“What a Feeling!!!!!”

June 18, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
CHICAGO, June 2006- Singer Irene Cara headlines this year’s 4th Annual Chicago Pride Fest at 7:30 p.m. on June 24 at Halsted Street & Waveland Avenue. Pride Fest, sponsored by the Northalsted Area Merchants Association (NAMA), is the official kick-off to the Pride Parade which follows on June 25. Other top name talent will be performing all day long from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Those who want to cut loose and dance the night away will have 10 hours to do so.

Adding to the head lineup are: Jenna Drey with Fusion Radio Chic (1 p.m.), Kim English followed by Lyrisis (3 p.m.), and Jeanie Tracy (5 p.m.) on the main stage. Different performers will take to the stage throughout the entire event, promising an action-packed, fun-filled day.

Chicago Pride Fest also is known for showcasing top DJs who create danceable beats for everyone who enjoys clubbing. Featured DJs, hosted by Cyon Flare and Miss Foozie, include DJ Dragon fire, DJ Laura B, DJ Oskar, DJ Matthew Harvat and others.

NAMA, who also sponsors Market Days and Halsted Tastes Better, has worked to achieve North Halsted’s friendly, diverse image. The entry fee to enjoy these performers as well as kick off the Pride Parade and Gay Pride Month is a $5.00 donation to NAMA.

Street parking is available on surrounding streets but is very limited. The CTA Red Line “L” (Belmont/Addison stops) or the Brown Line (Belmont stop) are a few short blocks away from the festival. For more information on routes and directions call 773-836-7000 or go to www.transitchicago.com.


All performances are at the intersection of Halsted and Waveland Avenues.


Main Stage
1 p.m.- Jenna Drey w/FusionRadioChic
3 p.m.- Kim English followed by Lyrisis
5 p.m.- Jeanie Tracy
7:30 p.m.-Irene Cara with two backup singers

Dance Tent (hosted by Cyon Flare and Miss Foozie)
12 p.m.-DJ Dragonfire
2 p.m.-DJ Laura B
4 p.m.-DJ Oskar
6 p.m.-DJ Matthew Harvat


Jenna Drey began her music career in Los Angeles at the age of seven. Driven by a love of music, at age nine she took piano lessons and by age 11, Drey was writing songs. Her early start songwriting proved to be beneficial. Drey won five songwriting contests including The Dallas Songwriters Assocation National Contest for “Shadow of a Stranger” and “Stand in Line;” The USA Songwriting Competition for “Why Should I Believe You” (a #1 hit on November 2003 worldwide internet pop charts), The International Songwriting Competition for “Killin’ Me,” she won Best Dance Song for “Say Goodbye to Loneliness” and Best Pop Song for “Just Like That” from the VH-1 Save The Music, “Song of the Year” competition. Drey’s voice has been likened to a mixture of the phenomenal Karen Carpenter and passionate Pat Benetar. Currently, Drey is completing another single, produced by the renowned Nile Rodgers.

Kim English’s club and dance beats have livened up dance parties around the world. The Chicago-based house vocalist’s first single “Nite Life” was a hit in both the US and UK on club and dance charts. Her first chart entry, “I Know A Place” came in number 32 in Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts in 1995. From 1999-2002, English released six hits in a row that debuted at number two on the charts, five of these, “Unspeakable Joy,” “Missing You,” “Bumpin and Jumpin,” “Everyday,” and “Treat Me Right” achieved the coveted number one position. In 2006, English’s “It Makes a Difference” made her sixth number one single.

Lyrisis is an all female Hip-Hop group composed of Lady, Anyi, Tripple Threat and Erin Joy. The group debuted four and a half years ago and will release their first record in mid Fall.

Jeanie Tracy started singing at an early age in her local church choir. Inspired by a love of music, Tracy studied opera and took piano lessons throughout high school. Full of talent, Tracy starred in the musical “Slave Driver” and in performances, “Sing Mahlia,
Sing” and “Right Mind.” Taking a break from theater for a while, Tracy began writing and producing for Harvey Fuqua’s gospel group “Voices of Harmony.” Through his insistence, Tracy began singing for Sylvester and shortly thereafter launched her solo career. She dabbled in the R&B genre and released the late 1980s album “Me and You.” Since then, Tracy performed in more theatrical productions and released the album “It’s My Time” including the singles, “Do You Believe in the Wonder,” “If this is Love,” “It’s a Man’s Man’s World” and “Crying in my Sleep.” Currently, Tracy made another successful career move into television where she performed voices for several PBS children’s series. However, in spite of this switch, Tracy still found time to continue her recording career through the release of singles, “Happiness,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” “Keep the Party Jumpin’” and “The Power” which hit the number one spot on the Billboard dance charts and can be heard on club floors world wide.

