Chicago In Tune

As part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Open Chicago initiative, which focuses on safely and fully reopening the city of Chicago, she and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) are presenting a month-long celebration of music entitled Chicago In Tune. Hundreds of free and ticketed events are being held at venues big and small from Aug. 19 through Sept. 19. Pitchfork Music Festival (Sept. 10-12), Riot Fest (Sept. 17-19), Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Verdi’s “Macbeth” at Lyric Opera House (Sept. 18), and DJ All the Way Kay at Ace Hotel Chicago (Sept. 2) are just a few of the exciting events happening throughout the month.

One of the most-anticipated series taking place is a group of free musical showcases – honoring some of the genres most associated with Chicago – that are being held in lieu of this year’s Gospel music, Jazz, House and Blues festivals. DCASE, along with the Millennium Park Foundation, is presenting Four Special Evenings at Jay Pritzker Pavilion: Gospel music (Sept. 3), Jazz (Sept. 4), House (Sept. 11), and Blues (Sept. 18). Each edition takes place from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. and features talented performers from Chicago and beyond.

A slew of incredible women-identified and non-binary artists are included in these diverse lineups, and their names are bolded below.

Chicago In Tune – Gospel Music: Sept. 3 at Jay Pritzker Pavilion from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

The Carson Sisters – joined by Illiana Torres and Nicole Harris – are set to perform an inspiring musical tribute to the Reverend Dr. Clay Evans, Pastor Maceo Woods, and Archbishop Lucius Hall.

The Tommies Reunion Choir, the primary soloists, songwriters, and musicians from Chicago’s Grammy-winning Thompson Community Singers (AKA The Tommies), will perform a collection of songs from its members’ incomparable careers.

Inspiration 1390’s Sonya Blakey will be on hand co-hosting the evening’s festivities, which also include an award presentation to Sasha Daltonn, the Chicago Gospel Festival founder and producer of the event’s first five years.

Chicago In Tune – Jazz: Sept. 4 at Jay Pritzker Pavilion from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Lizz Wright – whose rich vocals effortlessly command gospel and blues music as well as all things jazz – is performing alongside Ari Brown and Marquis Hill during this special event that is presented with the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Prepare for this must-see show by revisiting our photos and review of Wright’s 2016 stop at Space in Evanston.

Chicago In Tune - Lizz Wright
Lizz Wright performs at Space in Evanston in 2016.

Chicago In Tune – House: Sept. 11 at Jay Pritzker Pavilion from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Chicago’s own DJ Lady D is set to open the House showcase so fans will want to arrive at Pritzker Pavilion early on Sept. 11. Later in the night Mark Hubbard and DJ Terry Hunter will be debuting their Gospel House Choir collaboration “Sanitize Your Soul” and Roy Davis Jr. will close things out with a headlining set.

Chicago In Tune – Blues: Sept. 18 at Jay Pritzker Pavilion from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Chicago-based record label Alligator Records, some of the biggest names on its roster are coming out for a once-in-a-lifetime live music experience. Blues Music Award-winner Shemekia Copeland, the new queen of the blues, is highlighted on the lineup which also includes Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Nick Moss Band featuring Dennis Gruenling and more.

Each of these special evenings at Millennium Park have a lot to love for fans of all genres but they are only a drop in the bucket in terms of the vast array of events happening in conjunction with Chicago In Tune. Do312 has a comprehensive list of all of the Chicago In Tune performances taking place now until through Sept. 19. Head over to for more information on the Millennium Park series.

This coverage is made possible with support from Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

Laurie Fanelli is a Chicago-based writer and photographer who specializes in live entertainment coverage. She is at home at major music festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo and, of course, Lollapalooza and...