World Music Festival | Festival | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Festival

World Music Festival

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

Noon, Daley Center

"BUILD THE PEACE" CELEBRATION

An hour-long observance of Peace Day, featuring performances of traditional African and Mexican dance by the Najwa Junior Dance Corps and Ehecatl respectively.

Noon, Welles Park

NATIVE AMERICAN EQUINOX

CELEBRATION

This year's annual event, presented by the Old Town School of Folk Music, involves the construction of a village by elders from the Menominee reservation in northern Wisconsin. Also: storytelling, drumming, crafts, and fry bread.

12:30 PM, Museum of Broadcast Communications

EMELINE MICHEL

See below.

7:30 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music ($10)

yAVISHAI COHEN & THE INTERNATIONAL VAMP BAND

Since the mid-90s Avishai Cohen has earned acclaim both as the bassist in Chick Corea's Origin and as leader of his own eclectic jazz group. Cohen was born in Jerusalem--his family moved to Saint Louis during his teens but returned a few years later--and his work often has a strong Middle Eastern flavor, from an oudlike twang to his bass playing to the keening sorrow that shoots through some of his compositions. Based in New York since 1992, last year Cohen found himself stuck back in Jerusalem with an expired visa, and in the two months he spent waiting for the red tape to be untangled he reacquainted himself with his first instrument, the piano, even putting together a trio for a regular gig at a local club. Upon his return to New York, he assembled the International Vamp Band, another project he leads from behind the keyboard. As the group's name suggests, the lineup is ethnically diverse: bassist Yagil Baras and trombonist Avi Lebovich are Israeli, drummer Antonio Sanchez is Mexican, saxophonist Yosvany Terry is Cuban, and trumpeter Diego Urcola hails from Argentina. The music on its recently released debut, Unity (Stretch), is primarily postbop, making less of this melting pot than one might expect; still, subtle colors bleed into the mix, in particular Latin rhythms, and Cohen's writing is reflective of fusion figures he's worked with or admires, like Corea and Jaco Pastorius.

GORAN IVANOVIC & FAREED HAQUE

Chicago guitarist Fareed Haque--the son of a Pakistani father and a Chilean mother--has explored fusions of jazz, pop, and funk. But on his forthcoming album Macedonian Blues (Proteus Entertainment) he and Goran Ivanovic, a classically trained Croatian guitarist who now lives in Naperville, transcribe a series of Macedonian folk tunes, interpreting them with a mix of jazzy sonorities, flamenco fire, and classical detail. I'm hoping that live the duo will transcend the album's rather polite feel.

9 PM, HotHouse ($10)

HABIB KOITE

& BAMADA

If you're not from Mali, it may not be clear how atypical Habib Koite's music is. If any single element unifies Mali's various traditions, it's hypnotic repetition--evident everywhere from the circular blueslike guitar licks played by Ali Farka Toure to the swirling kora patterns of Toumani Diabate to the feverish call-and-response vocals of Oumou Sangare. On his latest album, Baro (Putumayo), as on previous ones, Koite brings together rhythms, melodies, and tunings from all those styles--but he does depart in some ways from his earlier work. First and foremost, the album is acoustic: no electric guitars or synthesizers, and plenty of liquid balafon lines played by the legendary Keletigui Diabate. It's pretty and exquisitely played but it's not as powerful or bluesy as his old stuff, and I keep expecting to hear Peter Gabriel pipe up.

9 PM, Wild Hare ($10, 21+)

EMELINE MICHEL

On her most recent album, Cordes et ame (Production Cheval de Feu), Montreal-based Haitian expat Emeline Michel incorporates styles she grew up with--such as the merenguelike compas and the frantic rara--into decidedly adult acoustic music. Her voice is arrestingly beautiful on the numerous ballads, and her phrasing reveals her early jazz training in the U.S., but too often the subdued rhythms are tarted up with wine-and-cheesy guitar and piano figures. In an interview on her Web site, she goes into some detail about how she extricated herself from a Sony deal when it became apparent that they wanted her to sound like Wyclef Jean, but during the album's lone English-language cut--an unbelievably torpid slow jam called "Shane"--it's hard to see the artistic integrity in the gesture.

