By Kristin Boza
South Side musicians are known for supporting one another and creating a vibrant community, according to John Kosiewicz, photographer, music lover, and the mind behind Front Row Music News. A professional photographer for 18 years, Kosiewicz was the main band photographer for BAPA’s Front Porch Concert Series. He was able to share his talents with the community while highlighting the great music coming out of the South Side.
Established in 2014, Front Row Music News fueled Kosiewicz’s passion for concert photography.
“Front Row Music News has focused on spotlighting both talented local musicians and famous world-renowned artists,” he said. “I have been honored to help out the local South Side music scene throughout the years and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the artists and seeing them grow in their artistry.”
Kosiewicz feels the music scene here is successful because all of the musicians support each other by attending shows, collaborating on music, or backing up a fellow musician’s band.
“South Side musicians do it for the love of the music; their support of each other sets them apart from other neighborhoods,” he said.
While Kosiewicz says he can go on and on about the local musicians he loves, he’s especially fond of local bands Coyote Riot, South City Revival, Motel Breakfast, The Dead Bolts, and Shannon Baker.
Harte’s Saloon, 9858 S. Artesian Ave., is one of Kosiewicz’s favorite places to see bands perform.
“This neighborhood saloon regularly has great music both from the local scene as well as artists touring through Chicago,” he said. “Aside from venues, the Souths Side has two festivals that are noteworthy: Country on Western at Barney Callaghan’s Pub and Up in Smoke at Americanos. Also, the largest entertainment complex on the South Side is 115 Bourbon Street, which offers a little bit of something for everyone.”
Kosiewicz credits local organizations for helping establish the South Side music scene, including BAPA’s Front Porch Concert Series, the Beverly Arts Center, Get Local Beverly, and the Beverly Area Arts Alliance.
“From country to rock, there’s nothing quite like live music. My favorite part of photographing bands and musicians is being able to capture the passion and excitement that the artists have for music. I enjoy seeing their faces light up with delight when I show them photos from their performance. Being able to give the gift of photography and share my work with these artists makes my job so much more meaningful,” Kosiewicz said. “At the end of the day, capturing and making memories with great people is what really matters to me!”
Check out John Kosiewicz’s work at Front Row Music on Instagram, Facebook, and FrontRowMusic.com. “Chicago’s South Side is full of emerging and seasoned artists performing almost every weekend. Take advantage of it by going out to support your local artists and venues,” he said.