World Music Festival Chicago 2017 Highlights Announced

Updated by Gail Dee July 2 with video and additional information


Headliners and highlights include Salif Keita, an all-night Ragamala featuring Anindo Chatterjee, Satish Vyas, Alam Khan and a special debut of the Bharath Symphony by Dr. L. Subramaniam and a special performance to commemorate the 70thanniversary of India’s Independence
 in Millennium Park 
The world will come together from September 8 -24 at a variety of venues across the city for the 19th Annual World Music Festival Chicago.. Celebrating diverse music from across the globe, this FREE festival is produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and is the largest festival of its kind in the United States.
Highlights of the 2017 festival include headliners Salif Keita, the all night Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music, an opening-weekend collaboration with Chicago SummerDance in Grant Park, concerts in Millennium ParkReva + David Logan Center for the Arts, DePaul University Concert Hall and many more performances at venues throughout the city.   NOTEThe full schedule will be announced later this summer.
In line with the recently launched One Chicago campaign, the World Music Festival reaffirms that Chicago welcomes everyone no matter their race, religion, color or background. Once Chicago is a multimedia representation emphasizing that every Chicagoan has a story all their own, but the thread that connects us lives in the promise of this city.
On the first night of the festival, Friday, September 8, the all-night Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music starts at 6:30 p.m. under the Tiffany stained glass dome of Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.). A tradition in India, the all-night classical concerts are rarely held publicly in the United States. Visitors have the rare opportunity to hear the ragas (traditional scales or modes) during the early morning and late night hours as they were meant to be played. The all-night concert features more than 8 musical groups and artists.
Ragamala highlights include Priya Venkatraman & Troupe – The stories of “Ahimsa: Non-Violence” with music by Shiv Subramaniam. Dancer and choreographer Priya Venkatraman is one of the premier contemporary practitioners in the ancient art of Bharatanatyam, one of the most important and oldest classical dance traditions of India. Legendary tabla artist, Anindo Chatterjee will perform a tabla duet with his son, Anubrata Chatterjee. Anindo Chatterjee, a student of Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh, is widely regarded as one of the greatest, living tabla practitioners. Alam Khan and Ambi Subramaniam will perform their first-ever jugalbandhi together (Carnatic + Hindustani collaboration) as they pay tribute to the legendary jugalbandhi collaboration between their respective, iconic fathers, the late Ali Akbar Khan and Dr. L. Subramaniam, nearly 25 years ago.
On Saturday, September 9Salif Keita will perform at the Concord Music Hall (2047 N. Milwaukee) at 8 p.m. Salif Kieta is known as “the Golden Voice of Africa,” and is one of the  greatest singers to emerge from modern Mali. He has towered as one of the most dominant stars of world music since launching a solo career in 1982 and has long been a pioneer of experimenting with various pop hybrids to reach a larger audience but without ever abandoning his deep footing in Mande tradition.
World Music Festival Chicago will also feature special performances and dancing at Chicago SummerDance in Grant Park (601 S. Michigan) at the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park.
On Friday, September 8 the New York’s Underground System will bring their classic Afrobeat and explosive live show at 7:30 p.m. preceded by dance lessons from the African Diaspora with Kimosha P. Murphy.
On Saturday, September 96–9:30 p.m. the Argentine Tango will be the dance of choice with live music at 7:30 p.m. with Duo Scofano-Minetti and dance lessons at 6 p.m. with the American Tango InstituteSunday, September 104–7 p.m. live Cajun music from Feufollet and Cajun two-step and waltz lessons by Louie Stallone + Monica Vachlon.
Millennium Park will also host two special concerts. On Saturday, September 9 at 3 p.m.World Music Festival Chicago will debut the world premiere of the Bharath Symphony, a stunning new orchestral epic composed by the brilliant Indian classical violinist L. Subramaniam. The project was commissioned by the DCASE specifically for the festival and it promises not only to be a highlight for 2017 but a classic for years to come—it has already been programmed later in in the year by London’s influential Barbican Centre with the London Symphony Orchestra.
On Saturday, September 16, Venezualan artist Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo will perform at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park at 3 p.m. The powerhouse singer Betsayda Machado brings the sound of Afro-Venezuelan culture to Chicago this year, introducing a rich, polyrhythmic sound as soulful as it is irresistible. She will perform with La Parranda El Clavo, a living link to the area’s musical heritage that’s been active for more than three decades. She launched her career with them back in the late 80s and the group performs songs about saints, dancing, slavery and the hard lives of the cocoa-plantation workers who originally sang parranda.  (WWMWB note: Luciano Antonio Quartet will be opening for this concert!)
On Saturday, September 16, to commemorate Mexican Independence Day, World Music Festival Chicago will present the critically-acclaimed Mariachi Flor de Toloache from New York and Los Hijos de la Montaña at Thalia Hall (1807 S. Allport) at 9 p.m. On Saturday, September 23, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival featuring Nicole Mitchell and Ballake Sissoko will perform two shows at the University of Chicago Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th Street) at3 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.
Also on September 23FELABRATION! featuring Bitori of Cape Verde, AFRICA HI-FI, a unique musical tribute to Africa created by DJ/Producer Ron Trent + Sonia Hassan that fuses music and social consciousness with art and dance and a very special headliner to be announced at a later date. The performance will take place at the Concord Music Hall (2047 N. Milwaukee Ave.) at 8 p.m.
On Sunday, September 17The 606 Walk + Global Peace Picnic at the Humboldt Park Boathouse (1301 N. Sacramento Avenue) from 2-6 p.m. is a day of family-friendly activities that include instrument making, a peace procession and more. Highlights also include performances by: La Tribu de Abrante, a bomba group from Puerto Rico led by Hiram Abrante, offering flavors of salsa, energy of reggaeton with horn stoked jams and energetic vocals; Nigerian singer and guitarist Mdou Moctar and Veneualan artist Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo.

