Lot Jams

Free Outdoor Summer Concerts from NRC

Global Roots, Local Heart

Thank you to everyone who joined NRC and friends for our series of FREE outdoor concerts in Albany Park. Featuring a diverse array of musical styles from Chicago Blues, to Mexican cantina music, Balkan brass, and contemporary lo-fi, the music at Lot Jams brought summer fun to the neighborhood. An all-ages event, Lot Jams includes arts activities for kiddos, food and drink available from Surge Billiards, and good times with your neighbors and friends to the beat of Albany Park.

For a full list of bands and partner organizations, and to learn more about our community partners who help make this happen like our lead event sponsor, the Albany Park & Irving Park Special Service Area #60 (SSA), scroll down!

2020 Lot Jams Update

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 are also of paramount importance to our organization. For now, we are focused on providing whatever support we can to our community to navigate the immediate crisis, access emergency resources, and operate businesses and organizations in a safe and responsible way.

Hosting events has always been a way that North River Commission and the Albany Park Chamber have brought the community together, and we look forward to a time when we can resume those activities. We are monitoring the latest information from public health officials for guidance on when and how we might be able to bring together people safely.

For 2020, NRC is considering how, given current and anticipated public health considerations, we may or may not be able to host Lot Jams the same we have in the past. Regardless of what happens, we maintain our commitment to supporting our community, and will find ways to do that safely in these challenging times. We will update this page when we know more.


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!

Sponsors and Hosts


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.

Evening Sponsors

Thank you to our 8/15 sponsor, Salsa's Grill!
Located at 3808 W Lawrence, Salsa's Grill features salsas made from scratch with sweet, smoky, and spicy flavors, handmade tortillas that make each taco unique, and more fresh ingredients that go into every meal. BYOB for their handcrafted mixes to enjoy your drinks. Don't forget to enjoy their amazing desserts!
Thank you to our 8/29 sponsor, TFA Signs!
Located at 5505 N Kedzie, TFA Signs is family-owned and operated business that North Park that provides high quality signs, displays, large format printing, banners, window graphics, vehicle wraps and more, including sign maintenance and other services. We are happy to have TFA in our neighborhood and thankful for their sponsorship of Lot Jams!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Rev Bob

Presented by The Residents of Irving Park (TRIP), NRC welcomes 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.

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

Time: 7pm - 9pm

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/674262306375653/

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 welcomes 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!

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

Time: 7pm - 9pm

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/831257063917797/


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 welcomes to 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

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2456009538018920/

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.

Series Sponsor