The Midnight Sun set ablaze the Starlight crowd of more than 400 at Baker Park in Evanston in the evening hours on Tuesday.

People danced, listened, swayed and sang to the 10-piece ensemble, who call themselves masters of deep-cut soul and funk and were founded in 1976, during the latest installment of the Starlight Concerts in the Park series

Midnight Sun, a 10-piece funk and soul band, at Baker Park as part of the city’s Starlight Concerts in the Park series. Credit: Debbie-Marie Brown

Audrey Thompson, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Evanston, organized this year’s series. She introduced the band, which includes saxophone player Chris Greene, an Evanston resident and native as well as a jazz, pop, funk artist and composer, who helped arrange the performance.

Starlight concerts happen from 7 to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday, weather permitting. Thompson said there’s a concert each week in a different ward all summer. (Although there’s an additional concert Sunday, July 3, to celebrate the street naming in honor of Cook County Circuit Court Judge Lionel Jean-Baptiste, who was also Evanston’s first Haitian-American alderman.)

The RoundTable spoke to an assortment of guests, and everyone was happy to be there. Darcy Hofer said that she’s come to the concert series in past years and found out about tonight’s event through the city website. “This is better than I expected… I’m just loving the band and loving the music.”

Tina Dillard, a mom who attended with her teenage daughters, said, “I attend these every year,” adding, “Thank God that the weather is nice today.”

Joy Marshall, who describes herself as Midnight Sun’s biggest fan, spent the evening in front of the audience dancing, enthralled by the performers. Credit: Debbie-Marie Brown

Joy Marshall was dancing her tail feathers off for the full 90-minutes of the show, and she introduced herself as Midnight Sun’s biggest fan. She drove to Evanston from Blue Island – an hour and a half away. “I’ve been following Midnight Sun since I was 27, I am 50. I go everywhere they go.”

Why does she love Midnight Sun? “They play the music like I remember it,” Marshall said. “They’re playing my memories. I will never get to see the real original band, and they play [the covers] like the original song. So, it’s my memories that I love.”

Debbie-Marie Brown is a reporter and Racial Justice Fellow at the Evanston RoundTable. They cover the local reparations initiative, Black life in Evanston, and the 5th ward. Contact Debbie-Marie at

2 replies on “Midnight Sun brings the funk to its Starlight debut in Baker Park”

  1. Thank you for including me in this article about a band I absolutely LOVE!!! Dancing to their music gives me life. I can’t wait to see hear & feel what they do at SPACE next month.

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