Millennium Park Summer Music Series 2017

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by Gail Dee Updated June 18, 2017 We Want Music Without Borders Must Sees include Amadou & Mariam from Mali; rising star Dayme Arocena from Cuba; the legendary Youssou N’Dour from Senegal; and Totó La Momposina from Colombia. Throw in … Continue reading

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We Want Music Without Borders #wmfchicago2016 #Deelights

by Gail Dee

Interested in sampling some of the music coming to Chicago for the World Music Festival Chicago?  Check out  our interactive image #deelights.  Each icon links to a different artist appearing at the FREE World Music Festival Chicago 2016 from Sept. 9 -Sept. 25. 60 artists from 25 countries!  More artist #deelights will be added daily until VOILA–the image contains everyone at the Festival! Below you can see the finished product from the 2015 World Music Festival Chicago!  Great way to whet your appetite for the incredible abondanza of music coming to Chicago.

 

The RAGAMALA (still adding to it;-)

 

 

The festival takes place at cool venues like Lincoln Hall, Martyr’s, Old Town School of Folk Music, Humboldt Park Boathouse; Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park and others. See the World Music Festival Chicago lineup and schedule here: http://wp.me/p2v6Sn-tf

Join our 2800 + We Want Music Without Borders FB group for daily updates about live music. https://www.facebook.com/groups/wewantmusicwithoutborders

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Twenty Years of Tunes: Brian O’Hern & the Model Citizens Play the Pritzker at Chicago Jazz Festival: “The music grooves, soloists sparkle, and the band wails!”

by Gail Dee/ We Want Music Without Borders

After twenty years of hi jinks and hangs, Chicago’s swingin’ funky big band, Brian O’Hern and the Model Citizens, hits the big time on the big Pritzker stage at Chicago Jazz Festival Friday Sept. 2 at 5 pm in Millennium Park. O’Hern throws a lot of musical curves at his versatile 14 member band. They perform O’Hern’s original and humorously quirky compositions along with arrangements for songs from Jimmy Webb and Queen to the Star Spangled Banner.   Brian says “We play straight jazz, out jazz, boogaloos, rock covers, waltzes, marches, church music, hora, bolero, rumba, calypso, corals, and anthems.”

Brian O Hern Jazz Fest Jackson Stage

As a megafan for over ten years,( full disclosure: I actually received the “honored” mega fan button) I’m hoping they get discovered by a TV executive and hired to be the house band for a talk show. The Model Citizens attack new charts with verve and old charts with mastery in monthly unrehearsed shows at the Gallery Cabaret  every 3rd Monday. The reward being beer served in frosty mugs by the most attractive female in the bar; a few bucks and lots of laughs. The band began their journey in 1996 at Martyr’s where they played their anniversary show in March. Martyr’s owner, Ray Quinn, a long time friend and fan of Brian’s music said Since Sir Georg retired, the greatest band in Chicago. Celebrate their return to Martyrs’ where it all began 20 years ago.”

Not to imply this is the first time the Model Citizens have performed at the Jazz Festival. In 2011 they played the smaller Jackson stage and many of the stellar band members such as Mike Allemana, the guitarist; Matt Ferguson, the bassist; Pat Mallinger, tenor sax; have headlined or been featured performers on the Pritzker for “Made in Chicago: Jazz” or the Chicago Jazz Festival. This year, however, will be the first time, the unassuming, eccentric and comedic composer and band leader Brian O’Hern, appears on the Millennium Park stage with his big band.

Besides Brian’s brilliant and humorous compositions, music lovers will appreciate the top notch Model Citizens musicians which are among Chicago’s best jazz musicians. Mike Allemana, Matt Ferguson (both Von Freeman’s sidemen) Pat Mallinger (Sabertooth) have been Model Citizens for 20 years. Other band members include Dave Creighton, Dan Nicholson, Anthony Bruno, Mark Hiebert, BJ Levy, BJ Cord, Scott Anderson, Raphael Crawford, Dylan Rehm, and Gerald Dowd.

