West Side residents can look forward to a series of free concerts this summer. The events are presented by popular music educator and advocate Howard Sandifer, the founder of the Chicago West Community Center and head of Howard Sandifer Productions.
Night Out in the Parks, a Chicago Park District initiative that provides residents with accessible cultural and entertainment offerings, is also presenting the West Side concerts.
The concert series, which is launching during Black History Month, will kickoff on Friday, June 25, 7 p.m., on the terrace at Columbus Park Refectory, 5701 W. Jackson Blvd. in Austin.
The Randiss Hopkins Group will salute Stevie Wonder by performing his classic hits including “Sir Duke,” “Do I Do,” Knocks Me Off My Feet “ and “Ribbon in the Sky.” They’ll also play other popular hits, such as Minnie Riperton’’s “Lovin’ You” and Chaka Khan’s “Tell Me Something Good.”
“We are trying to give you the best of Stevie Wonder,” Hopkins, a well-known keyboardist, said in a statement. “The entire band is honored to salute his legacy. We want it to be a fun and educational experience.”
The festivities will start at 5:30 p.m. with vendors and a DJ. The concert follows at 7 p.m.
“What better way to celebrate Black Music Month than to attend a tribute to one of the greatest Black artists of all time, Stevie Wonder, being presented by some of the brightest, young artists in Chicago,” Sandifer said.
Other performances include “The Iceman” Tribute to Jerry Butler presented by Jonathan Jackson at 7 p.m on July 30 and “Piano Genius” Herbie Hancock presented by the Tyrone Blair Group at 7 p.m. on Aug. 28.
All performances will take place at the Columbus Park Refectory.