Ravinia Festival 2011 Lineup

Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman today announced that the festival’s 2011 lineup will cross all genres by combining a roster of Ravinia favorites with a “who’s who” of chart-toppers making festival debuts.

The season, running June 9 through Sept. 11, features the debuts of Jennifer Hudson, Maroon 5, Five For Fighting and Deep Purple and the return of Robert Plant, Carrie Underwood, Wynton Marsalis and Pink Martini, sharing an evening with Ramsey Lewis, artistic director of Jazz at Ravinia.

Tickets are available now with a Ravinia donation; see Ravinia.org for more details. Public ticket online sales begin on April 27.

“What makes Ravinia so unique is that it truly is a festival in every sense of the word,” Kauffman said. “I love that, in the span of one week, music-lovers can experience Chicago Children’s Choir, The Judds, The Moody Blues, Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, Robert Plant and a showcase of the jazz musicians from our own summer conservatory, the Steans Music Institute, and still have more than 100 events of the season left.

It truly is a something-for-everyone venue, and as they say about Chicago weather, stick around because tomorrow will be different.” Ravinia guest artists come from up and down the radio dial, including the debut of Maroon 5 on June 30, with a second show on July 1. With popular hits including “She Will Be Loved,” “Makes Me Wonder” and “This Love,” Maroon 5 has garnered numerous awards, from Billboard Music Award for Digital Artist of the Year to three Grammys®, including Best New Artist. R & B singer P.J. Morton will open for Maroon 5.

Under the name Five For Fighting, singer/songwriter John Ondrasik made his musical breakthrough with his Grammy- nominated song “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” becoming a song of healing for the nation after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He makes his festival debut on July 22, on a double bill with solo artist Michelle Branch, whose collaboration with Carlos Santana on “The Game of Love” became an international sensation, winning the Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. This is Branch’s Ravinia debut.

Lifehouse’s mainstream success came in 2001 with their debut album No Name Face, including the single “Hanging by the Moment,” which was awarded the Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year. Since then the band has made waves with such top-40 singles as “You and Me,” “First Time” and “Whatever It Takes.” They make their festival debut on Aug. 20.

Having become one of the most successful alternative rock bands to hit the east coast in the late 1990s, Guster makes its festival debut on Sept. 3, on a double bill with Jack’s Mannequin, also making its debut. Jack’s Mannequin’s most recent album, The Glass Passenger, reached number eight on the Billboard 200 charts.

Iconic rock artists bring the music and the memories to the festival. Progressive rock group Deep Purple makes its festival debut on June 18, with orchestra. Selling over 100 million records during their more-than-40-year career, the group has resurrected its classic hit “Burn” to the newest generation in the popular video game Guitar Hero®.

Returning to Ravinia on June 16 with his latest album Band of Joy, named for one of his earliest bands, Robert Plant continues to top the charts, including a number-eight spot on Rolling Stone magazine’s “30 Best Albums of 2010.” Grammy winner Peter Frampton celebrates the 35th anniversary of his monster double album Frampton Comes Alive!, one of the top-selling live records of all time, by recreating this live experience, performing it in its entirety on July 5. The concert will also include hits from his latest albums.

Rock sensation Steely Dan makes its Ravinia debut on Aug. 12, with a second performance on Aug. 13. Selling more than 30 million albums world-wide, including such hits as “Ricky Don’t Lose That Number,” “Do It Again” and “Hey Nineteen,” the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

On Aug. 27 and 28, locally formed rock group Chicago returns to Ravinia for the first time in four decades. Chicago’s incredible career has earned the group record sales topping the 100-million mark, including 21 top-10 singles, five consecutive number-one albums, 11 number-one singles, five gold singles and 25 platinum albums.

