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Fun and Free Things to do in Chicago at Navy Pier

Looking for fun and free things to do in Chicago? There’s always something going on at Navy Pier! From cultural programming and seasonal celebrations to special events, festivals, fireworks and more, discover fun and free Chicago events at Navy Pier all year long.

See also: free events & public programs

Navy Pier, Chicago’s mission-driven cultural district, proudly offers free events and public programming year-round. See a full listing of Navy Pier’s ongoing free events and public programs

Upcoming Events

Chakaia Booker: Four Sculptures

Free Public Program

Friday, April 20, 2018 - Tuesday, April 30, 2019

View four sculptural works by artist Chakaia Booker, on display in locations throughout Navy Pier starting April 20, 2018.

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Since 1994 Chakaia Booker has made abstract sculptures from discarded rubber tires salvaged from city streets, auto body shops, and dump sites. Cutting, shredding, bending, and transforming them into wild organic shapes, she creates objects that evoke the human body and spirit, without being literal representations.  Today, she works almost exclusively with recycled tires—slicing, twisting, stripping, weaving, and riveting rubber and radials to create and exaggerate the textures, prickled edges, and torqued forms of her radical refashioning. Whether she is creating small-scale wall reliefs resembling ballistic blowouts, suggestively hairy and ovoid pedestal sculptures, or colossal landscape-like tableaux, Booker transforms tires—iconic symbols of urban waste and blight—into extraordinary compositions of renewal.

Booker received a B.A. in sociology from Rutgers University in 1976, and an M.F.A. from the City College of New York in 1993. She gained international acclaim at the 2000 Whitney Biennial with It’s So Hard to Be Green (2000), her 12.5 x 21 foot wall-hung tire sculpture. Booker received the Pollock-Krasner Grant in 2002 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2005. She has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally.

Six sculptures by Booker have been on view in Millennium Park since 2016; four of those works will come to Navy Pier this April (two sited on Illinois Street just outside the entrance of Navy Pier; one on the south dock at the entrance; and one in Pier Park).

Pass the Buck

2008; Rubber tires and stainless steel, 102 x 96 x 84 inches

Booker’s inspiration for this sculpture was Madam C. J. Walker–best known for developing a successful line of hair-care and beauty products for black women–and considered by many to be the first African American businesswoman and philanthropist. For the artist, this sculpture evokes the pursuit of success and giving back to society.

Take Out

2008

Take Out is a whimsical piece embellished with large, looping, swirling tendrils of tire. Evoking photographs and reflections through its frame- or mirror-like rectangular shape, Take Out invites viewers to explore and engage in the Chicago cityscape and alternately, views of the Centennial Wheel in Pier Park.

Shape Shifter

2012; Rubber tires and stainless steel, 192 x 102 x 78 inches

 

Gridlock

2008; Rubber tire and stainless steel, 2 pieces, 100 x 48 x 20 inches

Gridlock represents a symbol of human journey and life—shows an interplay of concave and convex spaces. The title references travel patterns in cities.

“My work challenges the notion that tires are uniformly black. I want to encourage people to examine assumptions about color, patterns, textures, and functions…. Also, our assumptions about most subject matter, including people, their diversity, and the diversity of ideas and perceptions.” – Chakaia Booker

Iván Navarro: This Land is Your Land

Free Public Program

Friday, July 27, 2018 - Tuesday, April 30, 2019

An image that has been a part of the upper realms of Chicago’s landscape comes “down to earth” to Polk Bros Park, July 2018-April 2019.

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An image that has been a part of the upper realms of Chicago’s landscape comes “down to earth” to Polk Bros Park. Three hauntingly beautiful water towers are transformed as sculptural objects with neon interiors. Viewers are invited to stand beneath them and gaze above to experience. 

