Don’t-miss picks for June 14 through June 20, 2017
1 Daymé Arocena
World:Equal parts jazz and Caribbean styles, the young Cuban singer’s music is as sophisticated as it is fun. With three albums under her belt before the age of 30, the energetic Arocena is a match for a breezy summer night in Millennium Park.
FREE 6/15 at 6:30 p.m. Pritzker Pavilion. cityofchicago.org
2 Jacques Brel’s Lonesome Losers of the Night
Theater:The intimate confines of No Exit Café are perfect for a performance steeped in minor-key heartache. Theo Ubique’s 2009 revue of Brel’s music was a haunting mix of sadness, sweetness, and pitch-perfect vocals. With director Fred Anzevino back at the tiller, expect this one to be just as beguiling.
6/15–8/6. $20–$34. No Exit Café. theo-u.com
3 Ensemble Español
Dance:Dubbed Raíces, this ambitious program is nestled among a multitude of events in the American Spanish Dance and Music Festival. Classic flamenco works by founder Dame Libby Komaiko and artistic director Irma Suarez Ruiz contrast with contemporary pieces and four world premieres.
6/16–6/18. $30–$50. North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. northshorecenter.org
4 Matter in the Margins: Gwendolyn Brooks at 100
Poetry:The poet Gwendolyn Brooks, a copious note-taker, chronicled countless events in her 83 years. In celebration of what would have been her 100th birthday, the Poetry Foundation rolls out more than 250 linear feet of these notes, including early prose, manuscript drafts, and daily observations scribbled on Post-its.
FREE 6/16 at 6 p.m. Poetry Foundation. poetryfoundation.org
5 Chicago Pride Fest
Festival:A week before the Pride Parade, Halsted Street turns out to celebrate East Lake View’s LGBTQ history. No small-potatoes prologue, this bustling block party has drawn some big-name musical acts in recent years, including St. Lucia, Big Freedia, and Jennifer Hudson.
6/17–18. $10 donation. Halsted between Grace and Addison. northalsted.com
Theater:Dael Orlandersmith tackles class and colorism in this story of a lifelong friendship between a light-skinned black man and a dark-skinned black woman. From the islands off South Carolina to the heart of New York City, the intertwined lives of Eugene and Alma make for a powerful, provocative drama.
6/17–7/2. $15–$20. Noyes Cultural Arts Center. fjtheatre.com
7 Marginal Green
Art:The new Goldfinch Gallery is gaining repute for showcasing some of the country’s best emerging artists. Case in point: this exhibition about the diminishing role of nature in our everyday lives, which includes Ellie Irons’s paintings of multi-colored grids made from weed pigments and a camera obscura by Jaclyn Jacunski that turns the gallery into a virtual green space. Also featured: Jenny Kendler and Stella Brown.
FREE 6/17–7/22. Goldfinch Gallery. goldfinchgallery.org
8 DJ Premier
Hip-Hop:After three decades crafting sample-heavy hip-hop, the 51-year-old DJ Premier takes his quintet, the Badder Band, on tour. Expect a variety of new material—backed by bass, drums, and brass—and classic turntablism from Primo’s lengthy catalogue.
6/17 at 10 p.m. $30. Concord Music Hall. concordmusichall.com
9 Pilsen Taco Fest
Festival:In addition to tacos from local vendors like La Cebollita and Taco Madre, this 18th Street food fest offers an array of drinks (piña coladas from El Campeon) and desserts (ice cream from La Michoacana). Among the musical entertainment is a cumbia DJ set by Ruben Quintanilla.
FREE 6/17–18. 18th and Newberry.
10 Makaya McCraven
Jazz:On Tuesdays this month, drummer Makaya McCraven hosts a rotating cast of musicians at the Hideout for sets blending improvisational jazz and hip-hop. He’ll record the performances for an album, his first since 2015’s beloved In the Moment, which featured 19 tracks sampled and remixed from a 48-hour live recording. Expect something for jazz traditionalists and hip-hop heads alike.
6/20 at 9:30 p.m. $10. The Hideout. hideoutchicago.com
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