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!

Breakdancing, popping and locking

Have you ever wanted to learn how to breakdance, pop, or lock? Maybe this is the time to do it, and under the instruction of some of the best dancers of this style in Chicago. My good friend and awesome b-boy Kid Jungle and his partner Poppin Chuck from THEE AUTHENTIC FEWSION (T.A.F.)  are now teaching AUTHENTIC HIP HOP STYLE CLASSES specializing in Breakdancing, Popping, and Locking at Latin Street Dance Studio. Personally, I have taken a couple of lessons with Jungle, and I must say that you will get a lot of work out, confidence, attitude, and fun doing this type of dance. I just love the way it feels so urban. Jungle says that breakdancing is not about spinning on your head, the “moonwalk,” or the “worm.” He wants you to come to his class to learn and experience the real culture of Breaking, Popping, and Locking, which are the original forms of hip hop dance. By the way, this duo will be performing at Salsa congress this year and at the Pritzker Pavillion on June 26. So don’t miss the chance to learn from these accomplished artists. Youth and Adult Classes start tomorrow Friday, April 8 · 6:00pm – 7:00pm. Classes will also be held on Saturdays and Sundays.

The address for the studio is :

1335 West Lake Street Suite Suite 103 Chicago (312)-427-2572

Here is a couple of videos of them performing so you can see you how dope they are. The first one is a taste of what’s to come for the Pritzker Pavilion. It was recorded for the Shanghai World Expo last year. Jungle was one of the dancers performing at this world event. The second one is Poppin Chuck doing what he knows best.

 

 

Are you now ready to embark in  a new dance adventure? Give it a try and tell me about your experience. The guys from TAF will sure make it super fun and easy to follow. If I could do it, you can too!

Today’s freebie: Afro-Haitian dance class

A few years ago, when I was in the island of Labadee, a small island close to the coast of Haiti, I had the opportunity to see an Afro-Haitian dance group perform. I remember that the dancers were all dressed in white clothes and that their energetic movements, along with the constant and contagious rhythm of the drums, captured my attention and imagination. To me, it felt like I was witnessing a trance-like performance.

If you would like to explore this type of dance, you have the opportunity to do it today for free. Tamboula,  a professional Afro-Haitian dance company, is offering a free Afro-Haitian dance class today Tuesday  April 5  from 6:30pm to  8:30pm At Visceral Dance Center (2820 N Elston Chicago). You will have the chance to explore various Afro-Haitian dances including Nago, Ibo, Yanvalu, and Mayi accompanied by live drumming.

Tamboula provides intercultural experiences for people throughout the United States and beyond. This company brings a new style to the dance world of Chicago. Founded in 2001 by artistic director, dancer, choreographer, Mr. Daniel Desir, the Chicago-based dance company has been celebrating the dance and culture of Haiti since its founding. Drawing largely from sacred traditions, Tamboula’s lively presentations unmask stereotypes while entertaining audiences and keeping the magic alive.

The company’s two main objectives are:

To preserve and promote Haiti’s dance heritage by creating and presenting professional choreographic works, built on Haitian, Afro-Haitian, and African traditions.

To establish cultural exchanges among all ethnic groups, by celebrating and educating them of Haiti’s rich culture and the influence of African culture to the Americas and the world.

You can see a promotional video of Tamboula here:

If you need additional information, here is the contact information for this event:
Venue:
Visceral Dance Studio
Contact Phone Number:

773 517-0195

Address:

2820 N. Elston
(near corner of Elston and Western)
Chicago, IL 60618
Google Map

If you go, I would love to hear about your experience. Leave me a comment or send me some pictures or videos. Thanks!

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!

Tango, Afro-Peruvian, Salsa, Ethiopian, and Brazilian in one weekend.

You gotta love Chicago! This past weekend I had the chance to attend amazing live music and dance performances. My weekend started with a Tango lesson and a  milonga (a tango dance party) at ArTango. Lucky for me, I just happened to attend the milonga where they had a live performance by legendary instructors Oliver Kolker and Silvina Valz. Their elegant interpretation of tango can be appreciated in this video:

On Saturday, I participated in an Afro-Peruvian performance with Peruvian Folk Dance Center at Loyola University. If you ever feel curious about Peruvian folk dances,  this is the  group to contact in Chicago. Peru is a multicultural country, and as such, its music and dances has influences from different cultures. Right now we are working on Afro-Peruvian dances, so we performed a Festejo, which is one of the most joyous of Afro-Peruvian music styles.  I couldn’t take a video of me dancing but here is pic of our group. Can you guess which one is me?

During that same event, I had the opportunity to dance to the music of a fabulous local salsa band called Carpacho y su Super Combo. They played songs that I classify as “salsa dura” style. Here is a little video of their music.I’m sorry  I couldn’t I record more of them but I had to leave the camera and start dancing!

 

That same night I was invited by my musician friend Ryan Mayer from Magic Carpet to attend a concert of his band with super talented Ethiopian singer Abonesh Adinew. It was truly a magical night. Her powerful and intriguing voice took me to a trip in time and space. Abonesh told me that she grew up in the rural side of  Ethiopia and that when she was little, she learned to sing by going to the cliffs and listening to the echo of her voice. How amazing is that! Later, she was chosen by her school to participate in a singing competition. She obviously won the competition, and her singing career hasn’t stopped since then. Abonesh can sing in over a dozen of the 80 plus languages of Ethiopia. She has appeared on film about the life style and culture of rural Ethiopia although her music and song are contemporary and based upon the works of many of the best known stars of Ethiopian music. Here is a video of her performance at Ras Dashen restaurant. The place was dark so you cannot see much of her, but this will allow you to appreciate the quality of her voice. 

My weekend ended to the rhythms of Brazilian music by an impromptu performance at a house party of two wonderful Chicago-based musicians: Luciano Antonio and Luiz Ewerling. We are so lucky to have them here!  Watch this dynamic duo in action here:

 

As you can see, Chicago is truly a cosmopolitan city. Take advantage of it and travel around the world without leaving the city.