About This Land is Your Land

Originally debuted at New York’s Madison Square Park in 2014, the three sculptures – BED, Ladder and ME/WE – are composed of neon-lit interiors with infinite reflections of each structure’s respective design. One tower consists of a limitless repetition of the word, “BED;” another features the boundless image of a ladder; and the third displays the words, “ME” and “WE” in redundancy. An internal arrangement of mirrors enables each word or image to repeat perpetually through a seemingly endless vertical space. Measuring at approximately seven feet in diameter and erected on roughly eight-foot-tall supports, each tower allows guests the ability to stand underneath the sculpture and gaze above for a truly unique viewing experience.

Ladder (Water Tower)

2014, Neon, wood, painted steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, mirror, one-way mirror, and electric energy, 189 x 105 1/8 x 105 1/8 inches, 480.1 x 267 x 267 cm, Edition of 3 + 1 AP

Photo by Elizabeth Bernstein Images courtesy of Iván Navarro and Paul Kasmin Gallery

ME/WE (Water Tower)

2014, neon, wood, painted steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, mirror and one-way mirror, and electric energy, 189 x 105 1/8 x 105 1/8 inches, 480.1 x 267 x 267 cm, Edition of 3 + 1 AP, (PK 18175)

Photo by Elizabeth Bernstein Images courtesy of Iván Navarro and Paul Kasmin Gallery

BED (Water Tower)

2014, Neon, wood, painted steel, galvanized steel, aluminum, mirror, one-way mirror, and electric energy, 189 x 105 1/8 x 105 1/8 inches, 480.1 x 267 x 267 cm, Edition of 3 + 1 AP

Photo by Elizabeth Bernstein Images courtesy of Iván Navarro and Paul Kasmin Gallery

About IVÁN NAVARRO

Born in Santiago, Chile 1972
Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York

Iván Navarro was born in 1972 in Santiago, Chile, where he grew up under the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. He is known internationally for his socio-politically charged sculptures of neon, fluorescent and incandescent light. Navarro’s unique and captivating use of light transforms the exhibition space by means of visual interplay. Navarro represented Chile at the 53rd Venice Biennale.

Learn more at paulkasmingallery.com

Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Sail away on a high-flying journey with Peter, Wendy, John, and Michael to the enchanted world of Neverland—but beware of Captain Hook and the ticking crocodiles!

Read More

Chicago Shakespeare Theater‘s Courtyard Theater
music by George Stiles
lyrics by Anthony Drewe
in a new version by Elliot Davis based on
the book by Willis Hall
directed & choreographed by Amber Mak

Sail away on a high-flying journey with Peter, Wendy, John, and Michael to the enchanted world of Neverland—but beware of Captain Hook and the ticking crocodiles! Based on J.M. Barrie’s beloved tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up and his band of Lost Boys, this heartwarming musical dazzles with a captivating score by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe—the award-winning songwriting duo behind Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s smash hit Mary Poppins. This 75-minute story is the perfect introduction to live theater for young audiences, and will send hearts soaring all summer long. After the show, mingle with the cast in the lobby for photos and questions.

Live on the Lake! Pier Dance: Ginger Road

Free Public Program

Thursday, August 16, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Miller Lite Beer Garden

Playing a free, all ages show with country 2 step lessons.

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Join us in the Miller Lite Beer Garden for a free, all-ages show with country cover band, Ginger Road, and a special country 2 step lesson presented by MayIHaveThisDance.com, part of Navy Pier’s free music and dance series, Live on the Lake

Performance Schedule

Ginger Road
Country Cover Band
6:30pm – 7:15pm & 7:45pm – 8:30pm

Country 2 Step lesson presented by MayIHaveThisDance.com
Instructor
6pm – 6:30pm and 7:15pm-7:45pm

About the Performers

Ginger Road

Ginger Road is one of Chicago’s premier modern Country bands regularly appearing at top Country music venues throughout Chicagoland, Nashville, TN and beyond. Blending a hard rocking, exuberant style with faithful interpretations of the latest Country hits by artists such as Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, and Jason Aldeen and crowd-pleasing classics, Ginger Road is here to Rock This Country!