10 PM, Metro ($10, 18+)

yNORTEC

COLLECTIVE

The reach of electronic dance music seems limitless, and considering Tijuana's proximity to San Diego, it's no surprise that the city's clubs have been chockablock with the jacked-up beats for years. Yet while techno may be a universal language, not everyone speaks it well; on the Tijuana duo Fussible's 1999 album, Fono (Opcion Sonica), squelchy bleeps and squiggles and shuffling drum sounds are strewn about like the detritus of an American rave circa 1990. Around the time Fono was released, though, Fussible's Pepe Mogt hit upon something that would not only transform his music but put the Tijuana scene on the map. Like most of his techno-loving pals, Mogt had little use for popular Mexican styles like norteno and banda (norteno, known in its north of the border incarnation as Tex-Mex, sets topical lyrics to pumping polka-style accordion, while banda uses blaring brass to similar effect; if you've spent an hour on a sidewalk in Pilsen, you've heard both). Looking for a snare drum sound to sample, he was digging through a Tijuana recording studio's collection of rehearsal tapes--mostly by obscure norteno and banda groups--when inspiration struck. He passed out a few of the tapes to his DJ buddies, asking them to use whatever he'd handed them as raw material for new tracks. Within days a new genre, nortec--a contraction of "norteno" and "techno"--was born. Far from stopping at a single drum sample, Mogt and his friends mixed in massive tuba puffs, rocking accordion, and punchy brass riffs with their own concise synth melodies and relentless club beats. A superb compilation released earlier this year, The Tijuana Sessions Vol. 1 (Palm Pictures), introduced the phenomenon to audiences north of the border with work from seven acts in the Nortec Collective. Two of them, Fussible and Terrestre, debuted in Chicago last month, filling the dance floor at HotHouse. More of the crew is slated to show up for this gig.

DR. ISRAEL & SEVEN

As heard on his new Black Rose Liberation (Baraka Foundation), Brooklyn singer and producer Dr. Israel brings the idea of the reggae sound system into the present, replacing the DJ with a full band and cramming modern rhythmic influences into the mix. Leading a crew of vocalists, both MCs and singers, he spouts intense frustration with institutionalized racism and the prison-industrial complex over tough grooves that smoothly shuffle dancehall, roots reggae, hip-hop, rock, and jungle.

10 PM Smart Bar ($10, 21+)

MATTHIAS (MATTY) HEILBRONN

This German-born house DJ and producer has lived in New York since 1989, when he was offered an internship there by legendary dance producer Francois Kevorkian.

LADY D

A founding member of the female DJ crew Superjane, Lady D has been a scene fixture for the last five years. On last year's mix CD, Naked Kaleidoscope (Afterhours/Strictly Hype), she favors a chilled-out, soul-soaked strain of Chicago house.

10 AM, University of Chicago, Midway Plaisance

ESCHIKAGOU

INDIAN POWWOW

This event, organized by the same folks who put on the giant annual Gathering of Nations at the University of New Mexico, will feature Native American dancers, drummers, singers, storytellers, and artisans from around the country. The festivities begin with a procession of dancers carrying American and tribal flags.

Noon, Welles Park

NATIVE AMERICAN EQUINOX

CELEBRATION

See September 21 entry.

1 PM, Field Museum

(free with museum admission)

yTARIKA

Tarika, Madagascar's most popular musical export, has spent most of the last decade blending styles from around the island into an accessible strain of Malagasy pop. But for the group's new Soul Makassar (Triloka), bandleader Hanitra Rasoanaivo went on something of a pilgrimage. Although it's widely considered part of Africa, Madagascar was settled some 1,500 years ago by people of Malayo-Polynesian origin; inspired by a TV documentary about the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, Rasoanaivo decided to spend a month there, studying cultural connections and writing songs. The bulk of the recording was made in London with producer Sabah Habas Mustapha of the popular world-fusion band 3 Mustaphas 3. The group then traveled to Indonesia, where a raft of session musicians known as the Jugala All Stars overdubbed additional parts. For all that effort, the album doesn't sound that different from Tarika's previous work. Most songs are dominated by the close vocal harmonies of Rasoanaivo and her sister Noro and bubbling grooves played on guitar, the tubular zither called the valiha, and the mandolinlike kabosy--though "Madindo," which features some bizarre Indonesian rapping, does prove a fascinating fusion of Malagasy and Indonesian colors and sounds. The album also includes a lovely cover of the Ronettes classic "Be My Baby," which the group learned from a 60s recording by the Malagasy pop group Les Surfs.

