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Press Release: Juicebox Series kicks-off at Chicago Cultural Center on October 3


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Juicebox - Chicago Cultural Center

DCASE Homepage  >  Chicago Cultural Center  >  Monthly Schedule  >  DCASE Music  >  Juicebox - Chicago Cultural Center


A FREE music and performance series for the STROLLER SET!

Children enjoying a performance at Juicebox in Prestion Bradley Hall Juicebox in Prestion Bradley Hall

(click on images to enlarge)


Juicebox offers Chicago’s best music, dance and theater in a kid-friendly setting. A free series of cutting-edge performances, Juicebox is geared to toddlers but is engaging for the whole family. Get your kid’s creative “juices” flowing twice a week every other Friday and Saturday. All Friday performances are 11am at the Chicago Cultural Center and all Saturday performances are 11am at the Garfield Park Conservatory (unless otherwise noted).


Ella JenkinsElla Jenkins

Friday, October 3

Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall

Ella Jenkins’ musical legacy spans more than 40 years. She shares with children of one culture what she’s learned from children of other cultures. With her ukulele, usually a harmonica, sometimes a guitar, occasionally a piano, and many small percussion instruments (a kaluba drum, keyboard imitating steel drums, guiro, maracas, a tambourine...) she takes listeners on a multilingual, multicultural journey—teaching the art of communication through music. Ella epitomizes the principle that learning and fun are interrelated by using a unique call-and-response technique in songs, chants, poems, recitations, and games in Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Korean, Swahili, and other languages. Ella’s playful and captivating songs help children appreciate themselves and understand others.

Since her first record, Call and Response (1957), Ella has released 28 albums and two videos on Smithsonian Folkways. The classic You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song is the best-selling record in the history of Folkways Records.

An honored performer, the popular Ella has made guest appearances on NBC’s “Today Show,” CNN’s “Showbiz Today,” “Barney and Friends,” “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and in films shown on “Sesame Street.” She was invited to share her music at America’s Reunion on the Mall and the Smithsonian’s 150th Birthday Party on the Mall in Washington, DC. The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater choreographs and performs to Jenkins’ compositions. The Wisconsin State Journal named her “the first lady of the children’s folk song.” She has received honorary memberships to the Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children and Delta Kappa Gamma, an educational sorority. Ella has continued her promotion of intercultural understanding as an US delegate to Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China, and the former Soviet Union with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

 Lawrence Peters Outfit

Lawrence Peters Outfit

Friday, October 17

Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall

The Lawrence Peters Outfit is a Chicago's most fiery honky tonk band, with the deepest country sound. Lawrence, best known for his lead vocal on "The Old Black Hen", on the watershed Songs: Ohia/ Magnolia Electric Company album, leads the "Outfit" through his own finely crafted originals, and cherry-picked classics. The band is a super-group of Chi-Town pickers, including Matt Gandurski on lead guitar, Dave Sisson on rhythm guitar and harmonies, and Josh Piet on upright bass.

 Striding Lion

Striding Lion Performance Group

Friday, November 7

Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall

Striding Lion Performance Group is a company of dance theater artists and collaborators celebrating 13 years of innovation and excellence on the stage, in the studio, and in the classroom. Through the collision of live performance and new media, a stalwart commitment to original music, and the inventive use of both traditional and non-traditional performance and education spaces, our performance and education programming invite audiences and students to move beyond the limitations of a passive dance or theater “viewing” experience and engage more immediately and kinesthetically with the content and material presented. Through 1) the composition of new performance, 2) the teaching of the skills and practice of collaborative composition through educational residencies and performances, and 3) the curation of collaborative experiences for artists, Striding Lion continues its commitment to facilitating collaborative community at large and to making the process and performance of dance theater more accessible and transparent to our audiences and supporters.

 Elements Contemporary Ballet

Elements Contemporary Ballet with Baroque Band

Friday, November 21

Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall

The Sun King is based on the life of French monarch Louis XIV, and focuses on Louis’ intense relationship with his official court composer, Jean-Baptiste Lully, the founder of French Opera and arguably the most powerful musician in Absolutist France. Conceived by Elements Contemporary Ballet founder and artistic director Mike Gosney, Elements co-founder and resident choreographer Joseph Caruana, and Baroque Band leader Garry Clarke, with choreography by Caruana, the one act contemporary ballet will be danced to baroque music, including compositions by Lully. The music will be performed live by Chicago’s only period instrument orchestra, Baroque Band.

