Sounds of Chicago's Lakefront

July 3, 2009 10:34:34 AM PDT
Sounds of Chicago's Lakefront: A Celebration of the Grant Park Music Festival is a comprehensive new commemorative hardcover book exploring the history of Chicago's "front yard" and its downtown, outdoor classical-music program, the Grant Park Music Festival. The book was released on Wednesday July 1? the date of the first-ever Grant Park Music Festival concert in 1935. Providing a unique, decade-by-decade look at Grant Park since the 1930s, Sounds of Chicago's Lakefront contains hundreds of never-before-published photographs and interviews with more than fifty renowned artists and other important Chicago figures. It is authored by Chicago historian Neal Samors and Grant Park Music Festival Director of Marketing & Patron Services Tony Macaluso, with an extensive essay by Chicago Park District Historian Julia Bachrach. The book was commissioned to commemorate the 75th season of the Grant Park Music Festival, which was established in 1935 by James Petrillo, the renowned musicians' labor leader, as a creative response to the hardships of the Great Depression. The Festival quickly became an immensely popular Chicago tradition and enabled audiences, often of ten thousand or more per night, to experience free performances by legendary artists and a top-caliber orchestra and chorus.

Among the artists the Festival has presented are vocalists Lily Pons, Mario Lanza, and Marian Anderson; pianists Van Cliburn, Alfred Brendel, and Daniel Barenboim; violinists Jascha Heifetz and Pinchas Zukerman; conductors Nikolai Malko, Andre Kostelanetz, and Leonard Slatkin. It has featured new works by contemporary composers such as John Corigliano, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Michael Torke; and artists from other traditions such as Benny Goodman, Mitch Miller, Poi Dog Pondering, and The Joffrey Ballet. The Festival has flourished under the guidance of resident artistic leaders such as current Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar, current Chorus Director Christopher Bell, and outgoing Artistic and General Director James W. Palermo, as well as past leaders. All of these and more are profiled in the book.

Sounds of Chicago's Lakefront presents this rich musical legacy in the larger context of the history of Grant Park, Chicago's storied "front yard." Decade-by-decade, the book illuminates how the park has served as an essential public space for the city, from its origins following the Great Fire to Daniel Burnham's visionary redesign via the Chicago Plan to the Park's fascinating role as a gathering place for events as diverse as wartime rallies and protests, depression-era camps, visiting queens and popes, citywide festivals, and the recent election-night celebration that helped make Grant Park a household name around the world.

The book also explores the Festival's innovative example of ensemble in the deepest sense of the word. It is a rare, and perhaps unmatched, example of a U.S. orchestra and chorus funded through a balance of government (the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs) and private support. Sounds of Chicago's Lakefront features the insights of many of the behind-the-scenes figures that have enabled this ensemble to flourish.

The Festival has also drawn a range of audiences almost unparalleled in the world of classical music, from passionate aficionados to vast numbers of people who have never before encountered a live orchestra. The book also features anecdotes from audience members and snapshots of how the culture of attending these outdoor concerts has changed over the years.

Finally, Sounds of Chicago's Lakefront aims to illuminate how the Grant Park Music Festival has brought classical music into a relationship with other arts. Architecture has been a major partner, particularly with the creation of Millennium Park and Frank Gehry's Jay Pritzker Pavilion, in which acoustic engineers have transformed the listening experience. Radio broadcasts and the production of seven CD recordings of the Orchestra have brought music to audiences in all corners of the country. Dance, film, and theater have shared the stage with the symphony, and year after year the spectacle of fireworks and music on Independence Eve has brought some of Chicago's most diverse audiences together along the lakefront, under the stars.

