TONIGHT: GYPSY, FLAMENCO, AND TANGO

Today is Friday May 13, and some people may be afraid to go out tonight. If you are not, and are actually looking for some options to spend your Friday evening, let me suggest the following shows:

Flamenco and Gypsy Jazz with Alfonso  Ponticelli and dancer Cristina Gutierrez at Katerina’s

1920 W Irving Park Rd Chicago

$10 cover

Ponticelli has played gypsy-jazz music for more than a decade, having traveled several times to the annual Django Reinardt Festival in France. He introduced gypsy-jazz to Chicago in the 1990s. A multi-intrumentalist, he won the 1994 U.S. National Mountain Dulcimer Championship and plays both banjo and guitar with the Illinois Philarmonic Orchestra. He’s also a gypsy flamenco guitarist, and went  to Cordoba, Spain, to study with the great flamenco guitarist Rafael Riqueni. I saw this show last month and had a great time. I loved the energy of the place and the people working there, and  the connection between the performers and the audience. Here is a sample of what I saw that night:

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Las Guitarras de Espana presents an Intimate Evening of Flamenco Music at Uncommon Ground on Devon

1401 West Devon Avenue Chicago

Las Guitarras 2011

In its incarnation as a small ensemble, Las Guitarras de Espana features the gorgeous vocal melodies of composer Patricia Ortega, the Indian vocalist, Satya and the rhythmic footwork of flamenco dancer Wendy Clinard. The intensity and beauty on display at the front of the stage is anchored by Afro-Cuban percussion, the melancholy cello work of the Syrian artist, Kinan Abou-afach and the studied Spanish guitar of composer Carlo Basile. Las Guitarras de Espana will release its 5th CD, “Tantas Cosas” in 2011. 10pm, $15. Advance tickets only, purchase HERE  or call 773-465-9801 for reservations.

ARTango Gala Opening Night Party

4203 N Ravenswood Ave

ARTango Center is a studio that offers group and private tango classes and milongas. Tonight, the studio is proud to present a NEW TANGO HOME in Chicago, a place where you can enjoy tango as well as experience authentic Argentinean culture. With its interior designed and built by Argentineans, who put much effort into creating a vibrant modern space that, at the same time, would have an authentic feel of an Argentinean home, the NEW ARTango home is like a little Buenos Aires in Chicago where everyone can come and dance tango, and feel the heat of the passionate milonga nights.
ARTango wants you to fall in love with tango and become friends with the wonderful people of the ever growing tango-community in Chicago. The studio has FREE Parking and the Gala Opening Night Party is scheduled  from 10:00 pm until 5:00 am.Have you ever try Argentinian Asado (BBQ)? Here is your chance to try it because this party will have authentic Argentinian asado. This event is BYOB

Cost: $15 (asado included in the price)

Today: Fiesta Cultural and Femi Kuti

Fiesta Cultural

Today you have the chance to attend a cultural festival whose mission is to celebrate cultural and artistic diversity while raising much-needed funds for Inter-American Magnet School. Fiesta Cultural is a bilingual, family-friendly event that showcases Latin America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage with live music and dance performances, a savory food fair, children’s art displays, artisan bazaar and children’s art activities. The line-up for this year’s event includes performances from the Chicago Children’s Choir, Aztec Dance with Ms. Bravo, IAMS International Folkloric Dance Group, Old Town School Brazilian Ensemble, Nica Dance Group, Ngoma Alegre, Jarochicanos, Los Vicios de Papá, and Soul & Duende. The event will take place at Inter-American Magnet School (851 W. Waveland Ave) from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are  $10 adults, $5 children. Family tickets for two adults and their children will be available for $25. Free parking is available at the Addison/Halsted public lot and at the Lakeview Lutheran Church lot at 835 West Addison.

Femi Kuti & the Positive Force

Later tonight, don’t miss the chance to see a legend of Afrobeat, internationally beloved recording artist and son of famous Nigerian musician, composer, and pioneer of Afrobeat music Fela Kuti. Femi never felt just satisfied with being the Afrobeat King’s heir. He freed himself from his father’s legacy in 1985 by putting together his own band, The Positive Force, and thereby working to find his own voice. His new album, “Africa For Africa” goes back to the roots of his music, and was recorded at Decca Studio, the premier studio in Afrobeat’s history. He will tour North America this spring in support of the album. More than just a simple musician, the 48-year old composer has become a true African Ambassador, in its most honorable sense. Femi was in Johannesburg to sing for Africa during the opening ceremony for the Football World Cup. There he sang one of his hits “Beng Beng Beng,” and took the opportunity to meet a few of the anti-Apartheid heroes. Here is a video clip of this song:

