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The Reader's Guide to the World Music Festival

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A music-biz professional told me recently that Chicago's annual World Music Festival is too big and sprawling. He thinks it should include fewer artists (this year there are more than 60) and that more of those should be marquee names. But the things he's complaining about are exactly what make the fest so special--it's a veritable smorgasbord, assembled without the music industry's regard for the bottom line. True, there's so much good music on offer every day that it's impossible to see all the shows you might like to, but how exactly is that a problem?

A number of festival artists were already planning to tour the States and simply added a stop here to their itineraries, but organizer Michael Orlove of the Department of Cultural Affairs arranged flights for other artists personally--and for Extra Golden and the Culture Musical Club, these Chicago sets are anchor gigs making more extensive stateside tours feasible. Bringing in a 13-piece orchestra from southeast Africa isn't cheap--recently on Orbitz the lowest price for one ticket to Tanzania was more than $1,600--and it seems fair to say that the Culture Musical Club's appearance, which will be their U.S. debut, wouldn't have been possible without the $100,000 grant that the Governor's International Arts Exchange Program of the Illinois Arts Council made to Orlove's department. (That money also supported the "Music Without Borders" series this summer in Millennium Park, featuring Seu Jorge, Goran Bregovic, and Anoushka Shankar, as well as a few other WMF concerts.) Several other exciting performers--among them Brazil's Curumin, Finland's Gjallarhorn, Venezuela's Claudia Calderon, and Portugal's Sara Tavares--are making their Chicago debuts at the festival. All told about two dozen nations are represented.

The festival takes place at more than two dozen venues around the city, and unless otherwise noted the shows are free and all-ages. Advance tickets to events with admission fees are normally available from the venues; for more information call the city's World Music Festival hotline at 312-742-1938 or visit cityofchicago.org/worldmusic. The Yat-Kha concert Friday evening at the Old Town School of Folk Music will be broadcast live on WBEZ (91.5 FM), and the early weekday performances at the Chicago Cultural Center's Claudia Cassidy Theater will air on two local college stations: Loyola's WLUW (88.7 FM) will broadcast the 11 AM concerts, and the 12:30 PM shows can be heard on Continental Drift on Northwestern University's WNUR (89.3 FM). As it has for the past few years, the festival closes with "One World Under One Roof," a free extravaganza that transforms the Cultural Center into a minifestival, with overlapping sets in three different halls inside the building. PM

Thursday 14

11 AM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

Radio Maqam

The system of maqamat, or modes, is the melodic basis of nearly all traditional Arabic music and much of the music of eastern Europe and central Asia. Each maqam employs a different quarter-tone scale to convey its distinctive mood, and while there is no definitive count, as many as 60 different maqamat are in general use. This local ensemble, helmed by Palestinian oud player Issa Boulos--who also leads the al-Sharq Ensemble, directs the University of Chicago's Middle East Music Ensemble, and founded the Arab Classical Musical Society--plays a wide variety of maqam-derived material, including a fair number of originals. The rest of the lineup consists of clarinetist Jim Stoynoff, percussionist Omar al-Musfi, ney player Naeif Rafeh, qanun player Martin Stokes, baglama player Ozgur Sumer, and santoor player Masoud Kamgarpour. PM

12:30 PM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

Erkan Ogur

RThis Turkish multi-instrumentalist--a longtime session player and wide-ranging collaborator as well as a solo artist--told Rootsworld.com in 2001 that he'd devised his first fretless guitar in 1976 as a way of adapting the instrument to the demands of traditional Turkish music (and to accommodate a wrist inflammation). Few musicians alive have dedicated themselves so thoroughly to the study of stringed instruments and the complex sounds they produce, and if you've a mind to you could surely extract some of that knowledge of modalities and frequencies by parsing his playing--though I'd recommend leaving the notebook at home and simply allowing yourself to be enraptured by the keening, resonant tones and dramatic elegance of some of the most beautiful music in the world. MK

6 PM | BORDERS ON MICHIGAN

Sara Tavares

A Portuguese singer of Cape Verdean descent, Sara Tavares makes gentle, sensual music that reflects the cosmopolitanism of Lisbon. The tunes on her latest album, Balanc� (Times Square), casually skip between languages (Portuguese, English, various African tongues) and mix styles (lulling dance rhythms from former Portuguese colonies Cape Verde, Angola, and Brazil, as well as American R & B). Tavares produced the album herself, with obvious attention to detail; its pan-ethnic pop puts her in the company of several other emerging female artists (Angelique Kidjo, Lura, Les Nubians) whose music seems aimed at curious urban sophisticates rather than serious students of regional traditions. PM

6:30 PM | PRITZKER PAVILION

Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Radio Maqam, Yat-Kha, and Yang Wei

Conductor David Alan Miller and the CSO will be joined by a beguiling assortment of guest artists for a program of Asian music, part of the city's yearlong celebration of the culture of the Silk Road. Local pipa master Yang Wei will be the featured soloist on the Concerto for Pipa and String Orchestra by contemporary Chinese composer Tan Dun. Tuvan art-rock band Yat-Kha will collaborate with the orchestra for a section of Vladimir Toka's Taezhnaya, one of relatively few classical pieces by a Tuvan composer. And Radio Maqam (see above), the superb pan-Arabic group led by oud player Issa Boulos, will play with the CSO on a number of Boulous's own works. The program also includes selections by Chinese composer Chen Yi and Russian composers Alexander Borodin and Mily Balakirev. PM

9 PM | PRESTON BRADLEY HALL

Whirling Dervishes of Konya

RThe Turkish city of Konya is the original home of the Sufi order colloquially known as "whirling dervishes," which was formalized in the late 13th century by the son of the community's spiritual leader, Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, best known in the West for his breathtaking poetry. The music is simple: zither, lute, hand drums, reed flute, chanted prayers. So is the ritual dance itself, a symbolic offering of oneself to God called sema. The repertoire of this professional ensemble also includes Turkish classical music and other Sufi material. MK

Friday 15

11 AM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

Hu Vibrational

Led by former Chicagoan Adam Rudolph and regularly featuring drummer Hamid Drake, like Rudolph a founding member of the Mandingo Griot Society in the late 70s, this percussion-based outfit aims its deep, hypnotizing Afrocentric grooves straight at the dance floor. The lean jams on Hu Vibrational's forthcoming Boonghee Music 3: Universal Mother (Soul Jazz) accent a phalanx of international hand percussion with kalimbas and wooden flutes, which add snippets of melody, and North African stringed instruments like the Moroccan guimbri, which contributes its uniquely rubbery bass licks. It's easy to imagine these slowly unfolding tracks mixed into a club DJ's set, but they hold up more than well on their own. Here Rudolph will be joined by Drake, multi-instrumentalist Brahim Fribgane, and percussionist Munyungo Jackson. PM

Sara Tavares

See Thursday, September 14.

