Local Make Music Chicago performances planned for Thursday

(Left to right) Kolleen Blum and Mitzi Lebensorger perform ‘Old Fashioned Country” music last Thursday during the First Thursday Music Series in Harper Court, 5235 S. Harper Ct. – Owen M. Lawson III

Staff Writer

On Thursday, the longest day of the year, music will resound from locations across the Windy City. It’s Make Music Chicago, held annually on the summer solstice since 2011, and six sites in Hyde Park–Kenwood will host free and accessible performances throughout the day.

At the Blackstone Library Auditorium in Kenwood, 4904 S. Lake Park Ave., an afternoon of classical, blues, jazz, pop and gospel music will run from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. At the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Sky Lobby, located on the seventh floor of 5841 S. Maryland Ave., multi-instrumentalist Ronnie Malley will give a two-hour concert featuring the oud, a lute-like instrument common to the Mediterranean and Middle East, at noon.

Le Cantanti di Chicago, a Hyde Park women’s choir, will give an hour concert at the Augustana Lutheran Church at 6:30 p.m., immediately followed by two hours of Sacred Harp singing, a synergistic, forthrightly American style of a capella music, with singers arranged in a square, men and women singing treble, alto, tenor and bass parts an octave apart.

“Different groups come here and use different spaces, but definitely in our nave, that’s our main worship space. It has wonderful acoustics,” said Rev. Nancy Goede, who sings Sacred Harp herself.

In 2011, Hyde Parker Marta Nicholas organized Make Music Chicago events at International House at the University of Chicago, 1414 E. 59th St., in just a few weeks, soon after hearing about the event. This year, the music starts at 11 a.m., with classical, Indian, experimental, punk, jazz, East Asian, Latin and cabaret performances scheduled until 4 p.m.

“The longest day of the year, so it should be filled with everybody making all kinds of music everywhere and sharing their love of music. Everyone—no matter background or age,” said Nicholas, who hosts a world music show on local radio station WHPK. “They should just be sharing it all day long. If they can’t get out that day, at least lean your head out the window and whistle, even if it’s out-of-key.”

A full day of Chicago house music, an synthy electronic genre that grew in the best possible way out of Disco, is planned for the Midway Plaisance, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“We have a roster of DJs who have a global following who will be joining us this year,” said Organizer Taigo Onez. “With our event, we have assembled some of the best of the best in Chicago’s underground electronic scene, ranging from not only DJs but live electronic modular artists as well.”

Performances at the Jackson Park field house, 6401 S. Stony Island Ave., beginning at 11 a.m., include the Northwestern University Music Academy and Hyde Park Suzuki Institute World, the Lyric Opera chorus, Apostolic Youth Musicians and the Music in Urban Schools Chorus.

“We’re excited about bringing musicians from all over the city into Jackson Park, to our very diverse community, and we’re excited about having our fieldhouse become an arts Mecca for the South Side,” said Jackson Park Advisory Council President Louise McCurry.

Thursday will also be the first day that Jackson Park will host an open-use piano outside of the field house, taken inside only at night and during rain. It will be donated to the park after Aug. 1, and McCurry said the Chicago Parks District is hiring a piano teacher to be based at the park.

Thaddeus Tukes, a Hyde Park-based classically trained pianist who currently focuses on Jazz, will give a 30-minute concert at 4:30 p.m. followed by 10-minute piano lessons, teaching music from “The Lion King” score— a practice he will continue once a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays until the end of July.

“I think I’m most interested in the program because it makes music more accessible,” said Tukes. “It encourages young people and old people to participate more in music creation as well as just reminding that, with the amount of resources we have access to today in society, you can teach yourself anything. I’m just a guide to helping you find your own musical voice.”

A full listing of events is available at www.makemusicchicago.org/schedule/.