The Sun King fuses baroque music, gestures, and theatrical elements with contemporary ballet choreography. It also includes original poetry composed for the piece by poet and dramaturg Cynthia Bond. In addition, sumptuous baroque-inspired costumes were designed especially for the ballet by Meriem Bahri (whose past credits include the Boston Early Music Festival and Opéra de Nice). The development of The Sun King was funded in part by the Richard H. Driehaus foundation and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.

Two years in the making, The Sun King is the result of Caruana’s extensive study of the life and music of Lully. He studied the baroque dance of Lully’s era, participating in the Santa Barbara Historical Dance Workshop in California, under the tutelage of world-renowned baroque dance expert Catherine Turocy. He also studied the period performances of New York Baroque Dance Company, and workshopped The Sun King at DCASE’s 2012 DanceBridge program. Caruana brings the life of Lully and Louis to the stage with an interesting gender twist: he has cast Elements Contemporary Ballet dancer Tiffany McCord as Lully. “Since women weren’t allowed to perform lead roles in the baroque period, it’s a kind of justice that the show’s lead goes to a woman in contemporary times,” remarks choreographer Caruana. “Louis himself danced female roles in operas, so why shouldn’t a female dance the male lead in this contemporary ballet?”

A mini-performance of The Sun King will be presented on November 21-22 at Juicebox – a Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events program for families at the Chicago Cultural Center and Garfield Park Conservatory that brings high-end art to preschool children.


Sones de Mexico Ensemble

Sones de Mexico

Friday, December 5

Chicago Cultural Center, G.A.R. Hall

What do a crawfish, a cowboy mouse, and a 100-year-old woman have in common? They are all characters in Fiesta Mexicana: Mexican Songs & Stories for Niños & Niñas and their Papás & Mamás, an interactive, live show for the whole family and an award-winning recording (2010) by Sones de Mexico Ensemble.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the two-time Grammy award nominated Sones de México Ensemble made its first public appearance in 1994 at an art gallery in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, commemorating the death of Mexican land-rights revolution hero Emiliano Zapata (1879–1919). Through the years, they have brought valuable educational programs to young audiences in 30 different U.S. states. Today, the ensemble has performed over 1,000 concerts, recorded six studio albums and toured the U.S. coast-to-coast from Carnegie Hall (N.Y.C.) to the Getty Museum (L.A.).

Today's show is based on their CD "Fiesta Mexicana" (2010), an interactive musical journey through Mexico's rich and diverse folk music and dance, with storytelling in English or in Spanish. The double album also features children entertainers Dan Zanes and Ella Jenkins as special guests singing in Spanish.


Fifth House Ensemble

Fifth House Ensemble

Friday, December 19

Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall

The Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble is a versatile and dynamic group praised by the New York Times for its “conviction, authority, and finesse.” Having pioneered the art of narrative chamber music, Fifth House’s innovative programs engage audiences through their connective programming and unexpected performance venues.

5HE is defined by its limitless imagination and energy, and an insatiable desire to bring chamber music to audiences of all types. 5HE harnesses the collaborative spirit of chamber music to create transformative cross-media performance experiences that bring together elements as diverse as storytelling, physical theatre, graphic novels, and fashion design. With humor and joy, 5HE breathes life into repertoire both established and emerging, equally at home on the most prestigious stages and unexpected venues including aquariums, train stations, and bars.

Bringing its signature connective programming from the stage to the classroom, 5HE develops young audiences through curriculum-integrated interactive concerts and residencies for students grades K-12. A member of the Illinois Arts Council’s Arts-in-Education Roster, 5HE has presented performances and residencies at Chicago public schools and the Chicago Cultural Center in partnership with the International Music Foundation, the Chicago Teachers’ Center, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, and Ravinia’s Reach*Teach*Play program. Programs are customized to the curriculum of each school, with the goals of promoting active listening skills and connecting music to a wide variety of subjects

Members of Fifth House Ensemble are also active as orchestral musicians, having performed with ensembles including the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Peninsula Music Festival, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Also active as educators, members of Fifth House serve on the faculties of Carthage College, the Merit School of Music, Trinity University, and DePaul University.





Ongoing; First and Third Fridays at the Chicago Cultural Center

For Garfield Park Conservatory dates, click here.




11-11:45 am





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