Music on the Esplanade Schedule

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

Tue 10 Jun

Bopology

PHOTO: Bopology

Tuesday, June 10
6 – 8 p.m.

Swing and jazz are uniquely American musical genres. This band brings them both to life. With a level of professional musicianship that offers both the appreciative listener and the avid dancer a solid swingin’ groove, Bopology prides itself on maintaining the authenticity of this music. Rather than cover a song note-for-note, the improvisation within a song enables individual musicians to showcase their unique talents to capitalize on Bopology’s more than 100 years of combined musical experience.

Tue 17 Jun

Rio Bamba

Rio Bamba

Thursday, June 17
6 – 8 p.m.

Rio Bamba sound is a unique blend of bossa nova, samba, and 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 24 Jun

Dave Specter

Dave Specter

Tuesday, June 24
6 - 8 p.m.

Blues guitarist, bandleader, and producer Dave Specter has earned an international reputation as one of the premier young talents on the Chicago blues scene. Since 1985, Specter has performed regularly at top Chicago blues and jazz clubs in addition to festivals and concert halls throughout the United States. Since 1989, Specter has toured internationally and behind such blues greats as Son Seals, The Legendary Blues Band, Hubert Sumlin, Sam Lay, and Steve Freund. Specter has also performed and recorded with such blues and jazz artists as Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Jimmy Johnson, Jack McDuff, Johnny Adams, Snooky Pryor, and more. Specter has recently performed in France, Argentina, Israel, and Hawaii and appeared on more than 35 CDs and DVDs.

Tue 1 Jul

The Special Consensus

The Special Consensus

Tuesday, July 1
6 – 8 p.m.

Formed in the Chicago area in 1975, the Special Consensus is a four-person acoustic bluegrass band that features traditional bluegrass standards, original compositions by band members and professional songwriters, and songs from other musical genres performed in the bluegrass format. The band has released 16 recordings, including the Grammy-nominated Scratch Gravel Road.

Tue 8 Jul

Cuban Essence

Cuban Essence

Tuesday, July 8
6 – 8 p.m.

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 through lyrics sung in English. Instead of traditional horns for the mambo sections, the arrangements call for singers, harmonizing the beautiful melodies of Cuban Essence.

Tue 15 Jul

Kimberly Gordon Big Band

Kimberly Gordon Big Band

Tuesday, July 15
6 – 8 p.m.

Premier Big Band vocalist Kimberly Gordon, with the Kimberly Gordon Big Band, will take you back in time and leave you wanting more. Covering classic Duke Ellington and Count Basie hits, the Big Band will get you ready to dance the night away!

Tue 22 Jul

JoeSounds Steel Drum Trio

PHOTO: JoeSounds Steel Drum Trio

Tuesday, July 22
6 – 8 p.m.

The JoeSounds Steel Drum Trio has been performing in the Chicago area for more than 20 years. Led by steel drummer Joe Sonnefeldt, the group blends traditional calypso music with other styles of the Caribbean as well as American jazz and pop. The trio has entertained audiences on Lake Michigan cruises, at area festivals, and private functions throughout the Midwest.

Tue 29 Jul

Pamela Rose and Windy City Country

Pamela Rose and Windy City Country

Thursday, July 29
6 – 8 p.m.

Pamela Rose and Windy City Country bring a fresh and energetic flavor into the live music scene. This terrific group consists of five acclaimed musicians and singers. Their unique style recreates the classics as well as contemporary country and rock-‘n’-roll hits.

Tue 5 Aug

Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan Quartet

Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan Quartet

Tuesday, August 5
6 – 8 p.m.

Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan perform an original blend of gypsy jazz and flamenco, as well as American jazz standards and original compositions. The band's lively sound has been shared across the United States and in Europe for more than 20 years. Chicago Tribune arts critic Howard Reich wrote: “[Alfonso Ponticelli] achieved the airborne sense of swing, the outrageously swift tempos and the translucent ensemble sound that created the template for gypsy-tinged jazz.”

Tue 12 Aug

Fernandez & Kimball

PHOTO: Fernandez & Kimball

Tuesday, August 12
6 – 8 p.m.

Hector & Mari Fernandez, along with Tom Kimball, have shared a love of Spanish guitar since the early 1990s. Over the years, they have transformed many styles of music into a vast Spanish guitar repertoire. They have studied and performed with artists in Spain, Italy, New Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, California, and New York. Their repertoire includes flamenco, classical, bossa nova, Latin American standards, and jazz standards.

Tue 19 Aug

Nia Quintet

Nia Quintet

Tuesday, August 19
6 – 8 p.m.

The Nia Quintet is an in-demand quintet from Chicago featuring some of Chicago's finest musicians. Led by performing artist Scott Anderson, they have performed at Chicago venues including the Jazz Showcase, the Green Mill, and many more. They play original music written and arranged by trumpeter/composer Scott Anderson, a semifinalist in the 2012 International Songwriters Competition. Their first CD, End of Time, ranked in the top 50 in the country for radio play.

 

Tue 26 Aug

Shamrock Ragsters

Shamrock Ragsters

Tuesday, August 26
6 – 8 p.m.

The Shamrock Ragsters is a group of top Chicagoland musicians who play a mix of Irish/Celtic, bluegrass, and Dixieland jazz. Their debut concert was in summer 2012, for the children at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, where they performed with traditional folk instruments such as banjo, fiddle, mandolin, tin whistle, Irish flute, guitar, bass, and trumpet.

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