A Full Summer of Music in Chicago's Millennium Park

Article Contributed by Chicago Office… | Published on Thursday, March 29, 2012

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: New Music Mondays.  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.All of the concerts are free and are presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Concerts take place at the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion.“Millennium Park has become a unique gathering place right in the heart of downtown Chicago, where people from all over come to enjoy its magnificent art and architecture, as well as its free cultural programming,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “Now in its eighth season, the Park continues to be an international destination, delighting visitors from near and far.”“Music in Millennium Park will be more diverse than ever this year with the introduction of the new Loops and Variations series, said Angel Ysaguirre, Deputy Commissioner for Arts Programming, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “We invite visitors and Chicagoans alike to grab a blanket and sit on the lawn, or take a seat and discover the sounds of summer, played out over the Pritzker Pavilion’s state-of-the-art sound system.”Highlights of the summer music season are listed below. A complete calendar will be released in mid-April.Downtown Sound:  New Music MondaysMay 28—July 30, Mondays at 6:30 p.m.Check out an eclectic mix of cutting-edge indie rock, pop and rock veterans with ten concerts beginning Memorial Day and running throughout July. Highlights include Kelly Hogan (May 28), Jonathan Richman (June 4), Chico Trujillo (June 25) and Charles Bradley (July 16).Loops And VariationsJune 7—July 12 (no concert June 21), Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.Discover Millennium Park’s newest music series, mixing new music with electronica. Highlights include eighth blackbird (June 28) and Third Coast Percussion (July 5).Grant Park Music FestivalJune 13—August 18, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.Celebrate the Festival’s 78th season with 30 stunning performances featuring the acclaimed Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. Highlights include the Golden Anniversary Choral Spectacular (June 29 and 30); Only Converge: An Exaltation of Place, a world premiere by Michael Gandolfi (June 15 and 16); Sleepers and Dreamers, a world premiere by Sebastian Currier (July 6 and 7) and Dvořák:The Spectre's Bride (August 17 and 18). grantparkmusicfestival.com Made In Chicago: World Class JazzJuly 19—August 30 (no concert August 9), Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.Prepare for a feast that will fill every appetite for jazz, from each region of the music—blues, boogie, Latin, Bop and beyond. Highlights include Blowin’ in from Chicago featuring Edward Wilkerson Jr. and Ari Brown (July 19); Frank Rosaly’s ¡Todos de Pie! (All Stand Up! on August 23) and Exquisitely for Ella: A Songbook Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald with Dee Alexander, Frieda Lee and Spider Saloff, opening the 34th annual Chicago Jazz Festival (August 30). For more information about all of the events in Millennium Park this summer, visit millenniumpark.org, call 312.742.1168, visit Millennium Park on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @Millennium_Park.  Millennium ParkMillennium 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.