Announcement: NEW Acts & Revised Schedule

The Chicago Westside Music Festival Announces


Carl Thomas, Alex Boyd and new Chicago Talent Join the Summer Series


CHICAGO, IL  –  JUNE 2012  – The newly established Chicago Westside Music Festival is a FREE summer concert series that will take place at three westside park locations.  The concerts will be hosted at the following locations: Douglas Park (1401 South Sacramento Boulevard) on July 21st from 12-8pm, Columbus Park (500 South Central Avenue) on August 11th from 12-8pm, and Garfield Park (100 North Central Park Avenue) on August 18th from 12-8pm.

This festival seeks to provide national and local talent to the City of Chicago using the communities of North Lawndale, Garfield and Austin as a platform for cultural and musical activities. Michael Scott Jr., a lifelong resident of the westside and Area 2 Manager for the Chicago Park District Central Region, secured a grant from The Chicago Community Trust after seeing another concert series end in 2010 and community patrons inquiring about its replacement.  “I grew up watching my father (Michael Scott Sr.) producing events all over the city of Chicago but none were on the Westside, not major ones.  His goal was to better our community and I’m following in his footsteps through this concert series,” said Michael Scott Jr.

“We are pleased to welcome the Chicago Westside Music Festival to Douglas, Garfield and Columbus parks,” said Chicago Park District Central Region Manager Art Richardson. “This concert series, in conjunction with the many cultural programs offered in our parks, underscores our commitment to bringing unique recreation opportunities to families in all Chicago neighborhoods.”

Event Producer, Michelle Geddes, President and CEO of M Group Worldwide, Inc., also a lifelong resident of the westside, is enthusiastic about the opportunity this endeavor provides for her community.  “The westside is thirsty for exposure, sustainable programming and cultural outlets.  We are super excited to be a part of this process and have waited a long time for something like this to come to our community!”

Mayor Emanuel is committed to ensuring that every Chicago neighborhood has access to high-quality cultural experiences.  The Chicago Westside Music Festival is a wonderful example of how neighborhood events can heighten accessibility to engaging arts programs in communities,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Each of the three concerts will provide a different musical atmosphere to each location, showcasing national and local talent. Our July 21st concert at Douglas Park will showcase “Chicago’s Home Grown Talent” featuring the Chris Davis Jazztet, Sidewalk Chalk, April Fools, Jason Ferguson, Natalie Oliveri, Patrick “Preacha” Robinson, Terrence “Conscious” Bradfield, Ozivell “OZ” Ecford, Ryan “Prince Good Maroon Gods” Gardner and more.


On Saturday, August 11th at Columbus Park we will host a Gospel Celebration Concert – a full day of food, family fun and festivities, free to the community of all ages. Presented in partnership with Alderman Deborah Graham of the 29th Ward.

And Finally, August 18th is the grand finale featuring headliner Musiq Soulchild, Alex Boyd, Chicago’s own Syleena Johnson and Carl Thomas,  ZZaje w/Carla Prather, Madd Rhythms, Move Me Soul, Comedy Showcase and more.

About the August 18th Line Up:

Musiq Soulchild: As an American R&B/soul singer-songwriter whose style blends contemporary R&B, neo- soul, funk, alternative, blues, jazz, gospel influences and hip hop, Musiq Soulchild is a highly accomplished, award winning artist. His awards include 2 platinum albums, 2 gold albums and 7 hit singles. He has received accolades from Billboard, BET, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, BMI, and Soul Train. Musiq has also been recognized by various outlets including MTV, The American Music Awards, the NAACP, and has received 11 Grammy nominations, including 3 for his 2007 album Luvanmusiq.

Alex Boyd: Newly-signed RCA Recording artist ALEX BOYD is a triple threat – by the young age of 13 he was dancing with Debbie Allen at the Kennedy Center, singing with Patti LaBelle and acting alongside Bruce Willis. Alex possesses a strong reverence for the soul masters, which is heard in his expressive vocals, as well as throughout the instrumentation and production of his music. Alex is currently in the studio putting the final touches on his debut album for RCA Records and will spend the summer performing at the famed Essence Festival, Hampton Jazz Festival, Cincinnati Jazz Festival, and the Chicago Westside Music Festival.

Syleena Johnson: Chicago’s own Syleena Johnson is an American Grammy Award nominated R&B and soul singer-songwriter and actress. Imagine this: you’re a Grammy-nominated singer, considered one of the best vocalists of your generation, who has scored major R&B hits and been invited to collaborate with the likes of Kanye West and R. Kelly, yet some folks consider you “underrated.” This has been the plight of Syleena Johnson, acclaimed as one of the finest R&B voices to have emerged during the past decade. Through it all, she has persevered. And with the release of the new CD, Chapter 5: Underrated, and an upcoming reality show, Syleena is poised to continue to take the industry by storm.

Carl Thomas: The R&B crooner, best known for his #1 R&B smash “I Wish” from the album So Emotional, which sold nearly 2 million copies, is back! Conquer, his first album in 4 years, is bursting with lush orchestrations and entrancing chords. The core of Conquer is comparable to Coldplay’s soulful sparseness. It’s the spirited pop of Maroon Five on a hot Harlem night. While he wants to make timeless and genre-pushing music, his mission this time is even grander in scope. He wants to help and inspire someone future artists. The word “conquer” is an admittance that you’ve won. With the battles in his life over the past several years, he definitely considers himself victorious.

The Chicago Westside Music Festival is presented by The Chicago Community Trust (Lead Foundation), the Chicago Park District (Lead Partner), Parkways Foundation (Fiscal Agent) and sponsored by BMO Harris (Platinum Sponsor), ComEd (Silver Sponsor), Friends of Michael Alvarez (Friend), Comcast (Media Sponsor) and Hard Rock Hotel Chicago (Hotel Partner) with additional sponsors and partners to be named later.

For more information on the festival as news becomes available, call 312-961-2025, visit; Facebook (Westside Music Festival) and on Twitter (@WSMF2012).

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