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Chicago Like a Local Blog

Unique perspectives on the city from the people who live here.

Category - Music

The sounds, flavors and fashions of the African diaspora will transform Washington Park into a lively African village during the 28th annual African Festival of the Arts.  The fest offers visitors the chance to travel through African culture with art, film, food, fashion and music that represents a diversity of traditions and history. Divided into pavilions and villages including Nubia for fine art, Timbuktu for fashion and Bank of the Nile for the food court, the African Festival of the Arts is an explosion of sensory experiences.

Arrive early to grab a spot near the Dee Parmer Woodtor main stage and check out these dynamic acts at the 2017 African Festival of the Arts.

The end of the summer season pushes many locals to grab every last drop of outdoor fun and on Labor Day weekend, that means soaking up sublime rhythms at the Chicago Jazz Festival. This free event will fill the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park with an impressive line-up of international, national and local artists from a broad spectrum of jazz categories. Consider these Jazz Fest highlights during the last days of summer.

You’ve probably heard of Lollapalooza, an annual music festival featuring popular alternative rock, punk, heavy metal, hip hop and electronic music bands. The festival has provided a platform for non-profit and political groups, as well as both popular and underground visual and musical artists alike to showcase their work. The event itself started in 1991 and has counted France, Chile, Germany & Brazil amongst its list of host countries, though the Chicago festival is indisputably the best of these. Chicago has been hosting Lollapalooza since 2005, and attracts over 160,000 people during the now four-day affair.

This year, Lollapalooza takes place from August 3-6 at Grant Park, and features a star-studded lineup headed by Chicago’s own (and three-time Grammy winner) Chance the Rapper, American rock band The Killers, Muse, Arcade Fire, The XX, Lorde, Blink 182, and so many more. The full musical lineup and schedule can be viewed on Lollapalooza’s website or app.

Jazz fans don't have to wait until the famed Chicago Jazz Festival (though the 2017 headliners were just announced!) to hear live jazz in the Windy City. This is a music lovers paradise so you can catch all types of live music on any night of the week. But there are special weekly events in the summer that make hearing live jazz a warm weather treat. The Museum of Contemporary Art hosts Tuesdays on the Terrace, the Shedd Aquarium supplies Jazzin' at the Shedd and the Jazz Institute of Chicago holds the Chicago Latin Jazz Fest (coming up this weekend July 14-16, add it to your calendar!).

All over the U.S., fireworks and barbecues are Independence Day hallmarks, but Chicago offers extra fun with the annual African/Caribbean International Festival of Life. This four-day cultural celebration features music, food, dance and fashion from African and Caribbean countries and hosts the best live reggae and calypso shows in the city. This year's 25th annual festival, July 1-4 in Union Park (1501 W. Randolph Street), promises good music and good times for the whole family.

Nothing celebrates the joy of summer better than the annual Chicago SummerDance Festival. Combine the beauty of Grant Park's Spirit of Music Garden with warm weather and the fun of live music and dance, and you have the ultimate  Chicago weekly summer event. And it's all free!

Music is in the air more than ever this summer in Chicago. From a locally sourced music series overlooking a pond teeming with turtles to jazzy concerts hosted on the Shedd Aquarium's lakefront terrace, there's an open-air concert at an unexpected venue almost every day of the week. Here are four outdoor summer music series that you won't want to miss this summer in Chicago.

Summer in Chicago means music flows everywhere, inside clubs and concert venues and through the streets and neighborhoods. Check out these great upcoming shows for your summer music fix, including a FREE festival that celebrates the season by presenting concerts all across the city for one music-filled day.

Since the Rolling Stones multimedia experience, Exhibitionism, opened at Navy Pier on April 15, fans have been thrilled to view a dynamic showcase of the greatest rock band in history. The display of over 500 personal effects from the band's lengthy career, including costumes, diaries and song lyrics, documents their journey from an amateur British band to the world's most influential rock group. It also reveals the Stones significant connection to the blues and Chicago.

Ukrainian Village is one of those Chicago neighborhoods that you’ve probably heard about and have been meaning to visit, but maybe never got around to it. It’s simple to plan a fun, budget-friendly day in this West Town neighborhood. Read on for the best and most affordable eats, shops and more in Ukrainian Village.

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