Lot Jams

Free Outdoor Summer Concerts from NRC

Lot Jams Returns for 2021!

For 2021, NRC is proud to bring Lot Jams back! Join us this summer for evenings of free, family-friendly entertainment in our community. Mark your calendars and check back for more details soon! ALL SHOWS take place between 7:00pm-9:00pm


Thursday, June 24th - Surge Billiards - 3241 W Montrose

Sonic Octopus

Sonic Octopus performs an upbeat blend of Caribbean and Latin dance music from across the popular and sub cultural spectrum. Giving meaning to its namesake, the group is comprised of musicians from various groups including ÉSSO and Jugo de Mango, showcasing both modern and classic songs with a rhythmic twist. This special performance features Diana Mosquera (vocals), Armando Pérez (guitar), Yendrys Céspedes (piano, horns), Ryan Schoen (bass), and Dan Lieber (drums, percussion).

Thursday, July 15th - Noon O Kabab - 4701 N Kedzie Ave

Madera Once

Returning to Lot Jams after a 2019 show, Madera Once is a four-piece band that pays tribute to Mexican-regional and traditional music with a contemporary spin. Madera Once's original music draws from the influences of traditional rancheras, cumbias, and Latin-Indie and pop. Madera Once's mission is to keep Mexican and Latin American music alive as it forges a new identity through the musician and audience's lived experiences within the U.S.


Thursday, August 5th - Heartland Health - 3737 W Lawrence Ave
Mariachi Sirenas

Mariachi Sirenas is proud to represent the genre of mariachi music in the windy city. As Chicago’s First All-Women Mariachi, we are honored to be a part of the community of strong women working together to promote the folkloric arts of Latin America.

Mariachi Sirenas was founded by members Ibet Herrera and Eréndira Izguerra, both with a dream to bring women together for the art of mariachi music in their hometown.

¡Que viva la mujer y nuestra tradición Mexicana, si señor...a!

Thursday August 26th - Surge Billiards - 3241 W Montrose

The Luna Blues Machine

The Luna Blues Machine is a Chicago based acoustic hip-hop, Latin, folk-soul band fronted by sisters Belinda and Maritza Cervantes. Founded in 2001, the LBM first started performing at Subterranean's Open Mic Night, cultivating their own unique sound. Today The Luna Blues Machine continues to be a staple in Chicago's music scene. Their timeless music is still attracting new fans and keeps old fans coming back for more.

Lot Jams Fixed QR
Health and Safety at Lot Jams

North River Commission and the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce are committed to supporting the businesses, organizations, schools, and residents in the communities we serve. The health and safety of the community is paramount to our organization.

As public health guidelines and rules continue to change over the course of the year, NRC will plan accordingly to ensure that the health of attendees, performers, and staff is prioritized. Please note that this may mean crowd size must be limited and that attendees will be required to wear a mask.


Lot Jams is a summer concert series that showcases the people, businesses, and cultures that make Albany Park and the Northwest Side one of the best communities in Chicago. See below for more details on the amazing acts we hosted in 2019!


The Albany Park & Irving Park Special Service Area (SSA #60), located in the most diverse neighborhood in Chicago, supports a vibrant, safe, clean, beautiful, and welcoming commercial district filled with restaurants, attractive retail and service, and entertainment and cultural options that meet the needs of local residents and attract visitors.


Surge Coffee Bar & Billiards opened in fall 2018 in Albany Park, featuring 14 professional pool tables, a 20-person U-shaped bar with wine, beer, and cocktails, a delicious menu in the evening, and on top of all of that, a full-service coffee shop open every morning through the afternoon and evening. Now serving brunch on Saturdays & Sundays from 9am - 3pm!

Surge Coffee Bar & Billiards came from the owners' desire to bring a social hub and a place of community to Albany Park, similar to their other location, Pressure Billiards, in Edgewater. Centered around a recreational sport, Surge is a place where the diversity of the neighborhood is represented in the diversity of services they offer. Come work, shoot pool, have drinks with friends or sip coffee…just know you’re welcome!


Aspire is a leading force in the disability services field. Its innovative, inclusive, and entrepreneurial solutions lift up people with developmental disabilities and bring communities together. Aspire’s mission is to support the successes of children and adults with developmental disabilities, strengthen their families and build embracing communities. Founded in 1960 and headquartered in Hillside, Illinois, Aspire is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) agency.

