Lineups for Chicago’s Gospel Music Festival, Chicago Blues Festival and the Millennium Park Summer Music Series announced

Chicago will be filled with the sound of music this summer courtesy of some familiar, free city-sponsored festivals.

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Shemekia-Copeland is among the headliners for the 2020 Chicago Blues Festival.

Shemekia Copeland is among the headliners for the 2022 Chicago Blues Festival.

© Marilyn Stringer

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) on Wednesday announced the lineups for three of the city’s free summer music festivals: the Chicago Gospel Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival, and the Millennium Park Summer Series.

Of note: the jazz and blues festivals return as full-on events after pivoting to one-night-only concerts in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chicago Gospel Festival (June 4, Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park): This year’s lineup features Duane Powell with a DJ Sunday Service; the Greater Harvest Sanctuary Choir, Pastor Daniel X. Smith and NSMIC; a tribute to Deacon Reuben Burton, featuring Tim White and Refocused and The Hoskins Family; a tribute to Dr. LouDella Evans Reed featuring GMAC (Gospel Music According to Chicago), The Traditional Choir, Darlene Roberts, Felicia Coleman-Evans, Loretta Oliver and Vernon Oliver-Price; Kierra Sheard Kelly; The Walls Group; The Williams Singers; Brian Courtney Wilson; and John P. Kee. Visit for set times and more information.

Chicago Blues Festival (June 9-12): In addition to a full lineup in Millennium Park, this year’s festival for the first time will present concerts in Austin (5720 W. Chicago Ave.), in Bronzeville (Lillian Hardin Armstrong Park, 4433 S. St. Lawrence Ave.) and at the Confluence on the Chicago Riverwalk (305 West Riverwalk South).

Also new this year is a “Women in Blues” showcase on June 12 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park featuring a tribute to blues great Mary Lane. Other special tributes at the festival will honor blues legends Erwin Helfer, Bob Stroger, Gene Barge, Cicero Blake and Willie Henderson.

Featured in this year’s lineup are Shemekia Copeland, Toronzo Cannon, Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Melody Angel, Keith Johnson & The Big Muddy Band, Demetria Taylor, Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, and more. The full schedule can be found at

Millennium Park Summer Music Series (June 20-Aug. 18; Monday and Thursday evenings at the Pritzker Pavilion): A host of musical entertainment will be presented over 10 weeks of programming including Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, Jeff Tweedy, Abigail Washburn, Ana Tijoux, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (seven sons of jazz great Phil Cohran), and CIMAFUNK, among others. The full schedule can be found at

Lineups for the Chicago Jazz Festival (Sept. 1-4), Chicago House Music Festival and Conference (starting Sept. 16), and World Music Festival Chicago (Sept. 30-Oct. 9) will be announced in the coming weeks. 

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