Taking its name from the obvious, Rooftop Sessions Chicago is a local production group seeking to elevate the status of local musicians in and around the Chicago area and beyond. Pulling the artist out of the mainstream and placing them squarely above the normal performance environment, we seek to engage musicians in a new and fun way, and hopefully inspire something previously untapped in the artist. In addition to working on top of roofs, we are also interested in expanding the idea of capturing performances in unique environments. So, if you have access to an interesting looking backyard, courtyard, sewer or meat locker with some room for a band, why not, we’ll come to you. Wherever it is, whatever it is, we are willing to explore the idea of shooting in unique and interesting places around Chicago.

Interested in working with us?

In order to make the most out of your Rooftop Session there are a few necessary steps to follow. First and foremost practice your music. The capture of your performance can only be as good as the performance itself.Secondly, we want the Rooftop Sessions to come to you. While we do have access to several rooftop venues, we want to continue to expand and branch out into other parts of the city.  That’s why we’re asking you, the talented and resourceful artist, for help in securing our next location.  We’re quite adventurous, and willing to try just about anything or anywhere, but please bear in mind a few basic concerns when choosing a space:First off, please make sure you have all the proper permissions to enter whatever environment you choose. Be it permits, building owners approval, or just a general knowledge of the space, nothing kills a session quite as quickly as having The Man come and shut us down. INTERVIEW WITH 89.5FM from ROOFTOP SESSIONS CHICAGO



Secondly, make sure there’s enough power. We don’t need much, usually two standard 15amp circuits will suffice to cover all of our lighting, cameras, and audio equipment. We can provide a generator or long cable runs, if necessary but, please make sure to mention this ahead of time. No juice, no performance. Third, try to make sure there are at least some basic amenities available.  Food and drinks are awesome, but certainly not necessary.  A restroom or some kind of waste receptacle, is.  No pee hole, no session. And finally let us know a little bit about yourself. Send us some links to your music or hip us to an upcoming show we can come check out. We want to know what your sound is and what your band consists of. Since all of the audio will be captured via multitrack please let us know ahead of time how many sources or inputs there will be. Knowing how may guitars, vocal mics, sitars, harpsichords, or whatever other instruments will be present means we can ensure the best possible capture of your performance. Rooftop Sessions is excited to offer these services to our local Chicagoland artists.

timelapsechicago from ROOFTOP SESSIONS CHICAGO on Vimeo.


Who We Are

Daniel Panol(ski) — Director, Videographer, and Video Editor

Dan is an emigrant son of a political refuge from eastern Europe, Poland. Daniel grew up in Wroclaw and now resides in the north side of Chicago. Like his predecessor countryman, Lejzor Czyz (creator of the Chess records,) Daniel’s goal is to elevate the underground music scene here in the city of Chicago. Oh yeah, and Daniel is the original creator of Rooftop Sessions Chicago.

Dan recommends:

  1. One book : High Fidelity
  2. Favorite piece of gear : Digital SLR Camera
  3. Don’t leave home without : Batteries
  4. Who he is listening to now : Cortland O’Hart

Joel Hoover — Audio Production and Artist Liaisons

Joel has been recording and manipulating knobs and faders since he was 11 years old.  Faced with an unceasing urge to put a microphone in front of anyone and everyone he meets he did what anyone in his situation would do, pursued a degree in philosophy/psychology.  After dropping out of the program, he eventually drifted back into the recording game and hasn’t looked back since.  During his off hours he works for the Man providing audio/visual expertise to corporate interests.  He can also be found helping out recording the Moth Story Slam on the second Monday of the month, at the library, or anywhere fine meats are sold.

Joel recommends:

  1. One book : Cosmic Trigger
  2. Favorite piece of gear : Shure KSM44
  3. Don’t leave home without: a Sharpie
  4. Who he is listening to now : Page France

Mikel Pickett — Videographer, Still Photographer, and Web Junkie

Residing in the Logan Square neighborhood, Mikel has built his career and passions around multimedia.  As owner of Fargone Productions, Mikel does location audio recording for bands and institutions around the city.  As a photographer, he’s published photos in Coilhouse magazine and on several Chicago news websites. Many projects have passed his way from The Moth storytelling project to R. Kelly and the Isley Brothers. He’s currently one of the collaborating forces for RSC behind at least one of the cameras and tinkering the 1s and 0s on the website.

Mikel recommends:

  1. One book : Moby Dick
  2. Favorite piece of gear : Canon 10-22mm
  3. Don’t leave home without: two of everything
  4. Who he is listening to now : Cloudkicker