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Downtown Sound returns to Millennium Park

CHICAGO — Downtown Sound, Millennium Park’s popular Monday night music series, makes its return beginning on June 2 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. The series will continue on consecutive Monday evenings from June 2 to Aug. 11. There will be no concert on July 28. The series offers an eclectic mix of indie rock music and pop. Highlights of the series for 2014 include Omar Souleyman, Richard Thompson and Robbie Fulks.

This year, the city of Chicago will mark Millennium Park’s 10th Anniversary from May 26 to Sept. 1. Join the city for a summer-long celebration featuring Downtown Sound, Loops and Variations and Made in Chicago music series, film series, workouts and much more.

At 6:30 p.m. June 2, Robbie Fulks, Chicago’s prodigiously talented singer, songwriter and guitarist, with the soul of a country singer and the mind of a vaudevillian will headline the evening’s entertainment. Opening for Fulks is Steve Dawson, leader of Chicago folk-rock group Dolly Varden, has joined forces with some of the city’s most revered improvising musicians to form a new band called Funeral Bonsai Wedding.

At 6:30 p.m. June 9, Omar Souleyman will headline the evening. Hailing from Syria, Souleyman not only changed the vibe of weddings throughout the Middle East with his Shaabi street sound, but also brought it to the West through his notorious late night festival slots. Natural Information Society will open the show. Natural Information Society is the genre-defying project of Chicago bassist Joshua Abrams. In performance the music revolves around the sound of the guimbri (a Gnawan lute), integrating composition and improvisation to create hypnotic, highly rhythmic and sustained psychedelic environments.

Richard Thompson and his Electric Trio will perform at 6:30 p.m. June 16. Named by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time, Thompson is also one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. Having co-founded the groundbreaking group Fairport

Convention as a teenager in the 1960s, Thompson and his mates virtually invented British Folk Rock. His last solo album “Electric,” was produced by studio extraordinaire Buddy Miller and released by New West records in February 2013. For his Millennium Park debut Thompson will play a solo acoustic set followed by a full electric set with his trio.

The 1998 film “Rushmore” will be shown after the show as part of Chicago Bike Week presented by the Goose Island Beer Co. at 8:30 p.m.

At 6:30 p.m. June 23, singer-songwriter, guitarist, author and DJ Bob Mould will headline the show. Now well into his fourth decade as a singer-songwriter, Mould is as relevant, ferocious and poignant as he has ever. Split Single will open the show. He is the new project from Jason Narducy. Narducy recorded the album, “Fragmented World” with Spoon’s Britt Daniel, and Superchunk / Mountain Goats drummer Jon Wurster to craft a plush collection of rock songs. He will be performing these songs with Chicago musicians Tim Remis and Jake Smith.

At 6:30 p.m. June 30, Shara Worden will perform. She is a multi-instrumentalist and trained opera singer, she’s performed under the experimental-pop moniker My Brightest Diamond for the last seven years. Her new album is released in fall 2014. Chicago brother/sister duo White Mystery, Miss Alex White & Francis Scott Key White, round out the bill with their bombastic rock attack to open the show.

Millennium Park is located on Michigan Avenue, bordered by Randolph Street to the north, Columbus Drive to the east and Monroe Street to the south. Convenient parking is located in the Millennium Park Garage (entrance on Columbus at Monroe or Randolph), Millennium Lakeside and Grant Park North.

Downtown Sound is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and sponsored by 93XRT, Chicago Tribune, Cliff Bar, Goose Island Beer Co., Millennium Garages and Southwest Airlines. For complete details on this and all Millennium Park Music Series news and events visit millenniumpark.org or follow them on Facebook and Twitter @Millennium_Park.

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