2 PM, Burnham Skate Park

yNORTEC

COLLECTIVE

See September 21 entry.

MAZI

Mazi Namvar has been spinning house music for more than a decade, and since he started producing his own material in 1995 he's released nearly 150 records. Both on his own tracks--under a host of monikers, including Audio Soul Project and Studio Nova as well as Mazi--and on remixes for the likes of Marshall Jefferson or Richard "Humpty" Vission, his trademark grooves are austere but high-energy. The British label NRK will release Community, his first full-length of original music, in November.

3 PM, Borders Books & Music

on Michigan

ySIMON SHAHEEN

See below. This performance features a few members of his band Qantara.

3 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center ($8)

yYAT-KHA

For many years Tuvan throat singer Albert Kuvezin was far more interested in the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix than in the singular folk music he grew up with. But as a teenager in the Soviet Union, he wasn't always able to obtain or play rock music, and when he finished high school he discovered a new appreciation for Tuva's native traditions. While studying music in Kyzyl, the republic's capital, he heard a connection between overtone singing and the blues--something the American bluesman Paul Pena, the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary Genghis Blues, would notice several years later. Kuvezin began touring the USSR in state-sponsored pop, rock, and traditional music groups, all the while formulating a fusion of his own. After Gorbachev launched his reforms, Kuvezin moved to Moscow to gain greater access to the new sounds that were flooding the country, and there he put together the first version of Yat-Kha as a Tuvan-techno act. The group performed at a 1990 music festival in Kazakhstan for an international audience that included Brian Eno and great folk-rock producer Joe Boyd, and eventually parlayed the exposure into gigs in Europe, moving toward a more rocklike sound that blended nicely with the countrylike twang of Tuvan music. (Early in the decade Kuvezin also cofounded the Tuvan folkloric group Huun-Huur-Tu.) The band's latest album, Aldyn Dashka--recorded in 1999 and released on Yat-Kha's own label after the BMG subsidiary Wicklow folded--is its best yet, a brilliant demonstration of how to bolster, rather than obliterate, a traditional form with rock. Radik Tiuliush adds a number of Tuvan stringed instruments, Makhmud Skripaltschchikov plays bass, and Kuvezin plays electric guitar and throat sings in the rare kanzat style--an impossibly low rumble that makes the deep chanting of Tibetan monks sound like a falsetto. Young female singer Sailyk Ommun, who's not on the album, will join the group live. Yat-Kha will perform their songs at the Old Town School on September 23, but at this performance they'll play a largely improvised sound track to the 1928 Soviet silent film

Storm Over Asia (see film listings for more information).

3 PM, the Hideout ($10)

DR. ISRAEL & SEVEN

See September 21 entry. Admission covers the venue's annual all-ages block party; also performing are New Pornographers, the Baldwin Brothers, Bare Jr., Kelly Hogan, Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel, and Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire. Proceeds benefit Lawrence Hall Youth Services and PLAY, an organization that provides creative outlets to teens who've been exposed to abuse or other violence.

4 PM, Adler Planetarium

HOLY GOAT

PERCUSSION

A drum circle led by djembe player and teacher Michael J. Taylor, owner of the Holy Goat Percussion shop in Oak Park.

5 PM, American indian center

NATIVE AMERICAN EQUINOX

CELEBRATION

See September 21 entry. This is an artist reception.

PM, Harold Washington Library Center ($10)

KALAPRIYA DANCE COMPANY

Kalapriya is a critically acclaimed Indian classical dance company based in Chicago. This performance will fuse two distinct dance styles: bharatanatyam, from the southern part of India, and kathak, from the north. The dancers will be accompanied by three Indian classical musicians--vocalist O.S. Sudha, mridangam player Bejjanaki Krishna, and flutist G. Raghuraman--and local tabla player Ben Harbert.