12:15 PM | WRIGLEY SQUARE

Fareed Haque

This Pakistani-American is essentially a progressive jazz guitarist, but within those borders he covers a lot of ground. Like Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa, he's particularly interested in exploring an intersection between jazz improvisation and the structures of Indian classical music. For this project he's joined by virtuosic Indian violinist Kala Ramnath (see Sunday), tabla master Subhankar Banerjee, and accordionist Rob Clearfield. PM

12:30 PM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

Otto

R Before moving to Sao Paulo in the early 90s, Otto was a percussionist with both Mundo Livre S/A and Na�ao Zumbi--the two most important bands playing Manguebeat, a hard-hitting rock variant that incorporated the maracatu rhythms of his native Recife--and he's since released three strong solo albums that demonstrate his skill as a singer and songwriter. The best and most recent, 2003's Sem Gravidade (Trama), bears only the slightest connection to his roots in Recife, but his past as a drummer is everywhere evident. Though he's definitely become a child of tropicalia--his mix of hip-hop, psychedelia, dub, samba, and Afro-Cuban rhythms is one of the richest and most unpredictable mixes Brazil has produced in the past decade--drums still dominate his music, creating a terrific tension between his sophisticated pop hooks and elaborate melodies and the raw, tribal-sounding beats. For Otto's Chicago debut he'll be joined by guitarist Fernando Catatan (leader of the great Brazilian rock band Cidadao Instigado), a bassist, keyboardist, drummer, and two percussionists. PM

Paul Brody's Sadawi

R On Beyond Babylon (Tzadik, 2004), the latest album by this transcontinental klezmer quintet, Berlin-based American Paul Brody decisively dispels the aura of nostalgia that sometimes seems like an integral part of the music. The trumpeter's spiky originals use klezmer-influenced melodies as points of departure for wild flights of jazz improvisation and inventive cacophony, and four tracks are vibrant, radically cut-up reworkings of tunes by fellow klez modernists like Frank London and David Krakauer--the genre, in their hands at least, still has plenty of juice left. Brandon Seabrook doubles on electric guitar and banjo, alternating between corrosive coloristic splashes and knotty lines, and clarinetist Jan Hermerschmidt (replaced by Christian Dawid on this tour) maintains a poignant rapport with Brody, both in unison passages and give-and-take conversations. PM

12:30 PM | BORDERS ON STATE

Yat-Kha

R Albert Kuvezin established his Tuvan-music bona fides as a founding member of Huun-Huur Tu, the best-known traditional ensemble from the former Soviet republic, then left to form this progressive outfit, which combines Tuvan elements--most prominently the throat-singing style called khoomei--with techno, rock, and blues. Before developing an appreciation for the music of his homeland, Kuvezin was obsessed with contraband rock music from the West, and on the latest Yat-Kha album, Re-Covers (World Village), he revisits those preglasnost days: the disc is a collection of mind-bendingly idiosyncratic takes on classic tunes by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Motorhead, Santana, and Captain Beefheart. The band strips the songs down to bone and gristle, transforming them into thumping drones; if not for the lyrics, some of them would be totally unrecognizable. On Re-Covers Yat-Kha achieves its peculiar intensity without the aid of electronics--just traditional Tuvan stringed instruments, guitar, minimal drumming, and some of the whistlelike style of khoomei called sygyt. Kuvezin himself practices the rare kanzat style, a low-end growl that makes Howlin' Wolf sound like Judy Garland; sometimes he could pass for Tom Waits at his most dyspeptic, and at others he works up a demonic howl as hair-raising as anything you'll hear in black metal. PM

6 PM | BORDERS ON NORTH

R Paul Brody's Sadawi

See above.

PM | OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC | $12

R Yat-Kha

See above.

R Erkan Ogur

See Thursday, September 14.

:30 PM | PARK WEST | $15

Teddy Afro

Though a star in his homeland, to my ears this Ethiopian singer just makes it painfully obvious why people refer to the late 60s and 70s as the golden era of Ethiopian music. He delivers a mix of generic reggae and bland pentatonic pop awash in chintzy synthesizers--it's like Mahmoud Ahmed's whole career never happened. PM

Chicago Afrobeat Project

Active since 2002, last year this local combo released its self-titled debut album, which displayed plenty of chops and energy if not much originality--but then again, not many Afrobeat bands ever evolve too far beyond the naked worship of Fela Kuti, who pioneered the relentlessly funky style in Nigeria in the late 60s. Several notable Chicagoans--including kora player Morikeba Kouyate and guitarist Fareed Haque (see above)--make cameo appearances that briefly soften the complexion of the music, but for the most part the band cooks hard, slotting economical solos into its taut ensemble grooves. PM

9 PM | MARTYRS' | $10 | 21+

Kultur Shock

R This Seattle-based melting pot of a band is led by Gino Srdjan Yevdjevich, a former pop star and Bosnian war survivor from Sarajevo--other members hail from Japan, Bulgaria, and the States--and attracts glowing reviews in metal and punk zines more often than in world-music outlets; it's gotten a helping hand from admirers like Joan Baez, Krist Novoselic, and Jello Biafra (whose vocal delivery Yevdjevich occasionally approximates). Kultur Shock's forthcoming We Came to Take Your Jobs Away (Kool Arrow) is confrontational, playful, and heavy--if it weren't for the Balkan Gypsy rhythms and riffs all over it, it'd pass for old-school political punk-metal. These guys sound like they'd have a grand time beating up Gogol Bordello in an alley and then taking them out for slivovitz. MK

R Paul Brody's Sadawi

See above.