Model Citizens Christmas show

Photo by Harvey Tillis

Nobody puts Brian O’Hern and the Model Citizens Big Band in a corner. Every show is a surprise even after 15 years of attending the monthly shows religiously.   Brian says “It’s not like the cookie cutter “jazz orchestras” coming out of the “college tradition.” While some of the songs have become familiar classics like “Helen’s Waltz Medley” with its’ sardonic lyrics “So put on your jazz slacks and go have a beer ’cause Andy’s is the place for Jazz” and “Frugal Tall Hag” an exhilarating instrumental groove based vaguely on a reproduction of an old WW2 big band classic “Bugle Call Rag”, Brian is always experimenting with new material. In fact, he has just released a fourth CD, tongue in cheek entitled  “We Are So Straight Ahead” .  I attribute part of my breast cancer cure many years ago to these monthly sessions of funky guitar, blaring brass and sexy soulful saxes combined with hearty laughter. Who wouldn’t feel healed at the end of night hearing “Party like a Rockstar” (not the shop boyz) morphing into a rousing rendition of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” as the band does a second line thru the narrow bar’s audience?

Educated at Berklee College of Music, Brian says he wasn’t interested at all in “big bands” until he toured with Arty Shaw and Glenn Miller bands. Brian plays the keyboards, piano, B-3 organ and accordion. (He also likes the kazoo;-))   At 49 years old, he still has a baby face and a boyish charm in front of the audience.   As well as being a serious composer, he’s also a ham and in the intimate club setting does hilariously outrageous things –like stripping down to his briefs to put on tights and a cape as perform “We Are the Champions” as a rock star. (ok–i guess you had to be there;-).

Brian OHern Dec. 2015 poster The monthly Monday nights at the intimate Gallery Cabaret are an informal affair- sort of like studio sessions. Frequently the musicians are looking at charts for the first time which they approach fearlessly. It is part of the thrill for the regular audience members to be privy to the organic process of hearing how a composition develops. They hear an original song performed and a couple months later the song may appear again—maybe the arrangement has changed or the melodic line is repeated in another song. And it’s always brings a smile to hear the band members break into song calling on the Gallery Cabaret’s owner to serve them more beer “We’re the Model Citizens and YES, we are thirsty. Kenny can we have more beer?”

Brian says, “Our shows are loose, crazy and sometimes blue in humor. But underneath all that is a tight deepness performed by the highest caliber of players. I like to make it look as though it’s all happening at random when the truth is I spend hundreds of hours preparing the charts and putting all the parts together to make the whole. So by the time the show is on I just sit back and listen. My work is pretty much done.”

Admittedly, I greeted the news of this Jazz Festival performance with a jubilant shout of glee and no small amount of smug vindication. For years I have figuratively grabbed the ears of friends and strangers with my enthusiastic “You got to come and see this crazy big band. The music is a blast!”

You can see for yourself Friday Sept. 2 at 5 pm at Millennium Park. Remember to see them in more intimate surroundings every 3rd Monday at the Gallery Cabaret.  Halloween shows are always a special musical trick or treat too! “We Are So Straight Ahead” can be purchased here . http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/brianohernandthemodelcit or iTunes.

Find out more about the Chicago Jazz Festival and Jazz Institute of Chicago

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18th World Music Festival Chicago 2016 Lineup Announced!

