Featured Artists will Highlight Chicago’s Variety of Styles, Talent and Iconic Festivals
The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) announced that the “Chi on the Fly” summer entertainment series began Friday, June 2 at O’Hare and Midway International Airports, providing travelers a taste of the music and culture Chicago has to offer throughout the busy summer travel season.
“The CDA is proud to present a diverse lineup of entertainers during some of the busiest travel weekends of the year,” CDA Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee said. “We are pleased to showcase an assortment of the local talent and world-class festivals that make Chicago a global entertainment destination.”
Many of the acts performing at the airports this summer are scheduled to coincide with and highlight music festivals and other events happening in Chicago throughout the season, so travelers can get a taste of the city’s cultural offerings even if they’re only passing through for a connecting flight.
Starting next weekend, scheduled musical acts and entertainers include:
June 8 – Chicago Blues Festival
- Harmonica Hinds in O’Hare’s Terminal 1, 1 to 4 p.m. Harmonica Hinds has performed in Chicagoland’s Blues community since the early 1970s.
June 9 – Chicago Blues Festival
- Gerry Hundt in O’Hare’s Terminal 1, 9 a.m. to noon. Gerry Hundt plays Chicago Blues and selections from the American Roots repertoire and his mandolin work has been nominated for the Blues Music Awards.
- Breezy Rodio Trio at Midway, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Breezy Rodio has been performing in the Chicago Blues circuit since 2007 and most recently released the album “Underground Blues” in 2022.
June 16 – Juneteenth weekend
- Thaddeus Tukes Duo in O’Hare’s Terminal 3 Rotunda, 1 to 4 p.m. Presented as the “World’s best vibraphonist” by World Expo 2020 in Dubai, composer and percussionist Thaddeus Tukes honors the legacy of the vibraphone within the jazz tradition and beyond.
- Sam Thousand Duo at Midway, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sam Thousand (formerly known as Sam Trump) is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, writer, producer and composer who has been performing for more than 15 years.
June 23 – Chicago House Music Festival
- DJ Sonny Chiba in O’Hare’s Terminal 3 Rotunda, 1 to 4 p.m. A Chicago House DJ for more than 20 years, Chiba describes his music as “a complete evolution of change, transforming energy into life.”
June 29 – Fourth of July and NASCAR Chicago Street Race weekend
- Albion West in O’Hare’s Terminal 3 Rotunda, 1 to 4 p.m. Albion West is a Chicago-based progressive folk group featuring a cellist who sings, a drummer who drums, and a pianist who sings and sometimes plays guitar.
June 30 – Fourth of July and NASCAR Chicago Street Race weekend
- Jonas Friddle in O’Hare’s Terminal 1, 1 to 4 p.m. Jonas Friddle is a singer, songwriter and Old-Time banjo player whose songs have received The John Lennon Songwriting Award, First Place in the Great American Song Contest and a nomination for Album of the Year in the Independent Music Awards.
- CoverGirls Violin Show in O’Hare’s Terminal 3 Rotunda, 1 to 4 p.m. The CoverGirls Violin Show is a colorful, high-energy musical revue of pop and rock hits from Led Zeppelin to Lady Gaga, all performed on the group’s signature purple electric violins.
- Eric Noden at Midway, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eric Noden is an award-winning acoustic blues and roots musician based out of Chicago whose virtuosic fingerpicking guitar blends perfectly with his honey and whiskey tinged voice.
- Return2Soul at Midway, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Return2Soul transports listeners back to simpler times with renditions of old-school R&B, Motown, pop, and even some jazz and blues.
- Smiley Tillmon Band in O’Hare’s Terminal 3 Rotunda, 9 a.m. to noon. After 55 years on the local blues scene, Smiley 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.
August 31 – Chicago Jazz Festival
- Emily Kuhn Trio in O’Hare’s Terminal 3 Rotunda, 1 to 4 p.m. Emily Kuhn is a freelance jazz trumpet player, composer, arranger, and music educator based in Chicago.
September 1 – Chicago Jazz Festival
- Geordie Kelly in O’Hare’s Terminal 1, 9 a.m. to noon. Geordie Kelly is a Chicago jazz guitarist and composer who has performed extensively across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa – 56 countries and counting.
- Morgan Pirtle in O’Hare’s Terminal 3 Rotunda, 1 to 4 p.m.
- Soul Message Band at Midway, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The band is a collaboration between Chicago-based jazz organist Chris Foreman and drummer Greg Rockingham.
September 15 – Hispanic Heritage Month
- David Chiriboga in O’Hare’s Terminal 1, 9 a.m. to noon. Chicago-based David Chiriboga is a Chicago-based musician with two decades of experience showcasing premier artists in Flamenco and Spanish Guitar and dance ensembles throughout the Midwest.
- Jose Valdes Trio at Midway, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jose Valdes draws on more than 40 years of experience in genres including Latin Dance, Mariachi, Contemporary Dance, Pop, Latin Jazz, Mainstream Jazz, Classical, and more.
September 22– Hispanic Heritage Month and World Music Festival Chicago
- The Luna Blues Machine in O’Hare’s Terminal 3 Rotunda, 1 to 4 p.m. The Luna Blues Machine is a Chicago based acoustic hip-hop, Latin, folk-soul band fronted by sisters Belinda and Maritza Cervantes.
- KAIA String Quartet in Midway’s Concourse XX, TIMES. The string quartet plays an active role in Chicago’s music scene where they are regular guests at the Chicago Latino Music Festival and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.
September 29 – World Music Festival Chicago
- Radio Free Honduras in O’Hare’s Terminal 3 Rotunda, 1 to 4 p.m. Radio Free Honduras is a diverse collective of Chicago musicians, all united under one goal – supporting the artistry of Charlie Baran, a founding member of legendary Honduran group Banda Blanca who now works as a maintenance man at a Catholic grade school.