Learn more at www.thegingerroad.com

Country 2 Step Lesson presented by MayIHaveThisDance.com

Check back soon for more information

About this Series: Live on the Lake!

This free, all ages concert is presented as part of Live on the Lake!, Navy Pier’s free summer music series in the Miller Lite Beer Garden

Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure
Friday, August 17, 2018
Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Sail away on a high-flying journey with Peter, Wendy, John, and Michael to the enchanted world of Neverland—but beware of Captain Hook and the ticking crocodiles!

Read More

Chicago Shakespeare Theater‘s Courtyard Theater
music by George Stiles
lyrics by Anthony Drewe
in a new version by Elliot Davis based on
the book by Willis Hall
directed & choreographed by Amber Mak

Sail away on a high-flying journey with Peter, Wendy, John, and Michael to the enchanted world of Neverland—but beware of Captain Hook and the ticking crocodiles! Based on J.M. Barrie’s beloved tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up and his band of Lost Boys, this heartwarming musical dazzles with a captivating score by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe—the award-winning songwriting duo behind Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s smash hit Mary Poppins. This 75-minute story is the perfect introduction to live theater for young audiences, and will send hearts soaring all summer long. After the show, mingle with the cast in the lobby for photos and questions.

Wiggleworms

Free Public Program

Friday, August 17, 2018 | 10:00 am - 11:45 am
Wave Wall Performance Platform

Old Town School of Folk Music’s celebrated early childhood music program.

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Join us at Navy Pier for Wiggleworms, Old Town School of Folk Music’s celebrated early childhood music program. This free program for babies, toddlers and preschoolers features two back-to-back 45-minute performances, separated by a 15-minute break. Come sing, clap and play along!

Session 1: 10am-10:45am
Session 2: 11am-11:45am

View the full schedule of upcoming Wiggleworms performances at Navy Pier at navypier.org/wiggleworms.

Live on the Lake!: 97nine

Free Public Program

Friday, August 17, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 11:30 pm
Miller Lite Beer Garden

Playing a free, all ages show with special guests The Leadfoot Band.

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Join us in the Miller Lite Beer Garden for a free, all-ages show with cover band, 97nine, and special guests, The Leadfoot Band, part of Navy Pier’s free music and dance seriesLive on the Lake

Performance Schedule

97Nine
Cover Band – Classic Rock
9pm – 10pm & 10:30pm – 11:30pm

The Leadfoot Band
Bluegrass
5:30pm – 6:30pm & 7pm – 8pm

About the Performers

97Nine

97Nine (ninety-seven nine) is the premier classic rock cover band in the Midwest. This supergroup came to fruition when guitarist extraordinaire Dave Uhrich was joined by Mark O’Dette, Michael Bragg and Jeff Barker, and the foursome began rocking audiences with the most memorable anthems from the 80’s 90’s and today. Having all grown up listening to Chicago’s Loop 97.9FM rock radio, these guys take the stage each night and truly re-create that once visceral experience we all had with the music of an unmistakable era. Boasting countless years of experience honing their craft, these four brothers-in-arms command any stage with their unmatched energy and skill.

97Nine play classic arena rock like no other band can play, with that infectious energy and passion you grew up loving so much. We dare you not to pump your fist.

Learn more at 97nine.com

The Leadfoot Band

The Leadfoot Band branches out in all directions, ncorporating their love of bluegrass with their early urban influences of rock , funk and everything in between, the evolution of the band is hard to place. Fans have said Leadfoot is just hard driving bluegrass, some say they are rock infused jamgrass, or even a bastard child of Bill Monroe meets Metallica. The online music site JamGrass.net even says The Leadfoot Band is “A mix between Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros and Greensky Bluegrass.”

