Jupiter & Okwess play Pritzker Pavilion on Thursday, August 15. Credit: Micky Clement

Today the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announced the 2019 schedule for the annual Millennium Park Summer Music Series at Pritzker Pavilion, which begins Thursday, June 13, and ends Thursday, August 15. All the concerts are on Mondays or Thursdays (though not every Monday and Thursday), they all start at 6:30 in the evening, and as always they’re all free. Last year, DCASE significantly reduced the number of Summer Music Series events, presenting only ten double bills—down from 15 in 2017 and 20 in 2016. This year, the number creeps up a bit to 11, with Philadelphia indie rockers Mt. Joy kicking things off in June—though the tribute to Donny Hathaway in August doesn’t yet list any performers.

As onetime Reader critic Peter Margasak has pointed out, the Summer Music Series originally showcased mostly indie rock and pop, but branched out after DCASE eliminated several specialized series dedicated to jazz, contemporary classical, and international music. The Summer Music Series can’t hope to fill those voids, given that it consists of fewer than a dozen concerts, but within those limitations it does a great job. Highlights this year include Afro-Cuban jazz legend Chucho Valdes, alt-country hero Lydia Loveless, and Congolese funk-pop outfit Jupiter & Okwess. And indie rock is still part of the offerings—critical darlings Car Seat Headrest headline July 1.

Below is the full Summer Music Series schedule, along with links to previous Reader coverage.

Thursday 6/13
Mt. Joy
Rayland Baxter

Monday 6/17
Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles
Liniker e os Caramelows

Monday 6/24
Chucho Valdes & Jazz Batá
Fareed Haque and friends play the music of Frantz Casséus

Thursday 6/27
Flora Cash

Monday 7/1
Car Seat Headrest
Naked Giants

Monday 7/8
Brent Cobb
Lydia Loveless

Thursday 7/18
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson‘s J Dilla Orchestra
Kenny Keys

Thursday 7/25
Los Amigos Invisibles
Natalie Prass

Monday 7/29
Rev. Sekou
Cha Wa

Monday 8/5
“Love Love Love”: Chicago Celebrates the Music of Donny Hathaway

Thursday 8/15
Jupiter & Okwess
Noura Mint Seymali  v