Services highlights Live Entertainment

The Performing Artist

Music Around the World "Stand By Me" Video
Mainstream pop, indie rock, hip hop, punk, blues or jazz – no matter  your musical taste, you'll find it live in Chicago any night of the  week. With more than 225 incredible venues ranging from intimate  neighborhood clubs to historic music halls, Chicago is a prime tour stop  and home to incredible local talents. Whether you are looking to catch  emerging artists, are following a favorite band or want to try some  gospel music with your brunch, the diverse scene is a music lover's  paradise.

What's Happening Live

Chicago's Summer: Festivals and Events Calendar

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is  dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural  vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s  non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts  businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural  and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the  City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting  high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and  visitors.  

Cultural Festivals and Special Events

Bud Billiken Day Parade

 The Bud Billiken Club was a social club for black young people in Chicago, established in 1923, by the Chicago Defender founder Robert Sengstacke Abbott and its editor, Lucius Harper. The Bud Billiken Club was formed as part of the Defender Junior,  the children's page in the newspaper, to encourage reading, appropriate  social conduct, and involvement in the community, among the young  people of Chicago.

 The Bud Billiken Day Parade takes place in historic Bronzeville annually on the second  Saturday in August and proceeds south on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive  from Oakwood Boulevard to 51st Street and continues on Ellsworth Drive  through Washington Park to 55th Street where it disbands and is followed  by the ‘After Parade’ activities.   

International Festival Of Life

 IFOL is a catalyst for companies/businesses seeking to brand their names, products or services,  and for creating change to all who seek wholesome life experiences, and  want to realize a deeper sense of mission based on equal opportunity  with all of humanity.

The 26th Annual International Festival of Life Friday – Sunday, July  6-8, 2018, Union Park, located at 1501 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL.  60607.

African Festival of the Arts

Live Cultural Performance Events

Chicago Blues Festival

Cultural Affairs and Special Events 

June 8-10, 2018 • Millennium Park • FREE Admission • 11am-9:30pm 

 The Chicago Blues Festival is the largest free blues festival in the  world and remains the largest of Chicago's Music Festivals. During three  days on four stages, blues fans enjoy free live music in the "Blues  Capital of the World." Past performers include Bonnie Raitt, the late  Ray Charles, the late B.B. King, the late Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, the  late Koko Taylor, Shemekia Copeland, Gary Clark Jr, Rhiannon Giddens,  Lil Ed and the Imperials and Bobby Rush. 

Taste of Chicago

 Cultural Affairs and Special Events

July 11-15, 2018 • Grant Park • 

FREE Admission

Wednesday-Friday: 11am-9pm, 

Saturday & Sunday: 10am-9pm

 Taste of Chicago is the nation's premier outdoor food  festival showcasing the diversity of Chicago's dining community. The  delicious array of food served at Taste of Chicago is complemented by  music and exciting activities for the entire family. Every summer since  1980, Chicago's beautiful Grant Park on the city's magnificent lakefront  has been home to the world's largest food festival. 

Chicago Jazz Festival

Cultural Affairs and Special Events

August 30-September 2, 2018 • Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park
FREE Admission

 Known for its artistic creativity, the Chicago Jazz Festival is a  favorite Labor Day Weekend tradition. It promotes awareness and  appreciation for all forms of jazz through free, quality live musical  performance. Since 1979, the festival's mission is to showcase Chicago's  vast jazz talent alongside national and international artists to  encourage and educate a jazz audience of all ages. 

29th Annual African Festival of the Arts

Africa International House 


August 31 - September 3, 2018  

Friday 1pm - 10pm 

Saturday-Monday 10am - 10pm 

Chicago’s Washington  Park 

 Annually during Labor Day Weekend, the Festival grounds in Chicago’s  Washington Park come alive in a simulated African village. Attendees are  transported across the Diaspora with interactive engagements, vibrant  drumming, museum quality and collectible artifacts, colorful and rich  handwoven fabric and textile, and other program spaces and Interactive  spaces include: Drum & Afro-folk Village, Children and Family,  African Heritage, African Spirituality, Wellness (Health) Village, Books  and Authors, Fine Art, Film and Video, Food Court, Seniors and  Quilting, and the African Marketplace.  