Comprised of mandolinist Steve Haberichter, guitarist Mike Vanier, Garrett ‘Geebs’ Degnan on bass, drummer/ percussionist Mike Holtz, Andy Ohlrich on fiddle, and the new addition of Pete Smith on banjo in 2017, these seasoned musicians create a robust musical delicacy that tantalizes the senses and gets the feet moving. It is a smokin’ blend of styles suitable for any palette: funky, to pocket groove, to two-steppin’, to straight bluegrass/ newgrass, easy listening to acoustic rock fusion. Summed up perfectly by musician Jaik Willis: The Leadfoot Band is “Chicago’s freshest post-bluegrass served up spicy- just how you like it- with tasty grooves and lightning-fast delivery.”

The Leadfoot Band released their self-titled album “The Leadfoot Band” in 2014 getting national acclaim and voted a Top Album of the Year by Jamgrass.net. Along with guest musician Pat Sansone of Wilco on keys, the album features all original songs highlighting the diverse songwriting of the band. They are in the works on a new album in 2018. 

They continue to win new fans over at every show and festival with their dynamic and impressive performances. They have shared the stage with likes of Sam Bush, Railroad Earth, Hot Tuna, Bill Nershi, Jeff Austin, Split Lip Rayfield, Sarah Watkins, Darol Anger, The Iguanas, The Radiators, Vince Herman and Drew Emmitt from Leftover Salmon and many more.

“Musical styles come and go, but occasionally the good ones come back sounding fresh and new. Bluegrass is just one of those genres that are sprouting through the cracks of our concrete jungle and it feels great! In this proud new high energy progressive blend, there is an excitability that is extremely refreshing. Leading the pack in (Chicago) is Leadfoot.” (Lumino Magazine)-

Learn more at theleadfootband.com

About this Series: Live on the Lake!

This free, all ages concert is presented as part of Live on the Lake!, Navy Pier’s free summer music series in the Miller Lite Beer Garden

Water Colors: Marquis Hill

Free Public Program

Friday, August 17, 2018 | 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park

Performing a free, all-ages concert, part of Water Colors, a free live jazz music series presented in partnership with the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

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Join us at the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park for a free concert featuring Marquis Hill, part of Water Colors presented by CIBC, a live jazz music series co-curated with the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

About Marquis Hill

Marquis Hill’s Blacktet

Marquis Hill, Trumpet; Josh Johnson, Alto Saxophone; Michael King, Fender Rhodes/Piano; Junius Paul, Bass; Makaya McCraven, Drums

Award-winning trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Marquis Hill is a highly skilled jazz musician with a bent toward soulful post-bop. A native of Chicago, Hill earned his B.A. in music education and jazz studies from Northern Illinois University in 2009. Three years later, he received his Master’s degree in jazz pedagogy from DePaul University. A highly lauded performer, Hill won first place in both the 2012 International Trumpet Guild’s Jazz Improvisation Competition and the 2013 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition. As a professional musician, he has performed with a wide array of artists including Benny Golson, Rodney Whitaker, Steve Turre, and others.

About Water Colors presented by CIBC

Water Colors presented by CIBC highlights some of the top local jazz talent today, featuring young aspiring jazz artists to established performers, the series showcases a variety of jazz musical styles.

Artist travel made possible through the generous support of American Airlines.

Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Sail away on a high-flying journey with Peter, Wendy, John, and Michael to the enchanted world of Neverland—but beware of Captain Hook and the ticking crocodiles!

Read More

Chicago Shakespeare Theater‘s Courtyard Theater
music by George Stiles
lyrics by Anthony Drewe
in a new version by Elliot Davis based on
the book by Willis Hall
directed & choreographed by Amber Mak

Sail away on a high-flying journey with Peter, Wendy, John, and Michael to the enchanted world of Neverland—but beware of Captain Hook and the ticking crocodiles! Based on J.M. Barrie’s beloved tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up and his band of Lost Boys, this heartwarming musical dazzles with a captivating score by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe—the award-winning songwriting duo behind Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s smash hit Mary Poppins. This 75-minute story is the perfect introduction to live theater for young audiences, and will send hearts soaring all summer long. After the show, mingle with the cast in the lobby for photos and questions.

