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)

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!