Get an Exclusive Preview of Studio Mangiameli Flamenco Show!

Do you like flamenco or are interested in exploring this dance form? Then take advantage of this opportunity! Studio Mangiameli is inviting four of you, Chicago Urbanite followers,   to attend a final dress rehearsal and get a  sneak peek of its upcoming annual student showcase on Thursday May 29th.  The show is titled Tides and it is an exploration of the moments that leave indelible marks on human lives and alter the landscape of identity. Tides features original live music from some of Chicago’s most recognized flamenco and world music players, including Carlo Basile (Las Guitarras De España), guitarist Diego Alonso and percussionist Bob Garrett, soon to appear in Sting’s new musical, The Last Ship. World-renowned flamenco singer Vicente “El Cartucho” Griego will be this year’s very special guest.

Just leave a comment down below and I will include your name on the guest list. In the meantime, here is a short but insightful interview with Chiara Mangiameli, the director and creator of Tides, about her life-changing experience with flamenco and her inspiration for this show.

 

Please tell us about your background and how you got involved with flamenco.

I have a strong background in theater and additionally I dabbled in various forms of dance throughout my youth and adulthood, from ballet to tap to African dance. Nothing stuck until I found flamenco. The truth is the Gypsy Kings were what got me interested in the more traditional Andalusian art form. I fell in love with the percussive sound of the guitar and the unmistakable melisma of the voice. Ironically I knew nothing of the dance form but once I took my first class, I never looked back and eventually ended up in Seville several times over the course of a few years to immerse myself completely in the music and culture. The inherently dramatic and individualistic emphasis of this dance style felt like a perfect fit.

 

This production is inspired by stories of critical moments in your students’ lives. Can you recall one story in particular that specially touched you?

First, let me say that I tend to draw inspiration from my students because I’m always amazed and touched by the amount of resilience and dedication they have. Everyone that so generously shared a piece of their private life with me had a very moving and genuine story. I can’t say that there was one in particular that touched me more than another, simply because there are aspects of all the stories that I found myself relating to, whether as a dancer, an immigrant, a daughter, a woman.

 

Why should we go see your show? What can we expect?

I strive to present dance and particularly flamenco, in a context that illustrates more than a choreography or a series of movements accompanied by music. I’m interested in why we choose to dance, what makes us vulnerable, transparent, what allows us to relate to each other as human beings. You can expect beautiful original music by my incredible collaborators, a special guest flamenco singer who will knock your socks off, and forty plus dancers that have been looking forward to this show for eight months and have a clear voice and point of view about their place on that stage. My hope is that the audience will be able to relate to some of the stories they hear because at the end of the day, we all have our struggles with navigating the changing tides.

 

Performances will take place at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N Noble Street in Chicago, on May 30 and May 31st at 7:30PM CST and on June 1st at 4:30PM CST. Tickets are $25 and $15 for children ages 12 and under. Parking is free.

Get Tickets

Tides Show Studio Mangiameli

 

 

Videos of Ana Tijoux and Sidi Touré’s performance at Millennium Park

It was too hot in Chicago last night, specially at Millennium Park. People got together to see  Malian bluesman Sidi Touré and Chilean rapper Anita Tijoux perform. The show was so reminiscent of the beloved and now gone Music Without Borders series that some people in the audience screamed “We want Music Without Borders!”at some point during the show. Yes, the place was definitely hot. Those of us who endured the high temperatures got rewarded with a big chunk of talent coming from Africa and Latin America.  If you were not able to go, do not worry, I have prepared some videos for you.

Here is Sidi Touré giving a great performance of Malian Blues:

And here is “hermanita” (little sis) Anita Tijoux (that is how she called me when we briefly exchange words her after the show…how sweet!), touching hearts with her music and words:

I was able to have a longer conversation with Cristobal, Anita’s guitar player  (the conversation was held in Spanish because Cristobal does not speak much English). He talks about Ana Tijoux – the person, the musician, and her message – and why he thinks Chicago is a special city due to its rich cultural activity. He also says that, according to what he has heard, cultural activity in Chicago is not as strong as before.

Talking to some people who came to the show, I encountered some who knew nothing about Ana Tijoux. Dietrich Gray from Pilsen, for instance,  never heard about her. However, he was able to connect with her music and message. He noticed the calm and stillness in her presentation, and stated that it is something not common to observe in live performances of other rappers, who tend to be very physical or try to get attention by getting in people’s faces. When he saw her perform he thought to himself  “Oh my God, whatever she is saying  must be absolutely enough to carry the message she is spreading. She doesn’t need to paint it with body movements or physicality in order to pound it in our heads. Whatever she is saying must be significant.”  Others like the activists of #YoSoy132 (a civil movement in Mexico that demands the democratization of media and the rejection of the mediatic imposition of the virtual winner of the Presidental elections of 2012, Enrique Peña Nieto),  came to see Anita Tijoux because of her connection with social movements in Chile and abroad. In fact, her song Shock, is dedicated to the Chilean student movement .  A new video of  the same song has been recently released to support the rights of immigrants in Arizona.

