World Music Festival Chicago 2015 #wmfdeelights and schedule

by Gail Dee

Welcome to our World Music Festival Chicago 2015 #wmfdeelights! A #wmfdeelight is an interactive picture with links (see icons) to information like the full WMF schedule; artist descriptions; soundcloud, videos and artists websites. This story is being updated as the WMFChicago progresses from Sept. 11 thru Sept. 22.  At the end of the festival our interactive image will include all the artists performing at the festival.

It is free at 15 different venues with over 50 performers from 26 countries.  Many of the artists perform more than one time.  Highly recommend making reservations for tickets when possible at venues like MCA; Old Town School of Folk Music, Mayne Stage and City Winery.


Nigeria’s legendary Orlando Julius is said to have created Afrobeat before Fela.  He mixed soul, funk, r & b with African rhythms and songs on Yoruba religion and more.  Touch the picture icons below for info and video.  Appears Friday night at Mayne Stage Sept. 19 with his new band the AfroSoundz.  Latin hip MC Boogat opens and on Sat. Sept. 20 at 3pm on the Pritzker Pavilion with Tal National from Niger.


TAL NATIONAL from Niger performs on Sat. afternoon at the Pritzker at 3 pm with Orlando Julius and the AfroSoundz and Sunday evening at 7pm at Mayne Stage (double bill with Chicago Afrobeat)

TANYA TAGAQ Inuk Throat Singer is a worldwide sensation.  This is her Chicago debut with her trio doing a soundtrack to silent classic movie Nanook of the North at Museum of Contemporary Art at 7:30 pm.  Touch the picture icons for videos and info.

The amazing Aziz Sahmaoui and University of Gnawa have two more performances this weekend in Chicago and a workshop at Old Town School of Folk Music on Tues. Sept. 22. Highly recommend. Expect a heady fusion of Gnawa trance; Sengalese and Morocan music.

Sat. Sept. 19 He appears at the Reva and David Logan Center of the Arts in a double bill with Fareed Ayaz and Abu Muhammad Qawwal Brothers in the evening. 6 pm reception and 7 pm performance. See more below on the icons on the picture.  SundaySept. 20  they appear as part of IMAN’S Fresh Beats and Eats short performance followed by a jam session from 2 pm to 4 pm. Tuesday Sept. 22 at OTSFM a workshop on the N’goni at 6:30 -8:00pm ALL FREE.

Fareed Ayaz, Abu Muhammad Qawwal and Brothers appear both Sat. Sept. 19 at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at 7pm on a double bill with Aziz Sahmaoui and University of Gnawa AND Sunday Sept. 20 afternoon at 3 pm on a double bill with  classical Indian violinist L. Subramaniam who takes the stage at 4:15.

ZEDASHE  Polyphonic Folk Music and Dance from Republic of Georgia  appear both Saturday night at DePaul Center and Sunday at One World Under One Roof at the Chicago Cultural Center.

AMIR ELSAFFAR  MAQUAM RHYTHMS WITH JAZZ  appears Saturday Sept. 19  at Constellation Chicago and Sunday Sept. 20 at One World Under One Roof

SUNDAY SEPT 20One World Under One Roof” (see above) and”Inaugural Peace Day Picnic” and Pritzker Pavilion see more above.

Inaugural Peace Day Picnic at Humboldt Park Boathouse features Future Rootz Son Systema (DJ collective from Chicago) including the Ponderers; Sound Culture; Slomo; ((Sonorama))and Afrobanq; Latin MC Hip Hop Boogat and Latin Grammy nominated producer Mr. Pauer with an intriguing mix of his Electropico. Touch the image icons for music and more info on the artists.

PAOLI ANGELI –ITALIAN JAZZ  appears Sunday Sept. 20 at One World Under One Roof at Chicago Cultural Center and Monday Sept. 21 at City Winery


KASSE MADY DIABETE  Mali’s acclaimed griot appears twice.  Monday Sept. 21 at Mayne Stage and Tuesday at Chicago Cultural Center at 6:30 pm with Lula Pena Portuguese singer songwriter.

