MAKE MUSIC CHICAGO Celebrates 6th Year of Free Day-Long, Citywide Music Event; Nearly 200 free events throughout the day at 100 sites; Chicago celebrates in tandem with over 700 cities worldwide, Tuesday, June 21, 2016 * Summer Solstice

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Celebrates 6th Year of Free Day-Long, Citywide Music Event

Nearly 200 free events throughout the day at 100 sites;

Chicago celebrates in tandem with over 700 cities worldwide


Tuesday, June 21, 2016 * Summer Solstice


CHICAGO (June 8, 2016) – Presented by Rush Hour Concerts, Make Music Chicago, a completely free musical celebration across Chicago, returns for its sixth annual event on the first day of summer and longest day of the year, Tuesday, June 21. Chicago joins more than 700 cities across the world celebrating free music as part of the international music holiday, Fête de la Musique, annually held on the Summer Solstice. This year, Make Music Chicago is presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks and other Chicago cultural partners with the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.


Make Music Chicago celebrates everyone’s ability to make music. Throughout the day, music-makers of all ages, abilities and musical tastes – amateurs and professionals alike – gather in Chicago’s public spaces to play and sing live music of all genres.


Under the helm of Artistic Director and lauded pianist Kuang-Hao Huang, with the support from Executive Director Kitty Rothschild, Make Music Chicago will feature 200 performances and participatory events across 100 locations in over 40 Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs from sunrise to sunset with performances at Millennium Park’s Wrigley Square, Maggie Daley Park and Pritzker Pavilion plus the Chicago Riverwalk, Chicago Symphony Center, Daley Plaza, Lyric Opera House, Lincoln Park Zoo, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Old Town School of Folk Music and over 30 Chicago Park District sites and many others.


Make Music Chicago highlights include free performances from Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Grant Park Orchestra and Lyric Opera’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center; a joint performance from Gaudete Brass and Axiom Brass; a special Rush Hour Concert with Grammy-award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich; two-time Grammy Award-nominated Mexican folk musicians Sones de Mexico Ensemble; more than 10 play-along events including the Rise and Shine Orchestra with members of Chicago Symphony Orchestra; numerous family events including the Suzuki Play-along for kids and the return of Pianos in the Parks. For a complete and up-to-the-minute list of events, including all play- and sing-alongs, visit or download the Make Music Day app for iOS or Android. Programming is subject to change.


Make Music Chicago 2016 Highlights


Play-Along and Participatory Events

Make Music Chicago is proud to present multiple play-along, sing-along, jam sessions and participatory events throughout Chicago’s noted landmarks, physical assets and newly developed public spaces to highlight the importance of accessibility to music and music making. Music makers of all ages are invited to join these participatory events using their own instruments or those provided.

  • Stones/Water/Time/Breath: Participatory Sunrise Performance: sunrise-6:30am

Sherwin Avenue Beach in Rogers Park (1205 W Sherwin Avenue)

Sound artist Eric Leonardson leads Dean Rosenthal’s internationally recognized, experimental music-theater piece Stones/Water/Time/Breath, which will be performed in ten cities on Make Music Day and invites all to follow a set of performance steps to create original work using stones to create rhythms, solos, cycle patters and percussive sounds on the water.

  • Sousapalooza: 12:00-1:00pm

Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington Street)

Richard Fischer, Director of Bands at Concordia University-Chicago, leads players through the classic marches of John Philip Sousa.

  • Harmonica Blowout: 1:30-2:30pm

The Welles Park Gazebo in Lincoln Square (2333 W Sunnyside Avenue)

Old Town School of Music teacher Skip Landt leads a bluegrass harmonica play-along for all ages with free harmonicas provided by Hohner.

  • Rise and Shine Orchestra: 1:00-3:00pm

Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington Street)

Lloyd Palmiter leads musicians through vibrant orchestral music. All ages and abilities are welcome to bring their own instrument and play-along with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Rehearsal runs from 1:00-2:00pm with performance taking place from 2:00-3:00pm

  • Great American Songbook Play and Sing-along: 2:30-3:15pm

The Welles Park Gazebo in Lincoln Square (2333 W Sunnyside Avenue)

Midwest folk band Three for the Road leads a sing and play-along of songs from the Great American Songbook to the 1970s.

