The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events has released a partial line-up for the Millennium Park Summer Music Series. The event will offer free concerts at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion on most Mondays and Thursdays starting June 6 through August 25. The brand new series is a re-imagining of the former Downtown Sound and Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz series; merging them together to create a very eclectic set of musical experiences. The exciting lineup takes cues from both internationally known performers to local artist that are more than worthy of such an impressive spotlight. Each show throughout the summer has an interesting pair of artists whose sounds compliment each is pretty surprising and unique ways.
The long list of genre defying acts includes quite a few highlights with one particular bright spot right from the start. Local musician Ryley Walker will open the first show of the series with his entrancing guitar and powerful songwriting before the undeniably dreamy noise of Blonde Redhead sinks the audience into a state of perpetual ease. The further you go into the list the most impressive it gets. July 11 sees Femi Kuti continuing the Afro-beats pinoeered by his father. August has José González starting off the month with what is sure to be a tender and emotional set followed a week later by Sinkane, whose seamless fusion of funk and exotic pop are perfect for dancing in the warm summer nights. Even the still to be completely announced evenings feature must see artists, such as Lower Dens’ with their raw pop beauty on June 30th and vocal experimentation of HOMME, Chicago duo Macie Stewart and Sima Cunningham, August 25th on the final night of the series.
Each one of the 18 shows of the Millennium Park Summer Music Series is completely free and a perfect way to spend your summer evenings. You can check of the rest of the partial lineup below and more information on the rest of the artists at the series’ page on the City of Chicago website.
- June 6: Blonde Redhead and Ryley Walker.
- June 9: Lee Fields & The Expressions and Makaya McCraven
- June 13: Rodrigo Amarante and Leyla MaCalla
- June 16: Nneka and Gina Chavez
- June 20: DJ Spooky and Kelan Phil Cohran’s Summer Solstice Ensemble
- June 23: Maceo Parker and Marrow
- June 27: Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra and Ecos del Pacifico
- June 30: TBA Headliner and Lower Dens
- July 11: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force and ProbCause
- July 14: Azymuth and Sidewalk Chalk
- July 18: King Sunny Ade and Ugochi and A.S.E
- July 21: Heritage Blues Orchestra and Toshi Reagon
- July 25: Jones Family Singers and Apostolic Church of God Sanctuary Choir
- Aug. 1: José González and Tall Heights
- Aug. 4: Sinkane and Mark de CliveLowe
- Aug. 11: Mbongwana Star + Dos Santos Antibeat Orchestra
- Aug. 18: Elephant Revival and Mandolin Orange
- Aug. 25: TBA Headliner and Homme