WBEZ91.5, in conjunction with Sound Culture Chicago are bringing Femi Kuti to Chicago for a show tonight at Chicago Metro (3730 N. Clark St. Chicago-two blocks North of Wrigley Field). Tickets cost $25. Doors open at  8PM and show starts at 9PM. You can buy your tickets here

Tonight: Radio M Celebrates 5 Years of World Music

If you are a Chicago Public Radio listener, you must have heard of Radio M, the  World Music radio show hosted by Tony Sarabia every Friday night at 9pm. The show has been exploring world cultures and people through music for 5 years, and as a way to thank all the fans, a celebration party will be held at Martyrs (3855 N Lincoln Ave Chicago) tonight from 6 to 8:30pm. Tony will spin his favorite tunes and special guests and friends Mas Trueno will close out the evening with live music. Get there early for free food and drink specials and giveaway prizes. Meet Tony and support world music in Chicago! Admission is $5

This weekend is all about Latin America and good intentions

The weekend is approaching and is dominated by great options for excellent live Latin American music and for good intentions. Here is my itinerary for your weekend:

FRIDAY

Los Guitarristas – Free Lunchtime Concert
If you work downtown, plan on coming tomorrow by the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington) at your lunch hour for a free concert with Los Guitarristas! This is a quartet of guitarists formed by maestro Alfonso Chacon who wish to bring the traditionaof Latin American guitar esembles to a new generation in Chicago. A teacher as well as performer, Mr. Chacón enjoyed a long career in music in South America, performing with some of the greatest artists of the 20th Century, including Lucho Gatica, Chabuca Granda, Cholo Aguirre, Raúl Shaw and el Dúo Rey-Silva. Los Guitarristas is more than a concert group, it is an organization dedicated to teaching these styles and all guitarists are welcome to study with Alfonso.  The show runs from 12 to 1pm and is part of the Friday Music Without Borders series.

Earth Wine & Fire Festival
In honor of tomorrow’s Earth Day, the Collective Consciousness Movement and Earth, Wine & Fire are hosting  an Earth Day Benefit Festival to benefit The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (one of my favorite places in Chicago because of its beautiful Butterfly Haven). This is  a family-friendly festival that intends to enlighten consciousness through music, food, wine and green conversation. Headlining the night is The Collective Consciousness Movement (CCM), a group that uses music and performance to bring awareness of reality, individuality, and spirituality. The group breaks the mold of musical genres by letting their concept drive their musical direction and distinct style.  Entertainment will also include fire breathers, fire spinners and dancers, belly dancers, live musicians, capoeira dancing, massage therapists, live painters, photography galleries, wellness and meditation therapists, readers, Reiki practitioners and vendors. For $25 an attendee will receive appetizers, dinner, drinks, full access to museum, music and lots of entertainment. Children 12 and under are free.

Location: The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (2430 N. Cannon Dr.Chicago) 6:30pm-11:00pm

Pre-Sale – $25  www.earthwineandfire.com  Door – $35

Globe Sonico at D’Noche 

If after going to the Earth Wine and Fire Festival you feel like you still want to groove the night out, then head to D’Noche in the Logan Square neighborhood (2710 N. Milwaukee). Agúzate and Sound Culture present a new DJ night with the best in global beats and international grooves.

D’Noche is an intimate lounge that serves up fantastic cocktails and pan american cuisine with a late night menu. No Cover.

Gozamos 1 Year Anniv. Party w/ ZZK + Sonorama

ZZK (Chancha via Circuito & El G) with SONORAMA will perform  tomorrow as part April 22 as part of the Gozamos 1-Year Anniversary celebration.ZZK is a record company from Buenos Aires, Argentina dedicated to the experimentation withdifferent latin rhythms like cumbia, reggaeton and folklore sounds from the Andes. ZZK is born out of a Buenos Aires club called Zizek, where genres clash and cross over, making you dance, while still providing fresh and innovative sounds rarely heard before.