Erika Stucky & Roots of Communication

Singer and accordionist Erika Stucky was born in San Francisco and raised in Switzerland, and like many bilingual folks she hops between English and German like she's talking to herself in her head. Her backing trio, Roots of Communication, creates a simpatico space for her clear singing, stylized narratives, and bracing yelps and yodels: played on shells, trombone, percussion, and yes, alpenhorn, the music is floating and improvisatory, full of pregnant silences and sketched-out dream sounds. MK

10 PM | EMPTY BOTTLE | $10 IN ADVANCE | $12 AT THE DOOR | 21+

R Otto

See above.

Dengue Fever

Spiritual kin to Oakland band Neung Phak, this LA sextet started out covering 60s and 70s Cambodian pop--the kind of weird, style-mashing stuff that's turned up lately on collections like the Cambodian Rocks series and Cambodian Cassette Archives: Khmer Folk & Pop Music Vol. 1. Their instrumentals credibly simulate the Farfisa-stoked garage-rock sound you'll hear on those comps, but what puts Dengue Fever over the top is their ringer, Cambodian vocalist Chhom Nimol, a minor star in her homeland. She's got a strong set of pipes and nails the ultramelodic tunes. On the band's latest album, Escape From Dragon House (M80), almost all the songs are originals, but though they're playful and well written, the whole project carries a whiff of orientalist fetishism--these folks seem to have no greater ambition than to precisely mimic the dated Cambodian pop that got them started. The Norwegian rock band Serena-Maneesh opens; see the Treatment for more. PM

10 PM | SONOTHEQUE | $10 | 21+

Hu Vibrational

See above.

Ammoncontact

Ammoncontact, aka the LA production team of Carlos Nino and Fabian Ammon, dedicate their new With Voices (Ninja Tune) to the late Detroit hip-hop producer J Dilla, and his influence--dry digital beats and lean, stuttering grooves--can certainly be heard in the music. This album is the duo's first full-scale work with MCs and vocalists, and it shows: the material with singers like Dwight Trible and Najite tends to get bogged down in cosmic space jazziness. Fortunately rappers like Brother J, Abstract Rude, and Prince Po make appearances too, and their authoritative delivery ratchets up the music's fierceness. PM

DJ Striz

This local club DJ maintains a residency at Sonotheque, spinning a mix of downtempo hip-hop, broken beat, and house that's spiced with bits of funk and jazz. PM

10 PM | HOTHOUSE | $12 | 21+

Sara Tavares

See Thursday, September 14.

Toubab Krewe

Well, I'll be: these up-and-coming Afrobeat ambassadors are from . . . Asheville, North Carolina. They don't manage to keep the Marshall Tucker Band entirely out of their sound, but their self-titled debut isn't as dire as that might suggest--they've traveled to West Africa and learned traditional instruments the hard way, so their all-instrumental grooves sound less artificial and exoticist than they might. Still not for purists, though, or those with jam-band allergies. MK

Saturday 16

NOON | GARFIELD PARK CONSERVATORY

Extra Golden

R The story behind this cross-cultural project has to be one of the most touching at this year's festival. A few years back guitarist Ian Eagleson of D.C. indie rockers Golden was in Kenya pursuing a doctorate by studying benga music--a dynamic, danceable mix of soukous and South African kwela, laced with cascading, cyclical mbira-like lines--and while there befriended a number of local musicians, including talented singer and guitarist Otieno Jagwasi. In April 2004 Eagleson and his bandmate Alex Minoff decided to make an album with some of their new pals, recording with a makeshift setup in a Nairobi nightclub; they reworked bits of in-progress Golden tunes into a benga setting, and Jagwasi brought in some of his own material too. But in May of last year, Jagwasi died at age 34 from kidney and liver ailments complicated by HIV, and the disc that resulted from those sessions, Ok-Oyot System (Thrill Jockey), was transformed into a memorial to his creative spirit. Not everything clicks--Eagleson and Minoff's singing has an icky Lenny Kravitz funk-rock vibe--but the guitars ring and bubble beautifully throughout, and Jagwasi's vocals are wonderful. For this tour the Americans are joined by drummer Onyango Wuod Omari, who also plays on the record, bassist Noel Kupersmith, and guitarist and singer Opiyo Bilongo. PM

1 PM | BORDERS ON BROADWAY

Slavic Soul Party!

R Led by percussionist Matt Moran, Slavic Soul Party! is one of the few bands on New York's thriving Gypsy-rock scene that can balance the music's manic energy and irreverent spirit with a deep understanding of eastern European folk forms and the chops to play them. On its 2002 debut, In Makedonija, the group was a quintet, so it sounded overmatched when it ventured into the repertoires of the Boban Markovic Orkestar or the Kocani Orkestar--both of which have horn sections larger than SSP's whole lineup. But on the recent Bigger (Barbes) the group is an octet, and with that broader palette it works wonders. The album mixes originals and traditional Romanian, Bulgarian, and Serbian tunes, and the band does a bang-up job navigating the breakneck tempos, gonzo time signatures, and razor-sharp counterpoint that define the brass-band sound. PM

1 PM | NAVY PIER

Lamajamal

This local quintet has a manifesto on its Web site about the similarities that unite the different musical traditions of the world, and lays claim to "rhythmic influences spanning various cultures such as Egyptian, Tunisian, Moroccan, Algerian, Afro Peruvian, Latin, Caribbean, Spanish, and American"--the sort of rhetoric that generally means you're in for a pleasant but somewhat generic mishmash with all the depth of a row of flags hanging in the international terminal. Lamajamal do play their rather formal music (sounds largely Middle Eastern to me) with undeniable technical skill, but they'd be a lot livelier if they developed an ear for dynamics. MK

1:30 PM | ROGERS PARK WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL

El Payo

This local ensemble plays danceable music that could double as a demonstration of pan-Hispanic styles and rhythms, light and sunny enough to be unthreatening even to the greenest of world-music novices. Members of the group--which also includes a pair of flamenco dancers--hail from Spain, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico, among other countries. MK