Irene Cara’s fairytale singing/acting/dancing/songwriting career began sometime after her fifth birthday when she played her family a song on the piano by ear. Cara began singing and dancing as a child on Spanish television and then moved on to theater where she performed in on and off-roadway productions including the Obie award winner “The Me Knowbody Knows.” While still under 10, Cara acted in a television series with Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman and Rita Moreno. Cara played a guitarist in a rock group and taught musical lessons through this education program. By eight, Cara had released a Spanish album geared toward the Latin market. In an ensemble concert tribute for Duke Ellington, Cara performed alongside Stevie Wonder, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Roberta Flack. In 1980, the hit “Fame” catapulted Cara into superstardom. She sang both the title song “Fame” and another hit song from the movie, “Out There On My Own.” Cara made Academy Award history when she performed both songs from the film and multi-platinum soundtrack at the Academy Award’s show live. For “Fame,” the Academy nominated Cara for “Best New Female Artist" and "Best New Pop Artist. Cara also received a Golden Globe nomination for "Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical” that year. Billboard Magazine named Irene "Top New Single Artist," while Cashbox awarded her both "Most Promising Female Vocalist" and "Top Female Vocalist." Success followed Cara once again with the hit “Flashdance” in 1983. That year, the Academy honored her with awards including "Top Female Vocalist-Pop Single," "Black Contemporary Female Vocalist-Pop Single," "Top Pop Crossover Artist-Black Contemporary Singles," and "Pop Single of the Year." For writing the “Flashdance” hit, “What a Feeling,” Irene earned an Academy Award, two Grammy’s, a Golden Globe and a People’s Choice Award. Currently, Cara is working on an album with an all female band called Hot Caramel. She is also writing several scripts for productions that she will star in.


Cyon Flare from Ann Arbor, MI has been spinning tracks at clubs for the past several years. He distinguishes himself from other DJs through his focus on the crowd and his fabulous drag attire. His role as host at the Pride Fest dance tent promises seven hours of excitement!

Miss Foozie, from Illinois, began his entertainment career working as Foghorn Leghorn at Great America. He worked temporarily at a nine-to- five job in Chicago until he realized that performing made him happiest. One year, for his birthday party at the Chicago bar, Circuit, Miss Foozie dressed in drag and her performance career began. Now, Miss Foozie’s identity brings laughs and entertainment to every event he attends.

DJ Dragonfire worked as a go-go dancer for Chixmix Productions before discovering her passion for djing. After trying djing once, Dragonfire found that she could make a career out of entertaining crowds through her love of music. For the past three years, Dragonfire has been a resident DJ at Chixmix. For the last two years, she has worked with Circuit Nightclub. In March 2006, Dragonfire released her first CD, “Escape.”

DJ Laura B began working as a DJ in Chicago in a 50s and 60s themed bar. This seemingly unlikely place to begin a DJ career ended up benefiting Laura by both igniting within her a love of music and enabling her to spin both vinyl records and cds with relative ease. Currently, Laura works Monday nights at the Chicago nightclub, Hydrate.

DJ Oskar moved from the Phillipines at a young age. While in Detroit, Mich. he discoved a love for dance music and has transformed that love into a 16 year career. After serving for the Marines and earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Oskar moved to Chicago to begin his DJ career. He spins at clubs from Boystown to Andersonville and also has an online rock radio broadcast on Rock Town Radio.

DJ Matthew Harvat began spinning records twenty-three years ago. Over the past 9 years, Harvat has explored a variety of different music styles and has given award winning performances across America. As a performer, Harvat not only experiments with popular dance beats available to all other DJs, but also has earned the trust of artists such as Deborah Cox, Donna Summer and Deborah Cooper to use unreleased songs in his mixes. Today, Harvat’s unique mixes and collections of mixes from today’s hottest producers keep his audiences entertained as well as impressed.

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Note: Telephone interviews are available with Irene Cara in advance. She arrives on June 25 and is available for limited pre-event and on-site interviews. Please contact Jackie Brennan, jackie@kurman.com or Ann Host, ann@kurman.com at 312-651-9000 to arrange interviews.