Updated Sept. 11, 2016

by Gail Dee

Look who is coming to the 18th  World Music Festival Chicago 2016!
From Cuba to Chile; Ethiopia to Sudan; Mongolia to India; Italy and Poland–this edition of the WMFChicago brings FREE culture to Chicago’s doorstep — no passport or visa required. The only requirement is curiosity. With 60 artists from 25 counties–noone gets stopped at the WMFChicago 2016 border . A quick glance shows that although the festival is longer in length this year -no performances on Monday and Tuesday. (or Wednesday the first week) .
Focus is on multiple venues scattered all over the city versus the Pritzker Pavilion–which hosts one afternoon event on Sat. Sept. 17
More to come on We Want Music Without Borders about the artists. Sample the artists on our interactive image #deelight. The icons link you to videos and music of each artist. We are adding to it daily. At end of this article see our #deelight with links to all of last year’s artists.
Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announces this year’s line up below:
  “The world comes together at the 18th Annual World Music Festival Chicago, September 9–25, 2016, at a variety of venues across the city. Celebrating the diverse music from nations across the globe, this FREE festival is produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and is the largest festival of its kind in the United States. Highlights of the 2016 festival include the all night Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music, a weekend collaboration with Chicago SummerDance in Grant Park, a concert in Millennium Park and the The 606 Polyrhythmic Procession and Global Peach Picnic.
    On the first night of the festival, Friday, September 9, Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music starts at 6 p.m. under the Tiffany stained glass dome of the 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 exceptional opportunity to hear the ragas (traditional scales or modes) during the early morning and late night hours when they were meant to be played. The concert features more than 10 musical groups and artists through 9 a.m. the next morning.
     Also, the first weekend of the festival, Chicago SummerDance in Grant Park (601 S. Michigan) closes with a world music lineup that includes two days of Salsa music with Adonis Puentes and the Voice of Cuba Orchestra and OLA FRESCA as well as a Bhangra Blowout with DJ and live Dohl presented by Kalapriya.
     In the second weekend of the festival–UPDATE: Pat Thomas is NOT APPEARING AT MILLENIUM PARK. In his place Occidental Brothers (African Highlife, Chicago) appears.  The afternoon of music will begin at 3 p.m. with a performance by Herencia de Timbiquí, a fusion of traditional Afro music of Colombia’s Pacific coast and contemporary urban music.
     The following day, Sunday, September 18, The 606 Polyrhythmic Peace Procession and Global Peace Picnic is a day of family-friendly activities including instrument making, peace procession, music and more. The Global Peace Picnic from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Humboldt Park Boathouse (1301 N. Sacramento Ave.) features concerts by Rocky Dawuni, Herencia de Timbiquí, and Rajab Suleiman & Kithara.
    The full schedule with locations and times of each performance is included below. For more information and festival updates, visit worldmusicfestivalchicago.org and follow the festival on Facebook and on Twitter @WMFChicago #WorldMusicChicago.
Friday, September 9
Tsukasa Taiko (Chicago, USA)
Daley Plaza
50 W. Washington St.
12 p.m.
ALL AGES
Adonis Puentes and the Voice of Cuba Orchestra (Cuba/Canada)
Chicago SummerDance–Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park
601 S. Michigan Ave.
Dance Lesson: 6–7 p.m.; Live Music: 7:30–9:30 p.m.
ALL AGES
Nano Stern (Chile)
ÌFÉ (Puerto Rico)
Chop Shop & 1st Ward Events
2033 W. North Ave.
10 p.m. (doors open at 9 p.m.)
18+
Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music
Chicago Cultural Center–Preston Bradley Hall
78 E. Washington St.
Sep. 9, 6 p.m.Sep. 10 9 a.m.
ALL AGES
6–7:15 p.m. Josh Feinberg (sitar) with Anindo Chatterjee (tabla)
7:30–8:45 p.m. GS Rajan (mandolin) with M.S. Sukh (mridangam)
9–10:15 p.m. Partho Sarodi (sarod) with Abhijit Banerjee (tabla)
10:30–11:45 p.m. Aditya Prakash (vocals), Salar Nader (tabla) with Shiva Ramamurthi (violin)
12–1:15 a.m. Shujaat Khan (sitar) with Manpreet Singh (tabla)
1:30–2:45 a.m. Anjna & Rajna Swaminathan (violin and mridangam)
3–4:15 a.m. Lyon Leifer (bansuri) with Subhasis Mukherjee (tabla)
4:30–5:45 a.m. David Trasoff (sarod) with Subhasis Mukherjee (tabla)
6–7:30 a.m. Sama Venkatesaiah Balakrishna Troupe (flute, vocal, mridangam and rhythm pad)
7:45–9:00 a.m. Satish Vyas (santoor) with Manpreet Singh (tabla)
Saturday, September 10
Special Percussion Workshop with ÌFÉ
Festival guests ÌFÉ introduce Cuban Rumba, Puerto Rican Bomba and a spirited Rumba.  Opera-Matic will also be making peace flags for The 606 Polyrhythmic Procession and Global Peace Picnic on Sept. 18.  All materials and instruments provided, free and open to the public.
Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center
4046 W. Armitage Ave.
11 a.m. –1 p.m.
ALL AGES
Mulatu Astatke (Ethiopia)
ÌFÉ (Puerto Rico)
DJ AfroQbano (Cuba/Chicago, USA)
Concord Music Hall
2047 N. Milwaukee Ave.
10 p.m. (doors open at 9 p.m.)
18+
OLA FRESCA (Brooklyn, USA))
Chicago SummerDance–Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park
601 S. Michigan Ave.
Dance Lesson: 6–7 p.m.; Live Music: 7:30–9:30 p.m.
ALL AGES
IMAN COMMUNITY CAFÉ + UCHICAGO ARTS PRESENTS
Alsarah & The Nubatones (Sudan/Brooklyn, USA) | J.A.S.S. Quartet (Chicago, USA)
University of Chicago Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
915 E. 60th St.
7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
ALL AGES
Nano Stern (Chile)
Fémina (Argentina)
Martyrs’
3855 N. Lincoln Ave.
8 p.m.
21+
UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHTS!
ESSO Afrojam Funkbeat (Chicago, USA)
Uptown Lounge
1136 W. Lawrence Ave.
8 p.m.
21+
Sunday, September 11
Kalapriya Presents Bhangra Blowout with with DJ and live Dhol (Chicago, USA)
Chicago SummerDance–Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park
601 S. Michigan Ave.
Dance Lesson: 4–5 p.m.; Live Music: 5–7 p.m.
ALL AGES
Nano Stern (Chile)
Fémina (Argentina)
Goran Ivanovic (Chicago, USA)
Old Town School of Folk Music–Myron R. Szold Music & Dance Hall
4545 N. Lincoln Ave.
7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
ALL AGES

