news & buzz


Once I had an old banjo

Folk singer Dvorak brings songs, stories & banjoes to Park Ridge Library virtual performance July 16

PARK RIDGE IL - The Park Ridge Public Library will present Chicago’s “official troubadour” Mark Dvorak in a virtual performance Thursday, July 16 at 7:00 pm central daylight time. 

“Once I Had an Old Banjo,” is Dvorak’s exploration into the origin and evolution of the five-string banjo.

“The five-string banjo is truly an American instrument,” said Dvorak who will show and play about a dozen banjoes from his collection. 

“The sound of the 5-string banjo captures something in the foundation of American roots music. …

On Your Radar with John Platt

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New Folk Initiative presents virtual On Your Radar July 14

GLEN HEAD NY - The New Folk Initiative presents a special virtual edition of “On Your Radar” Tuesday, July 14, 7:00 pm eastern daylight time. The live-streamed program features Tragedy Ann, a duo from Guelph, Ontario, Chicago’s “official troubadour” Mark Dvorak and Siobhán O’Brien from Limerick, Ireland. 

“Having pulled off our first ‘On Your Radar’ in June,” said host John Platt who has spent more than fifty years in broadcasting, “we’re tossing caution to the wind and trying it again in July with a far-flung lineup.

Deerfield IL

Pete Seeger’s river of song ZOOMs on July 2

The Deerfield Public Library will present a ZOOM Webinar performance, “A Tribute to Pete Seeger” on Thursday, July 2 at 12 noon Central Daylight Time. 

“Thousands upon thousands of people over the years have taken up the banjo, the guitar and began opening their ears to the world of music because of Pete,” said Chicago folk artist Mark Dvorak who will lead the audience through a webinar program of Seeger’s most enduring songs.

“Pete taught us how to use music to grow our communities and celebrate our heritage,” said Dvorak. “He also demonstrated over many decades the importance of using art and song to help build a more just and peaceful world.”

Buffalo MO • 8.13.20

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CD release concert in Buffalo August 13 - a labor of love for Chicago folk artist Dvorak

BUFFAOL MO - When Chicago singer songwriter Mark Dvorak began his career in music, he knew right away he was in it for the long haul. Thirty-two years later Dvorak is still writing, on the road performing, and recording.

Let Love Go On  is Dvorak’s eighteenth recorded release and represents a creative milestone. He produced, engineered, mix and mastered the entire project. Further, he wrote seven of the songs, played all of the instruments and sang all the parts.

The disc was released on Dvorak’s independent label, Ten Fingers, just one month before the shelter-in-place order due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

FaceBook LiveStream

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Music & Potlucks presents acoustic LiveStream concert June 18

RIVER FOREST IL - Join Chicago’s “official troubadour” Mark Dvorak for a very special FaceBook LiveStream event to support our neighbors in need.

The concert is presented by Music & Potlucks, a community organization, and takes place on Thursday, June 18 at 7:00 CDT, to directly support Beyond Hunger Food Pantry. Beyond Hunger serves thirteen zip codes in Chicago and the near west suburbs. Dvorak is donating his performance.

Why not plan a social-distance potluck or picnic in your home and show us your faces and food by posting photos online? …

We get letters...

Mary writes:

Your song about “It’ll be better when it’s better I suppose…” has been running through my head today. Any chance you would share the lyrics and chords with me? Music is what is helping me freak out less...

Sure thing Mary!

Click on the image below to download the words and chords to “It’ll Be Better.”

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Click here to listen to a live performance from 2012. The guitar is capoed at the second fret.

Thanks for checkin in. Enjoy the song!




the Potluck Report

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On Saturday, March 7, Music & Potlucks presented a house concert and potluck supper in Bob & Sally’s very special home in River Forest IL. About twenty-five guests attended and the food was out of sight. Appetizers, ham & cheese sliders, grilled vegetables, beef bourguignon, many kinds of potatoes, cheese & spinach pastries, top-of-the-line desserts and on and on.

Pre-show piano music provided by the lovely Christina and MD performed a seventy-five minute concert of original music, some banjo tunes, topical songs and a rousing finale of “This Land Was Made for You and Me.”

Sittin On Top of the World

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Before Arthel Lane Watson reached the age of two, he lost his sight to an eye infection. Being from a musical family, his parents gave him instruments to play with and purchased a phonograph so the youngster could listen to his favorite songs.

As Watson grew, his depth of interest in folk music, old-time ballads, country music and bluegrass also grew. He became proficient on several instruments most notably guitar, 5-string banjo and harmonica. In the 1930s the brother duet, The Delmore Brothers were huge recording stars and young Arthel was a big fan. One of their hit songs, “Big River Blues” became a favorite of Arthel.

Airplay update

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Let Love Go On is already receiving airplay! Thank you to these great stations:

  • Nevada City CA, KVMR
  • Mansfield CT, WHUS
  • West Hartford CT, WWUH
  • Tampa FL, WNMF
  • Champaign IL, WEFT
  • Chicago IL, WFMT
  • Evanston IL, WNUR
  • Glen Ellyn IL, WDCB
  • Goshen IN, WGCS
  • South Bend IN, WVPE
  • Baton Rouge LA, WRKF
  • East Lansing MI, WKAR
  • Kalamazoo, MI, WMUK
  • Traverse City MI, WNMZ
  • Springfield MO, KMSU 
  • Hollis NH, Online Radio
  • Sparta NJ, WNTI
  • Gallup NMKGLP
  • Albany NY, WAMC
  • Roxbury NY, WIOX
  • Mentor OH, WJCU
  • Pittsburgh PA, WYPE
  • Streaming SING OUT! Radio Magazine
  • Conroe TX, KZCW
  • Hayward, WI, WOJB 
  • Hardwick VT, WDGR/WGDH
  • Moab, UTKZMU

Schubas Acoustic Brunch

CD release Acoustic Brunch @ Schubas March 8 

CHICAGO IL - When singer songwriter Mark Dvorak began his career in music, he knew right away he was in it for the long haul. Thirty-two years later he is still writing, on the road performing and recording.

Let Love Go On is Dvorak’s eighteenth recorded release and represents a creative milestone. He produced, arranged, engineered, mixed and mastered the entire project. Further, he wrote seven of the songs, played all of the instruments and sang all of the parts.

Schubas Tavern, 3159 Southport, welcomes Dvorak back to the Acoustic Brunch stage Sunday, March 8 from 12 noon to 2:00 pm for a special CD release Acoustic Brunch show. …

Stay in touch • info AT markdvorak.com • PO Box 181 • Brookfield IL 60513 • 312 315 4273