City of Chicago’s Iconic Free Summer Music Festivals Return Next Month

May 11, 2022

Lineups announced for three of the City’s most beloved summer events presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

DCASE Communications    dcase@cityofchicago.org

Madeline Long    Madeline.Long@cityofchicago.org

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Chicago Gospel Music Festival: June 4

Chicago Blues Festival: June 9 – 12

Millennium Park Summer Music Series: June 20 – August 18

 

CHICAGO—Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) celebrate the return of six of the City of Chicago’s iconic free summer music festivals with today’s announcement of lineups for three of Chicago’s most beloved summer events starting in June:

 

  • Chicago Gospel Music Festival (June 4 from 3–9pm), a joyful, family-friendly celebration of the music genre born in this city featuring the top artists today at the iconic Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park; sponsored by Chicago Transit Authority, Millennium Garages; promotional partner Inspiration 1390; MillenniumPark.org and ChicagoGospelMusicFestival.us #ChiGospelMusic

 

  • Chicago Blues Festival (June 9 – 12), 2022 marks the first citywide Chicago Blues Festival bringing top talent to downtown and the neighborhoods where Blues originated in Chicago, including Soul City Blues in Austin (June 11) and Bronzeville Blues (June 12); in addition to Blues on the Riverwalk (June 9-10); a “Women in Blues showcase” in Millennium Park (June 12) and special tributes to Blues legends: Erwin Helfer, Bob Stroger, Gene Barge, Cicero Blake, Willie Henderson, and Mary Lane, Chicago's preeminent female blues vocalist; sponsored by Visit Mississippi, Goose Island Beer Company, Chicago Transit Authority, Rosa's Lounge, Millennium Garages, WGN-TV and 90.9fm WDCB. MillenniumPark.org and ChicagoBluesFestival.us #ChicagoBluesFestival

 

  • Millennium Park Summer Music Series (June 20 – August 18), offered Mondays and Thursdays, returns with an exciting variety of music from established and emerging artists. 2022 highlights include DakhaBrakha, a Ukrainian folk quartet that combines avant-garde, traditional and contemporary sounds; Charles Stepney: Out of the Shadows, a full ensemble tribute to “one of the underrated heroes of Chicago soul music”; globally renowned Nigerian Afrobeat saxophonist, composer and activist Femi Kuti; and Jeff Tweedy, founder of Wilco and one of contemporary music’s most accomplished musicians with special opening act from Chicago’s The People’s Music School. Lineup below. The Millennium Park Summer Music Series is made possible by the Millennium Park Foundation. Sponsors include Chicago Transit Authority, Millennium Garages. MillenniumPark.org #MillenniumParkMusicSeries

 

Admission is free. Schedule highlights enclosed with full details and updates online.

Save the dates for three more DCASE music festivals later this summer and fall; lineups to be announced in the coming weeks:

 

For more information about City-funded “Chicago Presents” community events and other City-permitted neighborhood festivals and special events, visit Chicago.gov/DCASE. Details about the rest of the Millennium Park summer season  - including Summer Workouts, Summer Film Series and more -  will be announced soon. (For Grant Park Music Festival information, visit GPMF.org.)

 

Chicago Gospel Music Festival Schedule

Saturday, June 4 from 3–9pm

Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park

ChicagoGospelMusicFestival.us

 

Celebrating the influence of this spirited genre born in our great city more than 80 years ago, the 2022 Chicago Gospel Music Festival presents a powerful lineup of top talent. Hosted by Inspiration 1390’s Sonya Blakey and DeAndre Patterson.

Experience a family-friendly day in Millennium Park at the free festival featuring music that touches the soul from traditional choirs to contemporary urban sounds mixed with Hip-Hop, House, Pop, and R&B.  This family-fun day is bound to unite all people from all walks of life to celebrate and experience joy.