Thursday, September 15
Anda Union (Inner Mongolia, China)
Chicago Cultural Center–Preston Bradley Hall
78 E. Washington St.
6 p.m.
ALL AGES
A-WA (Yemen/Israel)
Maya Kamaty (Reunion Island)
Lincoln Hall
2424 N. Lincoln Ave
7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
21+
UPDATE: Antibalas USA (replaces Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band )
Rocky Dawuni (Ghana/USA)
ANALOG AFRICA Soundsystem (Germany)
Metro
3730 N. Clark St.
9 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.)
18+
Friday, September 16
Tenores di Neoneli (Sardinia, Italy)
Chicago Cultural Center–Preston Bradley Hall
78 E. Washington St.
6 p.m.
ALL AGES
Maya Kamaty (Reunion Island) | Anda Union (Inner Mongolia, China)
Martyrs’
3855 N. Lincoln Ave.
9 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.)
21+
Saturday, September 17
UPDATE: Occidental Brothers USA (replaces Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band)
Herencia de Timbiquí (Colombia)
Millennium Park–Jay Pritzker Pavilion
201 E. Randolph St.
3 p.m.
ALL AGES
Tenores di Neoneli (Sardinia, Italy)
DePaul University Concert Hall
800 W. Belden Ave.
8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.)
ALL AGES
Sunday, September 18
THE 606 POLYRHYTHMIC PROCESSION AND GLOBAL PEACE PICNIC
A day of family-friendly activities in celebration of the International Day of Peace
11 a.m. –12:30 p.m. Instrument Making Stations 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 with Juicebox Concerts
Rocky Dawuni (Ghana/USA)
Herencia de Timbiquí (Colombia)
Rajab Suleiman & Kithara (Zanzibar, Tanzania)
Humboldt Park Boathouse
1301 N. Sacramento Ave.
ALL AGES

Wednesday, September 21
Rajab Suleiman & Kithara (Zanzibar, Tanzania)
Old Town School of Folk Music–Myron R. Szold Music & Dance Hall
4545 N. Lincoln Ave.
8:30 p.m. (doors open at 8 p.m.)
ALL AGES
Lautari (Poland)
Ensemble Surabhi (Chicago, USA)
Preston Bradley Hall at Chicago Cultural Center
6pm
Thursday, September 22
Lautari (Poland)
Daley Plaza
50 W. Washington St.
12 p.m.
ALL AGES
Solo & Indrė (Senegal + Lithuania)
SK Kakraba (Ghana/USA)
Chicago Cultural Center–Preston Bradley Hall
78 E. Washington St.
6 p.m.
ALL AGES
Dona Onete (Brazil)
Bossa Tres (Brazil/Chicago, USA)
The Promontory
5311 S. Lake Park Ave. W.
8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
21+
Friday, September 23
Dona Onete (Brazil)
Silvia+Luciano+Neusa (Brazil/Chicago, USA)
Old Town School of Folk Music–The Gary and Laura Maurer Hall
4544 N. Lincoln Ave.
8 p.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.)
ALL AGES
Solo & Indrė (Senegal + Lithuania)
SK Kakraba (Ghana/USA)
The Hideout
1354 W. Wabansia Ave
10 p.m. (doors open at 9 p.m.)
21+
Saturday, September 24
Sounds of China (China)
Ping Tom Memorial Park
300 W. 19th St.
3 p.m.
ALL AGES
Kaynak Pipers Band (Bulgaria) | Yves Lambert Trio (Québec, Canada)
Martyrs’
3855 N. Lincoln Ave.
8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
21+
The Klezmatics (New York City, USA)
Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan (Chicago, USA)
Lincoln Hall
2424 N. Lincoln Ave
7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
21+
Sunday, September 25
Kaynak Pipers Band (Bulgaria)
Yves Lambert Trio (Quebec, Canada)
Sounds of China (China)
Chicago Cultural Center–Preston Bradley Hall
78 E. Washington St.
12–5:30 p.m.
ALL AGES
The FREE admission World Music Festival Chicago is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and is sponsored by the Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Tribune, Metra and Millennium Garages.”
Below is our interactive We Want Music Without Borders #deelight from last year’s festival –each icon includes the link to the musicians who appeared.  Be on the lookout for the 2016 WWWMB #deelights for the World Music Festival Chicago 2016! Sign up for our newsletter. Join our 2800+member FB group;  like our FB page; Twitter https://twitter.com/gaildeelights

