We Want Music Without Borders “Deelights” April 27 -May 3


Picture Gallery of musical delights coming to Chicago for your listening pleasure.  Just click on the icons for more info and video.  Old Town School of Folk Music and Elastic Arts lead the recommendations this week.

Lágbájá at Old Town School of Folk Music April 30 Tickets $25/$23 8pm

“Lagbaja (born Bisade Ologunde in Lagos) is a multi-award winning Nigerian musician, singer and song- writer.” He doesn’t fit into a convenient “genre”  His musical influences range from Yoruba to jazz to Afrobeat with emphasis on traditional African drumming which he calls “Africano”. While some of his songs have a “pop” feel (and indeed he is very popular with contemporary audiences in Nigeria)–the subject matter of his songs range from love to social conscious lyrics–using humor and satire to deliver his messages.  In fact, “Lágbájá is a Yoruba word that means somebody, nobody, anybody or everybody. It perfectly depicts the anonymity of the so called “common man”. The mask and the name symbolize the faceless, the voiceless in the society, particularly in Africa. Once you see Lágbájá’s mask you are reminded of your own facelessness.”  He gives voice to the voiceless.


Gurrumul  Sunday May 3 at Old Town School of Folk Music Szold Hall -tickets $22/20   Fresh from New Orleans Jazz Festival Gurrumul comes to Chicago bringing his angelic voice with aboriginal roots. Rolling Stone picked Gurrumul as the voice of Austraila in 2010.  I’m intrigued to see him live and think you will be glad to see him too.  His press says “Gurrumul is an enigma in the Australian music industry. Born blind, Gurrumul grew up as a member of the Gumatj clan on Elcho Island, off the coast of tropical North East Arnhemland. His fragile but powerfully emotive voice has affected the public in a way no other artist has done in this country.  This unique Aboriginal man sings songs about identity, spirit and connection with the land, its elements and the ancestral beings he is related to. His high tenor voice and aura-like persona creates emotion, compassion and a feeling of peacefulness and longing with audiences in Australia and around the world.” 

Elastic Arts starts the week with two great local jazz ensembles. Monday night April 27 begins a new Monday night music series with Cameron Pfiffner Quartet and Mayaka McCraven at 9 pm; Wednesday April 29  with James Sanders’s Proyecto Libre at 8 pm ; and Friday night May 1 co presents with Pachanka Music Culture May Day : International Worker’s Day Celebration with special guest Bocafloja (Mex/NY) at 8 pm.

  Cameron Pfiffner Quartet -Cameron is well known as the co leader of “Sabertooth”  (Green Mill’s Sat. late night house band for the past 20 years).  He’s one of my favorite sax man -frequently taking me on sweetly sublime flights of fancy with his sax and flute compositions.   Unfortunately no video of the current quartet’s original compositions but if you click on his picture–a couple of videos from Sabertooth and his other great band called “Marco Polo”.

Makaya McCraven Trio is the second set April 27. Makaya’s album “In the Moment” released to critical acclaim just last year.  Jeff Parker – guitar
Junius Paul – bass Makaya McCraven – drums

 Wednesday April 29  Proyecto Libre (James Sanders, violin; Harrison Bankhead, bass; Avreeayl Ra, drums; Jean-Christophe Leroy, congas & percussion; Edward Wilkerson, saxophones)

James Sanders -known for his Latin band “Conjunto” as well as his jazz collaborations brings this “free project” which combines his Caribbean heritage and command of Afro-Latin idioms with a forward thinking, purely improvisational aesthetic by bringing musicians from both genres together in a freewheeling musical experiment.”  Proyecto Libre will also be appearing May 15 to open the Latin Jazz Occurrence No. 5 for the Aurora Public Arts Commission curated by Lewis Achenbach ( who will also be doing live drawings).


MAYDAY // May 1st Pachanka Music Culture and Elastic present – Celebrate International Workers’ Day with Art & Socially Consious Music with Hip Hop artist from Mexico City, Bocafloja Quilombo-Oficial, Chicago’s REBEL X and The ROGUE MILITANTS. plus LA MATA (Experimental Art Rock)

more to come!  Check back!

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