square roots online


The New Pornographers

The Big Star Quintet
[With: Jody Stephens (Big Star), Jon Auer (The Posies), Chris Stamey (The dB’s), Pat Sansone & John Stirratt (Wilco)]

The Nude Party • Jon Spencer • Lydia Loveless • Waco Brothers • Reyna Tropical • Finom • Alan Sparhawk • Sinkane • Jah Wobble

Dos Santos • Daniel Villarreal • Cabeza De Chivo • Rudy De Anda • Ivan Singh • Bethany Thomas: Transformer • Hollyy • Renaldo Domino & The Heavy Sounds • Lowdown Brass Band • Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole • The Campbell Brothers • Mandy • Smut • Twin Coast • Okan • Neptune's Core • Ordinary Elephant • Reilly Downes • The Arab Blues • La Tosca • Andy Miller & The 145s • Glass-Beagle • Old Town School Ensembles: Blues Band – Live! • Out Ensemble • Modern Country Ensemble • Live Band Karaoke

Kids Zone Family Stage featuring Wiggleworms, Desueño Dance, Cooper Mariachi Ensemble, Carolina Gomez Jimenez, Sphere, Miss Renée, Moya Cultural Arts, Raging Chihuahuas, Chello! Groove, Family Barn Dance and much more!



The New Pornographers


For the last two decades, The New Pornographers have been delivering infectious hooks, sweet harmonies, and a pile of power-pop riffs every time they take the stage. The critically-acclaimed supergroup play “pure, blissfully irresistible power-pop” (NPR Music).

Alan Sparhawk

7:15PM NORTH Stage

2024 finds Alan Sparhawk entering uncharted territory. He co-founded the band Low alongside vocalist and drummer Mimi Parker, who passed away in late 2022. Their music derived elemental power from its fearless exploration of quiet, gentle places and influenced a movement of spacious, graceful, intimate, and ever-evolving music. Sparhawk has recently been playing with various collaborators and projects with friends and family members.


5:30PM NORTH Stage

Chicago band by way of Cincinnati, Smut dives head-first into 90s influences - brit-pop, shoegaze, and trip-hop - and takes their sound to exciting heights.


8:15PM SOUTH Stage

Sinkane, is a genre-resistant band led by multi-instrumentalist Ahmed Gallab. It’s pop. It’s funk. It’s electronic. It blends the gritty punk newness of a 70s and 80s New York with the steady, foundational soul of the rhythms of his native Sudan. It’s music that moves and travels, through words and eras, through emotion and healing.

Ivan Singh

6:45PM SOUTH Stage

Ivan Singh is a Latino blues guitarist and singer from Argentina of Indian lineage who recently moved to Chicago. His unique “LatinBlues” style developed from his Spanglish lyrics and his homemade, 4-string guitar, “Lata de Batata”.

Modern Country Ensemble

5:15PM SOUTH Stage

Check out Old Town School’s Modern Country Ensemble as they explore their inner twang! Modern country is a virtual potpourri of influences, including rock, soul, folk and even blues. Anything goes!



9:00PM NORTH Stage

Formed in 1977, X quickly established themselves as one of the best bands in the first wave of LA's flourishing punk scene; becoming legendary leaders of a punk generation. Featuring the original lineup of vocalist Exene Cervenka, vocalist/bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom, and drummer DJ Bonebrake.

Jon Spencer

7:15PM NORTH Stage

Jon Spencer has been an influential and innovative force in the independent music scene since the mid-80s. An acclaimed live performer, he is the creator of fierce, punk-influenced music that encompasses everything from American roots styles such as Hill-Country Blues and Rockabilly to Industrial Noise and Hip-Hop.

Lydia Loveless

5:30PM NORTH Stage

Lydia Loveless has always been a brutally honest songwriter, one whose articulation of love, heartbreak and bad habits is wrapped not only in catchy melodies but also her finesse with words. Their compelling live shows are a stunning showcase of Loveless’ powerhouse vocals and heart-wrenching lyricism.