FRIDAY  WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL CHICAGO SEPT. 18 and SAT. SEPT. 19 (UPDATED) The RAGAMALA – the extraordinary all night Celebration of Indian Classical Music takes place Friday night starting at 8pm to 8 am. (yes people bring mats to lay down).   See full schedule here: Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall 78 E. Washington St. ALL AGES 8–9:15pm: Lyon Leifer, bansuri with Subhasis Mukherjee, tabla; 9:30–10:30pm: Sara Ranganathan, veena with Ganapathi Ranganathan, mridangam; 10:45pm–midnight: Kala Ramnath, violin with Abhijit Bannerjee, tabla;12:15–1:30am: Sanhita Nandi, vocal with Shyam Kane, tabla and Vikas Falnikar, harmonium;1:45–2:45am: Guruprasad, Carnatic Flute with Sam Jeyasingham, mridangam and violin;2:55–3:55am: Manjiri Vaishampayan, vocal with Subhasis Mukherjee, tabla and Vikas Falnikar, harmonium 4:05–5:05am: Sam Jeyasingham, mridangam with Kalapriya Dancers; 5:15–6:15am: Minu Pasupathi, Carnatic Vocal and Akshaya Kannan, vocal support with flute and tabla 6:25–8am: Kartik Seshadri, sitar with Shyam Kane, tabla

Two artist highlights: Bringing the dawn into our day will be Kartik Seshadri Sitar master at 6:30 am and One of the opening performers will be the popular and versatile Saraswathi Ranganathan on the veena from 9:30-10:30. She lives in Chicago and is one of the many top local classical Indian musicians performing for the Ragamala.  I wish I had the time and space to do a longer piece on all the musicians.  I have been following Sara a bit –I first saw her providing a lively accompaniment to a Buster Keaton silent movie during CIMM last spring.

MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY Sept. 14 thru Sept. 17

Performances this week until Friday night take place at the Chicago Cultural Center at Preston Bradley Hall at 6:30 except for Wednesday night when all the action happens  at Old Town School of Folk Music.   OTSFM also has a free residency and Jam sessions with Aziz Sahmaoui Sept. 15 and Sept. 22  and a jam session with in conjuction with the Qawwal performance Fareed Ayaz, Abu Muhammad Qawwal and Brothers Sept. 17 not listed on WMFChicago schedule–see to register.

Monday Sept. 14 is Simon Shaheen Quartet – Renowned Palestinian composer and oud virtusoso relocated to the U S several years ago.  He appears  with Flamenco singer /guitarist and Indian Sarod player and a percussionist.

Tues  Sept. 15 Maarja Nuut- Estonian violinist and singer  at Chicago Cultural Center and also on Wed. Sept. 16 at Old Town School of Folk Music at SZOLD Hall at 7 pm double bill with We Banjo 3.

Wed. Sept. 16 We Banjo 3 Irish Celtic Bluegrass returns to the WMF.  First show is at Old Town School of Folk Music at 7 pm at Szold Hall (with above Maarja Nuut) and  second performance is Thursday Chicago Cultural Center Preston Bradley Dome Room at 6:30 pm.

Wednesday Sept. 16 at Old Town School of Folk Music in MAUER HALL

Aziz Sahmaoui and University of Gnawa and Ronnie Malley with Guitarras de Espana (doors at 8 pm; show at 8:30pm)

Aziz Sahmaoui and University of Gnawa first performance  Sunday Sept. 13 at 3 pm at the Pritzker Pavilion (on a double bill with Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed)  Highly recommend. Expect a heady fusion of Gnawa trance; Sengalese and Morocan music.  Besides 3 performances listed on the official WMF schedule, you can also take part in workshops with  Aziz Sahmaoui on Sept. 15 and Sept. 22 at Old Town School of Folk Music (free but register)  and  a short performance and jam session on Sept. 20 at IMAN’s “Fresh Beats and Eats”.  In conjunction with the Qawwali Brothers Fareed Ayaz, Abu Muhammad Qawwal and Brothers. Old Town School  also doing a jam session on Sept. 17 not listed on WMF schedule.  All co sponsored by Old Town School of Folk Music and IMAN (Inner-City Muslim Action Network).  Click on the icons for more info.

