Tag Archives: Festival

World Music Festival: Chicago 2011

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture presents the 13th annual World Music Festival: Chicago this September 15 – 22, 2011. A celebration of music from around the globe continues this year at the city-wide, multi-venue, week-long festival. Presented at area museums, parks, cultural centers, plazas, theaters, clubs, and other venues, events include a combination of free and low-cost ticketed concerts, many of which are family friendly.

Check out the schedule here.

World Music from Illinois to Italy and beyond…


Illinois-born, Nashville-based, clawhammer banjo player Abigail Washburn is every bit as interested in the present and the future as she is in the past, and as attuned to the global as she is to the local. Abigail pairs venerable folk elements with far-flung sounds, and the result is both traditional and exotic..


Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino is the foremost and longest standing traditional music band from Salento, Italy, located in the Puglia region. Playing the energetic pizzica, a style of music and dance native to this region, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino features drums, violin, guitar, bass, tamburello, accordion, flute, Italian bag pipes, harmonica and vocals to form a sound full of energy, passion, rhythm and mystery.

2011 Chicago Jazz Festival

Don’t fear the Jazz! This event is a great way to get exposure to all different forms of jazz music… and it’s always a great idea to share the expressive sounds with your date!

Ornette Coleman live at Chicago Jazz Festival, Aug. 31, 2008.
Ornette Coleman live at Chicago Jazz Festival, Aug. 31, 2008. Flickr photo by mediageek

The word “jazz” (in early years also spelled “jass”) began as a West Coast slang term and was first used to refer to music in Chicago around 1915. And you thought we were just Blues!

The FREE Festival runs this Labor Day weekend (starting Thursday, Sept. 1 at Noon and running through to Sunday, Sept. 4 at 9:30 pm) at the Cultural Center and on to the Millennium and Grant Parks.

Bobby Watson at Chicago Jazz Festival - Photo by Paul "Tuna" Turner
The sax player, who I think is Bobby Watson himself, in the Bobby Watson's Horizon featuring Jeremy Pelt, Ed Simon, Essiet Essiet and Victor Lewis on the final night of the Chicago Jazz festival at the petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park.

The 33rd Annual Chicago Jazz Festival is shaping up to be a tremendous Labor Day weekend in Chicago.

Once again the Festival will happen in multiple locations, starting on Thursday, September 1 with afternoon performances at three different venues located inside the Chicago Cultural Center.

Later that evening, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, enjoy the final concert in the Made in Chicago series, with Randy Weston and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble featuring the arrangements of Melba, the festival’s opening night event.

Friday evening, the festival holds court yet again at Millennium Park with Saxophone Summit featuring Joe Lavano, David Liebman and Ravi Coltrane.

On Saturday and Sunday, the festival moves to its traditional home in Grant Park where four stages come alive with Jazz music including the Jazz on Jackson Stage, the Cricket Wireless Jazz & Heritage Stage and the Chicago Community Trust Young Jazz Lions Stage.

Headlining at the Petrillo Music Shell on Saturday evening is world renowned vocalist, songwriter and producer, Cassandra Wilson. And, closing the festival on Sunday evening is two-time Grammy Award winner and trumpeter, Roy Hargrove.

More information here from ExploreChicago.org

2011 Chicago Blues Festival

Have a great musical date night out to the hot blues sounds in Grant Park June 10th, 2011 – June 12th, 2011.

Chicago Blues Festival flickr photo by gingerbydesignThe Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival in the world and remains the largest of Chicago’s Music Festivals. During three days on five stages, more than 500,000 blues fans prove that Chicago is the “Blues Capital of the World.” Past performers include Bonnie Raitt, Ray Charles, B.B. King, the late Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy and the late Koko Taylor.

Admission is free so get your ears on for an evening stroll through Grant Park or bring some chairs, get a couple strips of food and beverage tickets (12 for $8) and settle in for some jams and people watching.

This festival is HUGE so be sure to get all the details about the various locations and preview events leading up to the big weekend.

Lincoln Park Chill & Grill: May 21st-22nd

Yes, it is finally time for Chicago’s summer neighborhood festivals to begin! I know that winter stuck around a little longer than most of us would like, but grab your honey and head to Lincoln Park for a perfect ‘Date Day’. The festival is taking place near the corner of LaSalle and Stockton, at the south end of Lincoln Park.

Better Homes and Gardens is sponsoring this year’s Lincoln Park Chill and Grill, an opportunity for you to try some great local eats, learn a bit about grilling and to meet our own hometown celebrity chefs. You can also just enjoy the outdoors, drink a beer and listen to a local band on their Lakeside Stage.

