Millennium Park Summer 2012

April 18, 2012

Concerts Showcase Classical, Jazz, Indie-Rock And More

Jill Hurwitz    312.742.1149

Cindy Gatziolis    312.744.0573

New This Year, the “Loops and Variations” Series Mixes New Music with Electronica

CHICAGO (April 18, 2012) — Chicagoans and visitors alike will enjoy spending this summer at one of the city’s most popular cultural and tourist attractions: Millennium Park. Now in its eighth season, Millennium Park will host free concerts, events, exhibitions and open rehearsals that showcase the very best of Chicago throughout the summer.

"Millennium Park continues to be a tremendous gathering spot for those who live and work in our city and to the millions of visitors each year,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  “We proudly present a wide variety of programming and music that reflects not only the unique features of the park but also the vast number of people who are drawn to it."
Chicago’s summer concert season kicks off on Memorial Day with the opening of Millennium Park’s popular, cutting-edge indie rock and pop music series, Downtown Sound.  Premiering a week later is Millennium Park’s all-new program, Loops and Variations, a series of six concerts that mix new music with electronica. The music continues with the return of the beloved Grant Park Music Festival celebrating its 78th anniversary and the acclaimed Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz series, which this year will showcase jazz with a distinctively Chicago flavor on six separate nights, culminating in the 34th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival.

The Family Fun Festival presented by Target returns from July 2 through September 2, offering interactive activities, arts and crafts and games for kids of all ages. Guests can start their weekends with Saturday morning Workouts on the Great Lawn and enjoy classes in tai chi, yoga, pilates and zumba®. Additionally, popular guided walks in the Lurie Garden take place on Fridays and Sundays.

For more information about all of the events in Millennium Park this summer, visit, call 312.742.1168, visit Millennium Park on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @Millennium_Park.  

Millennium Park
Millennium Park is located in the heart of downtown Chicago. It is bordered by Michigan Ave. to the west, Columbus Dr. to the east, Randolph St. to the north and Monroe St. to the south. Convenient parking is located in the Millennium Park Garage (entrance on Columbus at Monroe or Randolph) and at the Grant Park North and East Monroe Garages, all located within a short walking distance of Millennium Park.  

Millennium Park, managed and programmed by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, is an award-winning center for art, music, architecture and landscape design. The result of a unique partnership between the City of Chicago and the philanthropic community, the 24.5-acre park features the work of world-renowned architects, planners, artists and designers. Among Millennium Park’s prominent features are the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States; the interactive Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa; the contemporary Lurie Garden designed by the team of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Piet Oudolf and Robert Israel; and Anish Kapoor’s hugely popular Cloud Gate sculpture.  

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to promoting and supporting Chicago’s arts and culture sector. This includes, but is not limited to: fostering the development of Chicago’s nonprofit arts sector, independent working artists, and for-profit arts businesses; presenting high-quality, free or low-fee cultural programs accessible to residents and visitors; and marketing the City’s cultural assets to local, regional, and global audiences. DCASE produces nearly 2,000 public programs, events and support services annually, generating millions in economic benefits for the City of Chicago.




Downtown Sound
May 28—July 30, Mondays at 6:30 pm

Check out an eclectic mix of cutting-edge indie rock, pop and rock veterans with ten concerts beginning Memorial Day and running throughout July. (Headliners appear first in the line-up below)

Monday, May 28, 6:30 pm
Kelly Hogan + Scott Lucas and the Married Men

Monday, June 4, 6:30 pm
Jonathan Richman + Joel Paterson and the Modern Sounds

Monday, June 11, 6:30 pm
The Eternals + Wild Belle

Monday, June 18, 6:30 pm
Cloud Cult + Judson Claiborne

Monday, June 25, 6:30 pm
Occidental Brothers Dance Band International + Chico Trujillo

Monday, July 2, 6:30 pm
Joan of Arc + Daniel Knox

Monday, July 9, 6:30 pm
The Sadies + James Vincent McMorrow

Monday, July 16, 6:30 pm
Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires + Abigail Washburn

Monday, July 23, 6:30 pm
Ana Tijoux + Sidi Touré

Monday, July 30, 6:30 p.m.
SMOD + M.A.K.U. Soundsystem

Loops And Variations
June 7—July 12 (no concert June 21), Thursdays at 6:30 pm

Discover Millennium Park’s newest music series, mixing new music with electronica.

