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 9 Jun

The Redmonds
Adult Contemporary Current Classic

The Redmonds

Tuesday, June 9
6 – 8 p.m.

Playing everything from Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash to the Civil Wars and the Lumineers, the Redmonds perform as an acoustic duo, featuring the impeccable harmonies of Mike and Katie Redmond and a full band with some of the best musicians in the region.

Mike Redmond has performed professionally for 30 years. He started as a teenage soundman for Soundz Music in 1979, working with such bands as Cheap Trick, Molly Hatchet, the Dixie Dregs, and America. By the time he was 24, he had a development deal with Phil Walden’s Capricorn Records. Katie Hull Redmond joined Mike in music (and marriage) in 2005. A trained singer, she has performed professionally at weddings, corporate events, festivals, and other social functions around the Chicago area for 20 years.

The full band includes bassist Mike Gorman of Off Broadway and Pezband fame; top Chicago pedal steel player Rich Koc; studio drummer Rick Nelson; and multi-instrumentalist L.J. Slavin. Showcased as an opening act for REO Speedwagon, the Redmonds put on a show with something for everyone.

Tue 16 Jun

Dave Specter
Blues

Dave Specter

Tuesday, June 16
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 23 Jun

Shamrock Ragsters
Celtic

Shamrock Ragsters

Tuesday, June 23
6 – 8 p.m.

The Shamrock Ragsters is a group of top Chicago area 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.

Tue 30 Jun

Rio Bamba
Brazillian Jazz

Rio Bamba

Tuesday, June 30
6 – 8 p.m.

Rio Bamba's 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, and instrumental to a Brazilian samba that brings everyone to the dance floor with its irresistible rhythms.

 

Tue 7 Jul

Bopology
Swing

PHOTO: Bopology

Tuesday, July 7
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 14 Jul

Joe Sounds
Steel Drum Trio

Joe Sounds Steel Drum Trio

Tuesday, July 14
6 – 8 p.m.

The Joe Sounds 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 21 Jul

Pamela Rose and Windy City Country

Pamela Rose and Windy City Country

Tuesday, July 21
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 28 Jul

Big Sadie
Early Country Bluegrass

Big Sadie

Tuesday, July 28
6 – 8 p.m.

Big Sadie is Elise Bergman on upright bass, Collin Moore on guitar, and Jess McIntosh on fiddle. The Chicago-based trio, which formed in early 2014, boasts an impressive repertoire of early country, bluegrass, and original music in three-part harmony.

Tue 4 Aug

Saturday June Band
Classic Rock ’n’ Roll

Saturday June Band

Tuesday, August 4
6 – 8 p.m.

Saturday June Band is one of the top acts in the Midwest, with a long list of credentials. They have performed at places including Taste of Chicago, Navy Pier, Arlington Racetrack, Ravinia Festival, and many more. They have also performed for the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Bulls. They have shared the bill with such luminaries as the Beach Boys, Rare Earth, the English Beat, the Smithereens, and more. Saturday June plays an eclectic mix of music ranging from the 60s and the 70s right through up to today's hits. They engage the crowd and even frequently invite local children to join the band on stage for a song, passing out shakers and tambourines to all. The five-piece band features vocalist Jami Dawn and an intricate array of harmonies.

Tue 11 Aug

Fernandez & Kimball
Spanish Guitar

PHOTO: Fernandez & Kimball

Tuesday, August 11
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 traveled to places including Spain, Italy, Cuba, California, and New York, where they have studied and performed with world-renowned artists. Their repertoire includes flamenco, classical, bossa nova, Latin American standards, and smooth jazz standards.

Tue 18 Aug

Callaloo
Latin/Caribbean

Callaloo

Tuesday, August 18
6 - 8 p.m.

Callaloo is the best world-fusion steel pan group performing original compositions in Chicago.  Scott Johnson, group cofounder and composer/arranger, began writing music for Callaloo that was built on strong, sophisticated Latin/Caribbean rhythms. He 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.

Tue 25 Aug

Nia Quintet
Jazz

Nia Quintet

Tuesday, August 25
6 – 8 p.m.

Led by trumpeter/composer Scott Anderson, the Nia Quintet blends 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. Their second album Earth Sign also received rave reviews and was the catalyst for their newest endeavor, moving the group’s direction into different territories and adding the newest members of the group Paul Mutzabaugh and Jon Deitemyer. Look for their newest recording on Origins Records, coming soon, that will feature a new twist on a group of musicians looking to expand their musical horizons.

Tue 1 Sep

Kimberly Gordon Big Band

Kimberly Gordon Big Band

Tuesday, September 1
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!

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