Funeral Details

Stuart J. Rosenberg

September 26, 1955 - May 7, 2024


Date and Time

Friday, May 10, 2024 at 10:00 AM


Chicago Jewish Funerals
Skokie Chapel
8851 Skokie Boulevard
Skokie, Illinois 60077
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Cantor Randy Herman


Memorial Park Cemetery
9900 Gross Point Road
Skokie, Illinois 60076
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Rosenberg Residence
4320 Bobolink Terrace
Skokie, Illinois 60076
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Friday 4PM-7:30PM
Sunday 12 Noon-5PM
Monday 2PM-5PM and 7PM-9PM

Memorial Contributions

Greater Chicago Jewish Festival
P.O. Box 5215
Skokie, Illinois 60076


Stuart J. Rosenberg age 68. Beloved husband of Rachel nee Lerner. Loving father of Allegra and Theo. Dear brother of Aaron (Iris), Robert (Lisa) and the late David (Barbara). Cherished uncle of Arianna, Benny and Liat Lerner and Loren, Jacob and Daniel Rosenberg; a cherished brother-in-law of Joshua Lerner (Sandra) and Adina Lerner & Mike Stan; and a cherished son-in-law of Lorraine Lerner. The son of the late Murray and Beverly Rosenberg.

Stuart Rosenberg was a gifted musician, a lifelong artist who touched the lives of thousands in his role as a celebrated band leader. He was known for his long and energetic horahs that set the dance floor ablaze. Music was only one among his many other talents: he was an artist, a writer, a raconteur, a snappy dresser, an endlessly quotable conversationalist. Immensely beloved by his community – a community made up by everyone who had the pleasure and the fortune to know him – and by his friends and family, his immense gifts and his tremendous spirit immeasurably enriched us all. With his keen eye for connection, he spent decades bringing together new friendships, bandmates, and collaborators, in spectacular constellations of creativity.

His children were his everything. His daughter Allegra, and son Theo, gave him the greatest joy in his life. He will be remembered for his dedication to supporting them, through long messages of affirmation and encouragement, and always being there to answer the phone, whether it be day or night. Not once did he ever miss a chance to tell his children how much he loved them, and how proud and happy he was to be their father. His adored wife, Rachel, was his companion for over 30 years, sharing memorable adventures around the world, in art, music, and food.

As a steadfast member of the Chicago music community, Stuart could be seen on stages around the city and around the country as a member of bands such as the Rogues, the Laketown Buskers, and the legendary Otters. He organized free shows at Navy Pier featuring the likes of Iris Dement and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and his eclectic shows on WBEZ, Earth Club and Radio Gumbo, introduced new and rare sounds from around the world to passionate cult audiences. Writing music listings for Chicago Magazine for many years, he made sure that the rich musical culture of the city did not go unmissed by anyone. He played and programmed the biannual Greater Chicago Jewish Festival, and for many years taught klezmer at the Old Town School of Folk Music. In his basement recording studio, Long Dog Studios, he was a talented engineer and producer, facilitating recording for artists like Catherine Russell, Alberto Mizrahi, Brothers Lazaroff, and many more.

One of his proudest legacies was the founding of the Society of the Preservation of Arts and Culture in Evanston in the 1980s, as a homegrown Evanston do-it-yourself storefront music venue. He then had the opportunity to relaunch the SPACE in 2006 on Chicago Avenue, and it was his passionate creative vision for an intimate space for music performance and gathering that was the foundation of the venue as it still exists to the joy of the North Shore today.

For Stuart, coming together for celebrations of life was his raison d’etre. He lived to bring joy and bring music into our hearts. Let us all celebrate his life in every way we can.

Service Friday 10AM at Chicago Jewish Funerals, 8851 Skokie Blvd (at Niles Center Road), Skokie. Interment Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Greater Chicago Jewish Festival: Greater Chicago Jewish Festival | P.O. Box 5215, Skokie, IL 60076

To attend the funeral live stream, please visit our website. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822,


We encourage you to share your personal condolences and stories of Stuart J. Rosenberg below and we will share them with the family.
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I had the privilege to know Stuart ,for many years. He was my son’s best friend and mentor.
Stuart was a force. Full of wisdom, and creativity. A real Mentch.

