Chicago Rocks: This annualevent has become the premiershowcase for local independenthip-hop. Past performers haveincluded Lupe Fiasco, Rhymefestand Juice, among others,and this year's lineup includesveterans Crucial Conflict and AllNatural as well as up-andcomersFlosstradamus, the CoolKids and Psalm One. June 8 atAbbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace St.,$12, 773-478-44080; and June 9at Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., $16,773-549-0203.
Manu Chao: A rare visit fromthe Spanish born, Paris-basedartist who is considered one ofthe founding fathers of the rocken espanol movement. Chaoaggressively blends punk,reggae and Latin folk music.June 17 at the Aragon, 1106 W.Lawrence Ave., $30; 312-559-1212.
Black Moth Super Rainbow:These Pennsylvanians evokenature-worshiping hippies intheir lyrics, but their music isfirst-rate psychedelic trancerock.June 23 with Dosh atSchubas, 3159 N. Southport Ave.,$10-$12; 773-525-2508.
Mavis Staples: The gospelaccording to Mavis is a mightythick tome, and her latest chapter,"We'll Never Turn Back," isamong the best albums of hercareer. June 26 with the BlindBoys of Alabama at OrchestraHall, 220 S. Michigan Ave., $20-$70; 312-294-3000.
The Police: Rumor has it thatSting once used to rock; hisreunion with his old new-waverunning mates Andy Summersand Stewart Copeland shouldtest that theory. July 5-6 atWrigley Field, $254, $94, $54;(sold out) www.tickets.com.
Toumani Diabate and theSymmetric Orchestra: Mali'sDiabate is a master of the kora,and by introducing flamencovoicings, Asian harmonics andfree-jazz improvisation heupdates the centuries old lexiconof the 21-string instrument.He played Chicago a fewmonths ago with a strippeddownversion of his band, butthis time he's back with a fullorchestra. July 12 at the JayPritzker Pavilion in MillenniumPark, free; 312-742-1168.
Pitchfork Music Festival: Thesecond annual festival encompasseship-hop (GZA, Clipse, DeLa Soul), jazz (Ken Vandermark),indie rock (New Pornographers,Stephen Malkmus), electronicmusic (Girl Talk) and undergroundicons (Yoko Ono, SonicYouth, Slint). July 13-15, atUnion Park, 1501 W. RandolphSt., $15 and $25 for one day,three-day pass $50, www.ticketweb.com.
The Decemberists: The Portlandquintet will do up its orchestral-pop opuses in style,accompanied by the Grant ParkSymphony. July 18 at the JayPritzker Pavilion in MillenniumPark, free; 312-742-1168.Crossroads Guitar Festival:Eric Clapton gathers a fewdozen guitar gods (Jeff Beck,Buddy Guy, BB King, John Mc-Laughlin) and plans to stage aBlind Faith reunion with SteveWinwood. July 28 at Toyota Parkin Bridgeview, $90; 312-559-1212.
Lollapalooza: The third annuallakefront festival spreads morethan 100 bands over ninestages and three days, withheadliners including Pearl Jam,Daft Punk and the Stooges.Aug. 3-5 at Grant Park, three-daypass $195, lollapalooza.com.
Sing Me Back Home featuringThe New Orleans Social Club:This ad-hoc collective, formedin the days after HurricaneKatrina to record songs to aidNew Orleans residents, makesits Chicago debut. The lineupincludes some of the CrescentCity's finest musicians andsingers, including Ivan Neville,the Meters, Irma Thomas andHenry Butler. Aug. 24 at the JayPritzker Pavilion in MillenniumPark, free; 312-742-1168.
Dave Brubeck Quartet: Themaster pianist plays an evening-length performance. 8p.m. Friday at Symphony Center,220 S. Michigan Ave.; $33-$129;312-294-3000 or cso.org.
Reginald Robinson: An innovativeragtime pianist-composer,Robinson collaborateswith Orbert Davis' Chicago JazzPhilharmonic in the worldpremiere of a concerto writtenby Davis (and based on Robinson'sragtime compositions);trumpeter Davis and singerKurt Elling also will be featuredsoloists. 7:30 p.m. Saturday atthe Auditorium Theatre, 50 E.Congress Pkwy.; $29-$59; 312-922-2110 or auditoriumtheatre.org.
Lillias White: The singer kicksoff the Martinis at the Martincabaret series with "My GuyCy," a tribute to songwriter CyColeman. 8 p.m. Monday at theRavinia Festival's Martin Theatre,Green Bay and Lake-Cook Roads,Highland Park; $160 for theentire series, which includesBrian Stokes Mitchell on July 9,Heather Headley on Aug. 20 andHershey Felder's "GershwinAlone" on Sept. 9 (no theatertickets sold for individual concerts),$10 lawn; 847-266-5100or ravinia.org.