30th Annual GhanaFest™ 2018 "The Legacy Continues"


Saturday, July 28, 2018 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM 

Washington Park 5600 S. Russell Drive Chicago, IL  


WNUA Smooth Jazz Thursdays

Additional Information 

Clark St. @ North Ave.
                    WNUA/Chicago Historical Society

Live Performance Cultural Events


Sunday, June 24, 2018 11AM - 10PM Washington Park, Chicago, IL       

 Eventbrite - Jabari CG productions in assoc with J4 Life 

The South Side is gearing up to welcome thousands of patrons to experience the sights, sounds and spicy aromas of the first-ever Chicago Jerk Festival, starring Caribbean music sensations Cocoa Tea, Kiprich, Jah Vinci, D’Angel, Stacious, Papa Michigan, Indika Band and more.

The daylong extravaganza will feature the exotic Caribbean and American food — most grilled to perfection — live music, authentic Caribbean influenced arts and crafts souvenirs and a Kids’ Zone play area offering lots of activities for kids of all ages. Other highlights that cannot be missed will include “The Corn Man,” nationally-famous for his popular roasted corn; and “The Coconut Man,” known for his exotic coconut food and beverage variations.

Haile Selassie I Day Celebration

The Rastafari Council of Chicago 

Saturday July 21, 2018 1PM - 9PM

James Park 2100 Oakton St Evanston, IL.       

 Join us this year in wonderful ilahbration of Qedemawi Haile Selassie’s 126th Earth-Strong!

Its free of $charge$ to join us. Only charge is Respect and love!
We are gathering to ilahbrate our King & God Father Qedemawi Haile Selassie I, Jah! Rastafari! 

African/Caribbean International Festival of Life

 Martin's International  

Friday July 6, 2018-Sunday 8, 201

12PM - 10PM Union Park,  

1501 W. Randolph St.,  Chicago, IL  

This year’s celebration is dedicated to “TheReggae50”, fifty years of reggae since established in 1968. Also, to mark the bicentennial Anniversary of the death of Chicago’s Founding Father, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, a native of Haiti. Martin’s International is dedicating Saturday July 7th, the second day of the festival to memorialize the life and August 29, 1818, death of the Haitian born, father of Chicago, two hundred years ago.

IFOL showcases a very diverse culture and music from many nations; primarily from the Caribbean, Africa, Latin America and the United States.  People now call it the “Carnival of Nations”, as it aims at bringing communities together through music and culture.

Evanston World Arts and Music Festival


Saturday, July 21, 2018 

Sunday, 22, 2018
12PM - 7PM Dawes Park   

1700 Sheridan Rd, Evanston, IL 60201   

  Evanston’s lakefront will be transformed into a Global Village for the World Arts & Music Festival, a two-day celebration of global diversity. This free event features art from an abundance of countries, family crafts activities, international cuisine, and live music and dance performances. Attendees will enjoy continuous performances throughout the weekend at two venues at the Arrington Lakefront Lagoon in Dawes Park and Centennial Park.  

Drum Village - Chicago 2013

 Annually during Labor Day Weekend, the Festival grounds in Chicago’s Parks come alive in a simulated African village. Attendees are  transported across the Diaspora with interactive engagements, vibrant  drumming, museum quality and collectible artifacts, colorful and rich  handwoven fabric and textile, and other program spaces and Interactive  spaces include: Drum & Afro-folk Village, Children and Family,  African Heritage, African Spirituality, and the African Marketplace.  

Chicago Live Jazz Scene

Green Mill Jazz Club

 4802 N. Broadway St. Chicago, IL 60640  

(773) 878-5552   

Carrying on the traditions set forth by the legends that used to take  the stage, this former speakeasy in Uptown dates back to 1907 and is the  longest continuously-running jazz club in the country. Slip into one of  the glamorous curved booths at this cultural gem for a stellar lineup  of live jazz every night, from sultry singers to big band to bebop. 

Jazz Showcase

806 S. Plymouth Ct. Chicago, IL 60605 

(312) 360 0234

 The oldest historic jazz club in Chicago has been hosting top local and  visiting musicians since its inception in 1947. Loyal fans have followed  the club, even through its different venue relocations, making its  polished South Loop space a destination for those who appreciate a  sophisticated evening out. 