My sympathies to his wife and children

May his memory be a blessing.

Bluma Herman

Bluma Herman
May 8, 2024
Stuart’s flame lives on in the many cultural gems he sparked, throughout his lifetime. He was at the heart of so many musical and cultural scenes in Chicago, Evanston and Skokie. He has left an indelible mark on those communities, as well as in the lives of those who had the pleasure of knowing Stuie. Condolences to Rachel, Allegra & Theo. May his memory be a blessing to you, to us all.

Miriam Sturm
May 8, 2024
If there's a klezmer heaven, you know they've got a hell of a band

Lorraine Runge
May 8, 2024
Stuart made an impression on me as a young musician when I lived in Chicago. I met Stuart through Randy Herman when I played in Randy’s band, Sceptre of Benevolence. Stuart was so supportive and hired me occasionally to play in his wedding band. I was struck by how kind he was to everyone around him and how he took every gig seriously giving it the highest professionalism and joy. He set such a great example with his class, wit, sense of humor and I’ll always be grateful that I got to share a little time with him and got to learn from Stuart. He’s one of the greats!! Much love to you Stuart and peace to his family. He would always speak of his family with such love and adoration. All the best to you all. Much love, Andy Nelson

Andy Nelson
May 8, 2024
rachel, allegra and theo,

stuart was not only the bandleader at our wedding, he was one of the most beautiful souls i have ever been privileged to meet. what a human being! so kind, so generous, so talented, so proud of his kids, so caring for his family. we had lunch a few weeks ago and like every other moment together, i somehow felt a bit more blessed than i did before we met. i will be out of town friday to sunday but will visit monday. love, steve, linda and gabe (whom stuart launched on his career as a musician at age 3 all the way to lollapalooza)

steven silk
May 8, 2024
Stuart could converse as colorfully and thoughtfully as anyone I’ve met—I’ll miss that, along with the music that made Chicago a far richer place. Love to his whole family from ours.

Jeff Balch
May 8, 2024
Rachel and family, we send our deepest heartfelt condolences to you all .
The Hershinow Family

Rachel Hershinow
May 8, 2024
Dear Rachel, Allegra and Theo,
What a terrible loss for all of you. We were neighbors when Allegra was little and when Theo was born, and our daughter, Sara, babysat for both of them. We remember Stuart as so kind and funny.
Please know our thoughts are with you and may his memory be a blessing.
Steve and Zahava Davidson

Steve and Zahava Davidson
May 8, 2024
Dear Rachel, Allegra and Theo,
I am deeply sorry for your loss of Stuart. He was such a kind man and his talents were boundless. May his memory be for a blessing.
Lisa Friedman

Lisa Friedman
May 8, 2024
I can't begin to express what a pivotal figure in my life Stuart was! Not only did he bring me to Chicago, introducing me to theater, radio, stage and studio work; He was my best pal the entire 11 years I lived there, and we enjpoyed innumerable urban adventures together. There's not a person out there who couldn't recount hilarious anecdotes about Stuie, or cite occasions of his immense humanity, his brilliant and spontaneous intellect, his uncanny intuition in musical matters, and his indefatigable enthusiasm. I will always be grateful to have known him.

Willy Schwarz
May 9, 2024
I was proud to work shoulder to should with my dear pal Stuart on numerous musical adventures where he taught me much about nuance and finesse. He was always opening my eyes and ears to new possibilities and new people to share in the joy of music, audio and life. His colorful wit, wisdom and great musicianship made our now too few moments together and incredible and unforgettable experience. And I'll never forget Stuart bringing the band guys to those amazing out of the way dinning places for lunch or Chinatown after the gigs. His knowledge and talents were only eclipsed by the size of his heart. I offer condolences to Rachel, Allegra and Theo during their time of loss.