9 PM, Abbey Pub ($10, 21+)

yTOMMY PEOPLES & SEAN TYRRELL

A pair of living legends from the Irish folk scene, fiddler Tommy Peoples and singer Sean Tyrrell predate the Celtic fad spurred by dreck like Riverdance. The enigmatic Peoples has rarely recorded or toured in the past 25 years, but what documentation there is reveals astonishing technique and personality. His soulful melodies are surprising, his tone is appealingly gritty, and his intervalic leaps can be downright mind-blowing. Tyrrell actually has a rather unspectacular voice, but he makes the most of it, and over the years he's taken on some ambitious song projects, including setting The Midnight Court, a 1,026-line epic poem by the 18th-century bard Brian Merriman, to traditional music.

9 PM, HotHouse ($10)

yTARIKA

See above.

EMELINE MICHEL

See September 21 entry.

9 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music ($10)

MARY YOUNGBLOOD

Sacramento's Mary Youngblood, who is half Aleut and half Seminole, has been playing the flute for more than a quarter century and is widely considered the first female Native American to go pro on her instrument. Her second album won a Nammy (Native American Music Award) for best New Age album last year.

WADE FERNANDEZ

Wade Fernandez (aka Wiciwen Apis-Mahwaew) is a member of the Menominee Indian nation and was raised on its reservation in Wisconsin. A few of the tunes on his recent album, Wiciwen Apis-Mahwaew, address environmental and racial concerns encountered by his tribe, and he includes one percussion-and-chant piece, but otherwise his music is low-key melodic folk-rock.

10 PM, Symphony Center

ySIMON SHAHEEN

& QANTARA

Palestinian oud and violin virtuoso Simon Shaheen received rigorous training in classical Arabic music before he moved to New York in 1980, where he continued his education at the Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University. His command of Arabic music is evidenced by his early-90s albums Taqasim (a series of improvised duets with Ali Jihad Racy, who plays the long-necked lute called the buzuq, popular with Middle Eastern Gypsies), the Bill Laswell-produced The Music of Mohamed Abdel Wahab (an orchestral survey of the great Egyptian composer's work), and Turath (a small-ensemble collection of Ottoman and traditional Egyptian works). But he's also recorded with Indian classical guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, jazz composer Henry Threadgill, and Latin pop singer Soraya, and the project he's most invested in these days is Qantara, which attempts to fuse Arabic and Latin music, jazz, and Western classical. The group's recent debut album, Blue Flame (Ark21), is a mixed bag. A cover of the Police tune "Tea in the Sahara" (Shaheen's label is owned by Miles Copeland, former Police manager and Stewart Copeland's brother) is a bit of manipulative cross marketing that sinks under its own gloppy weight, and "Silk Tears," cowritten with flamenco-loving former Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens, similarly suffers from schmaltz. The ambitious "Fantasie for Oud & String Quartet" tries to augment six measures from the final composition of Abdel Wahab with a European string section, and the blend sounds forced. But the album actually succeeds far more than it fails--especially on the tunes that embrace the leader's Arabic roots. This performance is part of Symphony Center's 13-hour Day of Music.

10 PM, Empty Bottle ($10, 21+)

DR. ISRAEL & SEVEN

See September 21 entry.

YOUNGBLOOD

BRASS BAND

Over the past decade the New Orleans brass band tradition has increasingly collided with hip-hop. The Rebirth Brass Band now collaborates with MCs and incorporates breakbeats into its usual hard-charging second-line grooves, and Coolbone has made the fusion of brass and beats its raison d'etre. Madison, Wisconsin, seems like a strange place for this fusion to take off, but that's where the Youngblood Brass Band is from. On its self-released Unlearn the group collaborates with Black Star's Talib Kweli, hip-hop oddball Mike Ladd, and onetime Frank Zappa vocalist Ike Willis, but most of the time the horns just blow their hearts out over the Ahmir Thompson-esque drumming of Moses and D-Cipher, who together create looplike grooves that splice classic breakbeats with second line rhythms and Afro-Cuban accents. Bandleader the Warrior is superb on sousaphone, laying down funky bass patterns and simulating DJ scratches with his unwieldy ax, but when all eight members blare through the tight charts things get a bit soft, and at times the group sounds more like a good collegiate marching band--shades of Maynard and Doc--than a gritty N'awlins funk outfit.

yMOLEMEN

Earlier this year this veteran local crew finally served notice to the underground hip-hop world with its stripped-down debut album, Ritual of the ... The Molemen are nominally led by three top-flight producers, including rising star His-Panik, and feature half a dozen regular MCs, but the album also showcased other local MCs--eloquent freestyler Juice, ferocious barker Meta-Mo from Rubberoom, and no-nonsense fundamentalist Rhymefest. National figures like Slug, Rasco, Aesop Rock, and MF Doom made cameos too, but at heart the album's about Chicago hip-hop artists going back to the basics and finding plenty of life there yet.

