Don’t-miss picks for June 28 through July 4, 2017
1 Jazzin’ at the Shedd
Jazz:During the summer, Wednesday evenings are the best time to visit the Shedd’s thousands of marine animals, accompanied by live jazz, cocktails, and a view of the sun setting behind the skyline. This week, check out performances from the William Boris Duo, Rio Bamba, and the Joe Policastro Trio.
6/28. $18–$20. Shedd Aquarium. sheddaquarium.org
2 Missa Latina
Classical:The Grant Park Music Festival has a resident chorus and a penchant for American music, meaning a big choral-orchestral piece such as composer Roberto Sierra’s ‘Missa Latina’ fits the fest like old clothes. Although critics of previous performances reported that ‘Missa’ missed the high-art bar, its rhythmic excitement and friendly harmonies sound like perfect picnic listening.
FREE 6/28 and 6/30. Jay Pritzker Pavilion. grantparkmusicfestival.com
3 Then They Came for Me
Art:Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, more than 100,000 Americans of Japanese descent were put in internment camps. Photographers Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange documented the process of the evacuation of Japanese Americans from their homes to their oppressive new quarters.
FREE 6/29–11/19. Alphawood Gallery. alphawoodgallery.org
4 Chicago Tap Theatre
Dance:This year the tap company’s annual story-driven show is a reboot of 2016’s Changes, dedicated to the music of David Bowie. Catch a sci-fi narrative that’s as charming as past audience favorites Time Steps and Love Taps.
6/30–7/16 $23–$37. Stage 773. chicagotaptheatre.com
5 Lila Downs
World:This Mexican American songwriter sings in multiple indigenous languages, including Mayan and Zapotec. She’s released 11 albums since her emergence in the ’90s, including her latest, Balas y Chocolate (Bullets and Chocolate), a richly drawn tapestry of songs about strength and excess. Expect a dexterous, intellectual spread of Latin American styles at this Ravinia set.
7/1 at 7:30 p.m. $27–$65. Ravinia. ravinia.org
6 Lake Ellyn Cardboard Regatta
Recreation:Why buy a boat when you can build one? Each year, Chicagoland’s DIY shipwrights construct cardboard watercraft—some simple, some sculpturesque—to race across Lake Ellyn. Since contest rules forbid any kind of sealant or waterproofing, the real challenge lies in staying afloat.
7/1 at noon. Free to attend. Entry fee $50 a boat. Lake Ellyn Park. glenellyn4thofjuly.com
7 African/Caribbean International Festival of Life
Festival:Celebrate the fusion of African and Caribbean culture with this four-day festival, which showcases a variety of food, arts, and crafts from more than 200 vendors. Musical highlights include DJ Farley Jackmaster Funk and reggae stars Queen Ifrica and Capleton.
7/1–4, noon to 10 p.m. $25–$400. Union Park. internationalfestivaloflife.com
8 Avery R. Young & De Deacon Board, DJ Jarvis Mason
Blues:Poet and songwriter Avery R. Young blends blues, funk, and gospel in what he calls a “soul saving revival,” performing alongside De Deacon Board in a tribute to Xavier Joy, a Whitney Young graduate who was shot and killed in Woodlawn in June.
7/1 at 10 p.m. $5. California Clipper. californiaclipper.com
9 The Mountain Goats
Rock:The Mountain Goats began as a solo act: Singer-songwriter John Darnielle recorded a series of bookish folk tunes on his boom box under that name. These days, Darnielle takes advantage of a full band, but the lush, piano-driven arrangements still flaunt his trademark lyrical punch.
7/3 at 9 p.m. $31 at the door. Empty Bottle. emptybottle.com
10 Fourth of July Fireworks
Holiday:Sure, you could pop off some firecrackers in your street and call it a night—or you could take in Navy Pier’s lavish display from Oak Street Beach, the pier’s rooftop Freedom Fest ($39), or one of various booze cruises that will carry you out onto the water, directly beneath the action. For the more adventurous, several local companies will rent out kayaks for paddling out to the show. For more ideas on how to watch, see our guide to Chicago fireworks.
7/1 at 9:30 p.m. Free. Navy Pier. navypier.com