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    Millennium Park Grand Opening July 16-18; Weekend Long Celebration Features Free Events and Performances


June 25, 2004
Mayor's Press Office
Contact: Donna Metz
Phone: 312-744-2390

Chicagoans and visitors alike will celebrate the opening of the new Millennium Park with a three-day festival of free concerts, interactive activities, family entertainment, tours and more from July 16 to 18, 2004. The events will be presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Mayor's Office of Special Events and the Chicago Park District and underwritten by Bank One and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

"We have put together a series of events that's as exciting and distinctive as the park, itself," said Daley. "Millennium Park is a monumental achievement by the City and its philanthropic community. It is much more than a park; it is a showcase for the visual and performing arts and a tribute to the vitality and creativity of our city."

The Grand Opening will kick off Friday, July 16, with a world premiere concert by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion that will feature a composition by the American composer, John Corigliano, commissioned for the occasion.

Other weekend events include:

  • a sunrise workout featuring tai chi and yoga on the Great Lawn;
  • a parade featuring performing groups from neighborhoods throughout the city;
  • a large-scale illumination installation by Redmoon Theater;
  • "Reflecting Chicago," a concert showcasing Chicago's diverse music scene;
  • late-night music and dancing;
  • a three-ring circus and workshops;
  • tours led by Chicago Architecture Foundation docents departing every 30 minutes from locations throughout the park.
Bank One and JPMorgan Chase, which plan to merge later this year, each made grants to underwrite all costs of the events.

"We can think of no better way to celebrate the coming together of Bank One and JPMorgan Chase than to come together in support of Millennium Park," said William M. Daley, Midwest Chairman of JPMorgan Chase. "This will be one of the biggest events Chicago has ever seen, and thanks to these grants the entire three-day celebration will be free of charge to both the public and to the City."

"Bank One was a key contributor to Millennium Park from the outset, and we are delighted to be providing additional support now," said Warren K. Chapman, President of the Bank One Foundation. "Whether you are a tourist or a resident, Millennium Park is one of the most extraordinary public spaces in the world. This Grand Opening will showcase all that the Park has to offer, while also saluting the people, cultures and arts organizations that make Chicago such a special place to live."

An international destination that will showcase the city of Chicago to the world, the 24.5-acre Millennium Park is located in downtown Chicago, on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe streets. Its centerpiece will be the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States. The park will also be home to one of the world's largest outdoor sculptures, Cloud Gate, by the British artist Anish Kapoor; the tradition-setting Lurie Garden designed by the team of Kathryn Gustafson, Piet Oudolf, and Robert Israel; and the Crown Fountain designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.

Through September 30, visitors to the park can begin their experience at the Embrace Art Exhibition at the Chicago Tourism Center featuring Millennium Park Unveiled. This display traces the development of Millennium Park through models, drawings and plans offering visitors an exclusive look at how Chicago's newest marvel came to be. Embrace Art Exhibition at the Chicago Tourism Center is located at 72 E. Randolph Street. Hours of the free exhibition are Mondays -Saturdays 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.

For more information about the Millennium Park Grand Opening events, visit www.millenniumpark.org or call 312.742.1168. Brochures detailing Millennium Park's attractions and Grand Opening events are available at the City's official Visitor Information Centers: Chicago Water Works, 163 East Pearson Street at Michigan Avenue and the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 East Randolph Street.

The Millennium Park Grand Opening is a major highlight of the Embrace Art in Chicago tourism campaign running through September 30. For more information, call toll free 1.877chicago or visit www.877chicago.com. For those calling from outside the United States, Mexico and Canada, please call 1.312.201.8847. Chicago tourism information is also available on the Internet at www.cityofchicago.org/exploringchicago. The TTY toll-free number for the hearing impaired is 1.866.710.0294.

Calendar of Millennium Park Grand Opening Events (updated June 30, 2004)
July 16 - 18, 2004
Free Admission

Be among the first to experience the beauty, excitement and innovation of Millennium Park, Chicago's extraordinary new showplace of world-class art, music, architecture and landscape design. Join in a free, grand-opening celebration of Chicago's newest performance venue.

Performance schedule is subject to change.

Grand Opening Evening - Friday, July 16
Experience the first-ever performance in the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Head for the billowing curves of stainless steel and take a seat under the magnificent acoustical canopy.
5 - 7:30pm Explore the park and discover Pathway Performances throughout - world music, jazz, folk, pop/rock, hip-hop, choral, dance, strings, drumming, magic, puppetry and more! Performers include:
  • The Downtown Sound (polka)
  • Farm Crew (hip-hop),
  • Hedwig Dances with Erwin Helfer (improvisational blues and dance)
  • The Incurable Theater (puppetry)
  • David Kovac (Vaudevillian magician/juggler)
  • Eric Leonardson (springboard - invented instrument)
  • Lord of the Yum Yum (synthesized vocals)
  • Minianka African Drum & Dance Ensemble
  • Old Town School's Drumming Around the Globe (percussion petting zoo)
  • Alfonso Ponticelli and Swing Gitan (Gypsy swing)
  • Robot Liberation Front (stilt walking?sculptural costume)
  • Ron Smolen (accordion)
  • Sunnyside Up (country/bluegrass)
  • Tamboula (Haitian percussion and dance).
Enjoy the madcap comedy of the Kapoot clowns as they perform on the Great Lawn.
7:30 - 10pm Grand Unveiling of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Pritzker Premiere, Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus

Carlos Kalmar, Conductor; Christopher Bell, Chorus Director; Rachel Barton, Violin; Valentina Lisitsa, Piano; David Schrader, Harpsichord; Jonita Lattimore and Elizabeth Norman, Sopranos

Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar leads the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus in this historic concert featuring works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Copland, and the world premiere of John Corigliano's Midsummer Fanfare, commissioned for the occasion.

10 - 10:30pm Watch as Redmoon Theater illuminates the park with a dramatic installation of lanterns, fire and film.
10:30pm - midnight Late-Night Performances
Stay up late for performances featuring contemporary classical group Fulcrum Point New Music Project and Fareed Haque & The Indo-Pak Jazz Coalition, with special guests Goran Ivanovic and Kahil El Zabar. Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace. Dance to the selections of DJ's Steve "Silk" Hurley and Derrick Carter. Bank One Promenade South.
Chicago's Own - Saturday, July 17
Spend the day immersed in the art and culture of Chicago.
6:30 - 10am Sunrise Citywide Workout, Great Lawn
Get up early for drumming followed by fitness instruction in Yoga, Tai Chi and Caribbean Rhythms. Presented in collaboration with the Mayor's Fitness Council.
  • 6:30 - 7am Drumming led by John Yost of Rhythm Revolution
  • 7 - 7:45am Tai Chi led by Master Jianhua Guo
  • 8 - 8:45am Yoga led by Tom Quinn
  • 9 - 9:45am Caribbean Rhythms led by Aida Johnson
9am - 4pm Park Tours, every 30 minutes from locations throughout the park
Learn about the history, architecture and art of Millennium Park with tours led by Chicago Architecture Foundation docents.
10am - 12:30pm Grant Park Orchestra Open Rehearsal, Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Witness how the conductor and orchestra prepare for a concert at this open rehearsal.
12:30 - 3:30pm Chicago On Parade
Join more than 20 music and dance companies representing Chicago's various neighborhoods and cultural traditions in this one-of-a-kind parade. Watch the grand entrance and enjoy performances on stages throughout the park. Then make a costume or instrument and join the performers in the final procession. Performing groups include:
  • AfriCaribe/Nuestro Tambo (Afro-Puerto Rican "bomba" music)
  • American Indian Center of Chicago Drum & Dance Troupe (Native American drum and dance)
  • Chicago Carifete (West Indian masquerade bands)
  • Chicago Chinese Cultural Center's Lion Dance (Chinese Lion Dance)
  • Chicago Samba (Brazilian bossa nova, jazz)
  • Clinard Dance Theatre (traditional Flamenco and Spanish folk dance)
  • The Happiness Club (hip-hop song and dance)
  • Hromovytsia Ukrainian Dance Ensemble (traditional Ukrainian dance)
  • Indonesian Dance Troupe (traditional Indonesian dance)
  • Jesse White Tumbling Team (tumbling)
  • Kokyo Taiko (Japanese Taiko music)
  • M.A.D.D. Rhythms (tap dance)
  • Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago (regional Mexican folk dances)
  • Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago (African inspired dance)
  • Na Kupuna Ukulele Club (Hawaiian songs and hula dance)
  • Olympian Greek Dance Troupe (Greek folk dance)
  • Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago (Punjabi "bhangra" dance and drums)
  • Rheinischer Verein- German Mardi Gras (German drum and bugle corps)
  • Sanabel Palestinian Debka Group (traditional Palestinian dance)
  • Siumni Polish Highlanders Folk Dance Troupe (Traditional Polish dance)
  • South Shore Drill Team
  • Trinity Academy of Irish Dance (Irish step dance)
3:30 - 6:30pm Reflecting Chicago, Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Experience the diversity of Chicago's music scene all on one stage with this concert featuring All Natural, Fred Anderson, Lurrie Bell, Andrew Bird, Billy Branch and the Sons of the Blues, Ari Brown, Maggie Brown, Oscar Brown Jr., Calvin Brunson, Terry Callier, Otis Clay, Kevin Cole, Orbert Davis, Diverse, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Von Freeman, Robbie Fulks, Erwin Helfer, Kelly Hogan, Ella Jenkins, Howard Levy, Sharon Lewis, Reginald McCracken and the True Voices of Christ Gospel Choir, Poi Dog Pondering, Reginald Robinson, Byron Stingily, Koko Taylor, Studs Terkel, Jon Weber, Corey Wilkes, 8 Bold Souls, and others!
3:30 - 7:30pm Pathway Performances, ranging from flamenco guitar to Russian folk singing continue throughout the park. Performers include:
  • Bank One Gospel Choir
  • Contriband (hip-hop)
  • Chris Gilmartin and Wes Cihosz (pop rock)
  • Gingarte Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts, dance and percussion)
  • Golosá (Russian folk choir)
  • Las Guitarrás de España (flamenco guitar and dance)
  • The Incurable Theater (puppetry)
  • Kalapriya Dance (Indian classical dance)
  • Mariachi Guadalajara
  • Morikeba Kouyate and the Jaliya Ensemble (Senegalese griot)
  • Mosaic (Arabic, Turkish, Armenian and Sephardic)
  • Motion to Fix (Celtic)
  • Dan Nicky and Blue Lotus Tribe (Middle Eastern and North African belly dancing)
  • Old Town School's Drumming Around the Globe (percussion petting zoo)
  • Pocomania Jamaican Dance Company (Caribbean folk dance)
  • Robot Liberation Front (stilt walking?sculptural costume)
  • Ron Smolen (accordion)
  • Sunrise Chorus (Chinese traditional)
  • Alex Udvary (Hungarian cimbalom)
  • Webb Brothers (pop rock).
6:30 - 7:30pm Enjoy the madcap comedy of the Kapoot clowns as they perform on the Great Lawn.
7:30 - 9:30pm Jennifer Larmore Sings Mahler, Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, Conductor; Jennifer Larmore, Mezzo Soprano. John Corigliano's Midsummer Fanfare (GPMF commission), Mahler's Ruckert Lieder, and Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Opus 47 by Shostakovich.
9:30 - 10pm Watch as Redmoon Theater illuminates the park with a dramatic installation of lanterns, fire and film.
10pm - Midnight Late-Night Performances
Performances continue into the night with contemporary chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird (10 - 10:40pm), Ira Glass of "This American Life" with the visuals of Chris Ware (10:50 - 11:15pm), and pop duo The Aluminum Group (11:20pm - Midnight). Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace.

