Great Performers of Illinois brings music to Millenium Park

July 12, 2009 (CHICAGO) Dennis DeYoung, former singer and songwriter of the Chicago-based rock group Styx, will present a free concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on Sunday, July 12, at 7:30 p.m. during the Great Performers of Illinois festival, an annual celebration of the arts unique to Illinois.

Prior to the concert, DeYoung will receive the 2009 Great Performer of Illinois award for his outstanding contributions to popular music and the cultural life of Illinois. DeYoung follows blues great Buddy Guy as the second recipient of the award. For more information, visit

The concert will be the centerpiece of the annual Great Performers of Illinois festival, four days of free entertainment, Friday, July 10 - Monday, July 13, with more than 50 performers from throughout the state presenting pop, rock, jazz, Latin, folk, reggae, and classical music.

With his seven-piece rock band, DeYoung will recreate 30 years of musical history featuring all the songs he wrote and sang during his remarkable career. Hear all your favorite classics such as Lady, Babe, Come Sail Away, Best of Times, Don't Let It End, Show Me the Way, and rock anthems Suite Madame Blue, Grand Illusion, Lorelei, and Rockin' the Paradise, plus many more.

"Great Performers of Illinois offers Chicagoans and visitors alike the opportunity to experience the very best Illinois has to offer right here in Millennium Park," said Lois Weisberg, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. "This year, we are proud to honor Dennis DeYoung, a rock music legend who continues to be an inspiration for generations of fans all over the world."

Other musical acts include:

The Fiery Furnaces - Indie Rock
Alice Peacock and Her Band - Rock/Pop
Agent Mos - Hip-Hop/Trip-Hop/Neo-Soul
Common Loon - Indie Folk
Eka Sruti Lantari - Balinese Music and Dance
Osezua - Roots/Reggae
Lincoln Trio - Classical
Sones de Mexico Ensemble - Mexican Folk

"The Illinois Arts Council has a tradition of identifying and supporting talent from all corners of the state," said Shirley R. Madigan, Illinois Arts Council Chairman. "Showcasing the arts unique to Illinois in a world-class venue such as Millennium Park provides a tremendous opportunity to promote these many gifted performers and shine the spotlight on our state's rich cultural resources."

One of the highlights of the weekend will be SHELebration: A Tribute to Shel Silverstein on July 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Frequent Silverstein musical collaborators and friends, including musicians Bobby Bare, Sr., Bobby Bare, Jr., Pat Dailey, Chicagoans Jon Langford and Sally Timms, plus an all-star band from the worlds of indie-rock and country, and surprise guest poetry readers will bring this great artist's work to life.

In addition to an array of music performances on multiple stages, visitors can enjoy other free programs including:

  • Family-friendly activities such as square dancing, storytelling and circus arts.
  • A 7,300-square-foot, freestanding urban corn maze, made of 6,000 stalks of corn.
  • Huge Illinois-inspired sidewalk chalk drawings.
  • Roving performers including Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln.
  • Hands-on activities and exhibits for children presented by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in the Family Fun Tent.
  • Illinois wine tasting at the Park Grill on the Plaza.
  • Park tours with Millennium Park Greeters.

Illinois-inspired food specialties created by Chef Bernie Laskowski and wines from state vineyards will be available for purchase at the Park Grill restaurant and at park concessions. Illinois artisans and their wares, and locally grown produce and food, will also be for sale.

"Great Performers of Illinois provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate Illinois as a vibrant cultural destination," said Jan Kostner, Deputy Director, Illinois Bureau of Tourism. "The invaluable exposure it offers will encourage visitors to plan an Illinois getaway and discover the wealth of talent and diverse cultural activity to be found throughout the state."

Hours for Great Performers of Illinois are: Friday, July 10, 6:30 am-11 pm; Saturday, July 11, 7 am-10 pm; Sunday, July 12, 10 am-10pm; and Monday, July 13, Noon-8 pm. For more information about Great Performers of Illinois, visit or call 312.742.1168.

Great Performers of Illinois, the 4th annual celebration of the arts unique to Illinois, is presented by the Illinois Arts Council in partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Tourism; the Chicago Office of Tourism; and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.

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

Visitors and Chicagoans planning to entertain out-of-town guests can receive Chicago brochures and trip-planning assistance and reserve hotel accommodations by calling toll-free 1.877.CHICAGO (1.877.244.2246) or visiting . Brochures and information on Chicago events and activities are also available at the Visitor Information Centers located at Chicago Water Works, 163 E. Pearson St. at Michigan Ave., and the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St. The TTY toll-free number for the hearing impaired is 1.866.710.0294.

Located in downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe Streets, the 24.5-acre Millennium Park is an unprecedented center for world-class art, music, architecture and landscape design. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion, designed by Frank Gehry, is the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States.

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