DOWNLOAD the WMFChicago 2016 Brochure below:

http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/dca/World%20Music%20Festival/wmfbrochure2016.pdf

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Jazz Dominates Chicago Music Heading into Holiday

by Gail Dee/We Want Music Without Border

Jazz is the focus of the We Want Music Without Borders Recommend list this week in Chicago– from Belgium comes the exciting big band “Flat Earth Society“; from NYC -the Vijay Iyer Trio; and from Chicago – Makaya McCraven Quintet.  All three bands have influences from other cultures spicing up the mix.

Wednesday June 29 at 8:30 pm at Constellation ChicagoHothouse Presents Flat Earth Society— big band from Belgium. Tickets only $10.   Sounds like this band might give my friends Brian O’Hern and the Model Citizens Big Band some competition (the Model Citizens play Chicago Jazz Fest Friday Sept. 2 at the Pritzker Pavilion at 5 p.m.)   “Flat Earth Society, a tight 15-piece band led by clarinettist and composer Peter Vermeersch, late of X-Legged Sally. Two brilliant sets confirmed how accomplished they are, twisting rapidly from theatrical bombast to tenderness, collective improv, mad movie-chase music and back to swinging anthems such as Gulls & Buoys and, er, Anthem 2004. Wet is Wet presented jazz as envisaged by Goebbels. Vermeersch grins impishly, like a young Daniel Libeskind, as he directs his close-knit ensemble. He is a monster talent, with an outrageously original band.” – John L Walters, Guardian

 

Also Wednesday June 29  6 to 9 pm (free)  Makaya McCraven (drummer) with Junius Paul – Bass, Justefan – Vibes, Matt Gold – Guitar, Marquis Hill – Trumpet is at the Harper Court Music Series   (presented by the Silver Room and Harper Court ). Makaya is a drummer just chosen by Chicago reader as the “Best Jazz Musician”.  Strangely  I was first introduced to Makaya  as the drummer for the Occidental Brothers Dance Band which focuses on African highlife music.  It was later I discovered what a hot jazz musician he is as well.   Makaya’s  recent live digital recording released in January “In the Moment E and F sides”  made LA Times “Best of” list and recently got raves for the vinyl release in the NY Times.

Friday July 1 Vijay Iyer Trio at Constellation Chicago with two shows will be exciting with tickets $25.  Vijay recently chosen by Downbeat Magazine again the  top Jazz Artist in their Critics Poll, marking the third time he has won the honor, following wins in 2012 and 2015.  He’s Grammy nominated with a huge list of accomplishment from MacArthur Fellow to Doris Duke Performing Artist.  Only limited seating still available.

 

Other suggested shows include:

Juan Pastor’s Chinchano at 10 pm at California Clipper Wed. June 29 Cover only $5. “Chinchano is Juan Pastor’s modern instrumental jazz group that fuses the traditional North American jazz harmonic palette with exciting rhythmic concepts drawn from Central and South America.”

