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Northwest Indiana teen Donovan Lawnicki is in good company with a long list of Chicago musicians.

Lawnicki, a student at Chesterton High School and his band The Instinct Chicago won a Chicago Music Award for Most Talented Teen(s). The Chicago Music Awards, which are held every year, honor musicians in more than 40 categories.

The Instinct Chicago is made up of Lawnicki, Stacy Norris, Aval Stanley, Adem Dalipi and Grady Caplin. The band was one of five nominees in the Most Talented Teen(s) category.

The Chicago Music Awards were held March 18 at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago.

The Instinct Chicago's band members met at The Fernando Jones Blues Camp in Chicago and formed in 2016.

"It's such an honor to receive this award and to be recognized by other musicians. We'll never forget this," Lawnicki said in a news release.

The group will play in July at the Bluesfest Windsor in Ontario, Canada. They were selected to be the youth representative for the Canada South Blues Society last January at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. For more information on the band, visit


Features reporter

Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.