Inaugural Westside Music Festival Kicks Off July 21
The Chicago Park District and the Chicago Community Trust present the Chicago Westside Music Festival, an admission-free concert series at three parks in the North Lawndale, Garfield Park and Austin neighborhoods featuring a mix of national and local talent on July 21 and Aug. 11 and 18.
The culminating concert features award-winning R&B artist Musiq Soulchild and Chicago’s own Grammy Award-nominated soul singer-songwriter Syleena Johnson. Following is the schedule:
Saturday, July 21, 12-8 p.m.
Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Blvd.
Chicago’s Home Grown Talent
The first concert features several local acts including: the Chris Davis Jazztet, Sidewalk Chalk, April Fools, Jason Ferguson, Natalie Oliveri, Patrick “Preacha” Robinson, Terrence “Conscious” Bradfield, Ozivell “OZ” Ecford, Ryan “Prince Good Maroon Gods” Gardner and more.
Saturday, Aug. 11, 12-8 p.m.
500 S. Central Ave.
Gospel Celebration Concert
This day of food, family fun and festivities is presented in partnership with Alderman Deborah Graham of the 29th ward. Artists to be announced.
Saturday, Aug. 18, 12-8 p.m.
Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave.
The grand finale features headliner Musiq Soulchild, plus Alex Boyd, Chicago native Syleena Johnson and Carl Thomas, ZZaje with Carla Prather, Madd Rhythms, Move Me Soul, Comedy Showcase and more.
As an American R&B/soul singer-songwriter whose style blends contemporary R&B, neo- soul, funk, alternative, blues, jazz, gospel influences and hip hop, Musiq Soulchild is a highly accomplished, award-winning artist. His awards include two platinum and two gold albums and seven hit singles. Musiq has received 11 Grammy nominations, including three for his 2007 album Luvanmusiq.
Newly-signed RCA recording artist Alex Boyd is a triple threat. By age 13, he was dancing with Debbie Allen at the Kennedy Center, singing with Patti LaBelle and acting alongside Bruce Willis. Alex possesses a strong reverence for the soul masters, which is heard in his expressive vocals, as well as throughout the instrumentation and production of his music. Alex is currently in the studio putting the final touches on his debut album for RCA Records.
Chicago’s own Syleena Johnson is a Grammy Award-nominated R&B and soul singer-songwriter and actress. She has scored major R&B hits and collaborated with the likes of Kanye West and R. Kelly. With the release of her new CD, Chapter 5: Underrated, and an upcoming reality show, Syleena is poised to continue to take the industry by storm.
R&B crooner Carl Thomas is best known for his smash hit “I Wish” from the album So Emotional that sold nearly 2 million copies. Conquer, his first album in four years, is bursting with lush orchestrations and entrancing chords. While he wants to make timeless and genre-pushing music, his mission this time is even grander in scope.
The Chicago Westside Music Festival is presented by the Chicago Community Trust and the Chicago Park District. Support is provided by BMO Harris, ComEd, Friends of Michael Alvarez, Comcast and the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago.
For more information on the festival, call 312-961-2025 or visit chicagowestsidemusicfestival.com; Facebook (Westside Music Festival) or Twitter @CHIWestSideFest.
For more information on the Chicago Park District, call 312-742-PLAY.