McCoy Tyner Septet: Celebratedfor his collaborationswith John Coltrane and for hisdistinctly muscular pianism,Tyner will mark the 45th anniversaryof Impulse Records,sharing the stage with saxophonistsEric Alexander andDonald Harrison and trumpeterWallace Roney, among others. 8p.m. June 8 at Symphony Center,220 S. Michigan Ave.; $19-$44;312-294-3000 or cso.org.
Dee Alexander: A jazz singerfor all occasions, Alexander willsing "Homage to Light HenryHuff," presented by the nonprofitJazz Institute of Chicago.7:30 p.m. June 15 at ColumbusPark Refectory, 5701 W. JacksonBlvd.; free; 312-427-1676 orjazzinchicago.org.
"Jazz with the Joffrey": Chicagopianist Ramsey Lewis andhis trio play the world premiereof a score by Lewis created forthe Joffrey Ballet, which willdance to new choreography byDonald Byrd. 8 p.m. June 22 atthe Ravinia Festival, Green Bayand Lake-Cook Roads, HighlandPark; $45 pavilion; $10 lawn;847-266-5100 or ravinia.org.
Wynton Marsalis' "CongoSquare": Marsalis, the Jazz atLincoln Center Orchestra andYacub Addy and Odadaa! performthe Chicago-area premiereof Marsalis' epic piece, a journeyinto the African roots ofjazz. 7:30 p.m. June 23 at theRavinia Festival, Green Bay andLake-Cook Roads, Highland Park;$50 pavilion; $10 lawn; 847-266-5100 or ravinia.org.
Enzo Avitabile & Bottari: TheItalian saxophonist brings theBottari (barrel-beater) percussioniststo Chicago to launchthis year's Music Without Bordersseries of world-musicconcerts. 6:30 p.m. June 24 atthe Pritzker Pavilion in MillenniumPark, near Randolph Driveand Michigan Avenue; free;312-742-1168 or millenniumpark.org.
Spider Saloff Quintet: A formidablejazz vocalist, Saloff opensthe Auditorium Theatre's "OnStage With" series, which bringslisteners onto the stage of thecelebrated venue (subsequentshows will feature singer SusanWerner on June 30 and the duoof Beckie Menzie and TomMichael on Aug. 18). 8 p.m. June16 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50E. Congress Pkwy.; 312-922-2110or auditoriumtheatre.org.
Great Black Music Ensemble:This magnificent organization--flagship band of theChicago-based Association forthe Advancement of CreativeMusicians (AACM)--plays atribute to swing-band pioneerFletcher Henderson and kicksoff the annual "Made in Chicago"series at Millennium Park.6:30 p.m. July 26 at the PritzkerPavilion in Millennium Park, nearRandolph Drive and MichiganAvenue; free; 312-742-1168 ormillenniumpark.org.
"Sing Me Back Home": Agalaxy of New Orleans stars--including Ivan Neville, HenryButler, Irma Thomas, Troy"Trombone Shorty" Andrewsand John Boutte pay homageto the Crescent City. 6:30 p.m.Aug. 24 at the Pritzker Pavilion inMillenium Park, near RandolphDrive and Michigan Avenue; free;312-742-1168 or millenniumpark.org.
Chicago Jazz Philharmonic:Trumpeter Orbert Davis' jazzmeets-the-classics ensemblelaunches Chicago Jazz FestivalWeek by collaborating withLane Alexander's Chicago HumanRhythm Project and singersMaggie Brown, Jackie Allenand Terisa Griffin. 6:30 p.m. Aug.27 at the Pritzker Pavilion inMillennium Park, near RandolphDrive and Michigan Avenue; free;312-742-1168 or millenniumpark.org.
"A Night in Havana": Thesecond night of Chicago JazzFestival week features a 90thbirthday tribute to Dizzy Gillespieexploring his Afro-Cubanmusic, with Jon Faddis, JamesMoody, Gonzalo Rubalcaba,Ignacio Berroa, Giovanni Hidalgoand Peter Washington.Aug. 27 at the Harris Theater forMusic and Dance, 205 E. RandolphDrive; ticket prices to beannounced; 312-344-7777 orharrishtheaterchicago.org.
"An Evening with HerbieHancock": The great pianist--and former Chicagoan--appearsunder the auspices of theChicago Jazz Festival. 7:30 p.m.Aug. 30 at Symphony Center, 220S. Michigan Ave.; $11-$56; 312-294-3000 or cso.org.
Charlie Haden and the LiberationMusic Orchestra: BassistHaden leads the noted ensemble,though, alas, it's at theacoustically challenged PetrilloMusic Shell, as part of the ChicagoJazz Festival. 8:30 p.m.Sept. 1 in Grant Park, ColumbusDrive and Jackson Boulevard;free; 312-427-1676 or jazzinchicago.org.