2 PM | BORDERS ON 53RD

Mamadou Diabate Ensemble

R Born into a griot family, Malian kora master Mamadou Diabate grew up steeped in Mande tradition. But since moving to the U.S. in 1996 he's worked hard to expand his musical vocabulary without compromising the essential sound of his instrument--a 21-string harp indigenous to West Africa. Over the years he's collaborated with both jazz musicians (Ben Allison, Roswell Rudd, Randy Weston) and roots acts (Donna the Buffalo, Taj Mahal, Eric Bibb), and on the new instrumental album Heritage (World Village) he puts the lessons he's learned to work, updating his native repertoire--the tweaks may seem minor to American ears, but to listeners back home they're radical. Diabate adapts the tune "Fali," usually performed on the banjolike n'goni, for the kora, and fits "Djiribah" to a pentatonic scale, which requires him to avoid certain strings. But you don't need to be familiar with Mande music to hear the beauty in Diabate's fleet, exquisitely lyric improvisations. Here he's supported by Baye Kouyate (calabash), Balla Kouyate (balafon), and American jazzer Noah Jarrett (upright bass). PM

3 PM | GARY COMER YOUTH CENTER

Dza Nyodmo Dance Ensemble

This Ghanan group performs a mix of traditional and contemporary dance with all-percussion accompaniment. PM

3 PM | NAVY PIER

Toubab Krewe

See Friday, September 15.

4 PM | ROGERS PARK WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL

Heather Maxwell's Afrika Soul

This American singer has lived for nearly two decades in West Africa, where she's studied music and dance. But based on the one track I've heard--she has no commercial releases--her work sounds like mainstream jazz with African vocals. PM

4:30 PM | SYMPHONY CENTER

R Slavic Soul Party!

See above.

5 PM | SYMPHONY CENTER

RMamadou Diabate Ensemble

See above.

6 PM | HUMBOLDT PARK boathouse

Pablo Mayor--Folklore Urbano

R At first listen this New York combo seems to play a typically brassy strain of salsa, but it doesn't take long to notice something different about the percussion. Pianist Pablo Mayor is from Palmira, Colombia, and on Folklore Urbano's recent Baile/Dance (Chonta) his deft arrangements seamlessly fuse the band's jazz-inflected dance grooves and the rhythms of his native land--from the ubiquitous cumbia to the marimba-driven sounds of currulao, a lesser-known tradition from the country's predominantly black Pacific coast. PM

7 PM | SYMPHONY CENTER

Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Radio Maqam, Yat-Kha, and Yang Wei

See Thursday, September 14.

7:30 PM | SOUTH SHORE CULTURAL CENTER

R Extra Golden

See above.

PM | OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC | $12

Natacha Atlas

R Singer Natacha Atlas had an early advantage when it came to finding a bridge between Arabic music and Western pop: she was raised by a father of Middle Eastern descent and an English mother in a Moroccan neighborhood in the suburbs of Brussels. Since joining forces with British ethno-techno collective Transglobal Underground in the early 90s, she's worked diligently to establish such a bridge, but the results have been mixed. She can sweep confidently through daring melisma with her strong, agile voice, and its shimmery beauty exalts ballads of any stripe, but some of her early records were burdened by a surplus of generic posthouse fluff--she's always sounded best when her music is rooted in Arabic sources. On her latest and strongest album, Mish Maoul (Mantra), she's still trying new things ("Ghanwah Bossanova" is an experiment with, well, bossa nova), but these efforts still pale next to Arabic jams like "Hayati Inta"--though built from deep Moroccan Gnawa grooves, it's buffeted by searing electric-guitar licks and hopped-up, electronically enhanced beats. Onstage the charisma Atlas projects with her voice gets a boost from her training as a traditional raq sharki, or belly dancer. PM

La Mar Enfortuna

Oren Bloedow and Jennifer Charles, who've been playing together as the gothic duo Elysian Fields since 1990, took a left turn in 2001 with this side project. La Mar Enfortuna (Tzadik) collects traditional Sephardic Jewish songs from the 11th through the 15th centuries and gives them an indie treatment that makes up for in audacity what it lacks in authenticity--sometimes Charles's torch-noir delivery and the dark-toned backing tracks make the album sound like nothing so much as a Mediterranean or Levantine version of Mazzy Star. MK

:30 PM | INTERNATIONAL HOUSE | $5

R Slavic Soul Party!

See above.

T-Rroma

Formerly known as Tamburitza Rroma, this group of Croatian-Americans plays the Gypsy music of the Balkans and Hungary. PM

9 PM | SONOTHEQUE | $10

Africa Hi-Fi

Chicago native Ron Trent is the host of this two-year-old monthly residency, which explores the African roots of modern pop and dance music. One of the most in-demand house DJs in the world, in his recent work Trent has carefully matched international sounds to traditional club beats. PM

9:30 PM | LOGAN SQUARE AUDITORIUM | $13 IN ADVANCE | $15 AT THE DOOR

Jesus Enriquez y Su Orquesta

This Mexican singer fell in love with the sound of salsa not long after emigrating to Chicago with his family in 1990 and soon assembled a band that's been one of the most consistent attractions on the local salsa scene ever since, mixing hard-driving dance tunes with sultry boleros. PM

Carpacho y Su Super Combo

This local combo, led by Colombian bassist Roberto Marin, includes Americans, Mexicans, Costa Ricans, and Ecuadorans in its lineup--and its repertoire of dance music (salsa, cumbia, merengue, bolero, even samba and polka) likewise includes representatives from much of Latin America. PM

10 PM | HOTHOUSE | $12

Cibelle

R A few years ago this Brazilian singer moved from her home in Sao Paulo to London, and it shows: on her latest album, The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves (Six Degrees), the only things unmistakably Brazilian are some Portuguese lyrics and a few bits of samba and bossa nova. Though Cibelle's self-titled debut, produced by talented Brazilian Apollo 9, sounded like the work of a musical omnivore, the new album is relatively neutral singer-songwriter stuff, despite its busy undercurrent of subtle synthetic textures, electronic bleeps, and naturalistic samples. Most of the tracks were coproduced by Mike Lindsay of British electro-folk combo Tunng, and the ubiquitous Devendra Banhart makes a cameo in a duet version of Caetano Veloso's "London, London," but Cibelle's music doesn't quite fit under the giant freak-folk umbrella with theirs. The new record is quiet and intimate--only "Arrete la, Menina," with a rousing chorus from Seu Jorge, could be called extroverted--but she's a terrific live performer, and I'm curious to see what she'll do with these gentle, richly detailed songs onstage. PM

10 PM | MARTYRS' | $10

Toubab Krewe

See Friday, September 15.