Fareed Ayaz, Abu Muhammad Qawwal and Brothers appearing Sat. Sept. 19 at Logan Center for the Arts at 7 pm in double bill with Aziz Sahmaoui and University of Gnawa (IMAN’S Community Cafe) and Sunday Sept. 20 at Pritzker Pavilion at 3pm with  L. Subramaniam–Indian classical violin.   ALSO SEPT. 17 WORKSHOP AND JAM SESSION AT OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC 6:30 PM TO 8 PM. FREE.

First up–Ethiopian New Year Celebration is part of World Music Festival Chicago 2015. Hailu Mergia (Ethiopia/US) keyboard player plays Ethiopian ethio jazz. His first appearance is at Martyr’s Friday Sept. 11 on double bill with Brazilian percussionist Cyro Bapista’s Banquet of Spirits.  He was ‘ rediscovered ” while driving a cab in Washington DC and career surged with the reissue of his music on  “Awesome Tapes of Africa”. Those old “tapes” sound almost a bit like “space” music to me.  I think it will be very intriguing to see what he is doing now. Hailu Mergia also appears Saturday Sept. 12 at Promontory with Ester Rada (Ethiopian/Israel) contemporary pop/jazz/r&b singer. Update: Saw him last night with in his trio last night at Martyr’s –also plays accordion and melodica.  Live broadcast on WBEZ’s Radio M–show will be archived and available on Monday Sept. 14 but see him live in you can!

Popular Grammy Award winning  La Santa Cecilia from East LA headlines  Friday night Sept. 11 at Mayne Stage.  Dos Santos Anti Beat Orquesta, Chicago’s on the move psychedelic cumbia band is opening the program.  La Santa Cecilia’s final performance is Sat. Sept. 12 at the Pritzker Pavilion at 3 pm on a double bill with bhangra funk brass ensemble from NYC Red Baarat.

Eagerly anticipating seeing one of the world’s most imaginative percussionists return to Chicago for WMFChicago:  Brazilian (NYC transplant) Cyro Bapista’s Banquet of Spirits.  Two performances on Sept. 11 at Martyr’s and the other Sat. Sept. 12 at Old Town School of Folk Music.

As part of the weekend celebration of Ethiopian New Year; Ethiopia’s legendary singer Mahoud Ahmed appears at the Pritzker Pavilion on Sunday Sept 13 at 3pm in a double bill with Aziz Sahmaoui and the University of Gnawa.

Ester Rada, Israeli Ethiopian is very contemporary singer using some modalities of Ethio jazz in her music “Critics describe her genre mixing sound as “gracefully combining Ethio-Jazz, funk, soul and r&b, with mixed undertones of black grooves”WOMAD. She is very popular so expect tickets to be flying out the door –She performs twice -at Lincoln Hall Sept 11 with Red Baarat and on  Sat. Sept. 12 with Hailu Mergia as part of the WMF’s Ethopian New Year Celebration at the Promontory.  See more description in the interactive #wmfdeelight.

RED BARAAT NYC’s rousing Punjabi based brass and percussive juggernault with infused with jazz returns to Chicago after a triumphant debut at WOMAD this summer.  They will be appearing Friday Sept. 11 at 8pm at Lincoln Hall on a bill with Ester Rada and Sat. Sept. 12 at 3 pm at the Pritzker Pavilion on a fun double bill with La Santa Cecilia. Impossible not to get up and get down with beat of Red Baraat!

TERAKAFT -desert blues from Saharan desert of Mali performs at Martyr’s on Sunday Sept. 13 at 8 pm. Some members originally part of Tinariwen.  This kind of music  is believed to be the forefather of the American Blues. Opening for them is a Chicago local band called Tangleweed who recently recorded a Terakaft song for their latest CD.  I wouldn’t miss it!

Gail Dee also is a freelance writer. Her recommendations and highlights on Chicago’s world music scene appearing in Global Sounds  in  Newcity Music  Chicago’s 29 year old free bimonthly cultural magazine in print on newstands and online. She created We Want Music Without Borders-2500+member group on Facebook in 2012.  Join up for daily updates about live music in Chicago and occasionally “beyond”.

You can also subscribe to We Want Music Without Borders newsletter for special discounts and offers on tickets to live concerts and occasional news.

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