The festival runs May 21st: 11:00am-6:00pm and May 22nd: 12:00-5:00pm. Entry is free and you can pre-purchase tasting cards on the event website for a discount. $12 purchased in advance and $15 at the festival. One tasting card will get you three beers , four small plates of food or combinations thereof. They will also be offering full-sized sandwiches, water and soda. Try some great eats from the West Town Tavern, Girl & the Goat, Belly Shack, Hot Chocolate and others!

Hands on grilling classes are available for $30, some of these classes offered by celebrity chefs such as Ted Allen and Stephanie Izard. Art Smith will be emceeing the Grilling Showdown Contest – celebrity contestents to be chosen prior to the challenge.

We will see you there! Bon Appetit!!

2011 Dates Announced For Special Events And Festivals

“Free-For-All” Festivals Return To The Lakefront
2011 Dates Announced For Special Events And Festivals

Summer will be here before you know it and The City of Chicago is proud to present three of summer’s marquee events as free admission festivals, once again. Returning to the summer schedule is the 28th Annual Chicago Blues Festival, June 10-12; the 53rd Annual Chicago Air and Water Show, August 20-21 and the 33rd Annual Chicago Jazz Festival, September 1-4.

The 28th Annual Chicago Blues Festival kicks off the lakefront festival season June 10-12 in Grant Park. For three days blues artists from Chicago and around the country will celebrate a blues legend with music rooted in this year’s theme, Sweet Home Chicago: A Centennial Celebration of Robert Johnson. The full line-up will be announced soon. For more information on the Chicago Blues Festival and updates on the schedule please visit www.chicagobluesfestival.us.
Continue reading 2011 Dates Announced For Special Events And Festivals

2010 Chicago Country Music Festival in Millenium Park

Those boots were made for two-stepping, so grab a pair and head to Millennium Park (new location) for the Chicago Country Music Festival, Friday, October 8 and Saturday, October 9! Happening during Marathon weekend, runners and spectators alike can limber up and relax with two days jam packed with the best country music this side of Nashville. The festival is FREE and hours are from Noon to 9 pm both days.

Chicago Country Music Festival Flyer

Schedule of Musical Performances

Friday, October 8th: Gretchen Wilson, Clint Black, Shelley Miller, Gin Palace Jesters, Midway Ramblers Cajun Band, The Henhouse Prowlers, Truth & Salvage Co., Charissa & Auburn Sky, Brushfire, Whitey Morgan & The 78s, Slim Pickins Band, Country Sky Band

Saturday, October 9th: Love & Theft, Jake Owen, Jewel, Scarlet Oaks, Doug & Telisha Williams, CMA Songwriters’ Series featuring: Kix Brooks, Bob DiPiero, David Lee Murphy & The Band Perry, Sawbuck, The Giving Tree Band, Slamabama, Brittany Clark & Raz’n Kane, Midnight Flyer, Northern Comfort, Levi Riggs

Both days there will be Line Dance Instruction between acts at the Best Buy tent. It’s not a Date until you’re dancing!

History of the Chicago Country Music Festival

Mayor Daley is a country music fan and recognized a need for a Chicago Country Music Festival in the city. Chicago, after all, has a rich heritage in country music and has a vast number of country singers/songwriters and bands here.

In 1991, the inaugural Chicago Country Music Festival became a reality. It was a two-day event, held on city streets, near Sheffield and Weed Street, to be exact. 42,000 country music fans turned out in 99 degree heat to watch a diverse talent line-up, featuring everything from clog dancers and square dancers to the singing group The Texas Tornadoes, Rodney Crowell and Pam Tillis. Music critics gave it a thumbs up for the variety of country music offered. Because of the big crowds, it was decided to move the event the following year to Grant Park to accommodate the crowds.

For 16 years, the Chicago Country Music Festival took place on the first weekend of Taste of Chicago, the city’s premier culinary event. It was considered a festival within a festival. Country music was featured on two music stages and performers over the years have included Emmylou Harris, Dwight Yoakam, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Wynonna, Yonder Mountain String Band, Randy Travis, Loretta Lynn and the father of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe.

2008 marked a big change for the event. The Chicago Country Music Festival moved out from the Taste of Chicago to a new location and a new date. The festival moved to Soldier Field Parkland. Large crowds turned out for Gretchen Wilson, Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift, among others. The Best Buy Honky Tonk Stage and the Americana Stage rounded out the talent lineup. We also added a Kids Corral and Dance Tent.

More details can be found at www.chicagocountrymusicfestival.us