Millennium Park, managed and programmed by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, is an award-winning center for art, music, architecture, and landscape design. The result of a unique partnership between the City of Chicago and philanthropic community, the 24.5 acre park features the work of world-renowned architects, planners, artists and designers. In addition to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States, the Park's prominent features include the interactive Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa; the contemporary Lurie Garden designed by the team of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Piet Oudolf and Robert Israel; and Anish Kapoor's hugely popular Cloud Gate sculpture. Since opening in June 2004, Millennium Park has welcomed more than 16 million people, making it one of the most popular destinations in Chicago.

For more information regarding the Grant Park Music Festival's Gala 75th Season; the commemorative book, Sounds of Chicago's Lakefront: A Celebration of the Grant Park Music Festival, or any other questions, please call the Grant Park Music Festival at 312-742-7638 or visit the Festival's website at www.grantparkmusicfestival.com.

Facts on the Book

  • ? Physical Description: Hardcover. 216 pages, 48 full color.
  • ? Cost: $39.95 (with a special discounted price of $33 if purchased along with a Grant Park Music Festival 2009 season membership).
  • ? How to Order: The book may be purchased online at www.grantparkmusicfestival.com or by phone at: (312) 742-7638. The book is also available on site in Millennium Park, in Chicago-area bookstores, and through various online book sites.
  • ? Contributors: The book is being written by Chicago historian Neal Samors and Grant Park Music Festival Director of Marketing & Patron Services Tony Macaluso, with an extensive essay by Chicago Park District Historian Julia Bachrach and an introduction by Chicago news anchor Ron Magers. The book is being designed by Jell Creative. Additional interviews have been conducted by current and former Grant Park Music Festival staff Annie-Claude Chartrand, Agnieszka Kozlowska, and James W. Palermo.

CHICAGO'S GRANT PARK MUSIC FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FIRST-EVER INDEPENDENCE DAY IN MILLENNIUM PARK CONCERT

Free July 4 Afternoon Concert Expected to be an Annual Holiday Tradition Event Part of Grant Park Music Festival's Historic 75th Season, June 10 - August 15, 2009

Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival, celebrating its historic 75th season this summer, will perform its first-ever Independence Day in Millennium Park concert, to be presented at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Saturday, July 4, at 1:30 p.m. Expected to be an annual Independence Day holiday tradition, this year's concert will feature a program of traditional and patriotic favorites performed by the Grant Park Orchestra, under the baton of Christopher Bell, along with special guest, Chicago tap dance master Lane Alexander. This concert, which replaces the Orchestra's performance as part of the Taste of Chicago Independence Eve festivities, July 3, is part of the official 2009 75th Grant Park Music Festival season program.

"This is a perfect addition to the City of Chicago's Fourth of July festivities," said Lois Weisberg, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. "Millennium Park is a wonderful gathering spot, and this new tradition will bring people together on the 4th to celebrate our country's history as well as a look to its future."

"I'm not only tickled pink, but also red, white and blue, to be a part of this new tradition at Millennium Park," adds Grant Park Chorus Director Christopher Bell, who will conduct this concert. "Although our Independence Day concert takes place on a different stage and different date from years past, we will continue to perform the patriotic hits our audiences have come to expect, along with some additional classics. The Grant Park Music Festival is proud to contribute to the City's celebration of Independence Day with this concert, and hopes the City will join us."

This joyous concert for the whole family begins with Francis Scott Key's Star Spangled Banner and works its way through an all-star American canon, including Tchaikovsky's Overture 1812 and John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever. Special guest, Chicago tap dance master Lane Alexander will perform with the Grant Park Orchestra to three selections from Morton Gould's Concerto for Tap Dancer and Orchestra, a work on which Alexander is considered one of the foremost experts. The co-founder and director of Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Alexander has a performing career spanning over 30 years that includes work on the concert stage, musical theater, television and film. He has performed Gould's Concerto at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops, the London Philharmonic, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Philharmonic, and the Chicago Sinfonietta. This concert marks Lane Alexander's Grant Park Music Festival debut.

The Fourth of July in Millennium Park begins with workouts in Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates and dance on the Great Lawn beginning at 7 a.m. The Family Fun Festival opens at 10 a.m., full of interactive activities and musical games for kids of all ages.