Hyde Park Jazz presenting pianist  Willie Pickens  for Jazz in the Courtyard on July 1 from noon to 2 pm. FREE  Courtyard Shops at Hyde Park Shopping Center at 55th Street and Lake Park Avenue.  See ret of great line up of 1st and 3rd Fridays at hpjazz.com. Victor Goines, Bossa Tres, Eric Schneider and Ari Brown are all scheduled to perform this summer.

Thursdays at Andy’s Jazz Club –Saxophonists Eric Schneider / Pat Mallinger with their Quintet take a summer residency for the later shows at the place to wear ‘your jazz slacks”;-) This Thursday NYC drummer Tony Pinciotti joins them.

More to come on the weekend choices for music lovers! 

Funkadesi at City Winery July 1 is also a recommended show.

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20th Chicago Summerdance 2016 Season Announced

by Gail Dee/We Want Music Without Borders

Update June 7

Chicago Summerdance begins June 24 with Swing and culminates Sept. 11 iwith Cuban Son and Salsa.  Dancers will enjoy themselves on Friday and Saturday evenings  and Sunday afternoons to tango, country, Romanian  West African music, Steppin’,  House and more.  On August 20 a Tribute to Prince.  Thursday nights is no longer part of the schedule which in the past offered mainly international selections.  Correction: While Thursdays do not take place downtown at the Spirit of Music Garden –DCASE & Chicago Parks District together are presenting Summerdance in the Parks from July 9 thru Aug.    Another change is Sunday late afternoon and early evening is no longer reserved to mainly “ballroom” dancing type orchestras as it was for several years.

The several  recommended shows for WWMWB music loving fans will be during the Taste of Chicago –Brooklyn’s Las Hacheras (revives folkloric styles like son montuno, guaracha and salsa with Bomba, the fiery rhythm from the mountains of Puerto Rico July 9; Bahto Delo Delo (Lautaresc music of Clejani, Romania) July 10 ; Sierra Leona Refugee All Stars on July 11 and the following weekend Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys  July 17. In August- Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca (Soukous and Rumba, Cuban Son and Salsa) Aug 12 and in September- Adonis Puentes and the Voice of Cuba Orchestra (Cuban Son and Salsa) Sept 9 and Ola Fresca (Cuban Son, Salsa, Timba and Funk) on Sept. 10 open the World Music Festival Chicago (Sept.9-24).

Quality local favorite bands fill the majority of the evenings such as Flat Cats (swing) ; Angel Melendez and 911 Mambo Orchestra (salsa); Alan Gesik’s Swing Band; Hoyle Brothers (country); Sones de Mexico and Carpacho y Su Super Combo (salsa) and others.  Wired Fridays returns once a month as well as Steppin’ DJ’s too and a couple evenings of Indian music and dance Bollywood Bhangra.

Friday and Saturdays dance lessons at 6:00 to 7:00 pm.  Bands start at 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm.  Sunday dance lesson from 4:00 to 5:00 pm; Bands start at 5:00 to 7:00 pm.  In the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park (Balboa & Michigan).  FREE to the PUBLIC.   Seating available on perimeter lawn and refreshments too.  Updates and announcements (including weather-related announcements) will be shared on Facebook and on Twitter @SummerDanceChi. For more information, visit chicagosummerdance.org or call the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events at 312.744.3316.

Friday, June 24, 2016 – Swing The Flat Cats (Jump Blues, Swing)  /

Saturday, June 25, 2016 – Salsa Carpacho y Su Super Combo (Colombian, Salsa)

Sunday, June 26, 2016 – Tango and Milonga KAIA String Quartet and Richard Scofano (Argentine Tango)

Friday, July 1, 2016 – House Wired Fridays – Mario Smokin Diaz (6-9pm) soundcloud.com/mario-smokin-diaz / www.facebook.com

Saturday, July 2, 2016 – Steppin’ DJ Eric “ET” Taylor (Chicago Steppin’) www.facebook.com / instagram.com/djerictaylor/ Dawud and Lura Shareef (Chicago Steppin’)

Sunday, July 3, 2016 – Country Al Scorch and The Country Soul Ensemble (Two-Step, Western Swing)Jeffrey Cannon and Meg Kindelin (Country Two-Step, Waltz)

Friday, July 8, 2016 – Hustle and Western Swing Chicago Catz (R&B/Top 40) May I Have This Dance (Hustle & Western Swing)