Thursday, June 7, 6:30 pm
Chris Clark, Jan Jelinek and Andrew Pekler, and Casino Versus Japan

Thursday, June 14, 6:30 pm
Deerhoof and Ensemble Dal Niente

Thursday, June 28, 6:30 pm
eighth blackbird

Thursday, July 5, 6:30 pm
A Winged Victory for the Sullen and ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble)

Thursday, July 12, 6:30 pm
Third Coast Percussion

Sunday, August 26, 5:30 pm
John Luther Adams' Inuksuit

Grant Park Music Festival
June 13—August 18, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30 pm; Saturdays at 7:30 pm

Celebrate the Festival’s 78th season with 30 stunning performances featuring the acclaimed Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. ( for the complete schedule)
Made In Chicago: World Class Jazz
July 19—August 30 (no concert August 9), Thursdays at 6:30 pm

Prepare for a feast that will fill every appetite for jazz, from each region of the music—blues, boogie, Latin, Bop and beyond.

Thursday, July 19, 6:30 pm
Blowing in From Chicago

Thursday, July 26, 6:30 pm
Erwin Helfer: A Life in Boogie and Blues

Thursday, August 2, 6:30 pm
Roots of Routes: Makaya McCraven’s Global Unit

Thursday, August 16, 6:30 pm
By a Little Light: Matt Ulery’s Loom with special guests

Thursday, August 23, 6:30 p.m.
Frank Rosaly’s ¡Todos de Pie! (Everyone Stand Up!)

Thursday, August 30, 6:30 pm  (Opening Night of the 34th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival)
Exquisitely For Ella: A Songbook Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald: Jeff Lindberg's Chicago Jazz Orchestra  

Additional concerts and events take place at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion (unless otherwise noted) throughout the summer.  The line-up includes:

Wednesday, May 16, 11 am
Chicago Children’s Choir: Paint the Town Red

All 3,000 singers of Chicago Children’s Choir gather as one voice in celebration of Arts Education Day in the State of Illinois, as declared by Governor Pat Quinn. Chicago Children’s Choir is a multiracial, multicultural choral music education organization, shaping the future by making a difference in the lives of children and youth through musical excellence.

Sunday, May 27, 6:30 pm  
Northwestern University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra with the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus

Robert A. Harris conducts the University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra in the U.S. premiere of Richard Blackford’s homage to September 11, Not in Our Time, with alumni soloists, the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, and Chicago Children's Chorus as guests. The concert also features selections from Gloria, Harris’ work for solo soprano, chorus, and orchestra.

Sunday, June 3, 6:30 pm  
Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras has provided music education through exceptional orchestral programs for 65 years. CYSO’s internationally renowned Symphony Orchestra will perform a preview of its upcoming tour to Spain – Jonathan Newman’s Blow It Up, Start Again, Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances, R. Strauss’ Don Juan and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.  

Tuesday, June 5, 6:30 pm  
River North Dance Chicago

Celebrated for their athletic prowess and bold theatrical flair, River North Dance Chicago has become an internationally-acclaimed company, representing Chicago on the world stage. The Company makes their full-evening debut at the Pritzker Pavilion with rousing audience favorites, including their signature work Habaneras, The Music of Cuba by Artistic Director Frank Chaves.
Monday, June 11 - Thursday, June 14, 6:30 am and 7:30 am
Spinning Alfresco at Cloud Gate

Forget about the gym; try one of two morning free spin classes at Cloud Gate during Bike to Work Week.  Space is limited and pre-registration is required at  Presented by the City of Chicago and City Target, all fitness levels are welcome.

Tuesday, June 12, Dusk  
Bike Chicago Film Screening:  Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

Settle in for a screening of the 1985 comedy film which follows Pee-wee Herman as he embarks on a nation-wide quest to rescue his beloved, stolen bike. The film will be played over the Jay Pritzker Pavilion’s state-of-the-art sound system and is a part of Bike to Work Week.

Weekdays, June 18-August 10, 11 am-3 pm
After School Matters
Wrigley Square and Central Promenade South

After School Matters provides out-of-school programs that engage Chicago teens in the arts, communications, science, sports and technology. This summer, programs will be offered throughout Chicago, including at Millennium Park. Visitors are invited to observe teens developing their talents at Chase Promenade South and on Wrigley Square, where the After School Matters Jazz Band will rehearse and perform on weekdays.

Thursday, June 21, 6 pm  
2012 Chicago Gospel Music Festival

Opening night of the 2012 Chicago Gospel Music Festival takes place in Millennium Park with a sneak peek of the not-to-be missed celebration of song, dance and cultural history, Crowns by Regina Taylor, coming to the Goodman Theatre this summer, followed by the sounds of JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound.

Wednesday, June 27, 7:30 pm        
Paris Opéra Ballet Simulcast  
Don’t miss the nation’s first-ever free, outdoor simulcast of a live ballet performance by a major international company. The Paris Opéra Ballet performs its iconic work Giselle accompanied by the Grant Park Orchestra, simulcast live from the Harris Theater.

