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Hot Summer Nights Schedule

Bring your dancing friends and kick it up a notch with high-energy music as you dance (or listen) to the upbeat tempo of a host of diverse genres. Professional dance instructors provide mini-lessons that correspond with the style of music that evening.

Please Note: You are encouraged to bring your own chairs as the Garden has a limited supply available each evening.

Thu 4 Aug

Bopology

PHOTO: Bopology

Thursday, August 4
6 – 8 p.m.

Bopology brings 1940s Jump-Swing Music into the now
From the swingin’ ’40s to the twenty-first century, that easily identifiable feeling called “swing” is made even more appealing by Bopology, a renowned band from Chicago, Illinois. This multi-talented, six-piece band’s history speaks for itself. Established in 1992, the band features a Duke Ellington sound with the vocal style of the Rat Pack, performed by able musicians with a clean sound.

Thu 11 Aug

Cuban Essence

Cuban Essence

Thursday, August 11
6 – 8 p.m.

Founded in 2001, Cuban Essence is an exciting and truly new sound coming out of Chicago. Cuban-born composer/director and performer Waldo Ocaña brings a contemporary body of work to life with authentic Afro-Cuban rhythms and concepts in the form of a timba (Cuban salsa) orchestra. Songs of love, life, and dreams are made accessible to a broad spectrum of listeners and dancers alike through lyrics sung in English.

Instead of traditional horns for the mambo sections, the arrangements call for singers, harmonizing beautiful melodies that dance over the searing rhythms of Cuba and the New World to produce the unique and luscious sounds of Cuban Essence.

Thu 18 Aug

Grupo Cha Cha

Grupo Cha Cha

Thursday, August 18
6 – 8 p.m.

Grupo Cha Cha fills the air with tropical sounds of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Brazil that delight your musical senses for listening and dancing! The group’s newest CD This is the Life has been received with glowing reviews and enthusiastic live audience response—especially as performers at the Chicago Latin Jazz Festival.  Grupo Cha Cha has been called the “Sly and the Family Stone” of Latin jazz bands because of its multigender and multicultural makeup. This is the Life has gained national FM radio airplay from Boston to San Diego, British Columbia to Ottawa, and in Bordeaux, France.

Thu 25 Aug

The Chicago Cossacks

The Chicago Cossacks

Thursday, August 25
6 – 8 p.m.

The Russian and Ukrainian folk music and dance ensemble Chicago Cossacks was created in 1993 and since then has been entertaining people of the Greater Chicago area and beyond. The group performs Cossack, Jewish (Klezmer), Russian Roma (Gypsy), American oldies, classical music, Italian, French, German, Latin, and other world music and songs. The musicians play traditional musical instruments such as the domra (mandolin) and  bayan (button accordion). All musicians received formal music degrees in the former Soviet Union.

Thu 1 Sep

Silver Stars

Silver Stars

Thursday, September 1
6 – 8 p.m.

The combined talents of Americana music icons Barb Silverman, Rick Veras, Steve Rosen, and Mitch Straeffer bridge our country’s vast musical history with fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, and washboard. These musicians collectively have performed around the world from Finland to Australia, in prominent festivals and radio shows, and in the highest profile venues in metropolitan Chicago. Playing patriotic songs and more, the Silver Stars capture the character of the earliest American fiddle tunes through the hits of Stephen Foster and Irving Berlin and on into the last century of indigenous music. Dances will include contra lines of George Washington’s day, the high-stepping strut of the 1850s Cake Walk, and the squares and circles that survived hundreds of years of our history.

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