Dominican University hosting free 'Summer Sounds '23' music series

Dominican University in River Forest is hosting "Summer Sounds '23," a series of free concerts on the Quad this summer.

Open to the public, the 2023 Summer Sounds concerts continues from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, through Aug. 23. It features a variety of performers and musical genres.

This summer's lineup continues on July 12 with the Street Jaxkson Band. A classic energetic Blues band with a mixture of soul, funk, and rock 'n roll. Inspired by James Brown, Chuck Berry, BB King, Howling Wolf, Elmore James and Jimmy Reed, the band features Jaymo Wilson on drums, Larry Williams and Roosevelt Johnson on bass, Bill Whitehead on lead guitar and vocals, Paul Hanover on harmonica, and Roo Jackson vocals.

On July 19, Raices Latin Jazz will perform the roots of Latin Jazz and original songs at the Summer Sounds concert series at Dominican University in River Forest. Courtesy of Dominican University

On July 19, Raices Latin Jazz pays homage to the originators of Latin Jazz such as Cal Tjader, Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria and also performs original music composed in the same genre. The group was founded by Chicago percussionist Ruben Alvarez and is currently led by vibraphonist Joe Sonnefeldt. Since their post-pandemic return in 2021, Raíces (Roots) has played to packed audiences at Fitzgerald's nightclub and enthusiastic crowds at several area music festivals.

The acoustic trio Cheap Talking Wine will perform July 26 at the Summer Sounds concert series at Dominican University in River Forest. Courtesy of Dominican University

The acoustic trio Cheap Talking Wine will be offering their unique take on a number of musical influences on July 26. Playing primarily at bars, dives and honky-tonks on the north side of Chicago, the trio covers a variety of songs from the past five decades.

Summer Sounds at Dominican University will feature Los Gallos, performing Americana, roots rock, Tex-Mex and Norteño, on Aug. 2. Courtesy of Dominican University

On Aug. 2, Los Gallos will Americana, roots rock, Tex-Mex and Norteño. Transcending borders, Los Gallos are known for their unsegregated sound. Often compared to Los Lobos, they play a danceable blend of eclectic Latin and American roots music.

On Aug. 9, Bear Williams Trio perform a combination of old school Delta blues coupled with a modern uptake on originals and famous favorites will leave you wanting more. Bear Williams is the alter ego of Larry Kimpel who is a familiar name as bassist/musical director with Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly. Be it up-tempo or a ballad, Bear's voice is smooth, strong and a unique sound to be reckoned with. Bear's original music often speaks of social issues, something that is immensely important to him and his band. The band was nominated for the Chicago Reader's Best of 2021 as Best Blues Band, and Bear as Best Individual Blues Performer.

On Aug. 16, Radius will perform a cappella, showing their influences from artists like the Real Group, Boys II Men, Pentatonix and VoicePlay. Courtesy of Dominican University

On Aug. 16, it will be Radius, a vocal ensemble formed in the midst of the global pandemic with the intention of creating top-tier virtual content and bringing some light to the world during the lockdown period. After working on virtual projects for several months, the group started to hit their stride and was fortunate enough to spend a week together in Chicago that summer. From that point on, it was apparent that Radius was more than just a quarantine passion project: it was a group of talented, passionate, and hardworking friends who wanted to take their artistry to the next level.

The series will wrap up on Aug. 23 with the Dooley Band, who were originally scheduled to perform on July 5. The Dooley Brothers, a Chicago area favorite for over five decades, gave thousands of performances throughout the Midwest and elsewhere at such venues as FitzGerald's Nightclub, Taste of Chicago, Navy Pier, Irish American Heritage Center, and more. Over the last few years, two new Dooleys have been added to the group fronted by brothers Jim (guitar, vocals) and Mike Dooley (bass guitar, vocals). Mike's son Mick plays guitar and adds vocals and Jim's daughter Claire also sings. Hence this latest edition of the long-running musical group - The Dooley Band, featuring good-time music, musical variety and strong vocal harmonies.

The Summer Sounds at Dominican University will wrap up the "good-time music" of The Dooley Band on Aug. 23. It has been rescheduled from the July 5 date. Courtesy of Dominican University

The concerts are free; no tickets are required. Bring a blanket or chair, a picnic dinner and some friends and enjoy great music from a variety of local bands.

Dominican University is located at 7900 W. Division St. in River Forest. Learn more at

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