The Grant Park Music Festival, comprised of the Grammy®-nominated Grant Park Orchestra and award-winning Grant Park Chorus led by Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar and Chorus Director Christopher Bell, will commemorate its historic 75th season with a wide ranging series of classical music concerts and special event programming at the state-of-the-art Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park through August 15. The concerts, which are always free and open to the public, will generally take place on Wednesday and Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m.

Millennium Park, managed and programmed by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, is an award-winning center for art, music, architecture, and landscape design. The result of a unique partnership between the City of Chicago and philanthropic community, the 24.5 acre park features the work of world-renowned architects, planners, artists and designers. In addition to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States, the Park's prominent features include the interactive Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa; the contemporary Lurie Garden designed by the team of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Piet Oudolf and Robert Israel; and Anish Kapoor's hugely popular Cloud Gate sculpture. Since opening in June 2004, Millennium Park has welcomed more than 16 million people, making it one of the most popular destinations in Chicago.

For more information regarding the Independence Day in Millennium Park concert or other Grant Park Music Festival 75th Season programming, please call the Grant Park Music Festival at 312-742-7638 or visit the Festival's website at www.grantparkmusicfestival.com.

INDEPENDENCE DAY IN MILLENNIUM PARK

Saturday, July 4, 1:30pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Grant Park Orchestra
Christopher Bell, Conductor
Lane Alexander, Tap Dancer
312-742-7638
www.grantparkmusicfestival.com

ABOUT LANE ALEXANDER

Lane Alexander, Chicago Human Rhythm Project's co-founder and director for 20 years, has a performing career spanning over 30 years that includes work on the concert stage, musical theater, television and film. He is one of the foremost experts on Morton Gould's Tap Dance Concerto which he has performed at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops led by Skitch Henderson on a program with Marvin Hamlisch, Nanette Fabray, and Maurice Hines; the London Philharmonic (Rachel Worby), the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (David Robertson), the Illinois Philharmonic (Carmon DeLeone) and his first performance of the piece in 1992 with the Chicago Sinfonietta (Paul Freeman). He was the first artist to publish a recording of the Tap Dance Concerto since the original recording with Danny Daniels in 1952. Additional performances have included the Chautauqua Festival, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Queens Symphony Orchestra (Stuart Malina), Long Beach Symphony Orchestra (with Fred Strickler and Sam Weber), the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Michael Krajewski) and most recently the Greenville Symphony Orchestra (Edvard Tchivzhel).

Lane toured nationally with Austin on Tap and appeared in the Candlelight Dinner Theater's long running production of 42nd Street (directed by Bill Pullinsi and choreographed by Marc Robin) before joining William Orloski's National Tap Dance Company of Canada in 1987 as an ensemble member. He continued to perform with the company as a soloist, principal and featured guest artist in appearances throughout Canada, the United States, China - and the first tap performance ever at the prestigious Spoleto Festival in Italy. While still appearing as a guest artist with the NTDCC, Lane Co-founded alexander,michaels/Future Movement (am/FM) with Chicago native and noted contemporary dancer/choreographer Kelly Michaels. Together, they created a repertory of tap, modern dances that stretched the boundaries of both and worked for an acknowledgement of American tap as a recognized art form. They co-founded the Chicago Human Rhythm Project in 1990 as a summer festival of tap and percussive dance to further that mission. Subsequently, Chicago Human Rhythm Project became the first dedicated presenter of American tap and contemporary percussive arts in the United States. As a result, he has been a leader in the move to insitutionalize American tap as an acknowledged art form.

