- Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 May 2012 20:03
- Written by The Times Weekly
- Category: Entertainment News
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. Returning for a fourth season, this free series will include ten double-bill concerts on Monday nights, May 28 through July 30, 2012. All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m.
Highlights of the series include indie rockers Cloud Cult, The Sadies and Jonathan Richman and soul-singer Charles Bradley, along with international performers Chico Trujillo and Ana Tijoux from Chile, M.A.K.U. Soundsystem from Colombia, Sidi Touré and SMOD from Mali and Ireland’s James Vincent McMorrow. Chicago musicians Kelly Hogan, Joan of Arc, the Occidental Brothers Dance Band International, The Eternals and other local acts add to the line-up.
For more information about Downtown Sound and 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.
The complete lineup includes (headlining act listed first):
Kelly Hogan + Scott Lucas and the Married Men
The Downtown Sound series begins on Memorial Day with the dynamic Kelly Hogan and her versatile voice and transformative style. A Chicagoan by way of Atlanta, this singer-songwriter mixes her southern roots with Chicago charm. Scott Lucas and the Married Men open the night with their introspective brand of alternative rock.
Jonathan Richman brings his unaffected blend of rock and roll and folk music to Millennium Park after over 40 years of performing in small to mid-size venues. Opening band TBD.
The Eternals + Wild Belle
The Eternals have been combining jazz and funk into a unique mix for years, but add a live jazz band in Millennium Park to create a multi-genre performance of funk, hip-hop and punk rock. Emerging brother-sister duo Elliot and Natalie Bergman of Wild Belle start off the night with music from their debut album.
Cloud Cult + Judson Claiborne
Mixing indie-rock with environmental activism, Cloud Cult’s moving, open-hearted songs are a call to action towards a greener world. Opening the night with their collaborative music, Judson Claiborne is the solo and band name of Low Skies frontman Christopher C. Salveter on guitar with Ryan Blaine Boyles on bass, Jamie Daniel Carter on drums and Jacob Floyd Ross on guitar.
Occidental Brothers Dance Band International + Chico Trujillo
The Occidental Brothers’ blend of high-energy West African highlife, Congolese dance music (soukous) and African jazz has won over music critics and seduced an audience of listeners as diverse as the members of this multi-racial band. Chico Trujillo starts this night of world music with a blend of classic cumbia, bolero, folk and reggae.
Joan of Arc + Daniel Knox
After the recent release of their soundtrack for the classic French silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Joan of Arc brings their explosive post-rock sound to Millennium Park for Independence Day week. Self-taught pianist Daniel Knox opens the evening with his lyrical deftness and musical lure.
The Sadies + James Vincent McMorrow
Canadian indie rock and alternative country band The Sadies combine country, psychedelic, rock and surf with musical chops and live intensity. Opening the night is Irish folk singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow with songs from his debut album.
Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires + Abigail Washburn
Charles Bradley, "the screaming eagle of soul,” infuses his troubled and triumphant life story with the great tradition of classic soul, funk and R&B. Singer, songwriter and clawhammer banjo player, Abigail Washburn starts off the night mixing folk, global and far-flung sounds.
Ana Tijoux + Sidi Touré
Regarded by many as the best rapper in the Spanish language, Chile’s Ana Tijoux took the U.S. by storm with her 2010 Grammy-nominated album 1977. This night of world music begins with Sidi Touré of Mali and songs from his homeland influenced by western blues and rock.
SMOD + M.A.K.U. Soundsystem
Making their Chicago debut, Malian group SMOD mixes rap, hip hop, folk and traditional music to form an entirely new and exciting sound in the genre of world music. M.A.K.U. SoundSystem starts off the evening with music that begins in traditional Afro-Colombian rhythms and ends somewhere in the punk-jazz stratosphere.
Millennium 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.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to promoting and supporting Chicago’s arts and culture sector. This includes, but is not limited to: fostering the development of Chicago’s nonprofit arts sector, independent working artists, and for-profit arts businesses; presenting high-quality, free or low-fee cultural programs accessible to residents and visitors; and marketing the City’s cultural assets to local, regional, and global audiences. DCASE produces nearly 2,000 public programs, events and support services annually, generating millions in economic benefits for the City of Chicago.