  • +9v: A Community Concert for Battery Powered Instruments: 5:30-9:00pm

Comfort Station in Logan Square (2579 N. Milwaukee Avenue)

An open-door, experimental concert that invites music makes of all ages to play-along using battery powered instrument including synthesizers, circuit bent toys, keychains and more.

  • Uke Jam: 6:00-7:00pm

Aloha Center Chicago in Lincoln Square (1626 W Lawrence Avenue)

The Aloha Center Chicago’s Kanikapila Jam lead by Lanialoha Lee leads an island style play-along for ukulele players of all ages and experience levels.

  • Sea Shanty Sing-Along: 6:00-7:00pm

Chicago French Market in the West Loop (131 N Clinton Street)

Chicago Sea Shanty Sing invites everyone to join a participatory sing-along of sea shanties and maritime themed pub songs.

  • Rhythm Revolution Drum Circle: 7:00-8:00pm

Mozart Park in Logan Square (2036 N. Avers Avenue)

John Yost of Rhythm Revolution™ hosts a community drum circle open to all ages. Musicians are invited to bring their own percussion instrument, or use one that’s provided.



Pianos in the Parks

Make Music Chicago returns Pianos in the Parks, offering access to pianos located throughout Chicago’s public parks. Sponsored by Night Out in the Parks with pianos generously donated by Keys 4/4 Kids, Pianos in the Parks gives any Chicago park visitor the opportunity to play music during open park hours, June 21- August 1. Pianos will be located at Mozart Park in Logan Square (2036 N. Avers Avenue), Loyola Park in East Rogers Park (1230 Greenleaf Avenue), Hamilton Park in Englewood (513 W. 72nd Place), Garfield Park Conservatory (300 N. Central Park Avenue), Washington Square Park in Near North (901 N. Clark Street), Calumet Park in Eastside (9801 S. Avenue G) and Indian Boundary Park in West Ridge (2500 W. Lunt Avenue).


Family Concerts

Make Music Chicago includes multiple Family Concerts throughout the day, including at the Maggie Daley Park’s Concessions Plaza (337 E Randolph), Hyde Park Neighborhood Club (5480 S. Kenwood Avenue), Piotrowski Park in Little Village (4247 W. 31st Street) Winnemac Park in Rogers Park (5101 N Leavitt Street), Clarendon Park in Uptown (4501 N. Clarendon Avenue) and Mary Bartelme Park in West Loop (115 S. Sangamon Street).

  • Maggie Daley Park

The Lucky Trikes: 11:00-11:45am

This read and sing-along for young children features story time with live classical and improvised music performed by the award-winning children’s chamber band The Lucky Trikes.

  • Hyde Park

Marsha’s Music Fam Jam: 10:00-10:45am

  • Little Village

Chicago Folklore Ensemble: 5:30-6:30pm

Ravinia’s REACH*TEACH*PLAY Education Programs presents the Chicago Folklore Ensemble in “Folktales & Traditional Music From Around the World”.

  • Rogers Park

Merry Music Makers Sing-Along: 10:00-10:45am

The Merry Music Makers lead a sing-along for children ages 6 and under.

Fiddle Tunes Jam: 6:00-8:00pm

Fiddle Club of the World Chicago Chapter in partnership with Old Town School of Music presents a fiddle play-along jam session for all ages and experience levels.

  • Uptown

Schools Out Jam: 6:30-7:30pm

Young musicians aged 16 and under celebrate summer and the last day of school.

  • Loop/Downtown

Sones de Mexico lunchtime program at Harold Washington Library’s Cindy Pritzker Auditorium (400 S State): 12:15 – 1:15pm

  • West Loop

Suzuki Play-along: 5:00-6:00pm

Kids of all ages familiar with the popular Suzuki Method for Music are invited to join in playing popular tunes such as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Go Tell Aunt Rhody, along with the Merit School of Music’s Suzuki program and other Chicago Suzuki programs.


Rush Hour Concerts at Make Music Chicago: 5:45 – 6:15pm

St. James Cathedral (65 E Huron)

This year’s Rush Hour Concert’s Summer Concert Series will feature a performance from Grammy-award-winning violinist and Stradivari Society recipient Augustin Hadelich with Make Music Chicago Artistic Director and pianist Kuang-Hao Huang at the serene and historic St. James Cathedral in River North. Rush Hour Concerts offers high quality live chamber music every Tuesday evening after work, beginning with a pre-concert beverage reception at 5:15 pm in the cathedral foyer, followed by a 30-minute concert at 5:45 pm.


