Tonight: Free concert of Argentinian Tango and Latin Music with Mauro Frosio

Mauro Frosio is a virtuoso pianist from Argentina that plays with famous local Spanish Rumba band Bandoleros. You may have seen him perform with them during the weekends at Pasha. Tonight, he will present the premier of his own show at RUMBA (351 W. Hubbard in Chicago) . It will be a night of Tango and Latin music. This is a free concert and it goes from  7 to  9 pm .Call 312.222.1442, if dining at Rumba or just walk in.

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)

Today is World Dance Day!

Since 1982, UNESCO has designated today, April 29, as International Dance Day (World Dance Day). This day was created to increase awareness of the importance of dance among the general public, as well as to persuade governments all over the world to provide a proper place for dance in all systems of education.  Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO declares that “Dance, being a central part of every culture, constitutes the ideal means for bringing together people from different countries….For vividly illustrating cultural diversity, for embodying rapprochement, there is no better means than dance”.  I cannot agree with her more.

Dance has the power to bring people from different cultures and backgrounds together. I see it every time I dance. My current Tango class, for example, has students from different countries and ages. Despite all of our apparent differences, we all have something in common: our love for dancing. To me, dancing is a way to express myself and to connect with others through music. It allows me to communicate beyond spoken languages.  One word that describes the way I feel when I dance is JOY. I have also seen that joy in others, and many times I have  felt compelled to learn from them. So, today, I would like to thank those who inspire me to keep dancing: Wendy Clinard , Edo Sie and Azucena Vega for Flamenco;  Jenny Avellaneda, Pierr Padilla, Ruben Pachas, and Jessica Loyaga for Peruvian Folk Dance; Ariel Yanovsky, Shafqat Manzur, and Maria ArTango for Tango, and all the other impromptu teachers that I have encountered throughout my life. I also want to acknowledge my dear friend and fellow dancer Hector Bustamante for sharing his love and commitment to dancing with me and for encouraging me to keep improving my dance skills.

Tonight, I am planning on spending the night away dancing some Bhangra. I hope you can also feel the beauty and joy of dancing tonight. And remember:

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!

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.