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole

3:45PM NORTH Stage

One of the brightest young talents to emerge in Cajun, Creole and Zydeco music over the last decade, Cedric Watson is a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist, and songwriter. Cedric’s songs channel his diverse, Louisiana ancestry (African, French, Native American and Spanish) to create his own brand of sounds - a tapestry of pulsing rhythms and Creole poetry. His live performances are unforgettable, all at once progressive and nostalgic.


2:15PM NORTH Stage

Taking their name from the word for “heart” in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, OKAN, is a JUNO award-winning, women-led ensemble that fuses Afro-Cuban roots with jazz, folk, and global rhythms.

La Tosca

12:45PM NORTH Stage

La Tosca Italian Mambo Ensemble was founded in 2014 in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago by Andrea Falcone to share his Italian musical roots. They perform a repertoire from the 1850's to the 1950's from Italy mostly, but also French Manouche jazz, tango, and Neapolitan classics.

Jah Wobble - Metal Box: Rebuilt in Dub

8:15PM SOUTH stage

Legendary post-punk bassist from the U.K., Jah Wobble makes a very rare stateside appearance to perform Metal Box: Rebuilt in Dub, a re-imagining of Public Image Limited’s most revered album. From his seminal low-end work in P.I.L. to his decades-long creative career mixing punk, dub reggae, and world music, Jah Wobble is a truly unique musician and sonic force to be reckoned with.


6:30PM SOUTH stage

The brilliant harmonizers of Chicago’s Finom, Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, harness their shared love of pop songwriting, control, chaos, and being generally freaky-deaky. Their dramatic vocal and musical gifts put them in the peripheries of the legacies cemented by The Roches, Roxy Music, the B52s, Kate Bush, Cate Le Bon, and Wilco.


5PM SOUTH stage

Miranda Winters is a song-writer and musician best known for her role as the indomitable vocalist / guitarist of Chicago powerhouse, Melkbelly. Drawing on deep roots as a songwriter in Chicago DIY, Winters continues to evolve a signature sound which she self-defines as “dirty-bubblegum pop rock”.

Neptune's Core

3:15PM SOUTH stage

Neptune's Core is an alternative indie rock band made up of two sets of sisters. The four created the bad-ass group out of Chicago’s thriving indie-rock scene. Jim DeRogatis summed it up best on Sound Opinions: "Their age belies the sophistication of the songwriting and instrumentation ... classic alternative era with delicate fragile quiet moments exploding into loud dynamics."


1:45PM SOUTH stage

Up-and-coming Chicago group, Glass-Beagle, presents a unique mix of country and folk, power pop, and rock ’n’ roll.

Blues Band Live!

12:15PM SOUTH Stage

Let the good times roll with the Old Town School ensemble, Blues Band Live!

LowDown Brass Band

9:45PM Maurer Hall (inside Old Town School West Building - 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.)

Embodying the vibrant Chicago music culture, LowDown Brass Band is a one-of-a-kind horn ensemble weaving the rhythm of the streets with conscious hip hop, reggae, and soul. Rigorously touring, LowDown has performed on the most unique stages, from the Montreal Jazz Fest to the Cotai Jazz Fest.

Renaldo Domino & The Heavy Sounds

8PM Maurer Hall (inside Old Town School West Building - 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.)

One of the unsung heroes of Chicago Soul music, Renaldo Domino recorded a string of amazing songs in the later part of the 60’s and early 70’s that showcased his “sweet like Domino sugar” voice and were recently unearthed by the renowned record label, Numero Group. Catch Renaldo singing these tunes as well as other incredible originals and classic soul hits backed by Chicago based soul outfit, The Heavy Sounds.


6:15PM Maurer Hall (inside Old Town School West Building - 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.)

Lauded as “the future of retro rock” (CLASH Mag), Chicago-based Hollyy masterfully imparts a sound both grounded in youth and transcendent of it. This group of self-proclaimed “garage-soul boys” has released a collection of breezy singles as well as their debut EP flaunting a signature combination of stirring vocals, jazzy instrumentals, and indie rock stylings.

Bethany Thomas: TRANSFORMER

4:15PM Maurer Hall (inside Old Town School West Building - 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.)

Bethany Thomas, Chicago siren, embodies the many identities of the iconic Lou Reed in her take on the seminal rock album, Transformer. Step into an intimate, red-lit fantasy of the 1970’s underground music scene and become a part of the story.