2019 Lot Jams Highlights

In 2019, NRC hosted four concerts at the parking lot between Surge Billiards and Aspire. Hundreds of folks came out to enjoy family-friendly entertainment, community, and some tasty treats from local restaurants and shops. See highlights from Lot Jams 2019 below!

Thursday, August 1, 2019


Rev Bob

Presented by The Residents of Irving Park (TRIP), NRC welcomed Rev Bob and his rockin' blues band to the Lot Jams stage!

Rev Bob is a Blues & Classic Rock cover band hailing from the west suburbs of Chicago. Dishing out an Chicago Blues to Eric Clapton To ZZ Top, Rev Bob brings Howling Harmonica, sizzling guitar solos, and plenty of energy to their sets.

TRIP (formerly UNITE) was founded in May of 1976 by a group of neighbors that organized to form a voice for the Irving Park community. Today, TRIP is made up of community residents that share the same concern and serves Chicago's Irving Park Neighborhood from Montrose Ave. to Irving Park Road, and Monticello to Sacramento Avenue.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Madera Once

Presented by the People of East Albany Park (PEAP), NRC welcomed to Madera Once to the Lot Jam stage!

Madera Once is a four-piece band that pays tribute to Mexican-regional and traditional music with a contemporary spin. Madera Once's original music draws from the influences of traditional rancheras, cumbias, and Latin-Indie and pop. Madera Once's mission is to keep Mexican and Latin American music alive as it forges a new identity through the musician and audience's lived experiences within the U.S.

Check out more of Madera Once's amazing music on their YouTube page!


PEAP = People of East Albany Park! PEAP is a neighborhood block club focused on the 4400 North and 4500 North blocks of Troy/Albany/Whipple and the 3000 West and 3100 West blocks of Montrose/Wilson. PEAP represents a portion of the east side of Chicago's Albany Park. All neighbors are welcome to our events and meetings. Fun activities, litter cleanups, civic engagement, positive community development. All neighbors welcome! For more information about PEAP, contact: peapblockclub@gmail.com

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Black Bear Combo

Presented by Albany Park Neighbors (APN), NRC welcomed Black Bear Combo to the Lot Jam stage!

Black Bear Combo was formed in 2002 by Doug Abram, a noise drummer inspired to take up horns after hearing Romany musicians in Ceske Krumlov. Their travels have taken us across the country, to festivals on both coasts, Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, the Halloween party at the White House, and every nook and corner of Chicago. Their sound is rooted in different styles from eastern Europe, played in a way that's all their own.

"a velocity and drive that would satisfy a Minutemen fan...ragged, raucous horn voices and odd-metered beats that come straight from the brass-band tradition of the Balkans, where the celebrations sometimes last for days." - Bill Meyer, Chicago Reader

Albany Park Neighbors is a community group working to make life better for all Albany Park residents, comprised of Albany Park residents who want to improve our community by connecting with neighbors and local officials. If you identify as an Albany Parker, or live between the boundaries of Pulaski and Kedzie and Foster and Montrose, APN welcomes you to join their enthusiastic group! Bring an open heart, rolled-up sleeves and great ideas!

Thursday, September 12, 2019


Gone Valley

Presented by the North River Commission Education Committee, NRC welcomes Gone Valley to the Lot Jams Stage!

Gone Valley writes songs with no words here in the Great North Middle West. In equal turns the music is earthy and abstract, hook-filled and meditative, intimate and cinematic -- the five piece explores an electrified amalgam of American roots, rock, ambient and jazz. Gone Valley is Jason Bennett, Tim McNulty, Tim Bennett, Oliver Horton and Bob Kessler.

Location: Parking LOT between Surge and Aspire, 3241 W Montrose

Time: 7pm - 9pm

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2683689955039335/

North River Commission supports the 25 CPS schools in our area by working with diverse education stakeholders to improve the quality of education. This collective of diverse education stakeholders, known as the NRC Education Committee, includes local teachers, civic leaders, LSC representatives, parents, community organization staff members, students and residents. After convening a series of public meetings to gather information from the community on how to improve education locally, the committee volunteers their time pursuing five initiatives; Branding and Marketing of Neighborhood Schools, Fundraising Education, Art Programming, Student Voices, and LSC Awareness.

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