Movimiento 132 activists and fans of Ana Tijoux at her concert in Chicago
July 23, 2012

It was definitely a night full of great world music, diversity, and social consciousness. I hope we get to see more of these world music nights at Millennium Park in the future.

Under Da Bean with Anita Tijoux after her show in Millennium Park.

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.

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)

Tonight: Brazilian Music with PLANETA AZUL

Cuban restaurant Cafe Laguardia in the Bucktown neighborhood is turning out to be the spot to hang out on Wednesday evenings to listen to live Latin music.  Tonight, local Brazilian music Trio PLANETA AZUL will be playing there from 8 to 11pm.  I was at Cafe Laguardia the last time the trio played and it was a blast. There is  no cover, so don’t miss the chance to hear them play. The address is  2111 W Armitage Chicago. More information about Planeta Azul at  http://ow.ly/4Shz5. And here is a video with a sample of their music. Enjoy!

This weekend is all about Latin America and good intentions

The weekend is approaching and is dominated by great options for excellent live Latin American music and for good intentions. Here is my itinerary for your weekend:

FRIDAY

Los Guitarristas – Free Lunchtime Concert
If you work downtown, plan on coming tomorrow by the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington) at your lunch hour for a free concert with Los Guitarristas! This is a quartet of guitarists formed by maestro Alfonso Chacon who wish to bring the traditionaof Latin American guitar esembles to a new generation in Chicago. A teacher as well as performer, Mr. Chacón enjoyed a long career in music in South America, performing with some of the greatest artists of the 20th Century, including Lucho Gatica, Chabuca Granda, Cholo Aguirre, Raúl Shaw and el Dúo Rey-Silva. Los Guitarristas is more than a concert group, it is an organization dedicated to teaching these styles and all guitarists are welcome to study with Alfonso.  The show runs from 12 to 1pm and is part of the Friday Music Without Borders series.

Earth Wine & Fire Festival
In honor of tomorrow’s Earth Day, the Collective Consciousness Movement and Earth, Wine & Fire are hosting  an Earth Day Benefit Festival to benefit The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (one of my favorite places in Chicago because of its beautiful Butterfly Haven). This is  a family-friendly festival that intends to enlighten consciousness through music, food, wine and green conversation. Headlining the night is The Collective Consciousness Movement (CCM), a group that uses music and performance to bring awareness of reality, individuality, and spirituality. The group breaks the mold of musical genres by letting their concept drive their musical direction and distinct style.  Entertainment will also include fire breathers, fire spinners and dancers, belly dancers, live musicians, capoeira dancing, massage therapists, live painters, photography galleries, wellness and meditation therapists, readers, Reiki practitioners and vendors. For $25 an attendee will receive appetizers, dinner, drinks, full access to museum, music and lots of entertainment. Children 12 and under are free.

Location: The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (2430 N. Cannon Dr.Chicago) 6:30pm-11:00pm

Pre-Sale – $25  www.earthwineandfire.com  Door – $35

Globe Sonico at D’Noche 

If after going to the Earth Wine and Fire Festival you feel like you still want to groove the night out, then head to D’Noche in the Logan Square neighborhood (2710 N. Milwaukee). Agúzate and Sound Culture present a new DJ night with the best in global beats and international grooves.

D’Noche is an intimate lounge that serves up fantastic cocktails and pan american cuisine with a late night menu. No Cover.

Gozamos 1 Year Anniv. Party w/ ZZK + Sonorama

ZZK (Chancha via Circuito & El G) with SONORAMA will perform  tomorrow as part April 22 as part of the Gozamos 1-Year Anniversary celebration.ZZK is a record company from Buenos Aires, Argentina dedicated to the experimentation withdifferent latin rhythms like cumbia, reggaeton and folklore sounds from the Andes. ZZK is born out of a Buenos Aires club called Zizek, where genres clash and cross over, making you dance, while still providing fresh and innovative sounds rarely heard before.