Live on the Lake!: Danielle Juhre

Free Public Program

Saturday, August 18, 2018 | 2:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Miller Lite Beer Garden

Playing a free, all ages show with special guests Creedence Revived and Wall of Denial.

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Join us in the Miller Lite Beer Garden for a free, all-ages show with dance and soul, Danielle Juhre, and special guests, Creedence Revived and Wall of Denial, part of Navy Pier’s free music and dance seriesLive on the Lake! 

Performance Schedule

Danielle Juhre
Soul, Pop
9pm – 10:10pm & 10:25pm – 11:30pm

Creedence Revived
Classic Rock
5:30pm – 6:30pm & 7pm – 8pm

Wall of Denial
Tribute Band
2pm – 3pm & 3:30pm – 4:30pm

About the Performers

Danielle Juhre

Powerhouse soul vocalist, Danielle Juhre, who records simply as Danielle, is an award winning soul and pop artist from Chicago, IL affiliated with Berklee College of Music, The GRAMMY Recording Academy, and SiriusXM Radio.

Learn more at www.daniellejuhre.com

Creedence Revived

Creedence Revived has rapidly become one of the most highly sought after tribute bands in the world. Playing all over the globe for crowds upwards of 30,000, and with a track-record of selling out shows everywhere they go, this group is the real deal.

Learn more at www.creedencerevived.com

Wall of Denial

In 2011 Wall of Denial was formed after performing Stevie Ray Vaughan’s music at shows, combined with other blues music, but the Stevie Ray Vaughan music is what really captured the audiences.The band continued to build a fan base even before it established the tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan, but the tribute is what the fans wanted most.

Learn more at www.wallofdenialband.net

About this Series: Live on the Lake!

This free, all ages concert is presented as part of Live on the Lake!, Navy Pier’s free summer music series in the Miller Lite Beer Garden

Wave Wall Wax: Soulphonetics

Free Public Program

Saturday, August 18, 2018 | 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Wave Wall Performance Platform

Performing a free, all-ages show, part of Wave Wall Wax, Navy Pier’s free DJ music series.

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Join us on Navy Pier’s South Dock at the Wave Wall Performance Platform for a DJ set by Soulphonetics, part of Wave Wall Wax, Navy Pier’s free live DJ series on Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

About SoulPhonetics

Come to Navy Pier for a free dancing and a DJ performance by Soulphonetics, part of Wave Wall Wax, at 2:00 pm on Saturday, August 18, 2018.

Soulphonetics is a DJ/Producer collective based out of Chicago & formed by Christian Vera & Caswell James. Together they’ve hustled diligently to push the soulful sounds of House, Hip-Hop, Jazz and all forms of Afro-Latin & Electronic rhythms, new & old into the fabric of social consciousness. Whether dropping sets nationally in LA, MWK and NYC, to holding down residencies at Chicago hot spots & various festivals, Soulphonetics’ diversity & knowledge has garnered them the much-deserved moniker of The International Rude Boys.

Learn more at facebook.com

About Wave Wall Wax

Wave Wall Wax brings Chicago’s incredible DJ culture to Navy Pier every Saturday for a new, free weekly DJ series from 2:00pm-4:00pm at the Wave Wall Performance Platform.

View the full Wave Wall Wax lineup.

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Aon Summer Fireworks

Free Public Program

Saturday, August 18, 2018 | 10:15 pm - 10:25 pm
Navy Pier

Enjoy a dazzling fireworks display over Lake Michigan twice per week at Navy Pier!

