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Bronzeville Vendor Fair and Wildflower Music Festival

Photo Credit:
courtesy of Illinois Tech Office of Community Affairs


Bronzeville Vendor Fair and Wildflower Music Festival . . .



The producers of this first celebration of Juneteenth as a significant marker of freedom for  American Blacks  presented by  Illinois Tech takes place at Michigan Avenue and State Street. Join the team that is making it possible and shop among the area's finest merchants, makers, and artists. Dance to American Blacks will  take place June 24, 2023, from 10 a.m.–9 p.m., for the inaugural Bronzeville outdoor vendor market and bazaar that will take place on 33rd Boulevard between Michigan the music provided by Greater Bronzeville musicians and vocalists.Bring the entire family—there is something for everyone, including a bouncy house where you will supervise your kids! Are you a merchant or maker and interested in vending, please complete the following form.

Free parking is available along Michigan Avenue and in Illinois Tech parking lots D1, D2, and D4, which are accessible from 34th and State streets when traveling northbound. Should it rain, the alternate venue is Hermann Hall (3241 South Federal Street), with free parking in LotsB2–B5.

The Wildflower Music Festival stage will feature Chicago’s most well-loved and popular musical artists. Senabella Gill, also known as the Bronzeville Diva, will host the events on the Wildflower stage. Gill is a renowned,multi-awarded jazz vocalist, music activist, youth mentor, and founder of The Chicago Living Legacy Awards.

The Office of Community Affairs and has partnered with the Cultural Access Collaborative to make this event accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing. The equipment is being loaned by Cultural Access Collaborative with special thanks to the Chicago Academy of Sciences and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Music Curator, Senebella Gill says, "This showcase of musicians is representative of some of Chicago's best. The artists are profound masters of their craft, each one  of them brings a unique sound and expertise of their instrument, whether it's the piano, drums or voice, they are all awesome. I can only hope that Chicagoans will come out and join us in this celebration of what it means to be free and embrace it through the expression of music and commerce. The combination of the entertainment and the vendors is what our freedom represents- the ability to create and thrive economically."

Headlining acts for the Bronzeville Vendor Fair and Wildflower Music Festival include:

The Frank Russell Band


Chicago bass guitarist Frank Russell was the recent recipient of the prestigious 2020 Jeff Award for Best Original Music In A Play, in collaboration with the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo. To date, Russell is the only bass guitarist to grace the cover of Chicago Jazz Magazine. He has performed with Ramsey Lewis, Wallace Roney, Freddie Hubbard, Alphonse Mouzon,Ken Chaney, Henry Johnson, Robert Irving III, and many more.

Joining Russell on the Wildflower stage will be his star-studded lineup consisting of IrvingIII on keys, Corey Wilkes on trumpet, MarcoVillarreal on lead guitar, Steve“Kwame” Cobbs on  drums, and featuring international vocalist Yvonne Gage.

Performance time: 7–8:45 p.m.

Mario Abney and The Abney Effect


Mario Abney is a singer, songwriter,master trumpeter, and bandleader originally from New Orleans. Last year, Mario Abney & The Abney Effect were featured on Good Morning America for Mardi Gras and became a regular on the HBO series Tremé.He developed his chops in Chicago at Fred Anderson's legendary Velvet Lounge.Abney has been compared to the genius of Miles Davis and the leadership and insight of Art Blakely. He fuses the art of jazz music with the soul,spirituality, and freedom of New Orleans.

The Abney Effect was established in 2010 and has since produced amazing concerts at well-known establishments all over the country and overseas. The Abney Effect is currently featured at Andy’s Jazz Club every Tuesday night and has upcoming or past performances at Untitled Supper Club, Adorn Bar & Restaurant (Four Seasons),Shedd Aquarium, and private events.

The Abney Effects’ longevity, notoriety, talent, and energy has created a lot of buzz,  evidenced by their prominent online presence, concert attendance, and album sales.

Band members include Abney on trumpet, Micah Collier on bass, Frank Morrison on drums, and Josh Atkin on sax.

Performance time:  5:30– 6:35 p.m.

D’Erania and Jahari Stampley


D’EraniaStampley and JahariStampley are aptly entitled as a “mother -son duo.” These two are Internationally renowned, Grammy-awarded musicians who play with the most sought out and favored jazz musicians on local and international stages. The two are delighted to join the Wildflower Music Festival stage. Jahari,being the multi-talented musical phenomena he is, will be using his musical superpowers playing piano, keys, electronic drums, while mom D’Erania will play with him on sax and upright bass. This mother-and-son duet will be a phenomenal addition that is an unforgettably electric, soul-stirring performance!

Band members include D’Erania on upright bass and sax and Jahari on keys and electronic drums.

Performance time: 4:10–5:15 p.m.

The Alan Burroughs and The AB Band


Alan Burroughs is a native of Chicago and has been in the music industry for more than 20 years. He has followed a path that embraces jazz, rock, blues, and a myriad of other musical styles. He has traveled nationally and has shared the stages with artists such as Miles Davis,Art Porter, Phillip Bailey, KoKo Taylor, The Dells, and countless others.Burroughs is currently in the studio recording his second album.

Band Members include Alan Burroughs on lead guitar.

Performance time: 3–3:50 p.m.

Tony “TOCA” Carpenter—Toca Live!


Tony Carpenter is an urban percussionist who began his percussive journey in the early 1970’s when he began exploring the traditional rhythms of West Africa and performed with African dance troupes such as Julian Swains’ Inner-City Dancers and Najwa Dance Troop. Carpenter has played with many masters congueros including, Mongo Santamaria, Armando Peraza,Alex Acuna, and Giovanni Hidalgo. His performances include playing R&B,gospel, and jazz. The melodious tones of his unit, “TOCA LIVE,” is a sound that is memorable. He has combined rhythms with his favorite jazz classics, which he calls cultural jazz. Carpenter has performed with many great artists of all genres, such as Leroy Hudson, Tyron Davis, The Emotions, Jerry “The Ice Man”Butler, Ramsey Lewis, The Soul Children of Chicago, Kim Stratton, Malachi Thompson, and currently tours nationally with a-list performers.

Band members include Toca on conga percussions,Malcolm Banks  on drums, Roger Harris  on keys, James Perkins on sax,Kelvin Djembe Olu on dunn dun Uche’ on Shakara percussion.

Performance time: 1:50–2:45 p.m.

Mae Koen


Mae Koen’s specific harmonic talents took her on the road with Aretha Franklin from 1997 to 2004 and again in 2013 to 2017. Koen appeared with Franklin at her last Chicago performance at Ravinia in September 2017. She has also appeared with Franklin on several television shows including those hosted by David Letterman and Jay Leno in addition to The View, Good Morning America, and the Rosie O’DonnellShow. On the televised limited VH1 series Diva’s Live, you can see Koen not only singing with Franklin, but also offering up support vocals for Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion, and Carole King. Franklin has even made special mention of Koen being among her favorite background singers in her 1999 memoir From These Roots. Locally, Koen  is constantly sought after to offer her expertise in background and lead vocals on many local projects. You can see Koen with the MAC 180 Band, the Leland Project, the Steeley Dan tribute band Bad Sneakers, Chicago-based jazz vocal quartet Vocal Poynt, and a host of other various and diverse acts.

Band members include June “Obie Copeland on bass,Brady Williams on drums, and Theodis Rogers on keyboard.

Performance time: 12:30–1:20 p.m.

See you there!


Photo Credit:
Courtesy of Senabella Gill

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