Mike Konopka
May 9, 2024
Always enjoyed dancing at the weddings and bar mitzvahs i attended when you were playing. you will be missed

Jerry Herst
May 9, 2024
I posted the following on my Facebook page:

Stuart Rosenberg was a beloved friend and musical soulmate. We gigged, we laughed, we wrote and recorded together, he taught me my first mandolin chords. We lost touch the past few years, but the sweet sound of his mandolin is always in my ear. His music was beloved by untold thousands of Chicago music fans for fifty years. While recording at his studio, he gave me about the best advice I’ve ever received: Imagine you’re singing to a baby…
My deepest condolences to his family.
Rest in peace, dear Stuart.

Jeff Klepper
May 9, 2024
I was a very good friend of Stuart’s early on. My condolences to his family and may his memory be a blessing.

Susan Kop
May 9, 2024
To all those he loved and those who loved him. Today we celebrate his life with music, tomorrow we honor his life by continuing to live ours with Love, Humor and Dignity. Sending Prayers from California.
Don and Bernadette Haderlein.

Bernadette Haderlein
May 10, 2024
Stuart was a gift to all who knew him. Funny, wise, soulful. I ran into him on the street when he was the host of Radio Gumbo and it was as if I’d met a celebrity. He never let me forget it and I hope that in whatever small way it brightened his day, know that he brightened my own and so many others beyond measure.

Wylie Goodman
May 10, 2024
With Love to you all Rachel, Allegra and Theo, we are deeply sadden to hear this news...
"Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, Dayan HaEmet"

Mike, Sandra, Mitchell & Danielle Mages Family

Mike Mages
May 10, 2024
Ah Stuart

We came to understand
We frequented the same places
As young men making music and learning the world

In Jerusalem
And other locations of Reach

In recent years
We made gigs in St. Louis and Memphis

The last great adventure
Memphis ascendent

Then we were elders
Stuart of wise counsel

Elders are respected in music

Stuart carry that with you
The gift of passage

Between worlds

You left a good legacy in this world
I am James Stone Goodman

Privileged to know you


st. louis

james goodman
May 10, 2024
We first met Stuart in the 1970's when he hosted a show on local public radio. The "Flea Market" was broadcasted live Sunday afternoons from the stage at Navy Pier. We attended some of the shows in person. Our young son, Matt, enjoyed running around the big ball room. Years later he became friends with Stuart when Rosenbergs became our next door neighbors in Skokie.
Bill and Ruthanne Werner

Bill and Ruthanne Werner
May 11, 2024
I met Stuart on multiple visits to Chicago to see our mutual friend Jon Spiegel. Entering Jon’s world invariably meant music, food, late nights, storytelling, driving and interesting people. On many occasions I was thrilled to be with Stuart and Jon and be a part of their wild adventure through life. Stuart was as great a musician as he was a mensch and I’m glad I knew him..

Jeff Ritter
May 11, 2024
I have only ever written one fan letter. To Stuart after listening to Radio Gumbo in May 1992. I had been in Chicago only a few weeks coming from England and very unsure of the future. We met at the Noyes Cafe in Evanston. We shared a mutual passion for broadcasting and the power it had to introduce listeners to music that was eclectic and illuminating of other cultures. And to storytelling. He was captivating. He was passionate about everything he did and though he knew he was multi talented, was always humble and so generous in his praise and admiration for musicians, writers and artists of all stripes. He was full of recommendations about what to read and listen to.
Thank you Stuart. You were my introduction to America and what an introduction. You made it seem as if anything was possible. I thought I would continue to meet people as on fire as you. But you were a rare light.

Judith Kampfner
May 13, 2024
Dear Rachel -
I am so sorry for your loss.
May happy memories fill your heart during this time of sorrow.
My deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Mary Jaminski -

Mary Jaminski
May 14, 2024
Deepest sympathies for your loss. I’ve known Stuart since 1985 and through the years we’ve done a number of interesting and memorable gigs. One little story I’d like to share, he asked me to sub for him on a theatrical show that he was playing. He invited me to see the show, He was situated stage right with his fiddle and mandolin and music stand. I was very impressed that he played every cue and musical moment perfectly. I noticed that he was fixated on the music stand in front of him. I thought, wow, he’s really dedicated and laser focused on his parts. After the show, I strolled up to speak with him, and there was no music on the stand, he was reading magazines throughout the show! He truly was a brilliant musician and a great guy. He will be missed. L.J.

L.J. Slavin
May 16, 2024