Immerse Yourself in Art Biographies

Edwin Rosen painting

Edwin Rosen

(September 14, 1928 – May 12, 2012)

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Ed’s earliest training was at the laboratory school of Ball State University; he later attended Indiana University. After moving to Chicago, his creativity was developed by working with some of the area’s outstanding teachers in sculpture, printmaking, and painting, including Paul Wiegart from Chicago’s Bauhaus movement. Additionally, he has painted with the artists of Cape Anne, Massachusetts, from whom he learned the use of color and light. Prior to his passing, the Santa Fe influence inspired a new mood for his landscape paintings.  He was also a teacher, mentor and board member of the North Shore Art League.

On canvas and on paper, Ed Rosen passionately used his creativity to express much of what he felt but could not say. The fullness of life and beauty, when it overwhelmed him, dripped from his brush and escaped from his pen unhesitatingly, creating a body of work that is both stunning and unimaginably prolific.  His art tells a personal story of how he wished to honor the beauty he found in everyday life and capture the inner joy that stemmed from it, so he could share that with everyone around him.  Influenced by his Midwestern upbringing, Ed’s reputation has been built around his interpretation of the human figure. These influences come together to form a style that Ed termed “abstract emotionalism.”

Before he passed away in 2012, Ed created an art trust for arts and education to give less fortunate young people who were interested in all kinds of art, the opportunity to express themselves and to be shown unconditional support to pursue their dreams. 

Genesis at the Crossroads is so proud to be the recipient of 325 of his oil paintings, etchings, monotypes, pen and ink drawings and intaglios to support our work in peacebuilding through the arts and education.

With Deep Gratitude:

Edwin Rosen – Prolific Artist, Arts Educator, and Humanist
The Rosen Family – Elise, Scott, Jamie, Deborah, and Kenny Lamb

Katherine Davis

  • Chicago Jazz & Blues Musician
Chicago, USA

Katherine Davis’ life as a singer, songwriter, actress, and teacher is imbued with music. Whether she is portraying Bessie Smith or Ma Rainey on stage, appearing with piano accompaniment at a nightclub, fronting a large band, or singing for the Lord, Katherine steers her own course. Her command of various musical styles is saturated in blue. Katherine’s unique musical approach was nurtured from within by her circle of family and close friends. 

Her Mother was from a family of jazz performers and opera singers.  She loved to sing and wanted to be a professional vocalist, though she dedicated her life to her family. Katherine remembers hearing her Mother’s side of the family recount the stories of her Grandfather, Earl Campbell, performing with legends Louis Armstrong and Count Basie. Katherine’s father’s side of the family threw house parties all the time, during which the children were the only live performers.  If a child sang or danced, family and friends would throw money at his or her feet. She was raised on the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey, Nancy Wilson, Dinah Washington, Brook Benton, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson, Etta James, and Arethra Franklin.  Katherine was also exposed to and inspired by the opera singers in her family. 

She studied opera at the Sherwood Conservatory of Music under the direction of Maria D’ Albert. In studying opera, Katherine was laying the groundwork for her repertoire’s singular and all-encompassing musical style and diversity.  Raised in Chicago’s infamous Cabrini-Green housing project on Chicago’s North side, Katherine and her family moved to the Englewood on Chicago’s South side in 1967. The move proved a good one for Katherine, as it provided exposure to an array of jazz and blues clubs. Within the jazz scene, there was a subscene wherein singers and musicians would perform for stage productions. A friend suggested that she audition for an acting part in a play produced by Kuumba Theatre for which Katherine was cast. She went on to play Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to critical acclaim in Kuumba Theatre’s production of In the Heart of the Blues, garnering the attention of luminaries who advanced her career.  She was soon singing in jazz and blues clubs, festivals and concerts throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan, Europe, the Caribbean and Venezuela. Her appearance with the Blues in the Schools children at the 1997 Chicago Blues Festival led to ongoing involvement as an instructor in the Blues in the Schools Program right alongside harmonica virtuoso, Billy Branch. 

Within the course of an evening, Katherine’s voice can span the gamut from sweet and sultry to lowdown and dirty. She can phrase like Billie Holiday, scat like Ella, and growl like Howlin’ Wolf.  Katherine is accompanied throughout Dream Shoes, her first CD (Chicago’s Southport Records)  by some of Chicago’s top jazz and blues musicians, such as piano players Erwin HeIfer and Joe Johnson, bassists Nate Stuart, Tatsu Aoki, John Whitfield and Cecile Savage, saxophonist Will Sims, and Isaac Redd Holt, Phil Thomas and Casey Jones on drums. John Barrett of Jazz USA wrote of the CD: “While apparently simple, this album speaks volumes – that’s true of the best music, and the best dreams.” Noted Chicago Tribune critic Dan Kening added, “If there’s any justice in this world, the delicious melange of vintage blues and jazz on Dream Shoes will raise the profile of veteran Chicago singer Katherine Davis as a recording artist.” 

Katherine continues to perform at clubs and concert venues at home in Chicago, and around the world. In January 2000, she was chosen to accompany Mayor Richard J. Daley to help represent the City of Chicago at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She performed there at the diplomatic reception. In the late 1980s her visage was immortalized on a 16-foot tall billboard that adorns the corner of Ohio and Orleans recognizing her contributions. Mayor Lightfoot recently bestowed upon her the 2020 Chicago Esteemed Artist Award.

Yoko Noge

  • Blues and Jazz Musician

Yoko Noge, a transplant from Osaka, Japan melds an incredible mix of Chicago blues, jazz, Japanese music, and her very own compositions. For well over 15 years her band, composed of Yoko and five legendary Chicago musicians played every Monday at Chicago’s famed HotHouse; they also were frequent talent at Andy’s Jazz Clubs and The Green Mill.

Yoko has performed at the Chicago Blues Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Asian American Jazz Festival and many special events throughout the United States, Japan, China, and Europe. Among her many accolades, she was named Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune.  Chicago author and historian Studs Terkel called her “wonderful Yoko—a jazz for joy Artiste.”  Howard Reich, The Chicago Tribune’s music critic wrote of her: “Yoko Noge offers a fascinating synthesis of cunning jazz improvisation, bona fide blues exhortation, and the cultural rituals of her Japanese origins.” 

In 2014 she was the Recipient of the Foreign Minister’s Commendations in Japan. Additionally, Newsweek Japan did a cover story entitled 100 Japanese the World Respects which featured Yoko as a revered Chicago blues singer/ band leader and newspaper correspondent.