Chicago Gospel Music Festival Brings Together Gospel Artists, Local Churches

Combining a cultural revival, historical commemoration and Bronzeville neighborhood celebration, the 29th Chicago Gospel Music Festival continued highlighting sounds that were formed in South Side churches. The thousands who attended the weekend event on Saturday at Ellis Park also encouraged the onstage declarations of this legacy.

Still, music was not the only tradition that came forth on Saturday. Every year it seems at least some rain hits the festival, and a storm curtailed headliner Kurt Carr’s set after a couple of brief songs. Even with this abrupt ending, numerous performances throughout the day reaffirmed that gospel retains its diverse voices.

Saturday’s Main Stage lineup was comprised of artists who are part of the Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour. Erica Campbell — half of the popular Mary Mary duo — served as emcee and featured singer. She engaged in a solid call-and-response but was more expressive at a quieter volume. Uncle Reece included hip-hop techniques such as shout-outs and dramatic re-enactments.

While Anthony Brown possesses a strong baritone voice, his set’s pinnacle came when he contrasted that deep range with some jaunty higher-register tones of the backing singers of his ensemble, Group TherAPy.


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  1. Gee, this reads remarkably like this review in the Chicago Tribune. Praise the Lord, it's an amazing coincidence!

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