Making its Ravinia debut on Sept. 1, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Lynyrd Skynyrd has sold over 30 million albums featuring such hits as “Free Bird” and “Sweet Home Alabama.” Known as one of the most successful duos in rock history, selling more than 60 million albums, Daryl Hall and John Oates have written eight number-one-singles, including “She’s Gone,” “Rich Girl” and “Kiss on My List.” They appear at Ravinia on June 26.

Making its festival debut on June 17 is the all-female band Go-Go’s, whose pop and new wave hits “We Got the Beat,” “Vacation” and “Our Lips Are Sealed” landed them on the top of the Billboard charts. They are joined on a double bill with the retro rockers behind “Love Shack” and “Rock Lobster,” The B-52s.

Ravinia showcases rhythm and blues with the festival debut of Chicago native Jennifer Hudson on July 16. Beginning her career as one of the finalists on American Idol, she made waves for her role in the movie version of the musical Dreamgirls, winning the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress. Hudson’s self-titled debut album won the Grammy for Best R&B Album in 2008.

Mixing R&B with progressive rock, The Moody Blues have sold over 50 million albums worldwide and have been awarded 14 platinum and gold discs. Their legendary hit “Nights in White Satin” has returned to the UK rock charts, reaching number two on the list, after a performance on the UK show The X Factor, making it the fourth time it has charted in its 40-year history. The band returns to Ravinia on June 11.

Country and folk acts join the lineup, including the return of superstar and Country Music Awards Entertainer of the Year Carrie Underwood in a brand-new show with orchestra on Sept. 4. With number-one singles including “Before He Cheats,” “I Told You So” and “Last Name,” Underwood continues to win awards from the Country Music, American Country and Grammy awards, as well as CMT.

Making their Ravinia debut on June 10, The Judds bring their tour “The Last Encore” to the festival, celebrating over 25 years of hit-making records. Mother and daughter duo Naomi and Wynonna have scored hits that include “Girl’s Night Out,” “Why Not Me” and “Love Can Build a Bridge,” which have won more than 60 industry awards.

Ravinia favorite Lyle Lovett & His Large Band return on Aug. 21. Lovett is a four-time Grammy-winner including Best Country Album. Just as people enjoyed Robert Altman’s film inspired by Garrison Keillor’s radio classic, audiences enjoy the real show at Ravinia. A Prairie Home Companion, the cornerstone of public radio from American Public Media, will be broadcast live nationally from the pavilion on June 25.

Ravinia celebrates world music with the return of Gipsy Kings, the group that is largely responsible for bringing the joyful sounds of pop-oriented flamenco to the world with such hits as “Bamboleo.” Since their platinum-selling debut album the Gipsy Kings have dominated the world music charts and sold more than 14 million albums worldwide. They appear on Aug. 25, with Tonino Baliardo’s precise guitar playing and Nicolas Reyes’s exceptional voice.

Back by popular demand, a tented dance floor on the north lawn will be set up, and guests can enter the festival’s fifth annual dance contest hosted by the Women’s Board of Ravinia Festival on Aug. 25.

On a double bill, Los Lobos and Los Lonely Boys return to Ravinia on Aug. 10. Mixing a hybrid of regional Mexican folk music, rock, blues, R&B and country, Los Lobos has continued to entertain audiences for over 30 years. Los Lonely Boys found success with its 2003 self-titled platinum-selling album, as well as its 2006 release of Sacred, which included their Grammy-winning single “Heaven.”

Ravinia echoes with jazz sounds throughout the summer, including Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis on June 12. Comprising 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra since 1988, featured in all aspects of the New York center’s programming. They are lead by iconic jazz trumpeter and music director Wynton Marsalis.

Legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck returns with his sons for a special Father’s Day concert on June 19. A Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and 2009 Kennedy Center honoree, Brubeck is most famous for his classic hit “Take Five.”