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World Music Festival Chicago 2017 Highlights

The full schedule will be released later this summer

***NOTE – all bands are listed as follows unless otherwise noted HEADLINER with the OPENER(S) listed underneath – headliners on top. If on the same line, artists have been given equal billing.
Friday, September 8
Underground System (NYC)

Chicago SummerDance – Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park
601 South Michigan Avenue
Dance Lesson: 6-7 p.m.
Live Music: 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Friday, September 8 – Saturday, September 9
Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music + Dance
Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall
78 E. Washington Street, 3rd Floor
6:30 p.m.-10 a.m.
Saturday, September 9
Bharath Symphony – 70th Anniversary of India’s Independence
Millennium Park
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
201 E. Randolph Street
3 p.m.
*Premiere + Commissioned for World Music Festival Chicago
Duo Scofano-Minetti (Argentina)
Chicago SummerDance – Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park
601 South Michigan Avenue
Dance Lesson: 6-7 p.m.
Live Music: 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Salif Keita (Mali)
Grand Tapestry (LA, USA)
Concord Music Hall
2047 N. Milwaukee Ave.
7 p.m. doors open, 8 p.m. show
Sunday, September 10
Feufollet (Lafayette, LA)
Chicago SummerDance – Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park
601 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605
Dance Lesson: 4-5 p.m.
Live Music: 5-7 p.m.
Saturday, September 16
Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo (Venezuela)
Luciano Antonio Quartet (Brazil| Chicago, USA)

Millennium Park
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
201 E. Randolph Street
3 p.m.
Mariachi Flor de Toloache (NYC)
Los Hijos De La Montaña (Tucson, Arizona + Portland, OR)
Thalia Hall
1807 S Allport
8 p.m. doors open, 9 p.m. show
Sunday, September 17
The 606 Walk + Global Peace Picnic with Juicebox Concerts
September 17
Humboldt Park Boathouse
1301 N. Sacramento Avenue
2-6 p.m.
Schedule of Activities and Performers
  • 11-12:30 p.m. Instrument Making at Milwaukee/Leavitt Park and Ridgeway Trailhead
  • 12:30-2 p.m. Peace Procession to the Humboldt Overlook
  • 2-6 p.m.  Global Peace Picnic @ Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1301 N. Sacramento Ave
Artists Performing
  • La Tribu de Abrante (Puerto Rico)
  • Mdou Moctar (Niger)
  • Betsayda Machado y La Parranda El Clavo (Venezuela)
Saturday, September 23
Hyde Park Jazz Festival
Nicole Mitchell & Ballake Sissoko: Bamako * Chicago Sound System (USA + Mali)
University of Chicago Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
915 E. 60th Street
3-4 p.m. and 5:45-6:45 p.m
Special Guest to be announced at a later date.
Bitori (Cape Verde)
Africa HI-FI (Chicago, USA)
Concord Music Hall
2047 N. Milwaukee Ave.
7 p.m. doors open, 8 p.m. show

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