  • 2:45-3:15pm Duane Powell kicks of the festival with DJ Sunday Service
  • 3:45-4:25pm Chicago Gospel Music Artist Spotlight: featuring The Greater Harvest Sanctuary Choir, Pastor Daniel X. Smith and NSMIC 
  • A special quartet segment honoring the life and the legacy of Deacon Reuben Burton, featuring Tim White and Refocused and The Hoskins Family
  • 4:40-5:20pm Honoring Dr. LouDella Evans Reed featuring GMAC (Gospel Music According to Chicago), The Traditional Choir, Darlene Roberts, Felicia Coleman-Evans, Loretta Oliver and Vernon Oliver-Price 
  • 5:35-6:15pm Kierra Sheard Kelly 
  • 6:35-7:25pm The Walls Group 
  • 7:45-9:00pm The Williams Singers, Brian Courtney Wilson and John P. Kee

 

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Chicago Blues Festival Schedule

June 9 – June 12

Millennium Park, Riverwalk + in historic blues neighborhoods, Austin + Bronzeville

ChicagoBluesFestival.us

 

With a diverse lineup celebrating the blues’ past, present and future, the Chicago Blues Festival celebrates the world-renowned Chicago Blues legacy. In addition to Millennium Park, for the first time the festival expands citywide, bringing top musicians into two south and west side neighborhoods that birthed Chicago BluesAustin and Bronzeville.

Also new this year, the festival hosts a “Women in Blues” showcase on the Jay Pritzker stage June 12 curated and performed by an extraordinary group of Blues musicians paying homage to Blues legend Mary Lane. Full schedule below; details on the website.


Millennium Park

Thursday, June 9

 

Jay Pritzker Stage - Schedule

  • 2:40-2:50pm - National Anthem/Commissioner's Welcome/Tom Marker
  • 2:55-4:10pm - Tribute to Erwin Helfer and his Boogie Woogie Ensemble 
  • (with Skinny Williams, Davide Illardi, Katherine Davis, John Brumbach and Lou Marini) 
  • 4:30-5:00pm - Emerging Artist - Jamiah Rogers 
  • 5:15-6:15pm - Joanna Connor 
  • 6:30-7:30pm - Toronzo Cannon 
  • 7:45-9:00pm - Shemekia Copeland 

 

Visit Mississippi Juke Joint Stage - Schedule

  • 12-1:00pm - Linsey Alexander
  • 1:15-2:15pm - Robert Kimbrough, Sr.
  • 2:30-3:30pm - The Keeshea Pratt Band 
  • 3:45-5:00pm - Eddie Cotton 

 

Rosa’s Lounge (South Promenade stage)

  • 12m-9pm

Emcee: Tony Mangiullo

Daily showcase of Chicago Blues legends and emerging artists that have called Rosa's Lounge home over the last 38 years.

 


 

Millennium Park

Friday, June 10

 

Jay Pritzker Stage - Schedule

  • 2:40-2:50pm - National Anthem/Commissioner's Welcome/Tom Marker
  • 2:55-4:10pm - Tribute to Bob Stroger & Friends with special guest, Sam Burckhardt (with Billy Flynn, Kenny Smith, Rockin Eddie, Sam B and One Take Willie)
  • 4:30-5:00pm - Emerging Artist - Joey J. Saye
  • 5:15-6:15pm - Thornetta Davis 
  • 6:30-7:30pm - The Mike Wheeler Band
  • 7:45-9:00pm - Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues

 

Visit Mississippi Juke Joint Stage - Schedule

  • 12-1:00pm - Nora Jean Wallace
  • 1:15-2:15pm - Lucious Spiller
  • 2:30-3:30pm - Grady Champion
  • 3:45-5:00pm - Ms. Jody

 

Rosa’s Lounge (South Promenade stage)

  • 12pm-9pm

Emcee: Tony Mangiullo

Daily showcase of Chicago Blues legends and emerging artists that have called Rosa's Lounge home over the last 38 years.

 


 

Millennium Park

Saturday, June 11

 

Jay Pritzker, Millennium Park - Schedule

  • 2:40-2:50pm - National Anthem/Commissioner's Welcome/Tom Marker
  • 2:55-4:10pm - Chicago Soul Tribute to Gene Barge, Cicero Blake & Willie Henderson featuring Willie Henderson's Big Bad Blues Band with special guests Ruby Andrews, Samota Acklin, Theresa Davis, Joe Barr and Willie White
  • 4:30-5:00pm - Emerging Artist - Nick Alexander
  • 5:15-6:15pm - Melody Angel
  • 6:30-7:30pm - Rico McFarland
  • 7:45-9:00pm - Ronnie Baker Brooks

 

Visit Mississippi Juke Joint Stage - Schedule

  • 12-1:00pm - JW Williams
  • 1:15-2:15pm - Dexter Allen
  • 2:30-3:30pm - Keith Johnson & The Big Muddy Band
  • 3:45-5:00pm - Cedric Burnside

 

Rosa’s Lounge (South Promenade stage)

  • 12-9pm

Emcee: Tony Mangiullo

Daily showcase of Chicago Blues legends and emerging artists that have called Rosa's Lounge home over the last 38 years.

