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Mavis Staples Clapping, Set to Perform at Navy Pier's Chicago Live! 2023

Aug. 24, 2023

The iconic singer will offer a free-of-charge 45-minute concert as the closing act on Saturday, Sept. 23

Please be aware that the content on this webpage was authored more than 6 months ago, so some information may be outdated or no longer accurate. Please visit our event calendar for information on current events.

CHICAGO—For the first time, civil rights activist and GRAMMY Award-winner and Chicago resident, Mavis Staples, will perform during Chicago Live!, Saturday September 23 from 8pm to 9pm on the Lake Stage at Polk Bros Park. Hailed by NPR as “one of America’s defining voices of freedom and peace,” Staples is a once-in-a-generation artist whose impact on music and culture would be difficult to overstate. She’s both a Blues and a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer; a chart-topping soul/gospel/R&B pioneer; a National Arts Awards Lifetime Achievement recipient; and a Kennedy Center honoree.

As an activist, Staples marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., performed at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, and sang in Barack Obama’s White House. She’s collaborated with everyone from Prince and Bob Dylan to Arcade Fire and Hozier, blown away countless festivalgoers from Newport Folk and Glastonbury to Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, performed with The Band at The Last Waltz, and graced the airwaves on Fallon, Colbert, Ellen, Austin City Limits, Jools Holland, the GRAMMYs, and more.

This year marks the third year for the free performing arts festival, which now presents 80 distinct artists and cultural organizations in back-to-back performances on three stages Saturday, September 23, and Sunday, September 24. Performances span every artistic genre – including music, dance, theatre, spoken word, improv, vocal performance and more. This year, 25 new groups will join over 40 returning organizations performing at Navy Pier to showcase their talents.

Chicago Live! 2023 is presented by The Pritzker Foundation, with generous support from Fifth Third Bank and Peoples Gas. Chicago Live! employs hundreds of artists, support staff and union laborers over the course of this two-day event.

Artists and companies new to Chicago Live! this year include: (alphabetically) Aerial Dance Chicago, Aloha Chicago, Melody Angel, Ballet Folklorico Sones Mexicanos, Bravelsoul Movement, Breakbeat Creatives, Celeda, Chicago Tap Theatre, DanceWorks Chicago, Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas, Filament Theatre, Ron Haynes’ GAME CHANGERS, The Happiness Club, Nataya Dance Theatre, Nico Rubio’s Three Thirty Three, Poetry Foundation, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Mavis Staples, Svet, Teatro ZinZanni, The Baton Show Lounge, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, Third Coast Percussion, Too Much Molly, and Water People Theater

Returning are: About Face Theatre, The Actors Gymnasium, Adrian Dunn Singers, American Blues Theater, Ayodele Drum & Dance, Black Ensemble Theater, Blue Man Group, The Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago Children’s Theater, Chicago Dance Crash, Chicago Fringe Opera, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Chicago Opera Theater, Chicago Philharmonic, Chicago Repertory Ballet, Chicago Samba, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Congo Square Theatre, Culture Shock Dance Chicago, Dee Alexander, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, DJ Readerz, Ensemble Español, Forward Momentum Chicago, Giordano Dance Chicago, Hiplet Ballerinas, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, iO Theater, Joel Hall Dancers, KF Jacques, Kokandy Productions, Korean Performing Arts Institute of Chicago, La Escuelita Bombera de Corazon, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Mandala South Asian Performing Arts, Meher Dance Company, Mercury Theater Chicago, MOMENTA Dance Company, Muntu Dance Theatre, Old Town School of Folk Music, PARA.MAR Dance Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre, Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, Red Clay Dance Company, Soul Children of Chicago, South Chicago Dance Theatre, The Seldoms, Trinity Irish Dance Company, Victor Garcia, Visceral Dance, Yin He Dance

The full schedule will be released at a later date.

Click here for photos and video of Mavis Staples.

Click here for Chicago Live! photos from 2022 performances.

Note: All activities, times, and dates are subject to change.


Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is the top nonprofit tourism destination in the Midwest, stretching more than six city blocks and typically welcoming nearly 9 million annual guests. Originally opened in 1916 as a shipping and recreation facility, this Chicago landmark showcases more than 50 acres of parks, restaurants, attractions, retail shops, sightseeing and dining cruise boats, exposition facilities and more. The Pier celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016 with the unveiling of the iconic Centennial Wheel, Polk Bros Park, Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion and Peoples Energy Welcome Pavilion. In 2021, Navy Pier continued to usher in its second century with ongoing Pier-wide redevelopment efforts—including Sable, a 223-room Hilton hotel, new restaurants and partnerships, and thrilling additions to Pier Park. The Pier is also proud to continue providing free, year-round arts and cultural programming designed to inspire, educate and connect communities across the city and globe. Click here to donate to Navy Pier, a mission-driven 501(c)(3) organization, in support of the organization’s post-pandemic revival and free public programming. For more information, visit






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