Pre-Event Performance at 353 N. Clark

Make Music Chicago will also present a free, live pre-event performance during the lunch hour on Friday, June 17 from 12:00 – 1:00pm at 353 N. Clark located in River North. Preview performance will feature classic blues and 70’s rock from The Full Circle Blues Band, who will also perform during Make Music Chicago at McGuane Park in Bridgeport (2901 S Poplar Avenue) from 7:00-8:15pm on June 21.


Additional Make Music Chicago Sites and Events

McGuane Park (2901 S Poplar Avenue): 9:30am – 8:15pm

A mix of traditional Chinese opera, blues, punk, country, indie-rock and more with performances by the Chinese American Cultural & Art Academy, 168 fitness team, Bodom, Famous Unknown-USA, Drew Richelle Gawron, The Sweeps, The Mawgs and Full Circle Blues Band


Osterman Beach (5800 N Lake Shore Drive): 7:30 – 9:30pm

The Chicago Parks District in partnership with the French Consulate of Chicago hosts “Films on the Lake” featuring film screenings and performance from Edgewater Singers. The series will kick off on June 21 with a screening of The Young Girls.

Gold Coast

Steinway Gallery (900 N Michigan Avenue): 11:00am – 5:00pm

The Steinway Gallery of Chicago hosts a day of piano music featuring Bow & Hammer, violinist Sara Su Jones, Susan Merdinger, Katrina Sudman and pianist Ilya Friedberg with violinist Hyewon Yang

Hyde Park

Midway Plaisance (1130 Midway Plaisance North): 10:00am-10:00pm

DJs at the Midway – House DJs curated by Taigo Onez

Humboldt Park

Humboldt Park Boathouse: (1400 N. Sacramento Avenue): 6:00-9:00pm

Afro-Latino & roots-rock-inspired dance music of ESSO (El Sonido Sonic Octopus) 7:00-8:00pm

606 Bloomindale Trail (1801 N. Albany Avenue): 7:30 – 9:00pm

Chicago- based Brazilian percussion ensemble Bateria Quilombola

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park Zoo: Park Place Café (address): 12:00 – 4:00pm

Jay Schraub, Mike Pecucci, Mister E. Machine

Lincoln Park Zoo: Cafe Brauer Patio (address) 11:00am – 5:00pm

David Dilsizian, Evan Cauble-Johnson, Jeff Brown, Mike Felten, Mark Sotira/Unplugged

Lincoln Square

The Welles Park Gazebo (2333 W Sunnyside Avenue): 1:30-8:30pm

Tony Scarimbolo and members of the Barndance Company: 4:45 – 5:45pm

Chicago Philharmonic Brass: 6:30 – 8:30pm


Chicago Symphony Orchestra (220 S. Michigan Avenue)

Performance by Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble: 1:00 – 2:00pm

Performance by Civic Orchestra of Chicago Chamber Ensemble: 2:30 – 3:30pm

Lyric Opera House (20 N. Wacker) 5:30 – 5:45 pm

A short concert with Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center in partnership with Chicago Voices.

O’Briens Riverwalk Café (45 E Riverwalk South):

Opera On Tap Chicago: 1:00- 2:00pm

Roosevelt University’s Ganz Hall (430 S. Michigan Avenue): 10:30am – 4:00pm

Yepez, EStrella Piano Duo, Sara Su Jones, Marie Alatalo and the all-female Pianissimo! Chicago’s Premier Piano Ensemble.

Millennium Park

Maggie Daley Park: Cancer Survivor Garden (337 E Randolph) 11:00am- 12:00pm

A performance of “Shimmer,” a piece by Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for 16 cymbal players, led by Zildjian cymbal artist Doug Perkins and Friends.

Pritzker Pavilion (201 E Randolph Street) 11:00am – 5:30pm

Open rehearsal with Grant Park Symphony Orchestra featuring Storm Large of Pink Martini fame singing classics from the Great American Songbook from 11:00am – 1:30pm and Mahler’s Sixth Symphony from 3:00-5:30pm. Festival docents will also lead a talk back from 1:30-3:00pm.

