Chicago Music Festival Continues to Highlight Talent and Sense of Community

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 22:33 Written by  Iya Bakare

At a time when the country shows its frustration and distress over senseless violence in communities, the city of Chicago took a moment recently to celebrate what’s right for a day in Garfield Park.

At the 3rd Annual Chicago Westside Music Festival, 90’s R&B groups 112 and Brownstone headlined a day of family time where members of the community gathered to enjoy the summer weather and great music performed by locally and internationally-known talent.

Family and love, along with the appreciation of great music, remain the essential ingredients of the nucleus that make this annual gathering work so well. These same elements are what attracted local artist Tina Jenkins Crawley to not only the festival, but to the city of Chicago. A “cute boy” brought the Springfield native to the Windy City, she says.

“I initially put family first, but God was nudging me about singing because it came to a point when I couldn’t sleep,” Tina adds. “It took me 12 years before my first project was released, but God kept sending me the help and I couldn’t pass up the blessings. He handed me opportunities over and over again.”

The once timid and shy songwriter admits she was pushed onto the stage for her first solo. Writing lullabies for her children eventually evolved into penning lyrics for the singer’s first project, which skyrocketed in the UK and was No. 1 on their soul charts for three weeks.

“I’m purposed and I come with a purpose,” she comments.

Like Tina, this annual celebration comes with a mission. And that mission is to use the universal language of music that everyone understands, loves and appreciates to bring communities within a community together.


For more information on Tina Jenkins Crawley’s music, visit her website at

Photo Credit: Adrian S. Burrows, Sr.



Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare, GMO's managing editor, earned both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in print journalism. She earned her B.A. from Delta State University with a minor in English and graduated with a M.A. degree from Columbia College Chicago. In her spare time, the Chicago native continues to freelance and ponder ways to both inform and improve her community one story at a time.

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