Andy's Jazz Club

 11 E. Hubbard St. Chicago, IL 60611


With a prime location just 2 blocks from the Magnificent Mile and the  downtown Loop, this jazz mainstay can draw a good crowd. Make a table  reservation for dinner or come early to secure seats, though the  intimate space has good views from all around the stage. 

Velvet Lounge

  67 E. Cermak Rd. Chicago, IL


The Velvet Lounge is the only place in the world where you can hear the  Chicago sound five days a week. The Sunday night jam sessions have been  an effective way to promote younger members of the jazz community. Fred  Anderson opened the Velvet Lounge in 1982 after his club The Birdhouse,  on the near north side, closed due to city zoning ordinances. 

Winter's Jazz Club


465 N. McClurg Court Chicago, IL 60611  

(312) 344-1270 

 Relaxed, intimate venue featuring live jazz acts 6 nights a week & a lounge area with a full bar. 

Untitled Supper Club

 111 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 60654  

 (312) 880-1511 

Jazz Club Restaurant/lounge featuring creative American food & craft cocktails in space with a speakeasy vibe.

Live Music Venues

The Wild Hare & Singing Armadillo Frog Sanctuary

 2610 N Halsted Ave Chicago, IL60614

773) 770-3511

  Live Reggae in all its forms from all over the world is our passion and  our terrific crowds of long-time friends and new enthusiasts reflect the  wonderful diversity that reggae music brings out.  We feature local,  regional and international artists performing nightly Tuesday through  Sunday at 9pm.  Come early for our killer food (dinner begins nightly at  6pm with late night snacks until close), ice cold drinks and the  friendliest, all-welcome Irie Vibes anywhere. 

Mayne Stage

 1328 W Morse Ave Chicago, IL 60626
(773) 381-4551 

 As a theater and movie house a century ago, Mayne Stage  was a respite and relief from the harsh vicissitudes of post-Victorian  Chicago. Today, this lovingly restored Art Deco event space is a place  of celebration, commemoration and observation as one of Chicago's most  original and stylish event rental venues. 

California Clipper

 1002 N California Ave Chicago, IL 60622

 Live Music: Nightly
The Clipper has always been known for diverse acts, and while the lineup  has skewed slightly more jazz/alt-country as of late, there’s no finer  spot to belly up with a cocktail and take in some music. DJ acts like  Wilco’s John Stirratt are also a welcome new addition. 

Schubas Tavern

3159 N. Southport Ave. 60657 Chicago, IL  773-525-2508 

 Live music: Nightly
Schubas is one of the coolest bars in the 'hood. But behind the  nondescript wooden doors in the back, the cozy little Schlitz bar opens  up to reveal one of the finest rooms in the city for indie rock. Its  January Tomorrow Never Knows Fest with sister venue Lincoln Hall is also  not to be missed. 


 3730 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60613 


 The Metro:  With a reputation for bringing in acts on the verge of breaking it big,  this Chicago institution is a platform for many genres. From mainstream  rock and metal, to indie pop and electronica, dig into the new music  scene at the 30-year-old independent venue. 

The Hideout

1354 W Wabansia Ave,  Chicago, IL  60642


 Live music: Regularly (several times a week)
Surrounded by industrial buildings and a Home Depot, the Hideout is  simply that: a tucked-away dive haven for drinking on picnic tables and  getting cozy for tunes in the wood-paneled back room (that can even draw  surprisingly big names on occasion). It's recently expanded to a second  location Downtown along the riverfront, which looks to replicate the  local, low-key vibe of the Noble Square space. 

Chicago Home of the Blues

Buddy Guy's Legends

700 S. Wabash Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

(312) 427-1190

 Owned by the iconic guitarist himself, this nightclub keeps the blues  tradition alive on Chicago's South Side. Local, national and  international acts play nightly, with Buddy playing sold out shows each  January.  

Kingston Mines

2548 N. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60614

(773) 544-5442 

For nearly 50 years, the two stages of this late night blues hangout has  been keeping the music alive on the city’s North Side. Here at the  largest and oldest continuously-operating blues club in Chicago, get  your fill of Southern-style fare from Doc’s Rib Joint while two  alternating bands play continuously from their “front porch.” 

