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Music on the Esplanade Schedule

Each Tuesday evening brings a different kind of music, from big band to swing to bluegrass. Watch the sun set over the Smith Fountain. Concerts are from 6 to 8 p.m.

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

Tue 5 Jun

Sam Fazio Quintet, Jazz

Sam Fazio

Chicago-based vocalist Sam Fazio puts a new spin on the songs you love. Fazio can currently be seen around the city at variety of clubs and hotels, including the legendary LondonHouse, where he holds Friday night residency. Sam has performed in many well-known venues around the United States, including Green Mill, Jazz Showcase, Andy's Jazz Club, Untitled, and SPACE (Chicago), Cliff Bell’s (Detroit), and Feinstein's at the Loews and 54 Below (New York City). In addition, he has performed at many festivals including Chicago Jazz Festival and Taste of Chicago, and performing arts centers including Trueblood, Overture Center, and Metropolis.

Tue 12 Jun

Nia Quintet, Jazz

Nia Quintet

The Nia Quintet is a collaboration of five individuals searching for similar things in music, in hopes of obtaining a sense of unity and understanding. Having like-minded individuals reaching progressively toward the same goal—but from different angles—brings a refreshing new quality to the ensemble. Led by trumpeter/composer Scott Anderson, the Nia Quintet blends together musicians of the highest caliber to present a showcase of melodic interaction and improvisation. The first of their two albums, End of Time, released on Blujazz Records, received rave reviews from national publications such as JazzTimes, Improv and Cadence magazine. The second album Earth Sign also received rave reviews and was the catalyst for their newest endeavor, moving the groups’ direction into different territories and adding the newest members of the group, Paul Mutzabaugh and Jon Deitemyer. Look for their newest recording on Scholz Productions, which will be released in 2018, featuring a new twist on a group of musicians looking to expand their musical horizons.

Tue 19 Jun

Incendio Band, Spanish Guitar

Incendio Band

The acclaimed Los-Angeles-based group Incendio performs original world guitar compositions. Formed in 1999, the group has nine CDs and two DVDs available internationally, variously hitting the Billboard, CMJ, NAV, and charts. Incendio is Jim Stubblefield (guitar), JP Durand (guitar, guitar synth), Liza Carbe (bass, guitar) and Tim Curle (drums). Averaging more than 150 shows a year since 2000, Incendio’s live performance is an explosive improvisatory journey, garnering tremendous audience response in such diverse venues as the Strawberry Music Festival in Yosemite, the Sundance Film Festival, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., California World Festival, the national Levitt Pavilions and many more across the United States. Albums include O Night Divine and The Shape of Dreams. Their music can be heard on Pandora, Spotify, and other streaming outlets.

Tue 26 Jun

Bopology, Swing


Bopology brings 1940s jump-swing music into the now. From the swingin’ ‘40s to the 21st century, that easily-identifiable feeling called swing is made even more appealing by Bopology. This multitalented, six-piece band’s history speaks for itself. Established in 1992, they feature a Duke Ellington sound with the vocal style of the Rat-Pack, performed by able musicians with a clean sound. Bopology was playing swing before swing was cool.

Tue 3 Jul

Rio Bamba, Brazilian Jazz

Rio Bamba

Rio Bamba is an exciting blend of Brazilian, Latin, and American jazz. For ten years, Rio Bamba has performed in a wide variety of jazz and world music venues, corporate shows, private parties, weddings, and festivals performing standards and original songs in the unique style of the group. The Rio Bamba sound is a unique blend of bossa nova, samba, American, and Latin jazz played by world class musicians. The group moves easily from classic and swinging jazz, vocal, or instrumental to a Brazilian samba that brings everyone to the dance floor with its irresistible rhythms.

Tue 10 Jul

Nine Worlds Ensemble, Contemporary Classical

Nine Worlds Ensemble

Nine Worlds Ensemble has a unique approach to chamber music. With backgrounds in classical, jazz, pop, rock, and more, Nine Worlds bring a diverse approach to music performance. This approach to music results in the accessibility of pop music, the improvisation of jazz, the groove of world music, and the sensitivity and emotion of classical music. Nine Worlds features unique instrumentation: violin, marimba, acoustic guitar, piano, upright bass, and percussion that delivers a wealth of musical colors to enjoy. Equally comfortable in the club and the concert hall, the members of Nine Worlds aim to bring their eclectic brand of chamber music to a wide variety of venues and listeners while breaking the mold of expectations.

