Updated Nov 20, 2023 - Things to Do

Liquid Soul to play show for late Mars Williams

Photo of a man playing saxophone

Mars Williams. Photo: Courtesy of Peter Gannushkin

Chicago saxophone player Mars Williams died on Monday after battling intestinal cancer, the Chicago Tribune reports. He was 68.

What's happening: Acclaimed band Liquid Soul had planned to reunite for a show Saturday at Metro to raise money for Williams' treatment, but the benefit will now be held to honor his musical legacy.

Details: The band will reunite for the show, but also showcase a variety of musicians, including members of the Dave Matthews Band. DJ Jesse De La Pena will be spinning as well.

Context: Williams had been playing in Chicago bands for over 50 years. His band, Liquid Soul, connected Chicagoans with early residencies at Double Door in Wicker Park and Elbo Room in Lincoln Park in the '90s.

  • "We started this band just jamming in the Elbo Room, just trying to figure out our sound," trumpeter Ron Haynes tells Axios. "Chicago gave us a chance to be who we are."
  • The band went on to play to sold-out crowds around the world, even being nominated for a Grammy in 2000.

Zoom in: Williams had been touring as the saxophone player for the Psychedelic Furs. He was diagnosed with cancer last December.

Editor's note: This story was updated to add information about Williams' death.


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