Make Music Chicago 2014. Photo by Elliot Mandel

MAKE MUSIC CHICAGO Celebrates 5th Year of Free Day-Long, Citywide Music Event on Sunday, June 21, 2015

Make Music Chicago 2014. Photo by Elliot Mandel
Make Music Chicago 2014. Photo by Elliot Mandel

Presented by Rush Hour Concerts, Make Music Chicago, a completely free musical celebration across Chicago, returns for its fifth annual event on the first day of summer and longest day of the year, Sunday, June 21, which is also Father’s Day! 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 the ability of everyone to participate in music-making. 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 80 locations in over 20 Chicago neighborhoods from sunrise to sunset with performances at Millennium Park’s Wrigley Square, Old Town School of Folk Music, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art, the recently opened 606 Bloomingdale Trail and Chicago Riverwalk plus over 30 Chicago Park District sites, including the new Maggie Daley Park. A complete list of performance sites can be found at

Make Music Chicago 2015 Highlights

In support of the Chicago Cultural Plan, Make Music Chicago has increased its performance locations and is proud to present live programming and participatory events at Chicago’s noted landmarks, physical assets and newly developed public spaces including Maggie Daley Park, Millennium Park – Wrigley Square, and the brand new Chicago Riverwalk along the main branch of the Chicago River to help raise these cultural platforms and highlight the importance of accessibility to music and music making.

Maggie Daley Park, 337 E. Randolph Street

Make Music Chicago presents its first Smartphone Sing-A-Long in celebration of the Father’s Day holiday. Beginning at 4:00 pm, Chicagoans are invited to synch up to a traveling choir via a specialized Smartphone app titled Susync and sing-along with vocalists from Chicago’s OperaModa at assigned starting points around the city, singing as they move towards the culminating choral performance at Maggie Daley Park’s Lawn Valley South at approximately 4:45 pm. Award-winning Chicago composer Mischa Zupko has been commissioned to create a six-minute, eight-part choral piece titled Call Your Dad, which can be downloaded in advance in addition to sheet music, practice tracks and the app itself via the Make Music Chicago Facebook page in June.

  • The Sinatra Mobile Piano Bar: 1:305:45 pm

To commemorate Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday, Yamaha is sponsoring a roving Clavinova Piano Bar in Chicago, New York and Seattle for Make Music Day 2015. Led by Chicago pianist Mick Archer, the piano bar will drive around the streets of Chicago, stopping at prominent city landmarks to give Chicagoans the chance to belt out Sinatra standards such as My Way, Come Fly With Me, It Was A Very Good Year and more along with a live pianist. The Sinatra Mobile Panio Bar will stop at the following locations:

o    Outside of the Chicago Theatre (175 N State Street): 1:30 to 2:40 pm

o    Welles Park (2333 W Sunnyside Avenue): 3:30 to 4:15 pm

o    Maggie Daley Park’s Picnic Grove West: (337 E. Randolph Street) 5:00 to 5:45 pm 

Millennium Park – Wrigley Square, Randolph Street & Michigan Avenue

  • Rise and Shine Orchestra: 10:00 – 11:00 am

David Eccles from the Vandercook College of Music leads musicians through vibrant orchestral music with the return of this Make Music Chicago favorite at a new location, Wrigley Square. All ages and abilities are welcome to bring their own instrument and play along with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

  • Sousapalooza: 11:00 – 12:00 pm

Rich Fischer, Director of Bands at Concordia University-Chicago, leads band instrumentalists through a play-along of John Philip Sousa’s classic marches featuring the 24-member Ceremonial Band of the U.S. Navy Band Great Lakes. All former and current band members are invited to come play along!

Chicago Riverwalk:

Make Music Chicago will feature nearly 20 performances along the Chicago Riverwalk, including:

·         The Cove (Lower Wacker, between Dearborn Street & Clark Street)

New Budapest Orpheum Society: 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Potts & Pans Community Steelband: 1:30 – 2:30 pm

·         The Marina Plaza (Lower Wacker, between State Street & Dearborn Street)

The Fox & The Hounds: 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Chicago Mariachi Project: 4:00 – 5:00 pm

  • The River Theater(Lower Wacker, between Clark Street & LaSalle Street)

Chicago Academy of Piping and Drumming: 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Chicago Philharmonic Brass: 2:00 – 3:00 pm

·         Vietnam Memorial (Lower Wacker at State Street)
The Flaming Wheaties: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

·         Wabash Ave Underbridge (Lower Wacker at Wabash)

Braided River to perform (Ir)reversible River Stories: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm


Pianos in the Parks

Make Music Chicago introduces Pianos in the Parks, offering access to pianos located throughout Chicago’s public parks. Generously donated by the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University and sponsored in part by The Newberry and The Zell Family Foundation, the pianos give any Chicago park visitor the opportunity to play music during open park hours, June 21- July 19.  Pianos will be located at Berger Park in Edgewater (6205 N. Sheridan Road), 63rd Street Beach in Jackson Park (6300 S. Lake Shore Drive), Piotrowski Parkin Little Village (4247 W. 31st Street), Seneca Park in Streeterville (220 E. Chicago Avenue), Eckhart Park in the Ukrainian Village (1330 W. Chicago Avenue) and Washington Square Park in the Near North community (901 N. Clark Street). A seventh piano will be available for public use at Two North Riverside Plaza located in downtown. Make Music Chicago will also feature performances at each of the seven locations with participatory events including:

·         Piotrowski Park: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Ravinia Lawndale Family Music School Sing-A-Long

  • Washington Square Park: 2:30 – 4:00 pm

Newberry Library Sing-Along invites families to sing and play-along to selections from the library’s early 20th century American sheet music collection including Yankee Doodle,Oh! Susanna, Camptown Races, Maple Leaf Rag and other favorites and instrumental interludes with an Ode to Joy grand finale just before 4:00 pm.

Family Concerts

Make Music Chicago includes multiple Family Concerts throughout the day, including at Lincoln Park Zoo (2001 N. Clark Street), Old Town School of Folk Music in Lincoln Square (4544 N. Lincoln Avenue), The Comfort Station in Logan Square (2579 N. Milwaukee Avenue), Loyola Park in Rogers Park (6900 North Farwell Avenue), Maggie Daley Park’s Play Garden (337 E. Randolph Street) and The Welles Park Gazebo (2333 W. Sunnyside Avenue).

  • Lincoln Park Zoo:

Quintet Attacca: 11:30 am – 12:00 pm

Woodwind ensemble Quintet Attacca perform their interactive “Peter and the Wolf” show where different characters of the story are represented by different instruments.

SuZOOki Play- Along: 12:00 – 1:00 pm

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 at the Sea Lion Pool.

  • Lincoln Square: Youth musicians from the Old Town School of Folk Music: 10:30 – 11:30 am

Youth Music Showcase includes an interactive concert for families followed by an all-inclusive musical parade at The Welles Park Gazebo.

  • Logan Square: Comfort Station: 12:00 – 4:00 pm

An open-door experimental concert for kids with battery powered instruments.

  • Maggie Daley Park: Play Garden: The Lucky Trikes: 12:15 – 1:00 pm

This read and sing-along for young children features story time with live music performed by The Lucky Trikes.

  • Rogers Park: Amy Lowe and KingKatz: 12:00 – 12:45 pm

A participatory program of songs and stories for children focused on environmental awareness, neighborhood diversity and the ability of everyone to make his or her own music.

  • The Welles Park Gazebo: Old Town School of Folk Music Young Musicians: 12:00 – 12:30 pm

Los Jaraneros, Youth Fiddlers, and The Young Stracke All Stars all present interactive street performances in the gazebo.

Live Broadcasts on WDCB 90.9 FM:

Chicago’s jazz and blues music radio station, WDCB 90.9 FM, will broadcast live from Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington Street) for an afternoon of unique musical programming to celebrate Make Music Chicago:

  • The Bob Mamet Trio: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Ramsey Lewis Tribute Concert: 12:00 – 1:00 pm

A rebroadcasting of the world premiere arrangement of Lewis’ compositions by Chicago native Andrew Chukerman performed by Lewis and the Highland Park High School Jazz Band. This arrangement was commissioned by Welz Kaufman, President of Ravinia, to honor Ramsey and kick-off his 80th birthday celebration. Ramsey Lewis is the Artistic Director of Jazz programming at Ravinia.

  • Rush Hour Concerts presents an hour of live musical performances: 1:00 – 2:00 pm

o    Patrice Michael Intersections Project: 1:00- 1:30 pm

Featuring pianist Kuang-Hao Huang and bassist Larry Gray

o    Fulcrum Point New Music Project presents Monk and Malinke: 1:30 – 2:00 pm

  • WDCB’s The Sounds of Brazil! with Scott Adams: 2:00 – 3:00 pm

o    Luciano Antonio

o    Cecy Santana with Will from Brazil  

Pre-Event Performances at Two North Riverside Plaza

In conjunction with The Plaza Project, a creative platform dedicated to transforming Chicago Plazas into public art destinations through curated artistic experiences, Make Music Chicagowill also present a series of free, live pre-event performances during the lunch hour from 12:00 – 1:00 pm at Two North Riverside Plaza located in downtown Chicago.

WillfromBrazil de Carvalho will present American and Brazilian song favorites in a live performance that mixes jazz-funk with traditional samba.

  • Friday June 19:

Award winning, Chicago-based quintet Axiom Brass will present an afternoon of brass chamber music.