Wrigley Square (Randolph Street & Michigan Avenue) 1:15-2:00pm

Joint performance with Gaudete Brass and Axiom Brass


Dvorak Park (1119 W. Cullerton): 11:00am – 9:00pm

Guest DJ’s provide non-stop music throughout the day plus DJ lessons providing instruction and access to equipment

LACUNA Chicago (2150 South Canalport Avenue): 4:00 -10:00pm

Chicago Loud 9, Jia Senghe, Shame Shame Shame, Mr. Constant and The INterior Project


Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Ave), free admission for IL residents on Tuesdays

Chaz Hearne (on the Plaza): 11:00am – 12:00pm

Matthew Shelton (on the Plaza): 1:00 – 2:00pm

Open rehearsal with Eighth Blackbird (inside museum): 1:30 – 3:30pm

South Loop

PianoForte Studios (1335 South Michigan Avenue): 12:00- 1:00pm

Live Broadcast of ‘DCB Jazz with Barry Winograd on WDCB 90.0FM featuring performances from The Steve Rashid Trio

Fred Anderson Park (1629 S Wabash Avenue): 2:00-4:00pm

Famed jazz saxophonist and Chicagoan of the Year Ernest Dawkins performs in this popular Chicago park location named after Chicago jazz great and saxophonist, Fred Anderson.

West Loop

Mary Bartelme Park (115 S. Sangamon Street): 6:00 – 7:00pm

Performances by students of Merit School of Music

Chicago French Market (131 N Clinton Street): 10:00am – 7:00pm

Live musical performances from Mister E. Machine, V3NTO Brass Trio and North Carolina’s Crossflame Youth Choir and Orchestra, Immediate Family and more plus food from over 30 local artisan purveyors

Ovation (2324 W Fulton Street): 8:00-10:00pm

Chicago-based violin & piano duo Bow & Hammer joins Ovation and a surprise culinary guest to host an after-party with free music and food.

Western Suburbs

Veltway (6815 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn): 11:00am -11:00pm

Live music along the stretch of Roosevelt Road known as the Veltway at Fitzgeralds, Autre Monde, The Friendly Tap and WIRE with performances by Ian Leith, Loren Middleton, The Revue and more.


About Make Music Chicago

Celebrating the ability of everyone to make music, Make Music Chicago is completely free for musicians and audiences alike.  It is inspired by Fête de la Musique, a national musical holiday in France.  Since its inaugural year in 1982, Fête de la Musique has become an international phenomenon taking place every June 21. In the past, over 700 cities took part in 120 countries worldwide – including Germany, Italy, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Australia, Vietnam, Congo, Cameroon, Fiji, Colombia, Chile, Nepal and Japan – easily making it the largest music event in the world.  Make Music Chicago is part of a national group of “Make Music” cities that includes New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle and Philadelphia. Make Music Chicago is presented by Rush Hour Concerts in partnership with the Chicago Park District.


About Night Out in the Parks

Presented by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Night Out in the Parks provides world-class performances in Chicago’s neighborhood parks throughout the summer with programming across the city to advance the goals of the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Cultural Plan. In its fourth year, the 2016 Night Out in the Parks series will bring more than 1,000 events and programs to neighborhood parks throughout the city, making community parks safe havens and hubs of activity. The Chicago Park District has partnered with nearly 100 arts and community organizations to expand and produce this successful initiative.


About Rush Hour Concerts

Rush Hour Concerts presents the annual Summer Concert Series featuring free concerts of “great music for busy lives” at St. James Cathedral every Tuesday evening, June 7 – August 30, 2016. Rush Hour Concerts begin with a pre-concert reception and curated conversation at 5:00 pm followed by a 30-minute concert at 5:45 pm. The reception and concert are always free and no tickets are required.


Since its founding in 2000 by the late Deborah Sobol, Rush Hour Concerts has reinvented the classical music experience through a dedication to artistic quality, a concert format suitable to contemporary lifestyles and a policy of admission-free events.  Rush Hour Concerts has created groundbreaking programs and access initiatives that have revolutionized music-making in Chicago and forged trendsetting partnerships with the city’s arts and cultural community.


Rush Hour Concerts is committed to broadening arts access and launched its Community Engagement Residencies to bring expert musical instruction to under-resourced neighborhoods in Chicago through a long-term strategy of artistic and community collaboration. Now celebrating its 17th anniversary, Rush Hour Concerts has expanded into a year-round arts organization, yet remains grounded in its mission to reach across all communities with new ways for audiences to experience world-class music in Chicago.


To learn more about Make Music Chicago, please visit and to learn more about Rush Hour Concerts, please visit


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