Lane choreographed and appeared in the Sell Film production of Outtakes, the television series The Untouchables and directed the Emmy nominated PBS documentary, JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance. In 2004, Lane founded a new ensemble, BAM!, which recently represented the United States at the 5th Anniversary Beijing Contemporary Dance Festival. Lane's choreography and contributions to the field have been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts' American Masterpieces program through the Illinois Arts Council, the Chicago Tribune as a "Chicagoan of the Year," the Ruth Page Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field, the Chicago Dance and Music Alliance for Outstanding Solo Performance, two Illinois Arts Council Choreography Fellowships, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum Award and the Mayfair Academy's inaugural "Tommy" Award for Preserving the Legacy of Tommy Sutton. He was honored to be a part of the PBS program, Road Trip Nation alongside Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Micheal Dell and was most recently recognized by Chicago's New City as one of the city's 50 cultural leaders in 2008.

DON'T BREAK THE BANK! CELEBRATE INDEPENDENCE DAY WEEKEND WITH FREE FAMILY FUN IN CHICAGO!

Find great value and discover something new with a visit to Chicago this Fourth of July weekend! Celebrate the summer's biggest holiday by visiting lakefront beaches, enjoying magnificent fireworks, experiencing the Taste of Chicago or attending a Major League baseball game. Learn about Chicago's exquisite cuisine, incredible sights, and affordable options for a fun-filled weekend getaway on a budget.

Plus, don't miss this chance to explore Chicago's many unique and charming neighborhoods. From Albany Park to Beverly Hills, discover the many ways you can embrace the history, culture, and people of the Chicago's 75-plus neighborhoods as you uncover the world in our backyard.

Begin your adventure at the Chicago Cultural Center's Visitor Information Center, 77 E. Randolph Street, or, for more information, visit www.explorechicago.org or call 877-CHICAGO.

FREE EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

Fourth of July Celebration in Millennium Park
Start your holiday with a picnic on Millennium Park's Great Lawn on Saturday, July 4th, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Grant Park Music Festival's first-ever Independence Day concert in Millennium Park follows at 1:30 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The free concert features a program of traditional and patriotic favorites performed by the Grant Park Orchestra, along with a very special guest?Chicago tap dance master Lane Alexander. Other events on the Fourth of July in Millennium Park include workouts in Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates and Capoeira on the Great Lawn from 7 a.m. through 11 a.m. The Family Fun Festival opens at 10 a.m., full of interactive activities and musical games for kids of all ages.

Downtown Fireworks
Nothing says Independence Day like fireworks! Enjoy free world-class fireworks displays all weekend long in downtown Chicago! The festivities begin Friday, July 3rd with the 29th Annual Independence Eve Concert (part of the annual Taste of Chicago celebration). The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park with a performance by the renowned 85th Army Band. The award-winning fireworks display begins at 9 p.m. and last for 20 minutes. On Saturday, July 4th, Navy Pier hosts a dazzling patriotic fireworks display at 9 p.m.

Neighborhood Festivals
Visit diverse neighborhoods of Chicago this Independence Day weekend. On July 3rd through 5th visit Washington Park for the 17th annual African-Caribbean International Festival of Life. The festival includes live music, including reggae, calypso, and gospel, plus food vendors, arts and crafts, games, kids' activities and exhibits. For information on additional neighborhood festivals taking place in Chicago this summer, please visit www.explorechicago.org.

Taste of Chicago
Savor Chicago delicacies in Grant Park at the 29th annual Taste of Chicago from June 26th through July 5th. The Taste of Chicago is the world's largest outdoor food and entertainment festival, attracting more than 3 million people per year. The 10-day food festival serves more than 250 menu items (108 of these items are priced at $2 or less) from over 70 restaurants and food vendors, offering delicious cuisine from around the globe as well as local Chicago fare. Taking place in Grant Park on Chicago's lakefront, the Taste of Chicago also features a free concert series including performances by Counting Crows, The Wallflowers, Ne-Yo, Keri Hilson, Buddy Guy, Guster and more.