Twin Coast

2:35PM Maurer Hall (inside Old Town School West Building - 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.)

"With the slogan “noise for yr ears”, Twin Coast rise from the fertile landscapes of Chicago. The band consists of siblings Reid and Kira Isbell. Judging by the dissonant waves of noise that the pair conjure up, it feels like they were brought up on a steady diet of their parents’ record collection...faint echoes of the Velvet Underground and even Jefferson Airplane.” - Sun13.com

Teen Showcase

1:15PM Maurer Hall (inside Old Town School West Building - 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.)

Old Town School’s teens take front and center stage!

Second Half

12:30PM Maurer Hall (inside Old Town School West Building - 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.)

Join us for the time-honored Old Town School tradition, Second Half! Bring an instrument to play or just your voices. All are welcome to attend and join in.

Raging Chihuahuas

4:30PM Sunnyside Kid Zone

Old Town School Youth Rock Ensemble

Smile & Play with Miss Renée

3:30PM Sunnyside Kid Zone

Hoop Dance with OId Town School teaching artist, Miss Renée!

Moya Cultural Arts

2:40PM Sunnyside Kid Zone

West African Drum & Dance

Cooper Dual Language Mariachi Ensemble

2PM Sunnyside Kid Zone

Youth Mariachi Ensemble from Cooper Elementary.

Desueño Dance

1:15PM Sunnyside Kid Zone

Join in the family fun at this Latin Dance Experience in the Kid Zone!

Wiggleworms Duo with Liz & Maryanne

12:15PM Sunnyside Kid Zone

Kick off the festival at the Kids Zone Family Stage with Wiggleworms! Since 1985, Old Town School of Folk Music’s Wiggleworms has been a popular rite of passage in Chicago - a music class for kids and caregivers that inspires new learning and sets the foundation for a lifelong love of music.


The Big Star Quintet

8:00PM NORTH Stage

The Big Star Quintet is led by Jody Stephens (the sole surviving original member of the highly influential Memphis band, Big Star) and features an all-star collective of musicians performing great songs from the band's rich legacy including Jon Auer (The Posies), Pat Sansone & John Stirratt (Wilco), and Chris Stamey (The dB's).

The Nude Party

6:15PM NORTH Stage

Electrifying live band from North Carolina, The Nude Party bring their signature party of raucous garage rock, swaggering psych-blues, and ’60s pop to the Square Roots North Stage!

Waco Brothers

4:30PM NORTH Stage

The Waco Brothers have been tagged insurgent country, “Cash meets Clash”, and “battle weary punk musicians who wanted nothing more than to play classic country covers.” Featuring Jon Langford (The Mekons), Dean Schlabowske, Tracey Dear, Alan Doughty, Dan Massey, and Jean Cook.

The Campbell Brothers

2:45PM NORTH Stage

The Campbell Brothers present Sacred Steel: African-American gospel music with electric steel guitar and vocal. They “play music that until recently was heard only in gospel churches, with pedal steel guitar lines swooping skyward like a gospel shouter.” - The New York Times

The Arab Blues

1:20PM NORTH Stage

Rami Gabriel & Karim Nagi create an electro urban amalgam of Arab tradition and Chicago Blues. The result is an original expression of immigrant artistry with passionate musicality and revolutionary attitude. “...a sound that's sometimes graceful, sometimes noisy, like a Middle Eastern garage band.” Chicago Reader

Reilly Downes

12:10PM NORTH Stage

Reilly Downes has long been known as the Sad Cowgirl of Chicago. An Americana artist hailing from the Texas Hill Country, she cut her teeth as a session musician in Nashville, singing behind some of Americana’s favorite singer/songwriters.

Reyna Tropical

7:15PM SOUTH Stage

Reyna Tropical is a contemporary celebration and continuation of wide-reaching cultural traditions. From Congolese, Peruvian, and Colombian rhythms to revolutionary artists like lesbian guitarist-singer Chavela Vargas, these influences meld and are remixed through the distinctive lens of Fabi Reyna who traverses themes including queer love, feminine sensuality, and the transformative power of intentional relations to the earth while spotlighting narratives often pushed to the margins, offering them a sonic homeland.

