For fans of any genre, live music isn’t hard to come by in Chicago. Check out our highlights for concerts, festivals and live performances in and around the city.
Welcome to our highlights for concerts, festivals and live music in Chicago. From free shows at Millennium Park to large festivals like Ravinia and Lollapalooza, and intimate shows at small local venues, our guide has all the latest music entertainment. Bookmark this page and check back for updates on concerts and events.
iLe attends the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
WHAT: Puerto Rican singer Ileana Mercedes Cabra Joglar who goes by iLe was just 16 when she joined her brothers in the popular hip-hop group Calle 13. In the past few years, the now 32-year-old singer has branched out into a solo project that has garnered Latin Grammy Awards and a devoted following. Her songs tackle issues facing her homeland and its people.
WHEN: At 8 p.m. Oct. 8
WHERE: Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln
VISIT: For tickets and updated information regarding the venue’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit oldtownschool.org.
Alysse Gafjken Photo
WHAT: Robert Finley tours behind his new album, “Sharecropper’s Son” produced by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. The autobiographical songs tell his life’s story and are rooted in the classic sounds of southern soul, country and R&B. After a chance meeting six years ago, Finley, now 67 and residing in Bernice, Louisiana, found himself recording in Nashville and on his way to rising star status augmented by his amazing songs, expressive vocal style and magnetic personality.
WHEN: At 8 p.m. Oct. 11
WHERE: City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph
VISIT: For tickets and updated information regarding the venue’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit citywinery.com/chicago.
Courtesy Northbrook Symphony
The Northbrook Symphony opens its 42nd season with Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” featuring violinist Robert Chen, Chicago Symphony Orchestra concertmaster and the new artistic creative partner at Northbrook. Mina Zikri conducts. At 4 p.m. Oct. 10 at Sheely Center for the Performing Arts, 2300 Shermer, Northbrook. There is a pre-concert lecture prior to each concert at 2:45 p.m. Tickets: $50-$150. For tickets and updated information regarding the venue’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit northbrooksymphony.org.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
(C) Todd Rosenberg Photography
Maestro Riccardo Muti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2017.
WHAT: Ricardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra reunite for their first concerts since February 2020 with a series of three performances in a fall residency. The opening program (Sept. 23-25) features music by Joseph Bologne-Chevalier de Saint-George and Florence Price as well as Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 3 (Eroica).” Violinist Leonidas Kavakos joins Muti and the orchestra for Brahms “Violin Concerto in D Major” plus the orchestra performs “Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 (Sept. 30-Oct. 2). The final fall program (Oct. 7-9) features the CSO’s first performance of Missy Mazzoli’s 2006 work “These Worlds in Us” plus pieces by Anatoly Liadov and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
WHERE: CSO at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan.
VISIT: For updated information regarding the CSO’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit cso.org.
‘Songs for Nobodies’
Photo by Michael Brosilow
Bethany Thomas in “Songs for Nobodies.”
WHAT: “Songs for Nobodies” is Joanna Murray-Smith’s one-woman tour-de-force that celebrates the iconic work of Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Maria Callas. Bethany Thomas stars in the story of the unexpected encounters between these divas and the ordinary women whose lives they changed. Rob Lindley directs.
WHEN: From Sept. 23-Oct. 31
WHERE: Northlight Theatre at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie.
VISIT: For updated information regarding the theater’s Covid 19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit northlight.org.
World Music Wednesday
Amy Young Photo
Bomba con Buya
WHAT: The Old Town School of Folk Music’s weekly showcase of world music and dance, returns beginning Sept. 1 with Jazz a la Mexicana, a concert featuring traditional and folkloric Mexican music mixed with jazz. A celebration of Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center’s 50th anniversary follows on Sept. 8 with performances of Puerto Rican bomba music by Bomba con Buya and Mancha E’ Platano. The current roster of concerts runs through Dec. 1.
WHERE: Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln
Admission is free, a $10 suggested donation is appreciated. For updated information regarding the venue’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit oldtownschool.org.
Courtesy Origin Records
Chris Foreman at the Green Mill
What: The Green Mill has reopened and that means the return of Chris Foreman, a Friday night fixture at the popular jazz club. Foreman, a jazz organist blind since birth, is a master on the Hammond B3 and regarded as Chicago’s best. His playing is a blend of blues-gospel and jazz honed in his professional experience, which has included work with Hank Crawford, Albert Collins, Bernard Purdie, The Deep Blue Organ Trio and The Mighty Blue Kings.
When: 5-7:30 p.m. Fridays
Where: The Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway
Cost: No cover charge