 


 

Millennium Park

Sunday, June 12

 

Jay Pritzker - Schedule

  • 2:40-2:50pm - National Anthem/Commissioner's Welcome/Tom Marker
  • 2:55-4:10pm - Women in Blues with a special tribute to Mary Lane featuring special guests, Peaches Staten, Shirley Johnson, Sheryl Youngblood, Demetria Taylor, Nora Jean Wallace, Laretha Weathersby, Sharon Lewis, Anne Harris and Donna Herula. Hosted by Lynne Jordan. 
  • 4:30-5:00pm - Emerging Artist - Ivy Ford 
  • 5:15-6:15pm - Annika Chambers
  • 6:30-7:30pm - The Kinsey Report
  • 7:45-9:00pm - Eric Gales 

 

Visit Mississippi Juke Joint Stage - Schedule

  • 12-1:00pm - Lurrie Bell
  • 1:15-2:15pm - Johnny Rawls
  • 2:30-3:30pm - Rising Stars Fife & Drum Band
  • 3:45-5:00pm - Mr. Sipp

 

Rosa’s Lounge (South Promenade stage)

  • 12-9pm

Emcee: Tony Mangiullo

Daily showcase of Chicago Blues legends and emerging artists that have called Rosa's Lounge home over the last 38 years.

 


 

Taste of Chicago (Austin) Featuring Soul City Blues
Saturday, June 11, 2022

5720 W. Chicago Ave. Chicago, IL 60651
Austin neighborhood

12-8pm

  • 12:00-1:00pm - Mzz Reese
  • 1:20-2:20pm - Joe Pratt and The Source One Band
  • 2:40-3:40pm - Mary Lane and The No Static Blues Band
  • 4:00-5:00pm - Tail Dragger
  • 5:20-6:20pm - Demetria Taylor
  • 6:40-7:55pm - Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials

 


 

Bronzeville Blues

Sunday, June 12, 2002

Armstrong (Lillian Hardin) Park

4433 S. St. Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60653
Bronzeville neighborhood

12-8pm

  • 12:00-1:00pm - Michael Damani
  • 1:20-2:20pm - Melody Angel
  • 2:40-3:40pm - Freddie Dixon’s Chicago Blues Allstars
  • 4:00-5:00pm - Vance Kelly and the Backstreet Blues Band
  • 5:20-6:20pm - Big James
  • 6:40-7:55pm - Mud Morganfield featuring special guests, Billy Branch, Freddie Dixon, Big James, Vance Kelly, Melody Angel with backing musicians, Bob Stroger, Harmonica Hinds, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Rick Kreher, and Sumito “Ariyo” Ariyoshi

 


 

Blues on the Riverwalk
Thursday, June 9 + Friday, June 10

The Confluence on the Chicago Riverwalk, 305 West Riverwalk South

 

Thursday, June 9

  • 12-1pm - Harmonica Hinds Duo
  • 5-6pm - Vino Louden Duo

 

Friday, June 10

  • 12-1pm - Gerry Hundt
  • 5-6pm - Fruteland Jackson

 


 

Chicago City Markets – Sunday, June 5, 2022

Maxwell Street Market, 800 S. Desplaines St.

  • 11am - 1:15pm (2 sets): Donna Herula & Harlan Terson Duo

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Millennium Park Summer Music Series Schedule

Mondays + Thursdays

June 20–August 18, 2022 from 6:30pm – 9pm

Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion

MillenniumPark.org

 

The 10-part music series features a wide variety of music from established and emerging artists at the iconic Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Highlights include DakhaBrakha, a folk Ukrainian quartet that combines avant-garde, traditional and contemporary sounds; a tribune to Charles Stepney “one of the underrated heroes of Chicago soul music” performed by a new, large ensemble; Grammy nominated Afrobeat artist Femi Kuti; acclaimed hip hop and Nueva Canción Chilena artist Ana Tijoux; Afro-Cuban rockstar CIMAFUNK; Jeff Tweedy of Wilco with opening act from Chicago’s The People’s Music School, and more. Lineup below; details on the website.

