One love evening


Under a generous splash of July evening sun, a colorful seven-man band sent its mellow melodies along the Midway, filling the now-dry ice rink with reggae sound. Attracted by the beat, dog walkers and soccer players wandered over to join the families, summer students, and neighborhood folks dotting the surrounding grass and filling the rickety bleachers across center ice from the stage. A score of kids pranced and wiggled along the rink’s edges, clutching popsicles provided gratis by the Chicago Park District, which cosponsors Reggae on the Midway, along with the University.

“We want to get all different types of music out here,” said Rick Shaheen, Park District supervisor, looking forward to future summer concerts of jazz, blues, and salsa. Wednesday’s show featured Chicago-based Toki Aks, which had the 250-plus crowd swaying to the rhythm. “I hope ya like ja music,” sang the band leader. “Reggae music. Ja music is the cure.”


Photos: Toki Aks jams on the Midway (top); A toddler feels the beat (bottom).

July 15, 2005