4 Can’t-Miss Chicago Juneteenth Livestreams

By Kristina Elstner and Keegan Morris |

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Members of AACM Chicago

As the city, state, and country celebrate Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the US, Chicago arts and music organizations are giving performances and leading discussions centering Black artists. Here are four music-related streams we think you should tune in to.

5:30 pm — Experimental Sound Studio & Rebuild Foundation • Juneteenth Quarantine Concert benefiting the Tamir Rice Foundation

Artists Meagan McNeal, Krista Franklin, avery r young, Duane Powell, and YAW, will take the virtual stage in a livestreamed multimedia performance held at Chicago’s Experimental Sound Studio in collaboration with Rebuild Foundation. Donations for the performance will benefit the Tamir Rice Foundation, honoring Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African American boy who was killed by a Cleveland Police Officer. Rice’s eighteenth birthday would have been on June 25. The concert begins at 5:30 pm.

6:00 pm — Chicago Children’s Choir • A New Freedom: Black Voices Honoring Juneteenth in a Time of Struggle

With the ongoing worldwide outcry for justice and equality for the Black community, alumni of the Chicago Children’s Choir will share a livestreamed performance this evening at 6:00 pm. This hometown ensemble, which was founded in response to the Civil Rights Movement, will perform in a concert curated by CCC leaders Lonnie Norwood and Mark Myers and Choir alumna Tramaine Parker. With a selection of spirituals, spoken word, and music written by Black artists including Stevie Wonder, Esperanza Spalding, and The Clark Sisters, the concert aims to shine a light on the resistance against oppression and the imperative to “amplify Black voices,” in the words of Choir president and artistic director Josephine Lee. We couldn’t agree more. Tune in to the 6:00 pm performance on Chicago Children’s Choir’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

6:00 pm — CSO Musicians & D-Composed • Juneteenth Live Discussion

D-Composed, a Chicago-based chamber experience that celebrates the music of the African diaspora, will join with members of the CSO to celebrate and discuss Juneteenth. Read our 2018 interview with D-Composed’s founder Kori Coleman and its artistic director and violist Danielle Taylor, then register for the 6:00 pm Zoom webinar here!

8:00 pm — Old Town School of Folk Music & AACM • Virtual Juneteenth Celebration

Two of Chicago’s most important hubs for music and music education — the Old Town School of Folk Music and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians — are teaming up to host a virtual Juneteenth celebration to benefit survivors of police violence. The concert will feature the Great Black Music Ensemble, AACM’s longstanding multi-genre ensemble, and the Young Masters, an ensemble featuring some of the city’s most exceptional high school and college-aged musicians. The virtual performance is free, but viewers are encouraged to make donations to the Chicago Torture Justice Center. Watch the YouTube stream at 8:00 pm tonight.