10 AM, University of Chicago, Midway Plaisance

ESCHIKAGOU

INDIAN POWWOW

See September 22 entry.

1 PM, Garfield Park Conservatory

yJOAQUIN DIAZ

The roots of merengue are more interesting than its lowest common denominator--performed by hyperactive and scantily clad singers in tacky nightclubs--might lead you to believe. Montreal-based Dominican expat Joaquin Diaz plays the merengue in its old-fashioned form, stripped down to the rapid-fire rhythm, a lattice of grooves with unfailing accents on the one and the three. Three-fifths of his group are percussionists: one on congas, one on tambora, and one on guira--which accounts for that inescapable scraping sound. A bassist holds down the pulse, and Diaz steps out front with maniacal accordion--once a staple in merengue, but now usually replaced by horns and keyboards. In Diaz's hands merengue is hard-core stuff, an exhilarating polyrhythmic ride on a runaway train.

2 PM, Borders Books & Music on Michigan

GORAN IVANOVIC & FAREED HAQUE

See September 21 entry.

2 PM, Gene Siskel Film Center ($8)

yYAT-KHA

See September 22 entry.

3 PM, Chicago Cultural Center

yURNA

CHAHAR-TUGCHI

Urna Chahar-Tugchi, the daughter of Inner Mongolian farmers, isn't a throat singer, but the gorgeous music on her Hodood (Oriente) is similar to what Tuvan music you may have heard--the airy tunes are marked by vocals that pierce as much as they soothe. But the melodies also have the delicate quality of Chinese folk music--Chahar-Tugchi studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, focusing on the yangqin (a Chinese dulcimer). On recordings she's backed by her husband, German ethnomusicologist Robert Zollitsch, who plays a Bavarian zither and occasionally contributes throat-singing-style harmonies; the instrumentation is fleshed out by sheng (a Chinese mouth organ made up of 37 reeds in bamboo tubes) and cello. Here, I've been told, the accompaniment will involve button accordion and percussion.

3 PM, 57th Street Children's Book Fair

yRUP TUNG CACK

Rup Tung Cack, which translates as "the voice of the drums," is a traditional Vietnamese group led by Dung Huu Nguyen, who also leads Phu Dong, a Hanoi-based modern folk group. The seven members play an orchestra's worth of exotic instruments--among them dan da (a stone xylophone thought to be the world's second-oldest instrument), dan bau (a single-stringed instrument that eerily mimics the human voice), dan tam thap luc (a 36-string zither), dan tu (a four-string guitar), dan t'rung (a vertical bamboo xylophone), and dan nhi (a two-string violin)--in both traditional material and accessible original compositions that draw upon ancient traditions.

7 PM, Museum of Contemporary Art ($10)

yTARIKA

See September 22 entry.

7 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music ($10)

yYAT-KHA

See September 22 entry.

7 PM, Abbey Pub ($10, 21+)

MARK SHEEHY

After discovering punk in college, Mark Sheehy played in a couple moderately popular rock bands--the 60s-style garage outfit the Sapphires and the considerably noisier Scarecrow--then got bored with the whole rigamrole and joined the Peace Corps. Recently, though, he's returned to music as a countrified folk rocker.

ANNIKA BENTLEY

Singer-songwriter Annika Bentley, from Rochester, New York, subscribes to Ani DiFranco's DIY business model, but in the chamber-folk trio she leads, in which she plays piano and her mother, Kathleen Fraser, plays bass, her model would seem to be Tori Amos--same swooping melodrama, same roller-coaster sense of rhythm.

PM, HotHouse ($10)

yJOAQUIN DIAZ

See above.