Rob Mazurek's Exploding StarOrchestra: The adventurousbandleader-cornetist unveiledhis innovative large group twoyears ago at Millennium Parkand now reconvenes it for theChicago Jazz Festival. 6 p.m.Sept. 2 at the Petrillo Music Shellin Grant Park, Columbus Driveand Jackson Boulevard; free;312-427-1676 or jazzinchicago.org.
John von Rhein
Ravinia FestivalGreen Bay and Lake-Cook Roads,Highland Park; 847-266-5100 orwww.ravinia.org; prices vary.
Jake Heggie's "To Hell andBack": Starring Patti Luponewith the Philharmonia BaroqueOrchestra. June 5-6. Old instrumentsand new vocalsounds blend in this vocalorchestralwork, inspired by thePersephone myth. With sopranoIsabel Bayrakdarian andconductor Nicholas McGegan.
Bernstein's "West Side Story":Features North Carolina Schoolof the Arts members underJohn Mauceri. June 8. Raviniasalutes the 50th anniversary ofthis landmark American musicalwith a new stage version, performedby young singerscoached by veterans of theBroadway original.
Philip Glass/Leonard Cohen's"Book of Longing": Performedby the Philip Glass Ensemble.June 12-13. Composer Glass(who's celebrating his 70thbirthday) collaborates withsongwriter Cohen in this Chicagopremiere.
James Conlon presents musicby Alexander Zemlinsky: July7, 11, 14. The Viennese composeris arguably the greatestof the composers whose musicthe Nazis banned as "degenerateart." Three "Breaking theSilence" series events will spotlighthis beautiful, neglectedorchestral, vocal and chamberworks.
Frank Loesser's "The MostHappy Fella": New concertstaging. July 20. George Hearn,Sylvia McNair and Rod Gilfrystar in this revival of a greatAmerican musical. Ravinia popsmaestro Erich Kunzel conducts.
Tenor Nikolai Schukoff, recitalJuly 26 and CSO concert July28: A double-header by thepromising young Austriantenor, who makes his areadebut in a recital that includesSchumann's "Dichterliebe" anda CSO concert of Viennesefavorites. Christoph Eschenbachis the pianist and conductor.
Gala benefit evening, tenorPlacido Domingo with theChicago Symphony Orchestra,James Conlon conducting:Aug. 4. The ageless Spanishtenor in a rare concert appearance,sharing solo dutieswith soprano Ana Maria Martinez.There will be a largescreenvideo feed to reservedseatingpatrons on one sectionof the lawn.
Mezzo-soprano StephanieBlythe recital: The Americanopera and concert singer hasbeen winning raves everywhereshe's appeared. Hear why onAug. 6 when she presentssongs and arias with pianistWarren Jones.
Puccini's "Madama Butterfly":Concert version with PatriciaRacette and Frank Lopardo, CSOunder James Conlon. Aug. 11.Perhaps the greatest exponentof the role of the hapless Cio-Cio-San today, soprano Racettewill team up with tenor FrankLopardo as the caddish Lt.Pinkerton.
Mark Morris' "MozartDances": Music of the Baroque,Jane Glover conducting; Aug.24-26 (Harris Theater, MillenniumPark). Chicago premiere ofthe dancer-choreographer'sacclaimed masterpiece, in threeoff-site performances by hisMark Morris Dance Group, withorchestra and piano soloists.
Grant Park MusicFestival205 E. Randolph Drive; 312-742-7638, www.grantparkmusicfestival.com; free.
Mendelssohn's "Elijah": Kalmarconducting. June 15-16.Director Christopher Bell hasturned the Grant Park Chorusinto one of the nation's topsymphony choruses, and thisbeloved oratorio will give thechoristers plenty of opportunitiesto shine. Baritone RussellBraun sings the part of Elijah.
"Looking East," East-Westfusion program: June 20.Coinciding with Chicago's Tasteof Thailand celebration, thisunusual program will combinemusic by "Crouching Tiger"composer Tan Dun with a recentwork, "Phenomenon," bythe Thai composer NarongPrangcharoen. Kalmar conducts.
Mezzo Jennifer Larmore singsBritten and Ravel: June 29-30.Chicago's own will sing Britten's"Phaedra" and Ravel's "Sheherazade"on a program thatincludes music by the Americancomposer Aaron Jay Kernis.
Argentine pianist Ingrid Fliter:Debuts with Grant ParkOrchestra on Aug. 15. Thearresting virtuoso had everybodytalking earlier this yearwhen she was awarded theGilmore Prize, the Nobel ofclassical music. She will performChopin's Piano Concerto No. 2.
Grant Park Orchestraand Chorus, CarlosKalmar conductingBritten, Adams,Vaughan Williams:Aug. 17-18. Worldpeace is thetheme of this imaginativeprogram, whichfeatures John Adams'Walt Whitman songcycle "The Wound-Dresser"(Nathan Gunn, baritone) andRalph Vaughan Williams' sublime"Dona Nobis Pacem."
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