R Otto

See Friday, September 15.

Sunday 17

NOON | NAVY PIER

Rob Curto's Forro for All

New York accordionist Rob Curto is a devotee of forro music, an immensely popular dance form from northeastern Brazil, particularly the city of Recife. (One local theory holds that the word "forro" is derived from the English phrase "for all," which British railroaders in the early 1900s used to describe their parties when they were open to the public.) Over the past few years Curto's band has become one of New York's hottest attractions, and its self-titled debut makes clear why: strongly melodic and so jaunty it's almost frenetic, the music is driven by squeeze box, triangle, and drums, sounding something like zydeco minus the blues foundation. Forro for All's repertoire consists of classics immortalized by the likes of Luiz Gonzaga, Sivuca, and Dominguinhos. PM

1 PM | BORDERS ON CLARK

R Extra Golden

See Saturday, September 16.

2 PM | BORDERS ON MICHIGAN

R Cibelle

See Saturday, September 16.

2 PM | CLARKE HOUSE MUSEUM

RMamadou Diabate Ensemble

See Saturday, September 16.

2 PM | NAVY PIER

RPablo Mayor Folklore Urbano

See Saturday, September 16.

2:30 PM | ELI'S CHEESECAKE FESTIVAL

Heather Maxwell's Afrika Soul

See Saturday, September 16.

3 PM | HUMBOLDT PARK BOATHOUSE

Angel Melendez and Orquesta Arallue

As the leader of Chicago's dynamic 911 Mambo Orchestra, Angel Melendez is dedicated to the brassy sounds of old-school Cuban music; with Orquesta Arralue he explores New York's 70s salsa scene, which Fania Records documented on one classic after another. This is a smaller group than the 911, but it has a more aggressive rhythmic attack--and Melendez delivers the goods here with the same panache. PM

Dza Nyodmo Dance Ensemble

See Saturday, September 16.

3 PM | PRESTON BRADLEY HALL

Safaafir

R Place-names like Basra, Mosul, Baghdad, and Kirkuk tend to come up in pretty dispiriting contexts these days. But Iraq still has its beautiful cultural traditions, and this Chicago-based quartet is helping preserve one of them: a maqam-derived style of classical singing and improvisation using strings, zither, and percussion. The ensemble's name refers to the old copper markets of Baghdad as well as to the sound of drumming hammers. MK

4 PM | ELI'S CHEESECAKE FESTIVAL

Son Trinidad

This local instrumental quartet, featuring bassist Matt Ulery and trumpeter Thad Franklin, brings a jazzy feel and judicious extended soloing to its Afro-Caribbean tunes. PM

5 PM | MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART | $12

Kala Ramnath

R One of the most striking young violinists in Hindustani classical music, Kala Ramnath plays with astonishing precision and imagination and a breathtaking microtonal palette. On her latest album, Nectar (Sense World Music), she's both exquisitely patient and inventive: in its tranquil passages her melodies glide over the cyclic rhythms of tabla player Vijay Ghate, and she's a whirlwind of activity when the music's intensity picks up, layering notes with the grace and fury of the best dhrupad singers. She's joined here by tabla player Subhankar Banerjee. PM

Purbayan Chatterjee

R Sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee spins one gorgeous melody after another on his new album, Talaash (Sense World Music), which shows off his flawless tonal control and liquid phrasing. In a discipline where fluidity is a virtue, he's like an ocean--each statement rolls into the next without the slightest break. Though growing up he had top-shelf mentors like Nikhil Bannerjee and Ali Akbar Khan, it's still astonishing that he has such virtuosity and musical wisdom at age 30. He's joined here by tabla player Samir Chatterjee. Kala Ramnath and Purbayan Chatterjee will team up after they play their solo sets, as they did on the wonderful 2004 album Samwad (Sense World). Ramnath also performs in Wrigley Square on Friday; see that day's item on Fareed Haque for more. PM

7:30 PM | PARK WEST | $15

Klezmatics

R Though Woody Guthrie is usually thought of as a spokesman for train hoppers and rural down-and-outers, he spent a good deal of his life in New York City; his second wife, Marjorie, was the daughter of a Jewish poet-activist, performed in the Martha Graham Company, and taught dance in Sheepshead Bay. Klezmatics violinist Lisa Gutkin attended the same school, and the group explores those connections on Wonder Wheel (Jewish Music Group), which features 11 previously unreleased Guthrie tunes (plus one that turned out to be by a friend of his instead). The music is pan-urban folk--imagine a klezmer band skipping between block parties in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. The concept is similar to Billy Bragg and Wilco's Mermaid Avenue collaboration, but the Klezmatics give the songs a richer context. MK

La Mar Enfortuna

See Saturday, September 16.

PM | HOTHOUSE | $12 | 21+

R Pablo Mayor--Folklore Urbano

See Saturday, September 16.

Heather Maxwell's Afrika Soul

See Saturday, September 16.

PM | MARTYRS' | $12 | 21+

Dengue Fever

See Friday, September 15.

R Extra Golden

See Saturday, September 16.

:30 PM | LOGAN SQUARE AUDITORIUM | $13 IN ADVANCE | $15 AT THE DOOR

Oliver Mtukudzi & Black Spirits

One of Zimbabwe's most popular and enduring stars, Oliver Mtukudzi has spent nearly three decades polishing his mix of various African styles, which includes South African mbanqanga and the mbira-derived chimurenga of his former bandmate Thomas Mapfumo. His "Tuku music"--a blend of heavily syncopated grooves, complex and loping bass lines, bubbly guitar patterns, and soulful singing--can occasionally be tediously slick on disc, but he's a seasoned live performer. PM

R Mamadou Diabate Ensemble

See Saturday, September 16.

Occidental Brothers Dance Band International

This local sextet does an impressive job covering classic African music of the 60s, considering that most of the bands it salutes (Franco & L'OK Jazz, Chief Stephen Osita Osedebe, Tabu Ley Rochereau) had more than ten members. Guitarist Nathaniel Braddock and alto saxophonist Greg Ward capture the tonal plushness of their inspirations, evoking the spirit (if not re-creating every sonic nuance) of chimurenga, Congolese rumba, kwela, and highlife. The band has recently been joined by vocalist and trumpeter Kofi Cromwell of Ghanatta; his presence ought to further enliven the instrumentals I've heard on the group's demo. PM

10 PM | SONOTHEQUE | $10 | 21+

R Cibelle

See Saturday, September 16.