AZUKAR

Fronted by Venezuelan percussionist Javier Gonzalez, this Chicago tentet plays timba--the funked-up Afro-Cuban pop style that's currently all the rage in Cuba. Its repertoire includes original compositions as well as songs by pioneering timba groups like Charanga Habanera and NG La Banda.

Noon, Daley Center

yJOAQUIN DIAZ

See September 23 entry.

12:30 PM, Borders Books & Music on State

ILGI

See below.

12:30 PM, Museum of Broadcast Communications

yRUP TUNG CACK

See September 23 entry.

6 PM, Harper Court

ILGI

Ilgi, a prime mover in the Latvian folk revival, formed in 1981--when embracing one's ethnic identity wasn't too cool with the Soviet brass. The musicians sought out their elders to collect songs, and while their early work was to celebrate their hidden culture, eventually that material became grist for the mill. Two decades later Latvia is independent, and Ilgi's repertoire now features as many rock-charged originals as traditional tunes. In the scant performances I've heard of what seems to be the dominant Latvian trad song form, the short and prosaic daina, the rhythms are rather plodding, so the rock grooves added by drummer Mikus Cavarts on Ilgi's most recent album, Seju Veju (UPE), bring welcome dynamic variety. Bandleader Ilgi Reizniece sings in excited interlocking patterns with his bandmates, who play native instruments like the kokles (a Baltic zither) and the dudas (bagpipes made from sheep, dog, or seal stomachs) as well as violin, guitars, accordion, and percussion.

7 PM, HotHouse ($10)

SLAVEK HANZLIK

& GROOVY LIX

INTERNATIONAL

In the past Czech bluegrass guitarist Slavek Hanzlik has enlisted some of the music's heaviest pickers--including Bela Fleck, Tim O'Brien, and Jerry Douglas--but he sounds more at home with his new band, the Groovy Lix, with Czech bassist Martin Zpevak, Slovakian fiddler Stano Paluch, and Chicago banjoist Noam Pikelny. For the most part they stick to boilerplate bluegrass, playing classics and Hanzlik originals, but things get a bit more exciting when they tackle Gypsy tunes.

TAMBURICA

ORCHESTRA

7 PM, Storefront Theater ($10)

yURNA

chahar-tugchi

See September 23 entry.

10 PM, Smart Bar ($6, 21+)

T.S. SOUNDZ

The local duo T.S. Soundz have built an international reputation for their euphoric house-driven remixes of Indian film music, but last year they released their first album of original material, Typhoon Asha (Novo). Compared with the ambitiously inclusive fusion of, say, Talvin Singh, it sounds rather primitive--vaguely ethnic techno grooves layered with Indian vocal snippets and the occasional loop of Punjabi percussion. Here they'll be DJing.

DJ WARP

Brian Keigher, aka DJ Warp, is just as likely to spin experimental electronica as jacked-up world music. He also plays tabla, and for this set he plans on dropping in some live beats, a la Talvin Singh.

DJ RADIO HIRO

Two anonymous DJs--one from Tokyo and one from Chicago--spin a mix of Bollywood and Indian classical music and original tracks influenced by drum 'n' bass and dub.

yDJ REKHA

New York's Rekha Malhotra has been a crucial conduit in the spread of England's Asian dance underground in the U.S. As a concert promoter and the organizer of several regular dance parties since the mid-90s, she's paved the way for mainstream acceptance of bhangra and Bollywood remixers like Bally Sagoo and envelope pushers like the Asian Dub Foundation and (yup) Talvin Singh.

Noon, Daley Center

yRUP TUNG CACK

See September 23 entry.

12:30 PM, Borders Books & Music on State

SLAVEK HANZLIK

& GROOVY LIX

INTERNATIONAL

See September 24 entry.

12:30 PM, Museum of Broadcast Communications

MUTABARUKA

Mutabaruka, born Allen Hope, was already an established poet when he began setting his dense political poetry to music in the mid-70s. In the early 80s, as hip-hop's cousin dancehall rose to prominence, he released his debut, Check It! (Alligator), where his heavy words were backed by a heavy roots-reggae band. His 90s work, as heard on 1996's The Ultimate Collection (Shanachie), isn't quite as powerful, but his elocution has lost little of its magnetism. His words may not mesh as well with the musical backing as those of, say, British dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson, but his solo readings project a musicality that requires no instruments. This performance is one of those; in later performances he'll be joined by his group, the Skool Band.

