Youth Performers of The People’s Music School Join Grammy-Award Winning Artist Jeff Tweedy for Summer Music Series

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CHICAGO, IL – Student musicians from The People’s Music School will be joining Jeff Tweedy, Grammy Award-winning artist and beloved Chicago musician, for a concert on Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 6:30pm CT. The free performance in Jay Pritzker Pavilion is part of the Millennium Park Summer Music Series, presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).

The People’s Music School has a storied history of playing alongside world-renowned musicians. In 2016, TPMS students joined the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and cellist Yo-Yo Ma for his third Bach Marathon, performing at eight concerts across the Chicago area. In 2017, a TPMS string quintet opened the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, which featured remarks from Lin Manuel-Miranda, Common, and Chance the Rapper. 

Now, The People’s Music School is excited to build on its history and join Jeff Tweedy on stage. 

“The People’s Music School is a tuition-free music school that educates diverse families in the Chicago area,” says Tweedy. “Performing alongside students from the school is not only a no brainer, it is a treat.”

It’s a treat for TPMS students, too. “Jeff Tweedy inviting our students to perform with him is a transformational opportunity,” says President of The People’s Music School, Francis Graffeo. “Our young musicians making music with such an acclaimed musician in a high-visibility venue is not just an artistic boost, but it provides them invaluable direct interaction with world-class professionalism and talent.”

Graffeo adds, “It is any musician’s dream to one day meet a musical great. But our students will soon go beyond meeting an idol. They’ll be able to say they met, and performed in concert with an award-winning rock star under the stars in downtown Chicago.”

Students from The People’s Music School will join Tweedy for a performance of one of his hit songs, specially arranged by Felipe Tobar, Professional Development Coordinator at TPMS.  The concert will open with a short set from The People’s Music School, showcasing a guitar trio and a woodwind quintet, each composed of students from People’s advanced music program, Service, Leadership, Artistry, and Mentorship (SLAM). A jazz ensemble made up of professionally trained faculty from The People’s Music School will round out the opening set. 

The People’s Music School students will be in the company of many talented Chicago musicians during the concert. Making up Tweedy’s band is: James Elkington on guitar, Sima Cunningham on backing vocals, Macie Stewart on violin and backing vocals, and Liam Kazar on bass. Also in the band are Tweedy’s sons, Spencer on drums and Sammy on backing vocals. 

Jeff Tweedy is a Chicago-based singer and guitarist, and frontman for the alternative rock group Wilco. Over the course of his career, Tweedy has released twenty studio albums, plus three solo studio albums and a number of collaborations with other artists. His most recent Chicago performance was in April, with three sold-out concerts at the Auditorium Theater.

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. Visit chicago.gov/dcase.

The People’s Music School delivers high-quality, tuition free music education to underserved students in the Uptown, Albany Park, Back of the Yards, and Greater South Side communities. Led by professionally trained faculty, students receive intensive music instruction and are provided a safe and nurturing environment that encourages musical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth. Learn more at peoplesmusicschool.org and @peoplesmusicschool

Media Contact: Ellie DePastino


(773) 649-9134

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