Tue 17 Jul

Country Doctors, Honky-Tonk Country

Country Doctors

The Country Doctors founded their practice in 2001. They refer to themselves as a vintage honky-tonk band. Their roots are in the heartfelt repertoire of country musicians who played and sang with a purity of emotion often lacking in the genre today, while at the same time embracing contemporary artists who share a similar approach to country music. They feature great vocalists and do lots of arranged harmonies. They also perform original songs written in the style of the folks who influenced their music, such as Hank Sr., Merle Haggard, George and Tammy, Loretta Lynn, and so many more. Their musicians are top notch, with a great rhythm section and soloists. The Country Doctors have played virtually every club in the Chicago area that has live country music including Fitzgeralds, the Hideout, Joe’s on Weed, and lots of street fests. They’ve played Taste of Chicago (opening Country Music Day w/ Loretta Lynn as headliner) and have been twice nominated for a Chicago Music Award as Best Country-Western Entertainer. They have two CDs on the independent Medical Records label.

Tue 24 Jul

Fernandez & Kimball, Spanish Guitar

Fernandez & Kimball

The Fernandez & Kimball Spanish Guitar Trio share a love for Spanish guitar music and have been performing throughout Chicago and the United States since the early 1990s. Through years of collaboration, they have transformed many styles of music into a vast Spanish guitar repertoire. They have traveled to Spain, Italy, Cuba, California, and New York, where they have performed with world-renowned artists.

Tue 31 Jul

Alyssa Allgood Quartet, Jazz

Alyssa Allgood Quartet

Chicago-based jazz vocalist Alyssa Allgood recently won the first Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Voice Competition held in Washington, D.C. She was also named a 2016 Jazz Fellow through the Luminarts Cultural Foundation in Chicago, a Top 15 Finalist in the 2016 and 2017 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, and second place winner in the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Jazz Voice Competition. Her debut album, Out of the Blue, reimagines the classic Blue Note Records era with original arrangements and lyrics. The album received wide critical acclaim and was hailed by eight different publications, including The Huffington Post, All About Jazz and The New York City Jazz Record. Critics consistently praised Allgood’s instrumental approach and accomplished scat and vocalese singing.

Photo by Ryan Bennett Photography

Tue 7 Aug

Callaloo, Latin/Caribbean


Callaloo is the best world fusion steel pan group performing original compositions in Chicago. Scott Johnson, Callaloo's composer/arranger, began writing music for Callaloo that was built on strong, sophisticated Latin/Caribbean rhythms and recently began exploring and incorporating other styles, that, when fused, have proven to deliver a powerful musical experience. The percussion-based group employs an amalgam of instruments—steel pan, marimba, ethnic percussion, drum set, nylon string guitar, electric and acoustic bass—while combining composed, orchestrated parts with improvisation. The percussionists switch instruments from song to song, adding to the visual element of their performance.

Tue 14 Aug

My Sweet Patootie, Contemporary Roots & Ragtime

My Sweet Patootie

My Sweet Patootie is contemporary roots and ragtime at its best, bringing tight harmonies, monstrous guitar, sizzling fiddle, and junkyard percussion together in one perfect package. Founded in 2007 by Canadian Folk Music Award winners Sandra Swannell and Terry Young, this internationally touring band of razzmatazz raconteurs deliver an upbeat, vaudeville-style stage show with quality musicianship and humorous banter.

Photo by Sandra Swannell

Tue 21 Aug

Brass from the Past, R&B and Soul

Brass from the Past

A tribute to the legends of Rock & Soul music, Brass from the Past is the hottest horn band in the Midwest. Boasting an unstoppable, six-piece horn section, tight four-piece rhythm section, and three powerful singers who command the stage, this is no ordinary band! Covering Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, Aretha Franklin, Pattie Labelle, Tina Turner, Chaka Kahn, James Brown, Four Tops, Temptations, Chicago, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and more.

Tue 28 Aug

Fernandez & Kimball, Spanish Guitar

Fernandez & Kimball

The Fernandez & Kimball Spanish Guitar Trio share a love for Spanish guitar music and have been performing throughout Chicago and the United States since the early 1990s. Through years of collaboration, they have transformed many styles of music into a vast Spanish guitar repertoire. They have traveled to Spain, Italy, Cuba, California, and New York, where they have performed with world-renowned artists.

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