 

Monday, June 20

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force Globally renowned Nigerian Afrobeat saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and activist. The eldest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo (Ransome) Kuti, he has expanded the genre's reach to embrace elements of punk, electro, and hip-hop. His new album 'Stop the Hate' features his son Made Kuti, carrying on the tradition once again.

HAT – Moroccan born artist presents audio-visual show that remixes traditional musicians from across the world onto a big screen, shaping them harmoniously into new electro beats.

 

Thursday, June 30

Abigail Washburn – A singing, songwriting, Illinois-born, Nashville-based clawhammer banjo player every bit as interested in the present and the future as she is in the past, and every bit as attuned to the global as she is to the local. Washburn pairs venerable folk elements with far-flung sounds, and the results feel both strangely familiar and unlike anything anybody’s ever heard before.

Samantha Crain – A Choctaw singer, songwriter, poet, producer, and musician from Oklahoma. She is a two-time Native American Music Award winner.

 

Thursday, July 14

CIVL (Chicago Independent Venue League) - Co-curated show, artists TBA.

 

Monday, July 18

DakhaBrakha – Global folk-fusion quartet from Kyiv, Ukraine that expands upon fundamental elements of sound and soul and combines them into a musical alchemy they call ‘ethno-chaos.’

Chicago Immigrant Orchestra - A 12-piece ensemble that consists of members of the Chicago immigrant community, representing musical traditions from all over the world. Originally founded in 1999 as part of DCASE’s first-ever Chicago World Music Festival.  

 

Thursday, July 21

Jeff Tweedy - Best known as the founding member and leader of the Grammy Award-winning American rock band Wilco, Jeff Tweedy is one of contemporary music’s most accomplished songwriters, musicians, and performers.

The People's Music School – Led by professionally trained faculty, students receive intensive tuition-free music education, The People’s Music School transforms and empowers young lives. Serving students and their families in the Uptown, Albany Park, Back of the Yards, and Greater Grand Crossing neighborhoods.

 

Monday, July 25

Hip Hop: A Child of Blues, a special Blues to Hip Hop Commission with hip hop producer “Coolout Chris” and Blues drummer Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, creating a program musically onsite to connect blues to hip hop.

Kinsey: A Memoir by Roy Kinsey: Chicago born and raised, Roy Kinsey is a black, queer-identified, rapper, and librarian.

 

Monday, August 1

Ana TijouxThe New York Times points to her as the Latin American response to Lauryn Hill.  Her music dialogues to the sound of hip hop and Nueva Canción Chilena. A feminist and activist in her lyrics, she denounces social and cultural deficiencies.

Gabriel Garzón-Montano – First generation American to French and Colombian parents, Gabriel weaves tapestries of sound that defies genre.

 

Monday, August 8

GRAMMY Chicago Chapter Co-curated Show - Artists TBA 

 

Thursday, August 11

CIMAFUNK - An Afro-Cuban rockstar who brings out the best in Cuban rhythms and traditions, and infusing sounds and styles from Africa and the U.S.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - Seven sons of jazz great Phil Cohran from the south side of Chicago carrying on his musical legacy, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble's musical style ranges from hip hop to jazz to funk and rock.

 

Thursday, August 18

Charles Stepney: Out of the Shadows, a tribute to “one of the underrated heroes of Chicago soul music,” Stepney contributed to the sounds of Muddy Waters, Minnie Riperton, Ramsey Lewis, Earth, Wind & Fire, and more. For this special event at Millennium Park, Stepney’s legacy and music will be brought to light, celebrated and performed by a new, large ensemble called Rotary Connection 222 under the musical direction of bassist & bandleader Junius Paul, with creative direction by The Stepney Family and International Anthem.

Black Monument Ensemble, a vibrant collective of artists, musicians, singers, and dancers making work that represents the richness and diversity of Black artistic excellence in Chicago.

 

The Millennium Park Summer Music Series is made possible by the Millennium Park Foundation. DCASE programming is supported by the Chicago Transit Authority.

 

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Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. Visit chicago.gov/dcase.

 

DCASE programming is supported by the Chicago Transit Authority.