Dos Santos

5:30PM SOUTH Stage

Dos Santos, a forward-thinking Chicago quintet, feels equally at home at summer street festivals in the Latinx culture hub of Pilsen as they do at extended improvisational, experimental cumbia sets on the jazz-centric cabaret stage of the California Clipper or The Hideout. Dos Santos’s elasticity and consistency in live performance has earned them an enthusiastic and highly diverse audience in the too-often segregated Chicago music scene.

Cabeza De Chivo

3:45PM SOUTH Stage

This psychedelic tropical band from Chicago plays infectious rhythms with a driving percussion section, plus guitar, bass, and organs that blend seamlessly to deliver addictive dance instrumentals with an emphasis on melodic riffs.

Daniel Villarreal


Daniel Villarreal is a widely known and beloved drummer, musician, and DJ in the Chicago music scene. If he’s not DJing, he’s playing drums with Dos Santos, Valebol, the Los Sundowns, or part of Neal Francis 11 piece band. He specializes in groovy vintage sounds combining world music, tropicalia, vintage Latin soul, psychedelic funk and groovy deep cuts beats.

Out Ensemble

12:30PM SOUTH Stage

Get loud, get proud! Celebrate and discover the rich cultural heritage of music by LGBTQ+ artists with Old Town School’s Out Ensemble performing a multi-genre selection of queer/trans artists past and present: Courtney Barnett, Bessie Smith, Tracy Chapman, Husker Du, Against Me!, Tegan and Sara, Queen, Chavela Vargas, Perfume Genius, and more!

Live Band Karaoke

6:30PM Maurer Hall (inside Old Town School West Building - 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.)

It’s YOUR chance to be the star of the fest at Live Band Karaoke! Festival attendees can join some of Old Town School of Folk Music’s teaching artists on stage to share their voices. A song list and sign-up for karaoke slots will be available on the Square Roots website soon!

Rudy De Anda

4:45PM Maurer Hall (inside Old Town School West Building - 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.)

There is a tidal wave of cross-cultural expression washing inland out of Long Beach, CA and Rudy De Anda is at the forefront of this genre-bending, sonic re-definition of the musical melting pot. Sweeping melodies with a dynamic interplay of soul and punk-rock, inspired by The Velvet Underground, dissonance, and shoegaze.

Ordinary Elephant

3:15PM Maurer Hall (inside Old Town School West Building - 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.)

Mesmerizing folk duo Ordinary Elephant has spent the better part of the last decade on a never-ending tour that’s earned married couple Crystal and Pete Damore widespread critical acclaim and made fans of luminaries like Tom Paxton and Mary Gauthier. Their album Honest was hailed as “one of the best Americana albums of the year” by the Associated Press.

Andy Miller & The 145s

1:45PM Maurer Hall (inside Old Town School West Building - 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.)

Enjoy some acoustic roots music in the afternoon with this ripping, Chicago-based bluegrass band featuring Andy Miller, Elizabeth Loring, Laird Patten, and John Huber.

Old Town School Teen Open Mic

12PM Maurer Hall (inside Old Town School West Building - 4544 N. Lincoln Ave.)

Calling all teens! A sign-up sheet for performance slots will be available on the Square Roots website soon!

Square Roots Pickers

4:15PM Sunnyside Kid Zone

Swing your partner round and round and right into the Family Barn Dance at the Kids Zone Family Stage!


3:15PM Sunnyside Kid Zone

Global Songs & Beats

Carolina Gomez Jimenez

2:15PM Sunnyside Kid Zone

Join in a Spanish singalong with Old Town School teaching artist and Wiggleworms teacher, Carolina!

Chello! Groove

1:15PM Sunnyside Kid Zone

Hip-Hop on by the Kids Zone and get into the groove. The Chello! Groove, that is, with Old Town School teaching artist and dancer extraordinaire, Marchello Lee.

​​Wiggleworms Duo with Julie & Will

12:15PM Sunnyside Kid Zone

Since 1985, Old Town School of Folk Music’s Wiggleworms has been a popular rite of passage in Chicago - a music class for kids and caregivers that inspires new learning and sets the foundation for a lifelong love of music.