Chicago SummerDance Festival
Feel the beat at the 13th Annual Chicago SummerDance festival. The celebration features one-hour dance lessons by professional instructors, followed by two hours of live music and dancing on a 4,600 square foot open-air dance floor in the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park. Events occur Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons, weather-permitting. On Friday, July 3rd join Tommye Giacchino and Gregory Day of Chicago Dance for free East Coast Swing dance lessons along with music by Lesley Byers & The Jazz Cats from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Live music by Steve Cooper Orchestra compliments free Rumba dance lessons by Bob & Penny Urbon of Chicago Ballroom Dance Co. on Sunday, July 5th, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. For a complete schedule of all SummerDance events, please visit www.ChicagoSummerDance.org.

Hyde Park Instagreeter
Pay a visit to Hyde Park, President Obama's long-time home, this July 4th! Explore a presidential neighborhood with the new Hyde Park InstaGreeter program offered by the Chicago Office of Tourism. Drop by Hyde Park Art Center anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for a free one-hour guided walking visit of Hyde Park with a friendly, knowledgeable volunteer Chicago Greeter. Visits are given on a first-come, first-served basis and no reservations are needed.

Farmers Markets
Over 70 vendors offer fresh fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers throughout Chicago at local Farmers Markets that sell to over 20 neighborhoods throughout the city. On Saturday, July 4th the Division Street Farmers Market at 50 W. Division Street will be open as well as the Lincoln Park Farmers Market in the Lincoln Park High School parking lot from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. On July 5th visit the Erie Street Farmers Market at 500 W. Erie Street.

Chicago's Lakefront Beaches
The Chicago Park District manages the city's 29 lakefront beaches for the enjoyment of Chicago families and visitors. Chicago's lakefront is also home to the lakefront trail, volleyball, soccer, concessions, golf courses, harbors, bird sanctuaries, and natural areas. Admission to Chicago's beaches is free and open to the public. Lifeguards are on duty all weekend long.

CHICAGO FAVORITES (these Chicago favorites charge a fee for admission.)

Museum Exhibits
Escape into a whole new world at Chicago's renowned museums. Step into the magical universe of Harry Potter at the Museum of Science and Industry this summer. This world-premiere exhibit, "Harry Potter: The Exhibition," holds more than 200 authentic artifacts from the Harry Potter films, displayed in settings inspired by the film sets. Determine why "x" marks the spot at The Field Museum. Their "Real Pirates" exhibit centers on the story of the Whydah, a pirate ship that sank off the coast of Cape Cod almost 300 years ago. It allows visitors to view more than 200 artifacts including a treasure chest filled with looted gold coins, and real weaponry such as cannons and swords. Modernize your world at the newly opened Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago. Summer exhibits include Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Works 2000?2007, Judith Turner: Framing the Modern, and Beyond Golden Clouds: Japanese Screens from the Art Institute of Chicago and the St. Louis Art Museum.

Chicago Neighborhood Tours
Venture out of the loop and into some of Chicago's most fascinating neighborhoods. Take a summertime sampler tour on July 2nd and visit Chinatown, Little Italy, and Greektown. The tour leaves at 10 a.m. from the Chicago Cultural Center (77 E. Randolph Street) and lasts approximately three hours. Admission is $20 per person. For more information, including a complete schedule of Chicago Neighborhood Tours, please visit www.ChicagoNeighborhoodTours.com .

The Ledge at the Sears Tower Skydeck
Experience never-before-seen views of Chicago at "The Ledge" at Sears Tower. The newly opened Ledge features all glass boxes set 1,353 feet up, and extending out 4.3 feet from the 103rd floor Skydeck. The famed Sears Tower Skydeck also offers additional attractions including new interactive and educational museum-quality exhibits that celebrate the City of Chicago.

Chicago Cubs Baseball
Perfect your all-American a weekend with a trip to Wrigley Field on Chicago's North Side. The Chicago Cubs kick off a four day series hosting the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday, July 2nd. Wrigley Field is easily accessible by car or on Chicago's rapid transit system. For tickets, please visit www.chicago.cubs.mlb.com .

