Monthly Archives: August 2013

Suburban Widows Release Journal Book On Grieving

Loretta Sawyer Promotions provided publication guidance and customized local promotion for the new book release by Nancy Steker and Susan Troppito.

Suburban Widows Release Journal Book On Grieving

Westchester, IL– Nancy Steker and Susan Troppito had happy suburban marriages and families, until they both became widows way too soon. A Grieving Widows Journal; A Collection of Thoughts is the book they wrote, with intent to share the journey of loss.

“Nancy and I only knew each other through the grammar school our children attended,” explains co-author Susan Troppito. “One day, as Nancy was consoling me, we began discussing our feelings as widows; loneliness, fears, confusion, etc.  So, we decided to write it all down and publish a book.  We each wrote about our personal journey since becoming widows. For me it has been three years and for Nancy it has been eight years since the loss of our husbands.   We certainly don’t feel like we know all the answers but we hope our experiences and thoughts can bring comfort to other widows or anyone suffering from losing a loved one.”

Book signings, readings and presentations are being planned.

Visit the website at or mail for more information and to order a copy of A Grieving Widows Journal;  A Collection of Thoughts.


Mark Dvorak to receive Lantern Bearer Award at October Midwest Conference

CHICAGO IL – The Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) Board of Directors has named folk singer Mark Dvorak as the 2013 Lantern Bearer Award recipient. The award will be presented at the annual conference on October 24 at the Sheraton Westport Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri.

“The Lantern Bearer recognition is given to an individual who has contributed locally and regionally to folk performance arts and the folk and dance community for twenty-five years or more,” said Robert Hofbauer, President of the FARM Board of Directors. “Mark’s body of work as a performer, song writer, educator and community builder is most impressive, and we are so pleased he’ll be joining us for the conference, and pleased to honor his work in the community over the last twenty-five years.”

Dvorak has helped launch no less than five grass-roots arts organizations in the Chicago area, most notably The Plank Road Folk Music Society, now in its twenty-seventh year. He became a key member of the faculty at the Old Town School of Folk Music when that venerable institution was revitalized in the 1980s.

“I feel lucky,” said the singer. “I came to the Old Town School of Folk Music and came into this work at a time when there wasn’t a lot going on. Everywhere I turned, I found people working together to learn music, and to provide the space for music to happen. It’s been an interesting ride so far and I’m looking forward to the next chapter.”

As a performer, Dvorak has given concerts in almost all the United States and made visits to Finland and Ireland. He has released sixteen albums to date, of traditional and original music. His songbook ranges across the American heartland, his performances are characteristically informative and inspirational.

He has won awards for children’s music, journalism and was honored in 2008 with the Woodstock Folk Festival Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Chicago Tribune has called him “masterful;” the Fox Valley Folk Festival describes him as, “a living archive of song and style.” Last year WFMT Midnight Special host Rich Warren named him, “Chicago’s official troubadour.”

For more information on Mark Dvorak, visit his website at For more information on the annual FARM conference log on to



Acoustic Group BIRDY at Uncommon Ground with Special Guest Sue Fink


CHICAGO,IL – Uncommon Ground welcomes acoustic group BIRDY with special guest Sue Fink on Sunday August 11, 2013 . 3800 N. Clark Street-Chicago 773-929-3680 (reservations recommended) $10 cover for both. Sue Fink at 8pm BIRDY at 9pm

BIRDY is a Chicago-based acoustic group featuring outstanding vocals and harmony, creative musical arrangements, impressive covers and fine originals…Their new CD Magic Days covers all of this and more.

With an eclectic repertoire that draws from both traditional and contemporary influences, BIRDY has quickly established itself on the Chicago music scene and beyond, and is a regular performer at coffee houses, restaurants and pubs, folk venues, community centers, neighborhood parties, festivals, and farmers markets. The BIRDY idea was literally ‘sparked’ in the ’90’s while Bianca Bevard and Sharon Speziale were singing around a bonfire at a camping weekend. Instantly recognizing a soaring harmony blend, the two began performing together regularly. In-demand percussionist Meg Thomas, who brings a wonderful driving and creative dimension to BIRDY’s established sound, joined the group in 2007. More recently, veteran bassist Roy McNaughton joined the group, with bass lines that are both artistically fluid and warmly down to earth, and ethereal mandolin chops that twinkle.

Chicago-based singer/songwriter Sue Fink has been entertaining audiences since 2001 with her quirky tales of love gone awry. Her genre is acoustic/folk with a hint of jazz, and a large dollop of humor: think Christine Lavin, with a dash of Rickie Lee Jones, Melanie, and Nellie McKay.

Sue performs throughout Chicago and the Midwest. She performs solo, with Jordi Kleiner (violin), as part of “SongSisters” (with Amy Dixon-Kolar and Patti Shaffner), and with other talented musician/friends as well.  Her very first show was at Uncommon Ground in August, 2001; since then she’s made a point of performing every August at Uncommon Ground, her “home away from home,” whenever possible.  This August she’ll be joined by Jordi Kleiner, virtuoso violinist who accompanies Chicago artists of all musical genres; and Sue is extremely pleased to share the evening with the multi-talented BIRDY. Her songs have received national airplay. Last year, her song “Boys are So Sensitive” won an award in the 13th Annual Great American Song Contest.


Media Contact:

Loretta Sawyer

Loretta Sawyer Promotions