Combining classical, jazz and pop, Pink Martini has enjoyed success on the charts including its 2004 release Hang on Little Tomato, which made Amazon.com’s number-one best-sellers list and the 2009 album Splendor in the Grass, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. The group joins the Ramsey Lewis Trio for a double bill on July 10. Fresh from his Kennedy Center premiere of his Abraham Lincoln-inspired, Ravinia-commissioned 2009 work Proclamation of Hope, Lewis performs his newest piece, Colors: the Ecology of Oneness. July 10 also features the Terlato Wines Picnic Contest, a fun and creative way for Ravinia fans to generate their version of the ultimate picnic.

Iconic singer Tony Bennett returns to Ravinia on Aug. 26, celebrating his 85th birthday year. A Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winner and a Kennedy Center honoree, Bennett has charmed Ravinia audiences for 27 years.

Twenty-three-year-old jazz pianist Eldar Djangirov makes his festival debut on Aug. 23 in Bennett Gordon Hall. Receiving a Grammy nomination for his 2008 album re-imagination, Djangirov has performed at many festivals, venues and on television specials including the 2008 Grammy Awards, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Jazz musicians from Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, the festival’s professional studies program for young musicians, present a jazz showcase on June 17. Classical and pop meet when 11-year-old classical crossover star Jackie Evancho makes her Ravinia debut with orchestra on Aug. 7. Evancho, who was first seen on America’s Got Talent, released her self-made independent release Prelude to a Dream, which soared to number two on Billboard’s Top Classical Crossover Albums chart.

Carving out his own singular sound in the worlds of rock, opera, theater, dance and film, Rufus Wainwright returns to the festival on Aug. 14 in a performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra featuring the Chicago premiere of his settings of 5 Shakespeare Sonnets, a work co-commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and Ravinia Festival. Following intermission, Wainwright returns sans CSO for a solo rock concert.

Opera superstar Nathan Gunn appears alongside Broadway master Mandy Patinkin on Aug. 31. Featured in People magazine’s 2008 list of “The Sexiest Men Alive,” baritone Gunn has performed in opera houses around the world and last appeared at Ravinia in the festival’s production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Tony-award winner Patinkin has appeared in the Broadway productions of Evita, Sunday in the Park with George, The Wild Party, The Winter’s Tale and The Knife.

Singer and actress Laura Benanti makes her festival debut in a one-woman show on Aug. 27. Benanti was honored with the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and a Drama League nomination for her portrayal of Louise in the Broadway revival of Gypsy. She recently appeared as Candela on Broadway in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

The 2011 season also features Chicago Children’s Choir (June 9); k.d. lang with special guest The Belle Brigade making their festival debut (June 23); tribute band The Music of ABBA as performed by Arrival from Sweden (July 3); BoDeans (July 29); Doobie Brothers (Sept. 2); and John Hiatt and The Combo with special guest Big Head Todd & the Monsters (Sept. 11).

Ravinia has created concert/dining packages pairing music with food. Back by popular demand, these packages include a reserved-seat ticket and dinner in the Park View restaurant on Martin Theatre nights, the Mirabelle restaurant on pavilion nights and the Freehling Room on Bennett Gordon Hall nights. The concerts selected for these packages include such shows as Deep Purple on June 18 ($70); Dave Brubeck & Sons on June 19 ($80); Peter Frampton on July 5 ($60); Ramsey Lewis Trio/Pink Martini on July 10 ($75); Los Lobos/Los Lonely Boys on Aug. 10 ($60); Rufus Wainwright with CSO on Aug. 14 ($65); Gipsy Kings on Aug. 25 ($75); and Mandy Patinkin and Nathan Gunn on Aug. 31 ($90).

Tickets to all Ravinia Festival events are available now with a Ravinia donation exclusively at www.ravinia.org. Public ticket online sales begin on April 27. Phone sales begin on May 22 at 847-266-5100. A $7 service fee is added to all ticket orders. Ravinia Festival is located at Lake Cook and Green Bay roads in Highland Park. For more information, please visit www.ravinia.org. Ravinia Festival is a not-for-profit organization.

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