The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) on Wednesday announced the lineup for three of the city’s free summer music festivals: the Chicago Gospel Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival and the Millennium Park Summer Series.
Note: Jazz and blues festivals are returning as full-fledged events after pivoting to one-night-only concerts in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chicago Gospel Festival (June 4, Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park): This year’s lineup includes Duane Powell with a Sunday Service DJ; the Greater Harvest Sanctuary Choir, Rev. Daniel X. Smith and NSMIC; a tribute to Deacon Reuben Burton, featuring Tim White and Refocused and The Hoskins Family; a tribute to Dr. LouDella Evans Reed with GMAC (Gospel Music According to Chicago), The Traditional Choir, Darlene Roberts, Felicia Coleman-Evans, Loretta Oliver and Vernon Oliver-Price; Kierra Sheard Kelly; The group of walls; The Williams Singers; Brian Courtney Wilson; and John P. Kee. Visit ChicagoGospelMusicFestival.us for fixed times and more information.
Chicago Blues Fest (June 9-12): In addition to a full lineup at Millennium Park, this year’s festival will feature concerts for the first time in Austin (5720 W. Chicago Ave.), Bronzeville (Lillian Hardin Armstrong Park, 4433 S. St. Lawrence Ave.) and at the confluence on the Chicago Riverwalk (305 West Riverwalk South).
Also new this year is a “Women in Blues” showcase on June 12 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park with a tribute to blues great Mary Lane. Other special tributes at the festival will honor blues legends Erwin Helfer, Bob Stroger, Gene Barge, Cicero Blake and Willie Henderson.
This year’s lineup includes Shemekia Copeland, Toronzo Cannon, Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Melody Angel, Keith Johnson & The Big Muddy Band, Demetria Taylor, Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, and more. The full program is available at ChicagoBluesFestival.us.
Millennium Park Summer Music Series (June 20-August 18; Monday and Thursday nights at the Pritzker Pavilion): A wealth of musical entertainment will be presented over 10 weeks of programming, including Femi Kuti and The Positive Force, Jeff Tweedy, Abigail Washburn, Ana Tijoux, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (seven sons of jazz great Phil Cohran), and CIMAFUNK, among others. The full program is available at MillenniumPark.org
Lineups for the Chicago Jazz Festival (September 1-4), Chicago House Music Festival and Conference (starting September 16), and World Music Festival Chicago (September 30-October 9) will be announced in the coming weeks.