Journalistic chops aren't Paris Schutz's only talent. The Chicago Tonight broadcaster also plays piano, sings, and writes songs that he performs in sets around Chicago at venues such as Davenport's Piano Bar, Mom's Place in River North, the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, and more. Having played in various bands after graduating from college, he started gigging in 2005, playing a diverse range of styles including rock, jazz standards, and barrelhouse New Orleans blues. He jokes that "I needed to have something to fall back on in case the journalism thing didn't work out!"
He first began writing songs in high school, when he penned what he describes as "a melodramatic little ballad" called "Lonely Crescent Moon" for a rock opera composed with some of his classmates. He has continued to write ever since then – "By far, my favorite thing about music is writing," he says – producing everything from basic verse-chorus songs to multi-movement, classically influenced compositions (you're probably familiar with one of his pieces, the theme song for Chicago Tonight).
Watch him play his own self-described "schmaltzy Christmas tune," "Lonesome Christmas Night," in the Chicago Tonight studio.