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June 18 – 20 | Music In Mundy Park, Aurora

It’s another great weekend of fun and music at Aurora’s The Venue.  Check out what’s happening.

Friday, June 18

Joanna Conner

“Joanna Connor might be the best — or most original — blues-based slide guitar player you’re likely to come across today. Or tomorrow.” –GUITAR WORLD

“You need to check out the string-bending, mind-blowing, Joanna Connor.” –ELMORE MAGAZINE

No doubt you’ve seen it by now: That viral video of a woman onstage in a bright purple dress, playing one absolute scorcher of a slide guitar solo. That’s Joanna Connor in her home turf of Chicago, with the firepower she delivers to local crowds on a nightly basis.

That video has gone around the world a few times, getting millions of views and being re-posted in Japan, Russia and all over Europe. The viral phenomenon ironically happened while Connor herself has been off the road and out of the studio, devoting herself to being a mom and playing club residencies—not exactly laying low, since she does around 200 shows a year.

Showtime 8pm. Doors open 7pm.
Advance General Admission Terrace $20 (Seat provided)
Advance General Admission Lawn seats $15. Bring Your Own Chair or blanket.
+$5 door
*This is a rain or shine outdoor concert.

 

Saturday, June 19

Smiley Tillmon Band and Kate Moss

One of the busiest blues outfits in Chicagoland, the Smiley Tillmon Band is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. There’s an obvious reason why the veteran guitarist’s booking schedule is so jam-packed: Smiley knows how to have a good time and makes sure his audience does too. After 55 years on the local blues scene, Tillmon serves up the blues and soul standards that people never seem to stop craving, his rich vocals and fluid guitar backed by a band that keeps his grooves tight and right.

Born Moses Tillmon in rural Jefferson County, Georgia, Smiley grew up on a hearty musical diet of gospel, country, and a little blues. His mother moved to Fort Lauderdale when he was ten; there he was exposed to calypso music, adding up to a singular list of influences. Tillmon took up guitar and was good enough by the dawn of the ‘60s to back Miami R&B singer Billy Miranda in the studio. He joined Sammy Ambrose & the Afro-Beats, a calypso-oriented band, touring from Canada to New York. Smiley bid the Afro-Beats adieu in 1962 and moved to Chicago. There he established himself on the blues circuit, playing with Billy “The Kid” Emerson, Denise LaSalle, and other South Side luminaries until he opted for a day job in 1977.

Upon his 2007 retirement, Smiley reverted to full-time musical status. He joined forces with bassist Tom Rezetko, and they’ve been inseparable onstage ever since. Kate Moss shares guitar duties with Tillmon; married to another blues guitar standout, Nick Moss, Kate’s sound is heavily influenced by Freddie King and Magic Sam (she fell in love with the blues at age 21 when she met Buddy Guy, and she’s shared stages with Buddy, Jimmy Johnson, Eddie Shaw, and Lurrie Bell, just to name a few). Drummer George Baumann completes one of the Windy City’s toughest blues combos, one that’ll keep you smiling from ear to ear.

Showtime 8pm. Doors open 7pm.
Advance General Admission Terrace $20 (Seat provided)
Advance General Admission Lawn seats $15. Bring Your Own Chair or blanket.
+$5 door
*This is a rain or shine outdoor concert.

 

Sunday, June 20

Breezy Rodio

“Breezy Rodio has produced a veritable smorgasbord of tasty songs that span the timeline from the 1940s to the present.

“With the use of A-list musicians, dynamic horn arrangements and inventive original lyrics, Breezy has managed to produce a recording full of musical delights.”

— Billy Branch

“Outstanding singer, guitarist and composer, with a mix of traditional and modern blues/soul/R&B, Breezy Rodio has become a key figure on the Chicago Blues Scene.”

— LIVING BLUES

Showtime 8pm. Doors open 7pm.
Advance General Admission Terrace $15 (Seat provided)
Advance General Admission Lawn seats $15. Bring Your Own Chair or blanket.
+$5 door
*This is a rain or shine outdoor concert.

The Venue is located at  21 S. Broadway in Aurora. For more information and tickets, visit https://themusicvenue.org.

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