Win tickets to Ethiopian-Persian-Gypsy concert!

Venue: Burlington (3425 West Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 )

Date: Sunday December 16, 2012 8pm – 11:30pm

Price: $12

Tigist Bekele was a well­ known rising star at her home country Ethiopia who also went on world tours in early to mid 2000s (including performances in the US). After getting married and becoming a mother, she has been on a hiatus. She is currently residing in Chicago and recording her long-awaited second album to be released in 2013. This concert is a rare opportunity for Tigist’s fans and Chicago world music lovers.

Tewodros Aklilu who just returned from his EU/North African tour with renowned Ethiopian singer Teddy Afro will accompany along with Chicago’s Magic Carpet.

Persian‐Gypsy band Bad Mashadi and electro­‐ethnic solo artist Charles Mantis will open.

Win Two tickets to this Show! 

Just need to be a subscriber of Chicago Urbanite and leave a comment on this post to participate. We will announce the winner tomorrow!

soundofmusic

World Music Fest and People of Chicago Videos

If you still have not gone to any of the free Chicago World Music Fest concerts, you should definitely do it soon.  I went to see Dehli 2 Dublin, this Canadian band that mixes  Bhangra and Celtic music,  and it was quite energizing and unique. I mean, where have you seen an Asian dude wearing a kilt and playing the sitar? Check some of their performance here:

Tonight I am checking out Slavic Soul Party, a BalkanSoulGypsyFunk Brass band from New York. and tomorrow I will see Magic Carpet, a local band that blends Jazz, Reggae, and Funk with the traditions of Africa, the Middle East, and India.  I saw these cats at SummerDance Fest a few weeks ago and I can tell you that you run the risk to get hypnotized with their music:

Note aside: I want to pay homage to the people of Chicago, who can be fearless and strong supporters of music and dance. I went to Millennium Park for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra‘s Carmina Burana concert last Friday, thinking that very few people would attend due to the rainy weather. To my surprise, the place was packed! We stood in the rain for the duration of what was an epic concert.

In addition to overcome uncomfortable weather conditions, some of us are fearless enough to express our passion for dance and music in unorthodox ways. I saw some of that happening at Chicago SummerDance Fest during Magic Carpet’s concert. This  free outdoors festival allows Chicagoans from all backgrounds and ages to get together and dance. Gotta love the power of music and dance to break any kind of barriers!

So in case you fancy to join me, these are my recommendations for tonight and tomorrow (I also accept suggestions, so post a comment with your favorite bands or pics/videos of the festival):

Tonight:  Slavic Soul Party,

Tomorrow: Magic Carpet and Spain’s flamenco/latin/rock band Canteca de Macao

Click here for information about location and times of concerts. Hope to see you there!

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.