Saturday, July 9, 2016 – Salsa and Cha-Cha Los Hacheros (Son Montuno, Guaracha and Salsa with Bomba) www.loshacheros.com / www.youtube.com / www.facebook.com/loshacheros /  Dance Academy of Salsa (Salsa and Cha-Cha) www.danceacademyofsalsa.com

Sunday, July 10, 2016 – Romanian Music & Dance Bahto Delo Delo (Lautaresc music of Clejani) Balanski Igri (Romanian Folk Dances)

Friday, July 15, 2016 – Baskeda and West African Dance Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars (Baskeda)www.youtube.com/user/slrefugeeallstars / www.facebook.com / twitter.com/refugeeallstars Idy Ciss (Traditional West African Dances)

Saturday, July 16 2016 – Mambo and Cha-Cha Angel Melendez and The 911 Mambo Orchestra (Big Band Mambo)www.facebook.com/AngelMelendezAndThe911MamboOrchestra Mixed Motion Art (Mambo, Cha-Cha) www.mixedmotionart.com

Sunday, July 17, 2016 – Zydeco Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys (Zydeco) www.jefferybroussard.com Buddy Bates and Monica Vachlon (Zydeco)

Friday, July 22, 2016 – Swing DJ Mellow Khris (Steppin’)www.youtube.com / soundcloud.com/dj-mellow-khris

Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Swing Joel Paterson and the Modern Sounds (’30s and ’40s Swing) www.joelpaterson.comwww.youtube.com / www.facebook.com/thejoelpatersonBig City Swing (East Coast Swing) www.bigcityswing.com /

Sunday, July 24, 2016 – Bollywood DJ Krush (Bollywood) shaadientertainment.com / www.facebook.com/shaadientBollywood Groove (Bollywood) www.bollygroove.com / www.youtube.com

Friday, August 5, 2016 – House Wired Fridays – Mickey Oliver www.mickeyoliver.com

Saturday, August 6, 2016 – Swing Sons of Susan (Jazz, Blues, Swing, Western Swing and Hokum) Dance Center Chicago (East Coast Swing)www.dancecenterchicago.com

Sunday, August 7, 2015 – Ballroom and Big Band Alan Gresik Swing Orchestra (Ballroom and Big Band) Kasper Dance Studio (Fox-Trot)

Friday, August 12, 2016 – Salsa Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca (Soukous and Rumba, Cuban Son and Salsa) www.makinaloca.com Arthur Murray Dance Center (Salsa) chicagoarthurmurray.com /

Saturday, August 13, 2016 – Steppin’ DJ Calvin (Steppin’) www.steppersusa.com Dawud and Lura Shareef (Steppin’)

Sunday, August 14, 2016 – Country The Hoyle Brothers (Honky-Tonk Country) www.hoylebrothers.com Jeffrey Cannon and Meg Kindelin (Country Two-Step, Waltz)

Friday, August 19, 2016 – Tamburitza Music and Dance KGB Band (Tamburitza Music) Ethnic Dance Chicago (Southern and Central European Folk Dances) www.ethnicdance.net / www.facebook.com/ethnicdance / twitter.com/ethnicdanceguru

Saturday, August 20, 2016 – A Purple Party: Tribute to Prince (6-9pm) Kwest_on

Sunday, August 21, 2016 – Tango and Milonga Maldito Tango Duo (Argentine Tango) www.facebook.com/malditotangoduo Tango 21 (Argentine Tango) www.tango21chicago.com

Friday, August 26, 2016 – Salsa Nabori with Yoko (Salsa) www.naborisalsa.com Latin Rhythms – Academy of Dance and Performance (Salsa) www.latinrhythmsdance.com / www.youtube.com

Saturday, August 27, 2016 – Mexican Son Sones de Mexico Ensemble (Regional Mexican Folk Dance Music) www.sonesdemexico.com / www.youtube.com/user/sonesdemexico /Lorena Iniguez (Veracruz Folk Dancing and Mexican Polkas)

Sunday, August 28, 2016 – Ballroom Teddy Lee Orchestra (Ballroom)www.teddyleeorchestra.com / http://www.youtube.com Fred Astaire Dance Studio – West Loop (Waltz, Rumba)

Friday, September 2, 2016 – House (6-9pm)Wired Fridays – Paul Johnson www.agencysounds.com/Artist/PaulJohnson /