Blue Chicago

536 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60654

(312) 661-0100

 Blue Chicago is world-renowned offering the best of Chicago's blues  musicians and vocalists performing in an intimate and friendly  atmosphere.  Conveniently located in the River North Entertainment  district near the major hotels.  Open 7 nights a week from 8 p.m. music  beginning at 9 p.m. 

House of Blues

329 N. Dearborn St. Chicago, IL 60654

(312) 923-2000 

An entertainment emporium in downtown River North, the Chicago version  of this chain has the glorious colors and rich adornments of the  Mississippi Delta as a backdrop to the national touring acts (not only  blues) and Gospel brunch served up in the various levels. 

Rosa's Lounge

3420 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 

 (773) 342-0452 

Live Music Venue

Longtime family-owned neighborhood club where both traditional & modern performers sing the blues.


2519 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657 

 (773) 528-1012 

Live Music Venue

Live electric blues play every night at this cozy space where visitors can see musicians up close.

Chicago's Live Entertainment Theatres

Park West

322 W. Armitage Chicago, IL 60614

(312) 440-9191

National headliners like Aimee Mann, Raphael Saadiq and Pete Yorn are on  the roster at this former movie house, which boasts an intimate lounge  setting with five tiers of seating. 

The Vic Theatre

 3145 N. Sheffield Ave Chicago, IL

 This five-story vaudeville house was built as the Victoria Theatre in  1912. Catch favorite artists in rock, pop and indie music here, while on  off nights see the space double as a movie theater known as the Brew  & View. 

Riviera Theatre

4746 N. Racine Ave. Chicago, IL 60640

(773) 275-6800

 In Chicago's historic Uptown theater district, the past and the present  collide. The timeworn venue hosts big names of today, with its glitzy  red marquee sporting such rock and pop headliners as The Fray, Wilco,  Adele, Crystal Castles and Andrew W.K. 

Aragon Ballroom

1106 W. Lawrence Ave. Chicago, IL 60640

(773) 328-5705

Walking through this massive space is like stepping back into a Spanish  palace courtyard, complete with crystal chandeliers, terra cotta  ceilings, ornate balconies and beautiful archways. Larger than its  neighboring Uptown theaters, it maxes out at 4,500 for big name concert  tours such as Jane's Addiction, The Black Keys and Gotye, and  Spanish-language performance 

Chicago Theatre

  175 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601 

A gloriously-restored auditorium with seating for 3,600, this downtown  icon lines up superstar entertainers for shows that appeal to all ages  such as David Byrne, The Monkees, Fleet Foxes and Nicki Minaj.  

Avalon Regal Theater

 1641 E. 79th Street; Chicago, Illinois 

 The Avalon Theatre opened on August 29th, 1927 with Douglas MacLean in  “Soft Cushions” on the screen and on stage a musical presentation  “Dreams of Araby” performed by Bobby Fisher.  With over 2,500-seats, the  theatre is famous for its elaborate and exotic interior, which was  designed in Middle Eastern style by John Eberson (who also designed the  long-lost Paradise Theatre, in Chicago’s Garfield Park neighborhood) for  the Cooney Brothers circuit.  

African Cultural Music Made in America

Mujaahid African Drum Ensamble

 Mujaahid African Drum Ensemble in America is a group of some of the premier Master Drummers in Chicago. This  ensemble is composed of very dynamic, energetic and exciting griots  (African tribal storytellers) that seek to convey the spirit and  tradition of our African Heritage through our Drums of Passion. The  Mujaahid is a warrior in the cause of Freedom. We are making the Drum  Call for African Unity to free our communities from the attack of  violence, crime, poverty and ignorance. We M.A.D.E. In America! 


The City Of Chicago has a vast resource of professional "Bands" Singers and players of Instruments that exhibit their unique talents at parties, weddings, festivals, colleges, schools and in nightclub establishments specializing solely in the presentation of culturally significant performances. Many of the Chicago based Musicians are willing to travel to different cities to perform so if you are interested in contacting any of the Talents listed we will be happy to assist you in the process.   

 Live Music Venues    The Best Bars With Live Music in 17 Chicago Neighborhoods 

Cultural Affairs