Saturday, July 28, 10am-4pm
Triple Crown of Yo-Yo Competition
Wrigley Square

The Triple Crown of YoYo is one of the premier competitive yo-yo events in the United States.  With three crowns awarded for Standard, Two-Handed, and Aerial yo-yo play, the event promises the general public their first true look at cutting edge yo-yo play from the best talent in the country.

Monday, August 6, 6:15 pm
Broadway in Chicago at Millennium Park

Broadway In Chicago’s concert at Milllennium Park, samples the best of Broadway, featuring a dozen Broadway shows including Sister Act, Les Miserables, Million Dollar Quartet and more.  The summer concert, produced in partnership with the City of Chicago, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Nederlander Organization, and is hosted by ABC-7's Janet Davies.

Sunday, August 19, 6:30 pm
Midwest Young Artists + Lang Lang Foundation

Midwest Young Artists, collaborating with the Lang Lang Foundation, will offer Chicagoans an opportunity to hear tomorrow’s top pianists perform the beloved Grieg and Chopin Piano Concertos.  Lang Lang’s personally selected, international young pianists will convene in Chicago for a week of workshops and master classes culminating in this concert.

Saturday, August 25, 7:30 pm
Chicago Dancing Festival

The Chicago Dancing Festival returns for its sixth season of free dance performances and events with a unique line-up of dance companies from Chicago and across the country.  The stunning Grand Finale, Celebration of Dance, takes place under the stars at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in an unforgettable evening of the finest in dance.

Tuesday, August 28, 6:30 pm
National Museum of Mexican Art

Enjoy the sounds of the Grammy® Award-winning Mariachi Divas, an all-female, international group presented by the National Museum of Mexican Art in celebration of the museum’s 25 years of art, culture and community and its 2012 Sor Juana Festival: a tribute to Mexican women.

Friday, August 31, 6:30 pm
34th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival

The Chicago Jazz Festival returns to the Pritzker Pavilion with two live performances that will be announced with the complete festival line up in late May. (

Saturday, September 8, 7:30 pm
Lyric Opera of Chicago  

Come and enjoy Lyric Opera’s annual musical gift to Chicago – a spectacular free concert in Millennium Park. Stephen Lord conducts stars from Lyric's season, along with the sensational Lyric Opera chorus in Verdi’s "Va pensiero," a concert opera performance of the entire fourth act of Carmen, and more.

Friday, September 21, 6:30 pm
Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Riccardo Muti

Don't miss what is sure to be another landmark in CSO and Chicago history when Riccardo Muti and the CSO return to Millennium Park to perform Carl Orff's choral blockbuster, Carmina Burana featuring Maria Grazia Schiavo, Antonio Giovannini, the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the Chicago Children’s Choir.

FAMILY FUN FESTIVAL presented by Target
Chase Promenade North
July 2—September 2, Daily, 10 am—3 pm

Join the fun all summer long, with interactive activities, arts and crafts and games for kids of all ages, including Wiggleworms® at 10 am, a Reading Circle at 11 am, and family performances at 1 pm.

June 9--September 1, Saturdays, 7 am—11 am

Start your weekend with a workout on the Great Lawn with classes in Tai Chi (7 am), Yoga (8 am), Pilates (9am) and Zumba® (10 am).


May 6—September 14, Fridays, 11 am-1:30 pm and Sundays, 10 am-1:30 pm
(No Tour Sunday, May 20)

Take a 20 minute guided walk and learn about the Garden’s design, its native plants and how it all applies to the home garden.  

May 17—September 13, Thursdays, 11 am-1:30 pm

Stop by…our volunteers can answer your questions about the plants and design of the Garden and its many sustainable messages.

Thursdays, June 14, July 12 and Aug. 9, from 7:30 am to 9 am

Begin your morning by taking a stroll through the Lurie Garden. Learn about its blooming perennials and discover the season’s best performers. Led by Lurie Garden staff and volunteers. Note: Pre-registration is required at

Tuesdays, June 19, July 17 and Aug. 21, from 6 pm to 8 pm

Observe majestic birds of prey up close and learn about their habitat, adaptations and the challenges that they face in an urban environment.

Sundays, June 24, July 22 and Aug. 19, from 11 am to 12 pm

Enjoy a morning filled with nature-based stories, music and movement with your little ones.


May 26—October 8, Daily, 11:30 am and 1 pm

Take a tour with a Millennium Park Greeter and learn more about the dazzling art and architecture of the Park.



Boeing Galleries
Now through October 2012

Tour the magnificent large-scale sculptures by acclaimed Mexican artist, Yvonne Domenge, including three large steel spheres in the South Boeing Gallery and the brightly painted Tree of Life, cast in bronze, on the North Boeing Gallery.

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