Location: 8fifty8, 858 W. Lake. 9pm- 2am

$5 in advance with code “gozamos” and $15 at the door.
Ticket link: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/157764

SATURDAY

Unieros Fundraiser event for Japan

The people from Unieros is asking for your help to make 1,000 origami cranes to symbolize their wish for Japan’s recovery after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.They are asking for Ladies to wear shades of pink or red; and for men to wear green to symbolize colors of hope that comes from sakura – the blooming of Japanese cherry blossoms in Spring.You will also get a mini Japanese language lesson with Kazumi.
Location: Multilingual Chicago, 2934 N. Milwaukee Ave., Suite C, Chicago. 7pm-11pm
Admission: $5 or more donation at door. They will have computers so you can make your donation online to the American Red Cross.
100% of proceeds will go to the American Red Cross.Light refreshments served. BYOB.RSVP: Emailevents@unieros.com

SUNDAY

Traditional Peruvian Music with JORGE PARDO

Finish the weekend by joining me in this wonderful cultural event of Traditional Peruvian Music that I am organizing. The star of this event is Jorge Pardo, a young Peruvian singer who won the 2005 Viña del Mar International Song Festival and was nominated to the Latin Grammy Awards. Jorge is on a U.S. Tour promoting his latest CD titled MUSICA TRADICIONAL PERUANA, a tribute to Arturo Zambo Cavero & Oscar Aviles. Cavero and Aviles are two of the most emblematic and beloved figures of the Peruvian criolla music genre, and Jorge has collected their most popular songs in this CD, giving a fresh sound to these songs without diverting from the classic style to sing criolla music. The show will also have the participation of Peruvian Folk Dance Center (performing Afro-Peruvian rhythms), Dayan Aldan(next generation musica criolla singer) and best guitarists from Peru Ales Vela (from Elenco Nacional del Folclore) and Yuri Juarez (from Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet and elected 2009 Latin Jazz Guitarist of the Year by Latin Jazz Corner).

Location: Rios D’Sudamerica, the finest Peruvian restaurant in the Midwest, located in the Bucktown neighborhood (2010 W Armitage Chicago) Doors open at 7pm. Show starts at 7:30pm.

Admission: $15 donation

Tickets will be available at the door but is highly recommended to buy them in advance.
Those who buy tickets online will be automatically entered to a raffle to win two tickets for NOVALIMA concert in Chicago on July 12 (must be present to win prize).

Visit https://chicagourbanite.wordpress.com/featured-concert-traditional-peruvian-music-with-jorge-pardo/ to get your tickets online

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.

Tonight: come see me perform with Nu Bambu, Chicago’s hottest Urban Fusion band

Chicago Rumba Reggae Fusion with Nu Bambu

Tonight is the first presentation of the newest band to enter the Chicago world’s music scene: Nu Bambu. This is a bilingual, street-smart  band that has cutting-edge lyrics with a twist that fuse together different styles such as rumba and reggae. The sounds of Nu Bambu are as diverse as our cross-cultural musicians, who come from Jamaica, France, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the United States. Strong Latin and Reggae flavors, pitch-bending trumpet and potent bass and drum lines give the songs a unique progressive flavor along with conscious-raising, bilingual thought- provoking lyrics that morphs into hip cutting-edge music for a new generation. This musical fusion is very contagious and rhythmic, so be ready to dance when listening to our songs.

Get a taste of our music by clicking on this link, and come see us perform live tonight at Silvie’s Lounge in the Ravenswood neighborhood at 10 p.m.

Address: 1902 W. Irving Park Rd. Chicago, IL 60613

Price: $5 . Ladies get in for free

We will also be performing this Saturday March 19  at 10 pm at the Healing Arts Festival and Supermoon Reggae Party at Multi Kulti (1000 N Milwaukee)  in Wicker Park. Hope to see you all there.

 

Tonight:Come to the best Brazilian Carnival party in Chi-Town!


BRAZILIAN CARNIVAL 2011 at MAYNE STAGE

Last year, I had the fortune to be in Rio de Janeiro for carnival. This is one of the biggest celebrations in the world and something you should experience at least once in your life. The entire city stops its regular activities and parties for days. I took this picture at the Sambodromo during  the wee hours of the night.  As you can see, the place was packed and the people were exhilarating, dancing and singing non-stop. To me, carnival is the ultimate expression of what it is to be Brazilian. This year,  I cannot be in Rio,  but  since I am in beautiful Chicago, I have the chance to party Brazilian style with the local musicians and dancers. I am planning on attending this fabulous Carnival celebration. Don’t miss it! It promises to be the best party in town.

*** Swing Brasileiro will be playing the best of Brazilian Carnival. A lot of Marchinhas, Sambas, Batucada and more ****

Carnival costume dance performance by Passistas Samba Dancers and Special performance by Gingarte Capoeira.

Vallet Parking: Only $5

Caipirinha special $ 5.00

Beers $ 3.50 and up

Cover: $15 if purchased in advance and 20$ at the door
Buy your tickets now!!!!!
http://ow.ly/48uf6

18 and older to enter. MUST be 21 and older to drink alcohol.