The Chicago Music Without Borders Experience with Diogo Nogueira

I have to share with you an amazing world music experience that I had last night. Coincidentally, it happened during the severe thunderstorm that affected Chicago (for some reason, the best Summer memories that I have of this beautiful city have always happened under the rain). I went to see Brazilian musician Diogo Nogueira at  the Music Without Borders series at Millenium Park.  The Music Without Borders is a series of free outdoor concerts that explore music from cultures spanning the entire globe. The music was great and Diogo was able to connect with the audience really well, but what I most enjoyed about last night was the spirit of the people who attended the event. Many of them were familiar faces, locals from different parts of the world that love Brazilian music as well as musicians and dancers that tend to frequent Barra N on Tuesday nights. Despite the bad weather, we managed to have a fabulous time. We were dancing and cheering for Chicago even at the worst moment of the storm, when wind gusts were reaching 81 mph. Chicago definitely has the coolest people in the world! Here is a visual report of what happened last night. And if you have not experienced going to a Music Without Borders concert, I highly recommend you doing it. Gather some friends, bring a picnic blanket and some food, sit on the grass, and enjoy the performances of some incredible world musicians at one of the most beautiful places that we have here.

Pictures and video of Chicago Brazilian Music Festival

Did you  go to the Chicago Brazilian Music Festival that was held last June 2nd? Everybody was there! Certainly, it was a unique opportunity to see six of the most popular local Brazilian bands at the same time and those of us who love Brazilian music did not want to miss the chance to be part of it. The bands performing during that memorable night were A Cor do Brazil. Bossa Tres, Beaba do Samba, Sergio Pires, Chicago Samba, and Luciano Antonio and Planeta Azul. Congratulations to Ed Gerber for organizing this! Here are some pics, audio and video of that night (thanks to Todd Beauchamp for sharing his pictures with me).

Tonight and Every Tuesday Night: Brazilian Music with Bossa Tres

If you are in Chicago and are looking for options to go out tonight, I would recommend checking out the fantastic Bossa Tres show at Barra Ñ (2977 N Elston Ave Chicago). This band brings you to the shores of Brazil every Tuesday night. So plan on going next Tuesday if you can’t make it tonight. Stop by and enjoy the culture. The faithful crowd that gathers at Ñ on Tuesdays  is a mix of Brazilians, people  from other South American countries, and everything else. The band starts playing at 10 p.m. and the show runs until 1 a.m. I have been to Enye ( the English pronunciation for the Spanish letter “Ñ”) many times and have always had a good time due to the positive energy filling up this place. Try the Raspberry mojitos. They are the best in town. No cover.

Bossa Nova for Lunch and Bhangra-Celtic Fusion for Dinner

Friday is here and I have a couple of options for you to start your weekend on a high note. Here they are:

BOSSA NOVA  with BOSSA TRES

If you happen to be in the Loop today at around noon, then get some summer hotness during your lunch break with Brazilian Bossa Nova trio BOSSA TRES at the MUSIC WITHOUT BORDERS  series  at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St., Randolph Cafe). The members are talented Brazilian musicians Luciano Antonio, Dill Costa & Marcos Oliveira. They have created a wonderful new groove that has influences from Antonio Carlos Jobim, Vinicius de Morais, Jorge Ben Jor, Chico Buarque, Djavan, Ivan Lins, Elis Regina, Guinga, Joao Bosco, Joao Gilberto, Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso and Zeca Pagodinh. The event is free and starts at 12:15pm.   You can hear a sample of their fabulous music here

BHANGRA CELTIC with DELHI2DUBLIN

The people at Bhangratheque are bringing Vancouver’s hottest bhangra celtic band ‘DEHLI 2DUBLIN’. This is a group of musicians who mash up electronica and world music, keeping it heavy on the bhangra, celtic and dub flavours. Fusing tabla, fiddle, dhol, punjabi vocals, and electric sitar with scorching electronic beats, the crew takes listeners on a wild ride through global sounds and synchronicities. The band is peforming live tonight at DARKROOM (2210 W Chicago Ave) in the Ukranian Village neighborhood. Along with them, DJ Jimmy Singh and DJ Krush will be on the turntable and dancer Ajanta will be offering a Bhangra dance lesson.  Show starts at 9pm. $15 limited advance tickets available here


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.

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.