Additional Make Music Chicago Sites and Events

Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington Street):

Randolph Square 12:00 – 5:30 pm

Ravinia Jazz Scholars, Volcano Radar, Court & Country, and DJ Purple

Preston Bradley Hall: 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Rush Hour Concerts Community Engagement featuring youth from the Back of the Yards neighborhood with performances from the Jazz Institute of Chicago’s Jazz Links Youth Ensemble to follow.

Hyde Park

Midway Plaisance (1130 Midway Plaisance North): 12:00 – 9:00 pm

DJs at the Midway—House DJs curated by Taigo Onez

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park Zoo’s Cafe Brauer Patio (2001 N. Clark Street): 3:00 – 5:00pm

Fiddle Tunes Jam Play-Along led by the Fiddle Club of the World (Chicago Chapter)

Apple Store Lincoln Park (801 W. North Avenue): 2:00 -3:00 pm

Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers give a live performance from their recent album, “Terra Incognita—” a blend of Motown, folk, and funk.

Lincoln Square

The Atlantic Bar & Grill (5062 N. Lincoln Avenue): 3:00 – 6:00 pm

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

Logan Square

Palmer Square Park (2500 N. Kedzie): 12:00 – 6:00 pm
Volca Series Boogie Play-Along invites all to bring their Korg Volca Series speaker to link up to an improvised synthesis play along.

Mozart Park (2036 N. Avers Avenue): 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Rhythm Revolution Drum Circle, facilitated by John Yost.


GTS Fest at 2 North Riverside Plaza: 10:45 am – 4:00 pm

A day-long festival featuring 17 hip-hop and R&B artists from across the country

Congress Plaza – Grant Park (301 S. Michigan Avenue): 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Sid Yiddish And His Candy Store Henchmen

Fine Arts Building Sidewalk (410 S. Michigan Avenue)

Li Ting: 1:00 – 1:45 pm

Maggie Daley Park (337 E. Randolph Street)

Cancer Survivor Garden: 3:00- 4:00 pm

Mister E Machine

Picnic Grove West:

Chicago Flute Club hosts a flute choir play-along for all ages and levels. 1:00 – 1:45 pm

Play Garden: 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Youth from the Back of the Yards neighborhood will present vocal and instrumental music as part of Rush Hour Concerts’ community engagement residency program.

Museum of Contemporary Art (220 E. Chicago Avenue)

Front Plaza: 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Kelly Campos

Chicago Symphonic Winds

Back Terrace: 2:00 –5:00 pm

KG Price: Lessons in Musicology

Old Town School of Music (4544 N. Lincoln Avenue)

Capoeira: 10:30 – 11:00 am

Marisa Cordeiro and students of the Old Town School of Music present an interactive performance of Capoeira, a Brazilian dance and martial art form, accompanied by live music.

West African Dance: 11:15 am – 12:00 pm

Teaching Artist Harry Detry and students of the Old Town School of Folk Music demonstrate West African Dance in an interactive performance encouraging all to dance along to live drumming.

Somos el Barco Parade: 11:30 am – 12:00 pm

A play and sing-along parade open to all brass, fiddles, guitars, drums, singers and instruments from Old Town School of Music to The Welles Park Gazebo.

Bluegrass Jam: 1:30 – 3:00 pm

River North

St. James Cathedral (65 E. Huron Street): 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Rush Hour Concert presents a two-part, hour-long concert featuring singers from the Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center followed by a performance of James Whitbourn’s “Luminosity” performed by Artistic Director Anthony Devroye with contemporary choral group Cor Cantiamo.

South Shore

Steelworkers Park (87th Street at US 41): 12:00 – 4:00 pm

Open drum circle presented by Under the Bridge Art Studio

Harmonica Blowout play-along led by Old Town School of Music teacher Skip Landt with free harmonicas provided by Hohner.

The Welles Park Gazebo (2333 W. Sunnyside Avenue):

Ukulele Jam: 12:30 – 1:30 pm

Hawaiian Lanialoha Lee leads an island style play-along with free playbooks provided by the National Association of Music Merchants and Alfred Music Publishing.

All Instruments and Voices Jam: 2:30 – 3:30 pm

All ages and levels are welcome to bring their own voices and instruments for this all-inclusive participatory event

Western Suburbs

FitzGerald’s Night Club: 11:00 am – 5:30 pm

Oak Park School of Rock, Terry White, Addon Davis, The Replays, Bill Kavanaugh, Brian Mahoney.

Over 200 Make Music Chicago events take place throughout the day, so for a complete and up-to-the-minute list of events, visit  Programming is subject to change.

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 2014, over 700 cities took part in 130 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 third year, the 2015 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 2 – August 25, 2015. 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 alwaysfree 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 16th 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