Music to My Ears: The Haute 5 Live Music Venues in Chicago

Looking to enjoy some live music? The historical birthplace to Jazz, Blues and House, Chicago is one of the most musically influential cities with numerous spots to get your concert fill. There’s something about the sweet summer nights that brings music to my ears.

Ravinia Festival

In 1904, the A.C. Frost Company created Ravinia as an amusement park intended to lure riders to the fledgling Chicago & Milwaukee Electric Railroad. Over 100 years later, Ravinia Festival is the oldest outdoor music festival in North America and is lauded for presenting world-class music, attracting more than 600,000 listeners to 120 to 150 events a year that span all genres every June through September. Featured luminaries include Louis Armstrong, Luciano Berio,Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, George Gershwin, Janis Joplin, Yo-Yo Ma, Luciano Pavarotti, and Frank Zappa.

418 Sheridan Rd. Highland Park, IL 60035. 847.266.5100.


Schuba’s is a brick and masonry neo-Gothic treasure that’s been a Lakeview neighborhood landmark for 100 years. Built in 1903 as part of a project undertaken by the Schlitz Brewery, the building was one of hundreds erected at the turn of the century. From Honky -Tonk to Indie Rock, from Americana to Jazz, from Pop to Country, Schuba’s presents a diverse line-up of live music seven nights a week.

3159 N. Southport. 773.525.2508.

Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island

Northerly Island is a 91- acre peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan at the heart of the Museum Campus. The majority of this space is dedicated to nature and features beautiful strolling paths and a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline. The 7,500 seat Charter One Pavilion hosts concerts from some of today’s most popular artists with a breathtaking backdrop of the lake and city.

1300 S. Lynn White Dr. 312.540.2668. Charter One Pavilion

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

With three of the world’s most celebrated conductors guiding the artistic direction of the institution, the CSO continues to impress audiences far and wide. Eminent Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink is the Orchestra’s Principal Conductor, and renowned French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez continues his long-standing relationship with the CSO as the Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus.

220 S. Michigan Ave. 312.294.3000.

Blues R & B

This authentic and iconic building has been featured in as many media outlets as the Chicago theatre sign. B.L.U.E.S. has been the best blues club on Chicago’s north side for years and will remain that way for years to come. It offers the assurance of good music in a friendly, intimate environment.

2519 N. Halsted St. 773.528.1012.