From reggae to R&B at the African Caribbean International Festival of Life | Music Sidebar | Chicago Reader

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From reggae to R&B at the African Caribbean International Festival of Life


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This weekend the 19th annual African Caribbean International Festival of Life fills Washington Park (55th and S. Cottage Grove) with the music of the African diaspora: reggae, hip-hop, soca, calypso, R&B, gospel, and more. The fest runs Fri 7/1 to Mon 7/4 and features more than 50 acts on two stages, as well as vendors of food, arts, and crafts. Notable performers include Chicagoan and self-styled "pop princess" Demi Lobo on Friday; dancehall veteran Macka Diamond and long-running Haitian "mizik rasin" group Boukman Eksperyans on Saturday; Belizean punta artist Super G and reggae heavyweight Freddie McGregor on Sunday; and soca star Machel Montano on Monday. Festival hours are noon till 10 PM each day. Admission is $15, $10 before 5 PM, $5 for seniors and kids 12 and under, and free for kids under six; a four-day pass costs $30. Advance tickets are available through the fest's website. For more info, call 312-427-0266 or visit

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