DJ Rikshaw

Richard Smith, aka DJ Rikshaw, possesses one of the city's finest collections of vintage Jamaican music--hard-core ska, rocksteady, roots reggae, mind-bending dub plates, and more. He's been sharing it with Chicagoans since 1995, when he formed the Deadly Dragon Sound System DJ crew to soften up Wicker Park indie-rock types and get them on the dance floor. These days he's the resident Sunday-night DJ at Sonotheque. PM

monday18

11 AM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

Rob Curto's Forro for All

See Sunday, September 17.

NOON | DALEY CIVIC CENTER

Culture Musical Club

R I can't think of many things that sound more gorgeous and majestic than a taarab orchestra, and this fantastic group from Zanzibar may well be the greatest such ensemble. Many forms of taarab music are played in the countries on Africa's southeastern Swahili coast, from the Indian-inflected variety on the Kenyan island of Mombasa to the funkier, more electric strains in the Tanzanian city of Tanga. But a strong Arabic flavor pervades all of it, and thanks to the region's role as a trade hub the music has strong Japanese influences as well. Culture Musical Club is both a band and social club in Stone Town, Zanzibar, where locals gather to play nightly; upwards of 60 musicians are in the ensemble, though never all at once, and 13 of them are playing here. (This gig is the group's first in the U.S.) The music is dazzling and virtuosic, but it's also relaxed and familial; the band's most recent album, Waridi (Jahazi), highlights its social nature, with many past vocalists turning up as guests. The instrumentation--a raft of violins, as well as ouds, accordion, and hand percussion--strongly reflects classical Arabic music, but the rhythms and sung poetry are strictly Swahili, and the vocals are much more breezy and direct than the melisma-heavy style common in Arabic genres. The Culture Musical Club will be joined here by Amina, a stunning young singer from Mombasa. "Don't miss it" is an overused phrase, but this may be your only chance to hear this music live, short of booking a flight to Zanzibar. PM

12:30 PM | BORDERS ON MICHIGAN

Oliver Mtukudzi

solo

See Sunday, September 17.

12:30 PM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

Slonovski Bal

This France-based sextet of Serbians delivers a propulsive and precise take on traditional Gypsy brass music, bringing surprising oomph to its high-velocity contrapuntal lines despite a relatively compact lineup. Slonovski Bal ("elephant's ball" in Serbian) is no match for the likes of Boban Markovic, but the band has the chops and repertoire to get the job done. PM

R Natacha Atlas

See Saturday, September 16.

6:30 PM | PRITZKER PAVILION

R Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar

See above.

R Natacha Atlas

See Saturday, September 16.

9 PM | HOTHOUSE | $12 | 21+

Descemer Bueno

Guitarist Descemer Bueno studied in one of the most rigorous conservatories in his native Cuba, but shortly before emigrating to New York in 1999 he set aside his classical training to pursue jazz and hip-hop. He then cofounded the pan-Caribbean dance band Yerba Buena, and last year struck out on his own with Siete Rayo (Universal Music Latino), a streamlined mix of Cuban son and roots reggae with touches of hip-hop, reggaeton, and dancehall. The album descends a bit too often into Bob Marley-style feel-good reggae, but the more aggressive material works. And he cuts a charismatic figure onstage, whether he's singing, rapping, or just shaking his dreadlocks. PM

Rob Curto's Forro for All

See Sunday, September 17.

10 PM | EMPTY BOTTLE

Slonovski Bal

See above.

Erika Stucky & Roots of Communication

See Friday, September 15.

Tuesday 19

11 AM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

Born Into Brothels Ensemble

The 2004 documentary Born Into Brothels was filmed by the children of Calcutta prostitutes--a novel approach that revealed both their creativity and their hopefulness. The uplifting mood probably helped make the film an international success, but the haunting score didn't hurt. Composer John McDowell is touring with a stripped-down version of the ensemble that played on the sound track; the combination of tabla, bamboo flute, violin, and percussion can sound joyous or brooding, both on the instrumentals and augmenting the plaintive melodies of singers Falu and Gaurav. MK

NOON | DALEY CIVIC CENTER

Slonovski Bal

See Monday, September 18.

12:30 PM | BORDERS ON MICHIGAN

Curumin

R This Sao Paulo multi-instrumentalist got his start as a percussionist, working with modernist Brazilian talents like Arnaldo Antunes and Andrea Marquee. But last year he stepped out as a singer and songwriter on Achados e Perdidos (Quannum Projects), one of the most refreshing pop albums I've heard in months. Curumin (aka Luciano Nakata Albuquerque) has a deep affection for the 70s soul and funk sounds of Jorge Ben and Tim Maia, not to mention Stevie Wonder--the album includes a cover of "You Haven't Done Nothin'" that's dappled with vocoder. But the production brings those influences up to date: though most of the tunes are driven by his propulsive riffing on cavaquinho--a sweet-toned ukulelelike instrument--they're supported by a sturdy mix of programmed beats, samples, and live drumming. PM

12:30 PM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

Rodrigo y Gabriela

These guitarists started out playing heavy metal in Mexico City, but after moving to Ireland they switched to an acoustic blend of flamenco and jazz, with flourishes of rock and Mexican son. The duo's self-titled third album, due out next month on Dave Matthews's ATO label, sounds like the work of a jam band that's been mainlining Al Di Meola records. There's no good reason for anybody to ever cover "Stairway to Heaven" again, but these two whip up an earnest, bombastic version; they also play a version of Metallica's "Orion" that's every bit as awful as you'd imagine. PM

Descemer Bueno

See Monday, September 18.

7 PM | PRESTON BRADLEY HALL

Born Into Brothels Ensemble

See above.

7:30 PM | MUSEM OF CONTEMPORARY ART | $12

R Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar

See Monday, September 18.

PM | CONAWAY CENTER

Rodrigo y Gabriela

See above.