Location: 8fifty8, 858 W. Lake. 9pm- 2am

$5 in advance with code “gozamos” and $15 at the door.
Ticket link: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/157764

SATURDAY

Unieros Fundraiser event for Japan

The people from Unieros is asking for your help to make 1,000 origami cranes to symbolize their wish for Japan’s recovery after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.They are asking for Ladies to wear shades of pink or red; and for men to wear green to symbolize colors of hope that comes from sakura – the blooming of Japanese cherry blossoms in Spring.You will also get a mini Japanese language lesson with Kazumi.
Location: Multilingual Chicago, 2934 N. Milwaukee Ave., Suite C, Chicago. 7pm-11pm
Admission: $5 or more donation at door. They will have computers so you can make your donation online to the American Red Cross.
100% of proceeds will go to the American Red Cross.Light refreshments served. BYOB.RSVP: Emailevents@unieros.com

SUNDAY

Traditional Peruvian Music with JORGE PARDO

Finish the weekend by joining me in this wonderful cultural event of Traditional Peruvian Music that I am organizing. The star of this event is Jorge Pardo, a young Peruvian singer who won the 2005 Viña del Mar International Song Festival and was nominated to the Latin Grammy Awards. Jorge is on a U.S. Tour promoting his latest CD titled MUSICA TRADICIONAL PERUANA, a tribute to Arturo Zambo Cavero & Oscar Aviles. Cavero and Aviles are two of the most emblematic and beloved figures of the Peruvian criolla music genre, and Jorge has collected their most popular songs in this CD, giving a fresh sound to these songs without diverting from the classic style to sing criolla music. The show will also have the participation of Peruvian Folk Dance Center (performing Afro-Peruvian rhythms), Dayan Aldan(next generation musica criolla singer) and best guitarists from Peru Ales Vela (from Elenco Nacional del Folclore) and Yuri Juarez (from Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet and elected 2009 Latin Jazz Guitarist of the Year by Latin Jazz Corner).

Location: Rios D’Sudamerica, the finest Peruvian restaurant in the Midwest, located in the Bucktown neighborhood (2010 W Armitage Chicago) Doors open at 7pm. Show starts at 7:30pm.

Admission: $15 donation

Tickets will be available at the door but is highly recommended to buy them in advance.
Those who buy tickets online will be automatically entered to a raffle to win two tickets for NOVALIMA concert in Chicago on July 12 (must be present to win prize).

Visit https://chicagourbanite.wordpress.com/featured-concert-traditional-peruvian-music-with-jorge-pardo/ to get your tickets online

Traveling Around the World in Two Days

Friday is here again, and I am so happy to be able to give you so many LIVE world music options this weekend. Are you ready to embark on a tour around the world in two days?  Here are your possible stops (please click on the links if you want to find out more about the dances and listen to some of the music featured in these events):

Today Friday April 15

PUERTO RICO

The Puerto Rican cultural center  Segundo Ruiz Belvis is hosting its monthly Traveling Baile de Bomba event at Tumbao Bar & Grill in the Logan Square neighborhood (3213 W Armitage). Continuing its tradition of cross-cultural programming, this live-music event will also have Tropicalia Brazilian Dance Group performing Afro-Brazilian dancing.  They will also have a Bomba Dance class for kids early in the evening. The Traveling Baile de Bomba event is free and family friendly. The event runs from 6:00PM to 9:00PM

ARGENTINA

If after doing some Bomba you still fee like dancing, then head to ARTango Center (4011 North Ravenswood Ave) for a tango lesson and a MILONGA with a live performance by Argentinian duo DOBLE TANGO. This duo is formed by Juan Emilio Cucchiarelli (piano) and Federico Diaz (guitar). They are currently touring the United States and will offer their only concert in Chicago tonight. Doble Tango is producing a path of innovation in Tango music by creating a spectrum of sound that gets influences from  jazz, academic and Latin American music.  The price for the tango lesson and the show is $15;  Tango lesson starts at 9 pm . Concert starts at 11:00 PM and the milonga usually runs until 3 AM

SIERRA LEONE
Another good option for the evening is to go to the Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars
concert featuring DJ Maliq at Mayne Stage in the Rogers Park neighborhood (1328 West Morse Avenue, Chicago). This group is formed by musicians who escaped the violence of Sierra Leone’s civil war. The band formed at a West African refugee camp to keep their spirits and hopes alive. They have become an international musical sensation, playing at South by Southwest, NPR’s World Café, Bonnaroo, and Fuji Rock in Japan. Their remarkable story and music has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN International, and PBS. Tickets cost $20 and show starts at 9:30 PM (Doors open at 8:30 PM ).

