Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Hard for Chicago to say goodbye

Brandon Jordan

Web Developer & Distribution Director

Published March 30, 2022

Not many bands continue touring after more than five decades, and far fewer have recorded 37 albums. 

Named for the city in which they came together, Chicago teleports fans back in time by playing the classic hits that fans of all generations recognize.

Entering their 55th year of touring, Chicago is readying to perform at Embassy Theatre on Sunday, April 10, at 7 p.m.

The musical and stylistic integrity of recent performances is being reported as holding up to the standard set early in their career.

A reporter at Music Recall Magazine said, “It’s amazing how Chicago still performs with pinpoint accuracy to make their performance sound just like the original recordings. Since they take pride in their musicianship, you won’t find them playing to backing tracks.”

The magazine also reported the show “featured songs spanning Chicago’s entire career. Chicago is a well-oiled touring machine and still going strong after 54 years on the road.”

health affects lineup

Although their talent has held up over the decades, health issues have forced lineup changes in recent years. 

Saxophonist and flutist Walter Parazaider revealed last year that he had received a tragic diagnosis. 

“Five months ago, I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease,” he said in a statement on the band’s official website. “Needless to say, my wife, daughters, and myself were shocked and devastated. It has taken a while to process this news, and the fact is, we still are.

“The good news is we have a wonderful medical facility here and I have a very good doctor,” he added. “I am working hard and not going to give up. With new treatments and therapy, along with my family’s love and support, I feel very positive about the future. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.”

Lead guitarist Keith Howland broke his arm in November, which prevented him from playing. A few weeks later, he announced on social media that he would not be returning to the band.

“I have given serious thought in the last few weeks, and honestly, as to what my future might look like,” he said. “I can’t play the guitar right now, and it’s probably going to be several months before I can get back to anything normal.

“At this point,” he added, “I have decided to move on to the next chapter in my life. I will no longer be performing with Chicago. You may see me pop up musically here and there, but we shall see how what comes to fruition. 

“I am extremely grateful for the 27 years that Chicago has given me musically. I am honored and blessed to be part of the legacy that is Chicago.”

Tony Obrohta, who had been filling in for Howland before his departure, soon became an official member of Chicago.

Helping refugees

The band’s impact does not stop in Chicago, or even with music. 

In collaboration with the nonprofit Soundwaves Art, Chicago is selling limited edition prints to benefit the charity Children in Conflict. This organization covers the millions of Ukrainian refugees displaced by the Russian invasion.

While Chicago has seen a number of changes in recent years, their performances continue to garner positive reviews, and their deep repertoire still graces the airwaves. 

Fans in Fort Wayne will have the chance to experience a legendary performance from an iconic band at Embassy Theatre in April.


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