Chicago blues singer Ivy Ford kicks off the Blues and Brews festival at The Venue in Aurora Friday, June 10. // Courtesy of Jeff Fasano

Sound check: Ivy Ford, Toronzo Cannon kick off Blues and Brews Friday; T1 Fest at Reggies

Blues and Brews fest, Liquid Soul, T1 Fest, The Throwbacks and the Chicago Philharmonic summer schedule; plus more from Side Street Studio Arts and Bitter Jester.

Blues and Brews

For three nights, The Venue showcases some of what makes Chicago blues so hot with its annual outdoor Blues and Brews festival. Ivy Ford kicks off Friday night, followed by the Bear Williams Band and Toronzo Cannon. Saturday, catch The Kinsey Report headlining a lineup that includes The Mike Wheeler Band, Dave Herrero and Anne Harris and Aurora native Joey J. Saye. Sunday, The Venue presents a special tribute to Robert Cray’s blues album “Strong Persuader.” Bring chairs and blankets; the Strawberries BBQ food truck will be selling bites and the bar will be open for beverages. 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 10-11, and 7 p.m. Sunday, June 12, at The Venue, 21 S. Broadway Ave., Aurora. $25 for Friday and Saturday, $15 for Sunday and $65 for three-day passes; tickets increase by $5 at the door. (331) 212-8490 or

Liquid Soul at Empire

Since 1993, Chicago freestyle fusion band Liquid Soul has been delivering its blend of hip-hip, funk and jazz to fans around the world. This weekend, the Grammy-nominated band brings its party vibe to Empire in downtown Naperville. 9 p.m. Friday, June 10, at Empire, 48 W. Chicago Ave., Naperville. $10. (630) 355-9000 or

Philharmonic happenings

The Chicago Philharmonic launches its summer concert season this weekend with a concert in conjunction with Johnny Mathis at the Four Winds New Buffalo Casino in Michigan, but the music comes back to Chicago and the suburbs the following week with the first of a number of summer events. Visit for more info and to buy tickets.

• Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther in Concert” paired with a screening of the Marvel movie: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago. $49-$129 at

• “The Lion King — In Concert Live to Film”: 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, at Ravinia Festival, 201 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park. $30-$45.

• “Classical Mystery Tour — A Tribute to The Beatles”: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 3, at Ravinia Festival. $38-$75.

• “The Goonies — In Concert”: 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 6, at Ravinia Festival. $30-$75.

• Side by Side with the Chicago Philharmonic: Saturday, July 9, at the Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1301 N. Humboldt Drive, Chicago. Free.

• Side by Side with the Chicago Philharmonic: Saturday, July 23, at Ping Tom Memorial Park, 1700 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago. Free.

• Chicago Philharmonic Ensemble: 6 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at Wheaton Memorial Park, 225 Karlskoga Ave., Wheaton. $10.

• The Irish Tenors with the Chicago Philharmonic: 4 p.m. Sunday, July 24, at George Williams College of Aurora University, 500 W. Geneva St., Williams Bay, Wisconsin. $30-$75.

• Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Ensembles Present “A Night of Tango”: 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, at The Forge Adventure Park, 1001 Main St., Lemont. $15.

Bitter Jester Music Festival

Congratulations to Wisconsin’s Fightin’ Bob, who won week three of Highland Park’s Bitter Jester Music Festival last Friday. This week, Linda ThereseNYXRaeSummer DriveSummer League and Venganza take the contest stage for the final preliminary round. Showcase artists This Violet Hour and Jabari Zakee and guest artist Kate Larson will perform at the free outdoor show. 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 10, at Port Clinton Square, 600 Central Ave., Highland Park. Free.

T1 diabetes benefit fest

Reggies Rock Club hosts the two-night T1 Fest, a punk and rock benefit to raise funds for diabetes research. Friday, Nerf Herder headlines the lineup with special guests Direct Hit!, Tightwire, The Putz, Zoanoids and Shehehe. Saturday, The Methadones play their first performance in eight years, along with the Josh Caterer Trio, Dan Vapid & the Cheats, Capgun Heroes and Hayley and the Crushers. Proceeds from the fest go to helping find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 10-11, at Reggies Rock Club, 2105 S. State St., Chicago. $27 each day in advance, $32 at the door, $50 for a two-day pass. or

Music at Side Street

Congratulations to Feed the Monkeys, who won night two of the Side Street Studio Arts summer Battle of the Bands last weekend. In lieu of a competition round this week, the arts studio instead presents a Monday night concert June 13 featuring Mechanical Canine, Stand and Wave, Earth Program and Constant Headache. 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 13, at Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Court, Elgin. $10.

Throwing it back

Relive favorites from the past with a modern, high-energy twist when The Throwbacks play their odes to a bygone era as part of the Grayslake Summer Concert Series. The free, outdoor show, originally set for this week, was rescheduled to Monday, June 13; bring your blankets and lawn chairs for a family-friendly start to the week. 7 p.m. Monday, June 13, at the Grayslake Library, 100 Library Lane, Grayslake. Free.

• Brian Shamie is a Daily Herald multiplatform editor and local music junkie. Email him at, find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter (@thatshamieguy) or Instagram (@chicagosoundcheck).

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