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Ravinia pop and rock shows for 2012

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The spacious lawn at the Ravinia Festival is lovely for picnicking during its annual summer classical concerts, but it's also perfect for dancing during the venue's requisite pop and rock shows.

The North Shore music destination has announced its seasonal slate of shows -- the usual mix of returning favorites and curious debuts.

For those who couldn't make it to Joliet in January for his Goodbye Tour, country legend Glen Campbell will swing back through this summer and stop June 28 at Ravinia, on a double bill with another country icon, Ronnie Milsap.

Other country and folk acts at Ravinia this summer include Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers (June 24), the annual visit by Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" radio show (June 25) and Arlo Guthrie paying tribute to his legendary father, Woody Guthrie, during the centennial year of his birth (Aug. 19).

Soul star Al Green makes his Ravinia debut June 15. More R&B and blues comes in the form of Seal (July 22), the Tedeschi Trucks Band (Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, July 18), the return of Earth, Wind & Fire with orchestra (June 9) and the Blues Brothers -- starring Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi (July 11).

Duran Duran emerges from the nightclub into the park for a Ravinia debut on Aug. 29. Other pop and rock offerings include Santana (July 9), Train for two shows (Aug. 11-12), Sarah McLachlan with an orchestra (June 30), Natalie Merchant with orchestra (July 10), Gavin DeGraw with Colbie Caillat (June 29). Of course, the mandatory BoDeans booking is on the schedule (July 20).

Golden rock oldies include Supertramp's Roger Hodgson (Aug. 23), a trio called the Dukes of September, featuring Boz Scaggs, Steely Dan's Donald Fagen and Michael McDonald (Aug. 22), James Taylor for two nights (July 27-28) and the return of Crosby, Stills & Nash (Aug. 3).

The festival's palate broadens to include acclaimed singer and jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding (June 25), legendary Brazilian artist Sergio Mendes on a double bill with Chicago's Ramsey Lewis (June 27), mutli-dimensional musician Jake Shimabukuro with the chamber orchestra A Far Cry (July 1), reggae-pop star Jimmy Cliff (June 17), jazz singer, pianist and recent Paul McCartney collaborator Diana Krall (July 17), Ravinia favorite Tony Bennett (Aug. 18), jazz singer Nnenna Freelon in tribute to Lena Horne (June 22) and the curious pairing of rollicking pianist Dr. John and whisper-delicate indie-rockers Iron & Wine on June 10.

Ravinia tickets are available now with a Ravinia donation exclusively at ravinia.org. Public ticket online sales begin on April 26. Phone sales begin on May 20 at (847) 266-5100.

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Thomas Conner

Thomas Conner covers pop music for the Chicago Sun-Times. Contact him via e-mail.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on March 8, 2012 6:00 AM.

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