Visitors and Chicagoans planning to entertain out-of-town guests can receive Chicago brochures, reserve hotel accommodations and receive trip-planning assistance by calling toll-free 1.877.CHICAGO (1.877.244.2246), or visiting www.cityofchicago.org/tourism. Brochures and information on Chicago's exciting events and activities are also available at the Visitor Information Centers. The centers are located at Chicago Water Works, 163 East Pearson Street at Michigan Avenue and the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 East Randolph Street. For those calling from outside the United States, Mexico and Canada, please call 1-312-201-8847. The TTY toll-free number for the hearing impaired is 1.866.710.0294.

The Chicago Office of Tourism, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, is the official City agency dedicated to promoting Chicago to domestic and international visitors and to providing innovative visitor programs and services.

RHYTHM WORLD TAKES OVER DOWNTOWN CHICAGO JULY 27?AUGUST 9

Chicago Human Rhythm Project's 19th Annual Festival Takes Place at Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Cultural Center, Museum of Contemporary Art, Fine Arts Building, Roosevelt University

The peak of summer in Chicago will offer the peak of tap festivals when the Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), the world's only year-round presenter of American tap dance and contemporary percussive arts, presents Rhythm World, the oldest and most comprehensive festival of American tap in the world. Now in its 19th year of performance and education programs, Rhythm World takes place July 27?August 9 throughout downtown Chicago, including the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, the Fine Arts Building, Chicago Cultural Center, Museum of Contemporary Art and Roosevelt University.

CHRP Founder and Director Lane Alexander returns to the director's seat after three years of guest direction by Jason Samuels Smith, Dianne Walker and Derick Grant. As always, this year's Rhythm World will feature perennial favorites, including Bessie Award winner Sam Weber and Broadway diva Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, alongside new and emerging artists, including Jason Janas, a principal of the Texas tap repertory company Tapestry, and Chloe Arnold, founder and director of the Los Angeles Tap Fest.

Education Programs
Rhythm World begins July 27?31 with intensive residencies led by Sam Weber and Derick Grant at the Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave., and Artistic Director Jakari Sherman of Step Afrika! at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), 220 E. Chicago Ave. Weber, a Bessie Award winner and former Joffrey 2 member, is internationally recognized as one of the greatest tap virtuosos of all time as well as a master choreographer and master teacher. Grant was an original company member and dance captain for Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk and recently toured the country with his creation A Night Out: Tap!. Step Afrika!, based in Washington, D.C., is the first professional company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping, and they will make their full-company Chicago debut on CHRP's Global Rhythms program at the Harris Theater in November 2009.

Courses, workshops and master classes take place August 3?9 at the Fine Arts Building and Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Ave. The highly respected faculty of master teachers, in addition to Weber, Grant and Sherman of Step Afrika!, includes CHRP Director Lane Alexander, Chloe Arnold, Julie Cartier, Idella Reed Davis, Martin "Tre" Dumas, Ray Hesselink, Jason Janas, Gene Medler, Billy Siegenfeld, Jason Samuels Smith, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Dianne "Lady Di" Walker and Mark Yonally.

Now in its eighth year, CHRP's annual Youth Tap Ensemble Conference (YTEC) takes place August 3?7 at the Fine Arts Building. PrepTEC, a new component in this year's YTEC, offers younger members of the pre-professional repertory companies an opportunity to benefit from the expertise available during Rhythm World. More than 120 dancers between the ages of 12 and 19, representing 14 youth tap ensembles from the U.S., China, Brazil, Canada, Panama and other locations, will gather to study new choreography, technique, improvisation and theatre-related topics. YTEC participants will learn three new works by Jason Janas, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Step Afrika! while the PrepTEC students will learn an historical dance from Dianne Walker created by her mentor, native Chicagoan Leon Collins.