Saturday, September 3, 2016 – Swing The Fat Babies (’20s and ’30s Jazz and Swing) www.thefatbabies.com / www.youtube.com Big City Swing (East Coast Swing)

Sunday, September 4, 2016 – Contra and Square Dance Golden Horse Ranch Band (Country and Square Dance) goldenhorseranch.com / www.youtube.com Annie Coleman (Square and Contra Dancing, Line Dancing, Polka, Waltz)

Friday, September 9, 2016 – Salsa Adonis Puentes and the Voice of Cuba Orchestra (Cuban Son and Salsa) Fred Astaire Dance Studio – West Loop (Salsa)

Saturday, September 10, 2016 – Salsa Ola Fresca (Cuban Son, Salsa, Timba and Funk) www.olafresca.com / www.youtube.com / soundcloud.com/pipikirecords Chicago Dance (Salsa) www.chicagodance.com

Sunday, September 11, 2016 – Bhangra Kalapriya presents Bhangra Blowout with DJ and live Dhol (Bhangra)

See more here; http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_summerdance.html

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Johnny Clegg Delivers South African Joy & Driving Rhythms

by Gail Dee/We Want Music Without Borders

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Johnny Clegg, the passionate and articulate South African singer/songwriter/ musician/dancer/human rights activist won a new fan —this writer- at the April 14 performance at City Winery Chicago.

Although I had watched and shared several of his videos over the past couple years, I didn’t know what to expect in a live performance at this stage of his 40 year-long career.  Having been an ethnic dancer myself, I was especially fond of watching him pound the earth in the warrior Zulu dancing as a young man in those older videos.  But I wondered how would he translate today? I knew he had been bold when it mattered. In the years of apartheid in South Africa he had created his music with an interracial band and he had broken ground by combining both English language/rock music with South African native Zulu. However those  moves were decades ago and many of his hits are from the mid 80’s had a pop vibe about them.  I sort of half expected a Phil Collins of South Africa.   My assumption was totally wrong.

To my delight, I discovered why the French, British and South Africans as well as many others around the world love him. His songs are thoughtful, heart-felt and intelligent. From the beginning of his career when he imaginatively combined English rock/pop and Zulu musical language in his songs, he has made the difficult look easy. The intertwining of the two cultures is so seamless, the fusion is taken for granted as he sings and  his tight-knit band rock the audience with bright rhythms and interesting phrasing.

His sincerity and musical activism completely charmed me above all else. His deep appreciation for the native people and culture of South Africa very evident throughout the show. I especially enjoyed seeing him  using  instruments like the “remastered”concertina fitted to play Zulu music and traditional mouth bow.  A wonderful storyteller he related stories about what had motivated some of his songs. “Digging for Some Words” he told us, sprang from the ritual of hunters and gatherers digging a hole in the ground and leaving an “offering” to nature for having possibly disturbed the balance of the world when they hunted and killed an animal.  He explained their belief that they lived “inside” Nature consequently they also believed that social discord and imbalance within the community caused severe weather like drought and floods. The clincher to his story is that South Africa had been in the midst of a 7 year drought during the apartheid when he wrote the song. Part of the lyrics asks “Who can send an emissary to speak to the seasons?” (to intercede for balance and harmony).  I could only think of the Climate change denying Republicans. Another song reminded me of Bernie Sanders and his young followers when he fervently reminded us to keep on dreaming our dreams  in “Your Time Will Come” using the collapse of the Berlin wall and Mandela being freed from prison after 30+ years as striking examples that social justice can prevail.   Love songs also had their due as he sang “I burn for you”. “Spirit” figured prominently as a theme in several songs and I found myself along with the rest of the audience being uplifted.  My friend who attended the show said “South African music is joyful” a good way to sum up the evening which also included hits like the Crossing, Scaterlings of Africa and Asimbonanga.

 

The show opened with a set by Jesse Clegg; Johnny’s son.  Unfortunately I missed most of the set but the audience seemed happy.  One of the songs I did catch, Jesse’s voice has much of his Dad’s beauty and he was doing original material.  He told us his new album had just been released.

April 15, Friday night at City Winery Chicago is already sold out.  However he’s coming to Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota April 16; then on to Colorado followed by California.  Maybe City Winery Chicago can squeeze you in tonight. www.citywinery.com

More on his tour at www.johnnyclegg.com

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