GREECE

Katerina’s (1920 West Irving Park Road Chicago) presents Rebetiki Istoria, on tour from Athens, Greece. This is their only Chicago appearance.Rebetiko (the Greek Blues) is similar to Portugese Fado or the African-American blues, and it stirs the depth of human emotions in pain or joy. The group is comprised of Pavlos Vassiliou on voice/tzoura, singer Eirini Liokoukoudaki, Nikolaos Menegas and Giorgos Petroudis on bouzouki, Vangelis Nikolaidis on guitar and Yona Stamatis on violin. Rebetika Storia  is said to perform many early Rebetiko works, including a repertoire of difficult and unusual songs rarely performed today. Tickets cost $20. Show starts at 10PM.

BRAZIL

If you are looking for lighter rhythms, then go to Xippo Lounge (3759 N. Damen, Chicago) for their monthly live Samba, Batucada, Bossa Nova, Reggae,  andBaile Funk with Bossa Tres and DJ Blakish. Cover is $5 and the show runs from 9:00PM to 2AM

Tomorrow Saturday April 16


COLOMBIA

Continue your wanderings around the world tomorrow at Las Tablas Restaurant at Irving Park (4920 W. Irving Park Rd,  Chicago). You will get the chance to hear live music from two different bands: Salsa from 8-11pm with ‘Carpacho’ Marin & Yankatino and live Vallenato from 11:30-1am with Juvenato. Latin dance music with live DJ until 2am. No cover all night. Dancing until 2AM. Call 773.202.0999 for reservations

SPAIN

Soulful Spanish Troubadour-Guitarist  Javier Ruibal will be at Katerina’s (1920 W. Irving Park) tomorrow. His songs are beautiful and responsible, intimate and participatory, personal and universal. His vocal qualities allow him to move freely and without inhibition through the sonorous terrain of flamenco, Magreb, Indian and Caribbean styles in a constant, harmonious flow which invites us to believe firmly that the fusion of musical styles and peoples will bring us to a new place of enlightenment, a new planet still being formed. Tickets cost $12 and show starts at 10:00 PM. 

If you decide to go to any of these events, please let them know that you heard about them trough Chicago Urbanite. Also, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to share your pictures, videos or comments about any of the events featured. Thanks for your support and enjoy your weekend!

The good deed of the day: Gettin’ it- radical style

My friends from Quennect-4 and Multi-Kulti from Wicker Park  (1000 N Milwaukee 4th Floor Chicago) are organizing an event tonight (Saturday April 9)in honor of the little girls at the Chicago Temporary Juvenile Detention Center(JTDC). They will be accepting donations towards an enrichment program called “Girl Talk”. this program provides the little girls at JTDC with film, art projects, and mentors as they wait out their sentences.

Come out, support, celebrate, and dance! There will be beats, live performances, beer, cocktails, and raffles.

The Artists:
Bossa Tres (Brazilian music)
Vertikal- Stacy & Tobias
Ill Legit
Logan Lu
Chelsea Erenberg
Mystery!!
Shiren
The People’s DJ Collective- David Marques, La Perla, Ang G, Brotha Onaci

Performances start at 10:00pm

Cash donations will be accepted at the door.

Picks for the weekend: Flamenco/Gypsy Jazz, Colombian/Spanish Rock, and World Music DJs

Hello there!

I have some cool options for you this weekend. These are:

TONIGHT APRIL 8

ALFONSO PONTICELLI Flamenco & Gypsy-Jazz Showcase: special guest, flamenco dancer, Cristina Gutierrez.

Tonight is your chance to listen to some cool fusion of Gypsy Jazz and Flamenco and see my lovely friend and flamenco dancer Cristina Gutierrez perform at Katerina’s (1920 W. Irving Park Rd. Chicago). This show runs every 2nd Friday of the month. Ponticelli has played gypsy-jazz music for more than a decade,having traveled several times to the annual Django Reinhardt festival in France. He introduced gypsy-jazz to Chicago in the 1990s.  A multi-instrumentalist, he won the 1994 U.S. National Mountain Dulcimer Championship & plays both banjo and guitar with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. He’s also a gypsy flamenco guitarist, having been to Cordoba, Spain,
to study with the great flamenco guitarist, Rafael Riqueni. Here’s an example of Ponticelli’s Flamenco nights from a previous monthly showcase, featuring La Perla Alegrias con Panzequito, Alfonso Ponticelli, y Swing Gitan. This youtube footage taken by TierraRojaChicago:


Show starts at 10 pm

Cover: $10

LATIN NIGHT w/ co-host, Latin Socialites!