An expanded Kids Program August 5?7 at the Fine Arts Building offers intermediate tappers ages nine through 12 a curriculum including oral and video histories, tap technique classes, improvisation instruction and individual development of style and expression.

To register for any of the education programs, visit chicagotap.org or call 773-281-1825.

Performances

CHRP kicks off a week of performances with its second annual free performance featuring Rhythm World faculty, YTEC participants and special guests Sunday, August 2 at 6:30 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, as part of the City of Chicago's summer music and dance performance series. Chicago's finest tap repertory companies will perform, including CHRP's ensemble BAM!, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, Jus' LisTeN, the South Shore Drill Team and Chicago Tap Theatre, as well as last year's smashing percussion/dance group, Be the Groove.

The week continues with a Tap Jam, a fun, free evening of improvisation by Rhythm World participants Monday, August 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Tuesday, August 4 is a double-header evening featuring the Tap Slam and the Cutting Contest at 7:30 p.m. at Roosevelt University's Ganz Hall, 430 S. Michigan Ave., 7th floor. The Tap Slam puts the spotlight on 10 group or individual Rhythm World participants competing for the Tap Slam entry fees; the audience votes to determine the winner. The Cutting Contest, an improvisation competition, pits 16 of the hottest young tap dancers against each other in a foot-to-foot combat tournament. A select panel of Rhythm World faculty members will judge the competition and the winner will receive the Contest entry fees.

A student showcase performance takes place Wednesday, August 5 at 7:30 p.m., also at Ganz Hall. Admission to the August 4 and 5 evenings is $5 each at the door or in advance at chicagotap.org.

Rhythm World culminates with CHRP's annual performances, "JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance," featuring a host of extraordinary foot drummers on Thursday, August 6 and Saturday, August 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art's MCA Stage, 220 E. Chicago Ave. Thursday's performance includes Chicago Human Emmy Award winner Jason Samuels Smith, Broadway diva Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and renowned choreographer Chloe Arnold, joined by CHRP Founder and Director Lane Alexander and CHRP's ensemble BAM!. Saturday's performance includes the Ella Fitzgerald of American tap, Dianne "Lady Di" Walker, alongside tap virtuoso and Bessie Award winner Sam Weber, wunderkind Jason Janas and Chicago's finest tap ensembles. Both performances feature guest artists and youth tap ensembles from around the world and live music by the Vijay Tellis-Nayak Trio. Single tickets are $30, $25 for Rhythm World participants and MCA members. For complete Rhythm World information, visit chicagotap.org or call 773-281-1825. For tickets to "JUBA!" performances, call 312-397-4010 or visit mcachicago.org.

CHRP's 2009 season concludes with Global Rhythms and Thanks 4 Giving, a series of shared revenue, contemporary percussive arts performances featuring the Chicago debut of Washington D.C.'s Step Afrika!, November 19, 20, 21 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park.

CHRP's 2009 season is supported by The MacArthur Fund for the Arts and Culture at the Prince, The Chicago Community Trust, Prince Charitable Trusts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Target, American Airlines, Leo's Dancewear, The Illinois Arts Council, The Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg Family Foundation, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Jerome and Jeanette Cohen Family Foundation, The Oppenheimer Family Foundation, L!VE Marketing (sic), Charter One Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation, Arts Midwest, The Dr. Scholl Foundation, American Overseas Transport, L and L Hardwood Flooring and generous individual donors. All programming is subject to change. For information, visit chicagotap.org. Founded in 1990, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project is America's oldest institution dedicated to preserving, presenting and teaching tap and percussive dance by bringing together generations of tap dance legends, professionals, students and enthusiasts for classes, performances and workshops. CHRP has four artistic focuses: presenting world-class dance concerts, building a permanent educational forum for tap and percussive dance, sustaining the art form through preservation and documentation and promoting respect and appreciation between various communities by presenting ethnically and aesthetically diverse artists.

All programming is subject to change. For information visit www.chicagotap.org .


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