:30 PM | INTERNATIONAL HOUSE | $5

Aurelio Martinez

R This superb Honduran singer preserves the traditional paranda music of the Garifuna people--descendants of indigenous Caribbeans and West African slaves who were shipwrecked on the island of Saint Vincent 350 years ago. On 2004's Garifuna Soul (Stonetree) Martinez sings with a soaring, declamatory joy and a melodic style that stays close to the African half of the Garifuna's roots; he wouldn't sound out of place on a Baaba Maal record. The tunes alternate between melancholy ballads and irresistible dance numbers, driven by punchy hand percussion and piquant acoustic guitar patterns, and though the arrangements are sparse the music has a frenetic intensity--Martinez could probably get over on the strength of his voice alone. PM

9 PM | HOTHOUSE | $12 | 21+

Kal

R This Gypsy band from the suburbs of Belgrade, Serbia, works hard to honor its musical heritage on its recent self-titled debut for Asphalt Tango Records. "Very few people are playing Gypsy music in the traditional manner," singer and guitarist Dragan Ristic writes in the liner notes. "Most are using the electronic keyboard, which is a curse on Balkan music." But despite this aversion to synths Kal isn't a group of Luddites, or even strict preservationists: the production amps up the drums, using dance and rock beats to enhance the sorrowful melodies without smothering them. The band tackles a couple Balkan standards like the ubiquitous "Djelem, Djelem," but most of the tunes on the album are originals, getting their energy and authenticity from Django-style guitar, pumping accordion riffs, microtonal violin, and clarinet. PM

Slonovski Bal

See Monday, September 18.

10 PM | EMPTY BOTTLE | $10 IN ADVANCE | $12 AT THE DOOR | 21+

Descemer Bueno

See Monday, September 18.

Fiamma Fumana

Onda (Omnium) is the third full-length from this Italian quartet, which blends the traditional sounds of Italian female vocal groups, instrumentation like bagpipes and accordions, and a youthful, global dance-music sensibility. The sunny, glossy production matches the natural buoyancy of the original tunes, but the occasional burst of melancholy accordion keeps them from sounding completely saccharine. When it works, it makes me wonder why any dance band wouldn't want bagpipes. MK

10 PM | SONOTHEQUE | $10 | 21+

R Curumin

See above.

DJ Jose de Jesus

Since the early 80s Sonotheque cofounder Joe Bryl has been content to DJ under his own name. I don't know what provoked him to adopt this one, but I'm sure he'll continue spinning his usual mix of rare grooves, hip-hop, and classics from Brazil and Africa. PM

wednesday20

11 AM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

Fiamma Fumana

See Tuesday, September 19.

R Kal

See Tuesday, September 19.

12:30 PM | BORDERS ON STATE

Rodrigo y Gabriela

See Tuesday, September 19.

12:30 PM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

R Aurelio Martinez

See Tuesday, September 19.

R Curumin

See Tuesday, September 19.

6:30 PM | HAMILTON PARK

R Culture Musical Club of Zanzibar

See Monday, September 18.

7 PM | PRESTON BRADLEY HALL

Alaev Family

Though the Alaev Family looks like a circus troupe on its album covers, it's actually dedicated to performing the music of its homeland of Tajikistan. The group has been living in Israel since 1991, and previously leader and percussionist Allo Alaev toured Europe and Asia in numerous Soviet-sponsored folk groups. This ensemble updates its sound with electric guitars (which it calls "beat" guitars) and slick pop-rock vocal harmonies, though its repertoire also includes Jewish songs from the Tajik city of Buchara. PM

7:30 PM | MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART | $12

Soul N One

This group is a collaboration between Kahil El'Zabar's Ethnic Heritage Ensemble (guitarist Fareed Haque, reedist Ernest Dawkins, and trumpeter Corey Wilkes) and eight young musicians from Bordeaux, France, who worked with the percussionist during his residency in that city. The French contingent is also playing with El'Zabar in the larger Orchestra Infinity tomorrow. PM

Sao Paulo Underground

R Cornetist Rob Mazurek plays here often with his various groups--the Chicago Underground Duo, Mandarin Movie, Exploding Star Orchestra--but since 2002 he's spent at least half of each year in Brazil. The Sao Paulo Underground is the first product of his work there, though the group's debut, Sauna: Um, Dois, Tres (Aesthetics), doesn't sound far removed from the output of his American projects. Working with members of the rock band Hurtmold--whose music strongly recalls that of Tortoise--Mazurek generates collisions of improvisation, raw coloristic electronics, and deep grooves. The music is heavily rhythmic; there are guitars on half the album, but they often play percussive parts or provide pure texture. The sound isn't explicitly Brazilian, though the taut drumming has a global feel--particularly on "Afrihouse," which splits the difference between Gnawan trance and Afrobeat. Mazurek runs his cornet lines though electronic effects and postproduction manipulations just as often as he plays them straight. For this show, the group's Chicago debut, he'll be joined by Hurtmold percussionist-producer Mauricio Takara, kit drummer Robert Ribeiro, and percussionist-producer Guilherme Granado. PM

PM | CONAWAY CENTER

R Aurelio Martinez

See Tuesday, September 19.

PM | MARTYRS' | $12 | 21+

R Kal

See Tuesday, September 19.

Gjallarhorn

R I first heard this quartet, which hails from a Swedish-speaking region of Finland, on a compilation from NorthSide Records, a Minneapolis label that specializes in forward-looking folk-based music from Scandinavia. "Suvetar (Goddess of Spring)," the track on the comp, was one of those drop-what-you're-doing pieces of music that sounds simply otherworldly. That's partly thanks to Jenny Wilhelm's luminous, classically trained voice, but I was also taken in by the instrumentation: violin, viola, drums, and didgeridoo. The didge provides a drone that's typical of old Scandinavian music, but it has a much deeper tone; the strings suggest a Norwegian hardingfele with more flexibility. Lots of folk revivalists espouse a sort of neopagan mysticism to go along with their music; Gjallarhorn is on the short list of European artists whose sound is so alien yet familiar it can evoke a plausible spirit world without that added backstory. MK

:30 PM | OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC

Claudia Calderon & Piano Llanero

Born and raised in Colombia and now living in Caracas, Venezuela, pianist Claudia Calderon has developed a stunning adaptation of joropo--a style of harp-driven dance music with roots in the plains that sweep from Colombia to Venezuela. Her performances reveal a strong classical technique--she's studied in Italy and Germany--but her sophisticated arrangements only rarely bury the dance rhythms at the heart of the traditional songs. On her 2002 album, El Piano Llanero (Fundacion Bigott), her lively playing is enhanced by minimal percussion and numerous cameos, including one from Venezuelan cuatro master Cheo Hurtado. She's joined here by bassist Gonzalo Teppa, cuatro player Henry Linarez, and percussionist Jose Alberto Perez. PM

Rodrigo y Gabriela

See Tuesday, September 19.

