Author William Farina

William FarinaLocal award-winning author William Farina will discuss his book, “The German Cabaret Legacy in American Popular Music,” at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at the Oak Park Arms Retirement Community, 408 S. Oak Park Ave.

Farina has written eight nonfiction books and is working on his ninth, each of them exploring entirely different topics from music to history to Shakespeare.

A frequent guest at distinguished independent book stores and literary venues, Farina is known for blending entertaining information with scholarly research. Broad contrasts in ethnic and cultural identities characterize his writing style.

He became interested in cabaret music from Weimar-era Germany. As a musical style, cabaret refers to the nightclubs that were initially opened to provide a place for painters, writers and musicians to gather, talk, perform and experiment.

The key to understanding cabaret as a style is that the music was all experimental. Avant-garde styles were often reactions to (or against) current trends and conventions. Cabaret music was considered bawdy, vampish, rhythmic and often lewd.

Major songwriters touched by cabaret music include Lennon and McCartney, Bacharach and David, Kander and Ebb, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman and Patti Smith, among others.

Farina was born in LaPorte, Indiana. He attended Valparaiso University on a baseball athletic scholarship and received a bachelor’s degree with a double major in English and Philosophy in 1978, then a law degree from the same institution in 1981.

Oak Park Arms Senior Living is a rental retirement community which provides senior housing in the form of independent living. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The discussion is free and open to the public. For more information call 708-386-4040