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Navy Pier is Chicago’s bi-weekly destination for spectacular, free fireworks displays perfectly synchronized to music on Lake Michigan. Navy Pier’s Aon Summer Fireworks occur on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer, from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  

View Full Aon Summer Fireworks Schedule

Peter Pan: A Musical Adventure
Sunday, August 19, 2018
Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Sail away on a high-flying journey with Peter, Wendy, John, and Michael to the enchanted world of Neverland—but beware of Captain Hook and the ticking crocodiles!

Read More

Chicago Shakespeare Theater‘s Courtyard Theater
music by George Stiles
lyrics by Anthony Drewe
in a new version by Elliot Davis based on
the book by Willis Hall
directed & choreographed by Amber Mak

Sail away on a high-flying journey with Peter, Wendy, John, and Michael to the enchanted world of Neverland—but beware of Captain Hook and the ticking crocodiles! Based on J.M. Barrie’s beloved tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up and his band of Lost Boys, this heartwarming musical dazzles with a captivating score by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe—the award-winning songwriting duo behind Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s smash hit Mary Poppins. This 75-minute story is the perfect introduction to live theater for young audiences, and will send hearts soaring all summer long. After the show, mingle with the cast in the lobby for photos and questions.

Live on the Lake!: Kofi and the New Roots Band

Free Public Program

Sunday, August 19, 2018 | 2:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Miller Lite Beer Garden

Playing a free, all ages show with special guests DJ Papa G and Kwame Binea Shakedown.

Read More

Join us in the Miller Lite Beer Garden for a free, all-ages show with Kofi and the New Roots Band and special guests, DJ Papa G and Kwame Binea Shakedown, part of Navy Pier’s free music and dance seriesLive on the Lake! 

Performance Schedule

Join us on Sunday, August 19, 2018, in the Miller Lite Beer Garden for a free, all-ages show with Kofi and the New Roots Band and Kwame Binea Shakedown.

Kofi and the New Roots Band
Reggae
5:30pm – 6:30pm & 7pm – 8pm

Join us on Sunday, August 19, 2018, in the Miller Lite Beer Garden for a free, all-ages show with Kofi and the New Roots Band and Kwame Binea Shakedown.

DJ Papa G
Reggae/Dancehall
4:30pm – 5:30pm & 6:30pm – 7pm

Join us on Sunday, August 19, 2018, in the Miller Lite Beer Garden for a free, all-ages show with Kofi and the New Roots Band and Kwame Binea Shakedown.

Kwame Binea Shakedown
Cover Band – Santana
2pm – 3pm & 3:30pm – 4:30pm

About the Performers

Kofi and the New Roots Band

Kofi hails from Dominica, the “Nature Isle” of the Caribbean, and is one of the original, founding members of Roots, Stem, & Branches (RSB Band). Between 1983 and 2000, RSB released 10 albums that feature reggae, soca and zouk, the native music of Dominica. RSB toured extensively, playing in Canada, England, and throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean islands. RSB opened for numerous artists including Ziggy Marley, Bunny Wailer, Culture, Dennis Brown, and Shinehead.

Since settling in Chicago in 2003, Kofi has performed throughout the Chicago area and the Midwest. In recent years, he has devoted his music writing and performance skills to the genre he is most passionate about: roots reggae.

Kofi dazzles audiences with his joyful, energetic style, and his conscious lyrics about serious issues. His performances uplift people and encourage the celebration of life. Kofi’s long-awaited solo album “New Name” has just been released on the New Roots label, and features a great new set of serious roots reggae with a little ska, dancehall, and lovers rock thrown into the mix.

Learn more at facebook.com/kofinewroots

DJ Papa G

Learn more at facebook.com/papa.george.33

Kwame Binea Shakedown

Kwame Binea is a self-proclaimed rocker to the core, but he has peppered his own brand of “Roots Rock” which embodies his fertile and cultural diverse personal saga; growing up in West London (his birth place) and his native origins in Ghana, moving later to Cherry Hill, NJ as a teenager before setting up home in New York City to unearth his artistic aspirations as a burgeoning singer/songwriter.

