Kevin Cole’s comeback. Chicago singer Paul Marinaro wasn’t the only important artist to overcome a perilous health scare. Cole, the leading interpreter of George Gershwin’s piano works, was based in Chicago from 1994 to 2016 and started noticing disturbing neurological symptoms after moving back to his hometown, Bay City, Mich., in 2017. He was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma, defined by the Mayo Clinic as a “usually slow-growing tumor that develops on the main (vestibular) nerve leading from your inner ear to your brain.” The requisite surgery threatened to destroy most of Cole’s hearing, but he came through it astonishingly well, with “maybe 10 or 15 percent” hearing in his right ear and “100 percent” on the left, he told me. When Cole played the Ravinia Festival in June, his pre-eminence as a Gershwin pianist remained wholly intact.
Howard Reich is a Tribune critic.
This was contained within a longer piece featuring numerous events and artists. You can read the full article here.