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The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events today announced that Jennifer Hudson, Chaka Khan, Death Cab for Cutie and Dierks Bentley will perform as headline musical acts at the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park (Jackson and Columbus) as part of the 32nd Annual Taste of Chicago, July 11-15.
For the first time, Taste attendees will be able to purchase tickets to the seating area at the bandshell. A total of 3,000 seats will be available beginning in late May for only $25. Details on how to purchase tickets to the seats will be available on the Taste website at http://www.tasteofchicago.us/. Lawn seating for more than 30,000 people remain free.
Taste opens on a Wednesday this year, and kicking off the festival’s concert series is Chicago’s own Jennifer Hudson. The Oscar and Grammy® Award winning actress grew up singing in the church choir and attended Dunbar High School in Bronzeville. Participation in American Idol led to an audition for the coveted role of Effie in the film version of “Dream Girls” and Hudson beat out hundreds of competitors for the part, and in the process she earned an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a SAG award and several Critics’ awards. Her sophomore album I Remember Me was released in 2011 and she recently collaborated with Ne-Yo and Rick Ross on the title track for the film “Think Like a Man” opening April 20th. Hudson takes the stage at 6:45 p.m. following an opening act (TBD) beginning the concert at 5:30 p.m.
Thursday evening is the 25th Annual XRT concert at Taste of Chicago, featuring Death Cab for Cutie, which just completed two successful shows at the Chicago Theatre.
The band formed at Western Washington University in Washington and has been touring recently promoting its seventh studio album, the Grammy nominated Codes and Keys. Death Cab’s latest release was created in studios up and down the west coast over the course of seven months. They take the stage beginning at 6:45 p.m. following an opening act (TBD) which begins the evening’s performances at 5:30 p.m.
Performers for Friday evening, July 13 have yet to be confirmed.
Proving there “Ain’t Nobody” like her, Chaka Khan headlines the V-103 concert Saturday night at Taste. As a solo performer, Khan has demonstrated that her vocal skills can translate to many musical genres as she is as adept at singing rock, jazz, gospel music, hip-hop and classical as she is at soul and R&B.
Khan continues to rack up Grammy nominations and wins including a double win in 2008 for Best R &B album, Funk This and her duet “Disrespectful” featuring Mary J. Blige for Best R&B performance by a Duo or Group.
Opening for Khan is yet another Grammy award winning artist, Raphael Saadiq. The singer, songwriter and record producer carries the torch for old school R&B. Saadiq performed at this year’s Kennedy Center Honors as part of the tribute to honoree Neil Diamond. He’s been touring following the success of his recent album, Stone Rollin’ on which he plays bass, mellotron, keys, guitar, percussion and drums. Music begins at 5:30 p.m.
Earlier on Saturday will be a completely free concert for kids presented by Radio Disney. Following the Fleet Feet Kids Dash which happens at 9:30 a.m., families will be encouraged to enjoy Taste as it opens at 11 a.m. and then enter the Petrillo Seating and lawn areas for a free concert beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Taste is going country on Sunday, its final day with the Bud Light concert featuring Grammy nominated Dierks Bentley who performs at 4:45 p.m. Bentley has recently added a ninth No. 1 single to his credits as the title track from his latest album, Home, reached that milestone on both the Billboard and Mediabase charts. His versatile style has led him to such varied events as Lollapalooza, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Bonaroo and now Taste of Chicago.
Opening for Bentley at 3:30 p.m. is singer Lindi Ortega. A country artist from Canada, Ortega has toured the Midwest opening for Kevin Costner and his band, The Modern West, and she was tapped as back-up singer for The Killers’ Brandon Flowers on his solo tour.
The 32nd Annual Taste of Chicago is July 11-15 in Grant Park and open each day at 11 a.m. For more information on the free admission festival, call 312.744.3316; TTY: 312.744.2964 or visit http://www.tasteofchicago.us/. Join the Taste conversation on Facebook at Taste of Chicago and follow us on twitter, @TasteofChi2012.
Taste of Chicago is produced, programmed and managed by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and sponsored by Aquafina, BP Team USA Experience, Bud Light, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Tribune, CLTV-ChicagoLand’s Television, Communications Direct, Dominick's, Gallo Family Vineyards, Humana, Hyatt Regency Chicago, LaGrou Distribution System, Pepsi, Shoreline Sightseeing, Univision Radio, US99.5, V-103, WGN-Television, WTTW Check Please and 93XRT.
2012 Taste of Chicago
Petrillo Music Shell Concerts Presented by the City of Chicago