Opa! Summer Greek Festivals in Chicago

Yasas Urbanites!

Did you know that Chicago currently has the third largest Greek population of any city in the world? Maybe that is the reason why there are so many Greek festivals going on during the Summer. My favorite thing about these festivals is the circle or communal dances in which perfect strangers (Greeks and non-Greeks) get together and dance to the music of a live Greek Folk band. I have done this many times and have always had a great time. I also love to see single dancers do the Zeibekiko, which consists of a man or a woman dancing in the middle of a circle  of  friends who are on their knees clapping to the rhythm of the music. Here is a video showing you some Zeibekiko moves danced to the music of my favorite Zeibekiko song:

If you would like to try this on your own, then go to one of the festivals going on in the city this Summer.   Something to  keep in mind is that if you are coming to these festivals to eat, try to get there early because it gets quite crowded after 6 pm and some fests have run out of food in the past. Here is a list of them:

June 17-19: Lincoln Park Greek Fest

http://www.lincolnparkgreekfest.com/

June-September: List of Greek Orthodox Church Festivals in the metropolis of Chicago

http://chicago.goarch.org/festivals-metropolis

August 27-28: Chicago Greek Town Taste of Greece

http://www.greektownchicago.org/index.php?option=com_eventlist&view=details&id=6:taste-of-greece-2011&Itemid=44

This weekend: Chicago’s Blues Festival and more

The Chicago Blues Festival and CUBE: Chicago Underground Blues Experience

The Chicago Blues Festival, the largest free blues festival in the world and  the largest of Chicago’s Music Festivals is in full swing right now. The local Blues dance community is organizing an event called CUBE: Chicago Underground Blues Experience 2011 in which they serve as guides to all the best our fine city has to offer in live music, local blues joints, evening dances and all-out fun. More information at http://chicagobluesdance.com/CUBE/2011/ andhttp://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/special_events/mose/chicago_blues_festival.html.

GLOBE SONICO @ Cafe D’Noche
2710 N. Milwaukee Ave. 10pm-3am
Join Aguzate & Sound Culture on Fridays and Saturdays as they remix the world!
They’ll be hanging out and playing the best in Afro Latin, Tropical Bass, Global beats and International grooves in the heart of Logan Square.
D’Noche is an intimate lounge that serves up cocktails and pan-latin cuisine. (Kitchen is open until 11 pm). Patio is open.Free Parking in the Rear.
See menu and drink selection: dnochechicago.com 
No Cover, Drink Specials, Friends, Family, and Global Grooves.

Sonic Diaspora at Butterfly Social Club

722 W Grand Chicago 9pm-3am

On the second Saturdays of each month, Brotha Onaci and guest selectahs play the best music of Africa and the African Diaspora, including Afrobeat, High Life, Soukous, Afro-House, Afro-Latin, and much more. This month DJs AfroQbano, Sherwin O and David Nallah Marques will be holding down rhythmic sets to keep you dancing all night long. No Cover

Red Rat (Jamaican Dance Hall Reggae)

Cubby Bear (1059 W Addison St. Chicago) $10-20

Also featuring Chicagos own “Kofi” & DJ Slacky J

Andersonville Midsommarfest 

Clark St. betwen Foster and Balmoral)
Midsommarfest is one of Chicago’s most unique street fairs. Born out of Andersonville’s Swedish heritage, Midsommarfest retains its quaint, international flavor. Old-world Swedish traditions, including a festive dance around the Maypole, are incorporated into an unrivaled array of entertainment for families and adults. Click here for the list of world music performances at this fest, which include Funkadesi , Chicago Afrobeat Project, and Chicago Samba

Chiara Mangiamelli Ensemble
“A spectacular ensemble! Captivating and inspiring… With every move, Chiara Mangiameli brings vitality to the stage. Her performance was spectacular in every regard – from the circle of her wrist to her rhythmic footwork, Ms. Mangiameli captivated every member of our audience!”- Christina Salerno, Director for Salt Creek Ballet.
Uncommon Ground on Devon 9.30pm $15
1401 W. Devon Ave, Chicago

Balkan Sounds Party

DJ Romasoul(Balkan beats via Chicago house) and DJ MG (“Turkish remix master”), two of the most famous Deejays of Balkan origin in the Greater Chicago area are coming together at the Stone Lotus downstairs lounge for one of the most attractive summer kick-off parties of the year.
Stone Lotus 10pm password “balkan” $5 before 11, and $10 thereafter.
873 N. Orleans Street, Chicago

Latin and World music tonight at  ñ

The people at  ñ invite us to another wonderful musical evening with Mauro Frosio trio ( old world music and tango ) and DJ Charrua ( Electronic and Latin beats )They promise a  great atmosphere, authentic Latin food and exotic cocktails along with great Latin music that includes salsa, bachata, merengue, mambo, cumbia and electronic music. No cover

Show starts at 9pm, party until 2am.

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!