“Mix Rock and Roll with Silky Soul, screaming blues with folk and you get Kwame Binea” says The Apollo Theater. “My music is organic,” says Kwame “, it embodies life, love and  struggles. I’m driven by my mantra of Peace, Love & Positivity so that propels and drives the messages for most of my lyrical content. It’s also party music and danceable, so if our music moves you and makes you move, that’s a great night” he added.

In 2009, when he teamed up with songwriter/guitarist Justin Wilcox, his artistic identity began to really surface and flourish. Kwame transplanted to Harlem and they started performing covers and a few originals as an acoustic duo in clubs and coffee houses around New York City.There they built up credibility with their guitar driven acoustic live performances and also drew some attention from other NYC/NJ musicians playing the same circuit of venues.

Initially drummer Medley Shabazz joined the duo, then bassist Phil Bassaragh and guitarist Art Vanterpool. In 2011, the core 5-piece band started playing in clubs throughout the city. The band sometimes features horn players, Brian Varneke (trumpet) and  Kengo Yamada (saxophone).According to legend or myth (depending on who tells the story) the band earned its name Uptown Shakedown because the walls in Kwame’s apartment in Harlem used to shake when they rehearsed . It was later truncated to just Shakedown.

Kwame and the band  fed recordings and live endeavors with an unyielding spirit and intestinal fortitude that is strikingly visible in his artistic growth. They continued to draw a legion of loyal fans with electrifying and inspirational performances at most of New York City’s most celebrated venues including Brooklyn Bowl, Joe’s Pub, Mercury Lounge, Rockwood Music Hall, Aaron Davis Hall, Sullivan Hall, Shrine & Silvana, The Bitter End and a Summer Residency at the icon Arlene’s Grocery in the LES.

In 2015, was the released their self titled debut EP the guys would embarked on a national tour taking them from Vermont to California and everywhere in between. In 2016 the band would set out on the road to play during SXSW in Austin, TX then overseas on a 3 nation European tour hitting Netherland, Belguim and the UK. On their return states side a SOLD OUT performance at historic Apollo Theater music cafe.

Kwame and the band released their debut LP (Roots Rock N Universal Love) in the summer of 2017. The Album includes a stellar collaboration with Grammy award winning Guitarist/Producer Vernon Reid, the title song “ Universal Love” produced by Reid and written by Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Jimmy Cliff. Elmore Magazine writes ” Roots Rockin Universal Love is a delightful 40-minute jolt of caffeine for the ears, from a band ready to laugh and inspire in addition to bringing the party. Its the kind that lift we can all use more of these days”.  Look out for Kwame and the guys on the Universal Love Tour coming to a city near you.

Learn more at kwamebineashakedown.com

About this Series: Live on the Lake!

This free, all ages concert is presented as part of Live on the Lake!, Navy Pier’s free summer music series in the Miller Lite Beer Garden

Water Flicks: Grease

Free Public Program

Monday, August 20, 2018 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park

Free and open to the public! Make Monday movie night along Chicago’s lakefront, with 10 nights of free movies in Polk Bros Park.

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Make Monday night free outdoor movie night along Chicago’s lakefront as Navy Pier hosts Water Flicks, a weekly summer film series featuring music-themed movies at the Lake Stage in Polk Bros Park, starting at 7:00pm. 

This free, public movie series is presented in partnership with the Chicago International Film Festival. Want more Water Flicks? View the full free outdoor movies schedule here.

Grease (1978)

Director: Randal Kleiser
Writere: Jim Jacobs, Warren Casey, Bronte Woodard, Allan Carr
Starring: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing

Good girl Sandy and greaser Danny fell in love over the summer. When they unexpectedly discover they’re now in the same high school, will they be able to rekindle their romance?  (1 hour 50 minutes; Rated PG-13)

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