If you rather want a less intimate atmosphere and feel like clubbing, go to NV Penthouse Lounge’s Latin night (116 W. Hubbard in Chicago). They will be playing Colombian, Top 40, and Spanish Rock music.  Henchman’s DJ Isaias (of Calineiro fame!) will be spinning music.

Cost: No Cover till 11p

SATURDAY APRIL 9

WORLD MUSIC SATURDAY AT LOKAL FEATURIN DJ’S KINO & MWELWA

My DJ friend Mwelwa Musambacine and DJ Kino will be at this modern, European-inspired restaurant and lounge located in Wicker Park playing music from around the world, from  reggae, forro, kizomba, and salsa to samba, afrobeat, ndombolo, calypso, and soca.
LOKaL is located at 1904 West North Avenue. Music plays from 10pm to 3am and there is no cover.

Let me know if you end up going to any of these events. I would love to hear about it. Enjoy your weekend!

Today: Don’t miss a great workshop on Brazilian percussion/Candomble music with CABELLO

If you are into Brazilian music, then don’t miss the opportunity to take a Brazilian percussion/Candomble music class that the International Capoeira Angola Foundation is organizing with renowned percussionist CABELLO. Cabello has been practicing Capoeira since the 1980’s. He is a professional capoeirista with 27 years of experience, and is a student and senior practitioner of the world famous capoeira Angola master Mestre João Grande. He studies Afro-Brazilian rhythms and dance as a disciple of Professora Emilia Biancardi and master drummer Jorge Alabê, and participates in Brazil at traditional gatherings ,encounters and spontaneous festivals, besides teaching and performing in Bahia,New York and abroad.

The class will be held from  8:30pm to 11:30pm at Quilombo Cultural Center (1757 N. Kimball Avenue 2nd floor). The cost is $15 (cash only).Limited parking available. Bring a drum if you have it. Learn more about Cabello here www.caxixi.com

Questions? Call 773.227.8879.

Feeling like having fun and helping a good cause tonight? Check Sones de Mexico or Chi-Caribena performances

This Saturday is bringing us a couple of cool options to have fun and help a good cause. Here they are:

Sones de Mexico, a Chicago-based folk music group that specializes in the Mexican musical tradition known as son, will play a homecoming concert at casa Aztlán (1831 S. Racine Ave), in the heart of Pilsen, where the band held its first rehearsals 17 years ago. Sharing the bill is Ramon Marino, who will open the show singing Nueva Trova songs. Doors open at 7:30pm and the The show runs from 8:30 to 11pm. Admission is $20. Proceeds will go towards Casa Aztlan, for programs that help immigrants lead better lives in this country. Sones de Mexico was nominated to the Latin Grammy for Best Folk Album of 2007, so you are guaranteed to have a great show.  Here is a video of the group performing live their version of “La Bamba”:

If you rather help the victims of the Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, go to Canale Art Lounge (500 W 18th St.) and join them as they share a slice of the culture of South America and raise money for the devastation that has affected Japan. Chi~Caribena Dancers, Gingarte Capoeira, and CedenO will be entertaining the crowds. Money raised will be going to Save the Children through the Japanese Cultural Center. $10 for ladies/ $15 for men.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Tonight: Should I go Bollywood, Gypsy or Middle Eastern?

So the weekend is here, and there are some cool options to explore. Tonight for example, there is this concert called. “Mag Mahal: Bollywood Night with DJ Lloyd“. This is supposed to be the hottest DJ from India. I checked  his website and really liked his music. He is on his 1st-ever Chicago visit on current U.S. Tour, so maybe it would be worth to check him out. He will be at NV Penthouse Lounge (116 W Hubbard in the Loop) from 9PM to 2AM. Pre-paid tickets are $10. You can buy them here

Another cool option for tonight is to go see Ode and Eyes Manouche perform live at Morseland (1218 W Morseland in Rogers Park). It is a fusion of Gypsy dance and indie rock in one great evening. It features Ode, an up and coming Chicago indie band and Eyes Manouche a gypsy dance band that has its own take on music from the Balkans and all over the world. Both bands will be presenting new material. Show runs from 10PM to 2AM

My third option is to go see my friends of Magic Carpet perform their AfroMiddleEasternJazzFusion magic at Ras Dashen Restaurant (5846 N Broadway in Edgewater). The show starts at 8pm.

The night is ours. Let’s go out and explore it. Happy Friday!