Lisa Fischer snares Welz Kauffman as surprise accompanist

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Welz Kauffman accompanies Lisa Fischer at Ravinia. |Patrick Gibson/Ravinia Festival

When “20 Feet From Stardom” star Lisa Fischer appeared at Ravinia the other night — she learned the festival’s president and CEO Welz Kauffman is an accomplished pianist — shortly before she was to go on stage.

That led Fischer — who is a key figure in the Oscar-winning documentary about backup singers — to coax Kauffman to accompany her for Samuel Barber’s “Sure on This Shining Night,” which she memorably hums in the film.

After the experience, Kauffman quipped, “I was literally 10 feet from stardom. What an artist!”

Among Fischer’s many musical accomplishments was her powerful vocals she provided opposite Mick Jagger on “Gimme Shelter.”


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