March Madness: Spring Global Music Deelights

by Gail Dee

Like a spring breeze, the fresh female voices and musicians of Ibeyi, La Santa Cecilia and Banda Magda are some of our recommended “DeeLights” in Chicago this month as well as the entrancing Cassandra Wilson.  These artists defy “genre” classification being “music without borders” jazzy, pop, folk, traditional, alternative.  Women’s International Day lasts the entire month of March for Chicago!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED IS THE engaging sultry Cassandra Wilson’s concert “Coming Forth By Day: A Celebration of Billie Holiday” at Thalia Hall on 3/5.  Her new album will be released April 7.  Cassandra is world renowned for her special interpretations and expanding “genre” borders 

Highly anticipated  IBEYI, the French Cuban twins, Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz, appear in  Chicago for their first time on March 29 at Lincoln Hall.(The show originally booked at Schuba’s has been  moved to Lincoln Hall -quite likely as a result of demand). Their debut album, released in February, is causing quite a stir and was featured earlier this month on NPR’s First Listen. (At the time, I shared the First listen on WWMWB’s FB group wall ) These young women are the daughters of the late Cuban percussionist Anga Diaz (Buena Vista Social Club)  Naomi plays percussive instruments, the Cajon and the Batas, while Lisa plays piano. The twins have absorbed their father’s culture as well as the French culture where they grew up. They sing in English mostly but charm us with Yoruba as well and use electronic beats as well as the traditional rhythms.  Tickets $15

Returning to Chicago on March 13 is “LA SANTA CECILIA ” LA’s Mexican -American Grammy Award winning alternative, urban Latin band with earthy  “La Marisoul” Hernandez as their stirring lead singer presented by Sound Culture and on March 26 from NYC, the playfully sophisticated Greek born Magda Giannikou with her “BANDA MAGDA” from NYC.  Both bands appearing at Martyr’s.    WWMWB’s fans might recall being part of the charmed audience when Banda Magda appeared as part of  the World Music Festival Chicago 2014. Magda is also a featured  guest artist with Snarky Puppy.

“La Santa Cecilia consists of accordionist and requintero Jose “Pepe” Carlos, bassist Alex Bendana, percussionist Miguel Ramirez, and lead vocalist La Marisoul, whose captivating voice sings about love, loss and heartbreak. Their influences range from Miles Davis to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin to Janis Joplin and Mercedes Sosa to Ramon Ayala.Grammy for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album,“. Tickets $20 advance $25 day

BANDA MAGDA “Led by Greek-born singer, film scorer, and composer Magda Giannikou, Banda Magda move from samba to jazz manouche, from Greek dance rhythms to samba beats. Their songs, sung in French (with forays into six other languages), hearken back to the golden age of Brazilian bossa, the best of cinematic arranging, and the lush chic of vintage French pop,” source Martyr’s. Tickets $10/$12

Intriguing women instrumentalists  performing in March include Julie Koidin, a Chicago flutist and Cristina Pato, Galician gaita player.  Julie has studied and played Brazilian folk music “Choro” extensively in Brazil and is now bringing her Brazilian compadres “Choro de La pra Ca”- to Old Town School of Folk Music 3/04 for their World Music Wednesday.  They will also be performing for a fundrasier called “Brazilian Extraganva for a “WFMT Choro Radio Show” at the Musical Offering in Evanston on 3/13 along with Brazilian musicians: Heitor Garcia, Geraldo de Olivera, & others.   Cristina Pato originally from Galicia, Spain  (now living in NYC) is the guest artist with the Chicago Sinfonietta in their  spring concert called “Primal Instincts” 3/21 & 3/23 conducted by the vibrant artistic director Mei Ann Chen!

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