realm of public radio. Commencing in , he commenced hosting the folk music show Flea Market on WBEZ-FM, which later transitioned into diverse weekend programs such as Earth Club and Radio Gumbo, showcasing a variety of rare and lesser-known music from around the globe.

Rosenberg commenced providing bi-weekly reports on the Chicago arts community as the Culture Vulture for the primary Studio A weekday morning talk show on the station. At that period, the show was hosted by Ken Davis. Stuart seamlessly integrated into our operations in the s, Davis reminisced. Throughout that era, we successfully cultivated a following that comprised of a younger, more diverse audience. Stuart possessed an apt personality and expertise that resonated well with the audience. His depth of knowledge commanded respect, and musicians also held him in high regard.

In late , WBEZ underwent a well-publicized transition to a more focused weekend news and talk format. Despite being offered a position as a special music programs producer by WBEZ, Rosenberg chose to sever ties with the station. He viewed this change as a chance for growth and transformation. Speaking to the Tribune in , Rosenberg reflected on the paradoxical outcome of his departure from radio. He noted that the situation had galvanized support for his work, inspiring others to contribute their efforts towards its success. Any career trajectory, he observed, is marked by moments of unexpected opportunity.

What we can learn

As Stuart Rosenberg made his mark as the Culture Vulture on Studio A, he not only brought a fresh perspective to the Chicago arts community but also captivated a younger, more diverse audience with his expertise and charisma. His seamless integration into the show and deep knowledge of the arts garnered respect from both listeners and musicians alike. Rosenberg’s contributions to the program were invaluable, and his impact on the Chicago arts scene will not be forgotten.


Hakan Author

This is my favourite website. I hope it is your favourite too.