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)

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!

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!