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Friday 7/10 - Thursday 7/16


By Cara Jepsen

10 FRIDAY Besides his Rogers Park eatery, Heartland Cafe owner Michael James is known for a famous photo of him and some other longhaired protesters pushing over a paddy wagon at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Six years earlier he was behind the camera, taking photos of cattle, schoolchildren, and John F. Kennedy and Mexican president Lopez Mateos while he was on a motorcycle trip south of the border. Upon returning home he printed a few of the photos and put the negatives in a box. They didn't see the light of day until earlier this year when his son, David Libman, discovered them. The 56 black-and-white photos are on display at the Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood. The free opening reception for Mexico 1962 is today from 4 to 8. Call 773-465-8005 for more.

11 SATURDAY In the 1960s Muhal Richard Abrams founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Saxophonist Archie Shepp once described the free-jazz collective's music as "black, angry, and hard to understand." Today music critic Art Lange, journalist John Litweiler, and tenor sax player Jimmy Ellis will discuss the AACM and the Chicago Jazz Tradition as part of WHPK FM's "Blowing in From Chicago" celebration. The free symposium starts at 5:30 at the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th. Yapree Howell's Space-Bop Vanguard and reedist Ari Brown will play at 8 (Malachi Thompson & Africa Brass and tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson play Friday at 8) in Hutchinson Courtyard, 5706 S. University. It's $10 for one show, or $16 for both Friday's and Saturday's performances. Call 773-702-8289. The DuSable Museum hosts an overlapping Arts and Crafts Promenade & Family Festival today and tomorrow from noon to dusk. It's free. Call 773-947-0600, ext. 245.

12 SUNDAY There's an Indian expression that says "India awoke to its greatness in Chicago." The phrase refers to when Hindu spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda stole the show at the World's Parliament of Religions in 1893 with a series of lectures on equal rights, social responsibility, and the elimination of poverty; afterward he traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada spreading his philosophy, which sought to combine traditional religious concerns with modern ideas of progress. His writings later influenced Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, and in India he's commemorated with a holiday. Here in Chicago we have the Vivekananda Vedanta Society in Hyde Park and a section of Michigan Avenue that bears his name. Today we'll add another marker when a statue of Swami Vivekananda--the first in America--is unveiled by Indian ambassador Naresh Chandra at 4 at the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, 10915 Lemont Road in Lemont. It's free; call 773-363-0027.

13 MONDAY When Crooners on Clark closed earlier this year, Windy City Jammers groupie Ruth Blanchard acted quickly to find the informal group of banjo musicians a new home, asking the manager of the Lincoln Restaurant if the pickers could play there. "The young fellow said, 'We don't want a bunch of kids in here wrecking the dining room,'" says the 70-something Croonette. "I said, 'The youngest kid in this group is 50 years old!'" The core of eight musicians has been getting together to play songs like "Oh You Beautiful Doll" and "Melancholy Baby" for at least the past 30 years, says Blanchard, the group's official historian. The audience sings along, but "half the fun of listening to them is the kibitzing that goes on between the numbers." The WCJs play tonight (and every Monday night) from 8 to 10 at the Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln. It's free, but there's a $5 food or drink minimum. Call 773-248-1820.

14 TUESDAY Mad magazine's "What, Me Worry?" slogan and the "Easy Does It" bumper sticker are all about enlightenment and how to attain it, claims author Dean Sluyter, who calls himself a "sort of Jewish Buddhist yogi with a heavy crush on Jesus." In his book, Why the Chicken Crossed the Road, he makes connections between contemporary culture and things like the Bible, Buddhism, Sufi dancing, and Tibetan compassion practice. According to Sluyter, "Knock-knock," "Who's there?" can be compared to the process of self-inquiry advocated by Hindu masters, and "Mary Had a Little Lamb" has as much to say about love and devotion as the Psalms and Gospels. He says these ideas arose from discussions with students in his literature of enlightenment class at a prep school in New Jersey. He'll explain his theories tonight at 7 at Transitions Bookplace, 1000 W. North. It's free. Call 312-951-7323.

15 WEDNESDAY The narrator of Curtis White's collagelike new novel, Memories of My Father Watching TV, sits in his family's living room tossing marshmallows into the air and catching them in his mouth in the vain hope that his father will one day tear his eyes away from the tube and notice him--a scene the narrator calls his "defining childhood memory." White, an Illinois State University professor, will read and sign copies of his scathing commentary on fatherhood, TV, and despair in family life tonight at 7:30 at Barbara's Bookstore, 1350 N. Wells. It's free. Call 312-642-5044.

16 THURSDAY When antilynching crusader and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells was an Illinois delegate to the National American Woman Suffrage Association's 1913 parade in Washington, D.C., she refused to march in back with the other African-American delegates: "I shall not march at all unless I can march under the Illinois banner." Wells got her way. During her life as a journalist, educator, and reformer, she also helped form the National Association of Colored Women--13 years before the NAACP was founded. Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi, on this day in 1862--just six months before emancipation. She'll be honored today at a free birthday tribute featuring poet Angela Jackson and pianist Bethany Pickens. It's at 1 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. If you can prove you share Wells's birthday, you'll be rewarded with a free bag of goodies. Call 312-744-1426 for more.

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