Dance to the Latin big-band sound of Angel Melendez & The 911 Mambo Orchestra. Bank One Promenade South.

Family Favorites - Sunday, July 18
Bring the whole family to the Park for another fun-filled day of music and more.
9am - 4pm Park Tours, every 30 minutes from locations throughout the park.
Learn about the history, architecture and art of Millennium Park with tours led by Chicago Architecture Foundation docents.
10am - 12:30pm Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me, Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Test your news savvy during a live taping of NPR and Chicago Public Radio's oddly informative news quiz. Hosted by Peter Sagal, with official judge and scorekeeper, NPR's emeritus newsman Carl Kassell, and featuring regular panelists, humorist and author Roy Blount Junior, Air America host Sue Ellicott, and writer and performer Adam Felber.
Noon - 3pm Three Ring Circus, Bank One Promenade
Join the Bumblinni Brothers, Chicago Youth Circus and The Actors Gymnasium for a show in the center ring, and then learn the secrets to clowning, juggling and other circus techniques.
Noon - 3:30pm Family Performances
Listen to opera performances by singers from the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists (Noon - 12:25pm), and Soprano Kim Jones and Tenor Cornelius Johnson (1 - 1:25pm), as well as highlights of the Chicago Cultural Center's Summer Opera program and the Gallery 37 Operatics Vocal Ensemble (2 - 2:25pm). North Balcony.

Enjoy music for kids featuring Ella Jenkins (12:30 -12:55pm), Ralph's World (1:30 - 1:55pm) and the Near North Montessori School's kid rock band, The Blisters (2:30 - 2:55pm). Wrigley Square Peristyle.

The Chicago Children's Choir performs (3 - 3:25pm). Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

3:30 - 5pm Chicago Immigrant Orchestra, Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Creativity emerges when traditional musicians representing Chicago's ethnic communities come together to form a 22-piece orchestra.
5 - 6:30pm Crepuscule
Experience improvisational jazz percussion performed by professional musicians and students throughout the park. Artistic Director and composer Douglas Ewart orchestrates this collective composition that celebrates creativity and community in a unique way.
5:30 - 6:30pm Enjoy the madcap comedy of the Kapoot clowns as they perform on the Great Lawn.
6:30 - 8:30pm Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5, Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Grant Park Orchestra; Carlos Kalmar, conductor; Alban Gerhardt, cello.

The weekend's final concert features John Corigliano's Midsummer Fanfare (GPMF commission), Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor, Opus 85, and Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Opus 47 by Shostakovich.

All Weekend Family Album
Explore monumental photographs of families from around the world. This exhibition of 110 photographs by Uwe Ommer celebrates the concept of the family in its many forms and demonstrates the beauty of diversity.

Listen In
Use your cell phone to experience this series of unique artist-created performances, each inspired by different areas of the park. Artists include CC Carter, Johnny Arena and Heather Rafferty of The House Theatre, Connor Kalista with Chloe Johnston, and Stephen Lapthisophon. Call 312.742.2004 to access the audio performances.

BP Bridge, the only Gehry-designed bridge in the world complements the Pritzker Pavilion.

For more information about Millennium Park Grand Opening events, visit www.millenniumpark.org or call 312.742.1168.

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