9 PM | HOTHOUSE | $12 | 21+

R Curumin

See Tuesday, September 19.

Fiamma Fumana

See Tuesday, September 19.

10 PM | SONOTHEQUE | $10 | 21+

Born Into Brothels Ensemble

See Tuesday, September 19.

Bombay Beatbox

This local world-music crew has a weakness for spacey, half-baked electronic remixes of traditional south Asian music. It seems like they're trying to split the difference between disco and the sound track to a yoga-instruction video. PM

thursday21

11 AM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

R Gjallarhorn

See Wednesday, September 20.

12:30 PM | BORDERS ON MICHIGAN

Carmen Consoli

Despite being all of 32, Sicilian singer-songwriter Carmen Consoli is a veteran of the Italian pop scene; her latest album, Eva Contro Eva ("Eve Against Eve"), is her ninth. It's an acoustic collection that goes down sweet and smooth thanks to her fluid voice, but once you take a look at the translations of the lyrics--filled with rage, sorrow, longing, and cries to God--the comfortable musical surroundings suddenly seem heartbreaking. MK

12:30 PM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

Aza

Helmed by a pair of immigrants--one from Morocco and one from Tunisia--this California sextet delivers a watered-down take on North African traditions that's further weakened by noodly saxophone and lame dabs of bluegrass. PM

Debashish Bhattacharya

R Hailed as one of the greatest slide guitarists in the world, Debashish Bhattacharya gave his first performance at age four on Indian radio, then went on to study with masters like Indian classical guitar virtuoso Brij Bhushan Kabra. He's now 43, and over the decades he's refined and adapted the instrument to meet the demands of both Indian and Western music, making various modifications like hollowing the neck and adding sitarlike strings. For this tour he's performing in a trio with his brother Subhasis on percussion and his sister Sutapa on vocals. MK

6 PM | PRITZKER PAVILION

Orchestra Infinity

A collaborative big band organized and conducted by local percussionist Kahil El'Zabar, Orchestra Infinity will perform a new suite composed by its leader called "Nu Art Claiming Earth." Featured soloists like saxophonists Hamiet Bluiett and Ernest Dawkins, guitarist Fareed Haque, and trumpeter Corey Wilkes will join a crew of musicians from Bordeaux, France--where El'Zabar has been an artist in residence through the city's Ministry of Culture--as well as young players from the South Shore High School Inter/Arts Collective. PM

6:30 PM | PRESTON BRADLEY HALL

R Debashish Bhattacharya

See above.

7 PM | RANDOLPH CAFE

R Gjallarhorn

See Wednesday, September 20.

7:30 PM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

Claudia Calderon

See Wednesday, September 20.

:15 PM | PRESTON BRADLEY HALL

Carmen Consoli

See above.

9 PM | CLAUDIA CASSIDY THEATER

Alaev Family

See Wednesday, September 20.

9:30 PM | RANDOLPH CAFE

Aza

See above.

9:45 PM | PRESTON BRADLEY HALL

Steve Gibons's Gypsy Rhythm Project with Nicolae Feraru

This local combo, led by violinist Steve Gibons, tweaks the Gypsy jazz pioneered by Django Reinhardt, bringing jazz improvisation to Romanian and Bulgarian Gypsy sounds without softening their jagged nature. Gibons's manic bowing gets a boost from cimbalom virtuoso Nicolae Feraru, a Romanian expat who leads his own group and backed Serbian legend Saban Bajramovic a few years ago at HotHouse. Jazz bassist Dan Delorenzo and guitarist Mike Allemana open things up, creating some harmonically wild interludes and deftly juggling fleet tempos. Drummer George Petrov rounds out the group. PM

VENUES

Borders 830 N. Michigan, 312-573-0564

Borders 1539 E. 53rd, 773-752-8663

Borders 150 N. State, 312-606-0750

Borders 755 W. North, 312-266-8060

Borders 2817 N. Clark, 773-935-3909

Borders 4718 N. Broadway, 773-334-7338

Clarke House Museum 1827 S. Indiana, 312-744-6630

Claudia Cassidy Theater Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630

Conaway Center Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash, 312-663-1600

Daley Civic Center 50 W. Washington, 312-346-3278

Eli's Cheesecake Festival 6701 W. Forest Preserve Dr., 773-736-3417

Empty Bottle 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401

Garfield Park Conservatory 300 N. Central Park, 312-746-5100

Gary Comer Youth Center 7200 S. Ingleside, 773-358-4100

Hamilton Park 513 W. 72nd, 312-742-7529

HotHouse 31 E. Balbo, 312-362-9707

Humboldt Park Boathouse 1301 N. Sacramento, 312-742-7529

International House University of Chicago, 1414 E. 59th, 773-753-2274

Logan Square Auditorium 2359 N. Kedzie, 773-252-6179

Martyrs' 3855 N. Lincoln, 773-404-9494 or 800-594-8499

Navy Pier 600 E. Grand, 312-595-5184

Museum of Contemporary Art 220 E. Chicago, 312-397-4010

Old Town School of Folk Music 4544 N. Lincoln, 773-728-6000 or 866-468-3401

Park West 322 W. Armitage, 773-929-1322 or 312-559-1212

Preston Bradley Hall Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630

Pritzker Pavilion Millennium Park, 100 N. Michigan, 312-742-1168

Randolph Cafe Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 312-744-6630

Rogers Park World Music Festival 7348 N. Paulina, 773-527-2946

Sonotheque 1444 W. Chicago, 312-226-7600

South Shore Cultural Center 7059 S. South Shore Dr., 773-256-0149

Symphony Center 220 S. Michigan, 312-294-3333

Wrigley Square Millennium Park, 100 N. Michigan, 312-742-1168

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Jackson.

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