SHANKAR, ZAKIR HUSSAIN, VIKKU VINAYAKRAM,

GINGGER

See below.

6 PM, Harper Court

MUTABARUKA &

THE SKOOL BAND

See above.

7 PM, Chicago Cultural Center

SHANKAR, ZAKIR HUSSAIN, VIKKU VINAYAKRAM,

GINGGER

The four members of this group--a sort of supergroup of envelope pushers in Indian classical music--have collaborated with Frank Zappa, Peter Gabriel, Yoko Ono, Van Morrison, Tito Puente, John McLaughlin, Mickey Hart, Joe Henderson, and Bruce Springsteen. Though this concert will hew more closely to the tradition they were all trained in, it won't be traditional: Tabla master Zakir Hussain and Vikku Vinayakram, who plays the ghatam (a clay water pot tuned by firing), both exhibit rigorously refined technique and improvisational instincts; Shankar and Gingger both play a type of electric double-necked violin that Shankar designed to extend the instrument's lower and upper ranges. When they all come together, they tend to get flashy fast, climbing into one high-flying climax after another. Really, it's a Westerner's ideal introduction to Indian music: audiences here aren't bred with the patience to wait out the slow-moving development in more formal performances.

7 PM, HotHouse ($10)

GORAN IVANOVIC & FAREED HAQUE

See September 21 entry.

PAULINHO GARCIA & GRAZYNA AUGUSCIK

This Chicago duo's a melting pot unto itself: on last year's Fragile (GMA), Brazilian-born singer-guitarist Paulinho Garcia and broad-minded Polish-born jazz singer Grazyna Auguscik delivered a pleasant set of bossa nova. Their renditions of classic material by Milton Nascimento, Baden Powell, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Edu Lobo, and others won't cause you to toss out your Joao and Astrud Gilberto recordings, but they ain't bad.

7:30 PM, Chopin Theatre ($7)

PAPIUMBA BIG BAND

Jamaica's Papiumba Big Band is actually just a duo: poet and percussionist Michael "Mbala" Bailey and wind player Hugh "Papi" Pape. Their work harks back to the black consciousness movement and free jazz of the 60s.

LIVITY

NYAHBINGHI CHOIR

Named after the nyahbinghi drums, used in Rastafarian rituals, this local percussion-oriented group focuses primarily on traditional drumming and chanting, but also flavors its music with bits of roots reggae and dub.

12:30 PM, Borders Books & Music on State

yRUP TUNG CACK

See September 23 entry.

7 PM, Museum of Contemporary Art ($10)

yBLACK UMFOLOSI

This Zimbabwean ensemble sings in a Zulu a cappella style very similar to that popularized by South African stars Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and performs both elaborate traditional dances and more contemporary ones.

CHICAGO PRAISE ENSEMBLE

This local gospel outfit, founded in 1991 by the Reverend Calvin Bridges, will perform an a cappella set of spirituals and gospel.

7 PM, HotHouse ($10)

ECLIPSE

Trumpeter Basilio Marquez, who's worked with the island's Latin-jazz juggernaut Irakere since 1996, fronts this Cuban septet. The band's repertoire comprises Afro-Cuban originals and bebop classics.

ORQUESTA LITIRA

7:30 PM, Chopin Theatre ($7, $5 for Guild Complex members)

MUTABARUKA &

THE SKOOL BAND

See September 25 entry.

yALL NATURAL

This year the Chicago hip-hop duo All Natural released Second Nature (Thrill Jockey), a potentially career-making album. Aided by some of the city's finest producers--His-Panik and Memo (both of the Molemen) and G(riot)--Capital D and Tone B. Nimble hit on a hot mix of moody, soulful grooves, killer beats, and deep lyrics. Capital D's superb, intelligent raps steer clear of both hip-hop's usual hollow boasts and nonchalant negativity and the goody-goody alt-rap style of groups like Arrested Development. In the midst of making the album he converted to Islam; he ended up editing out lines that didn't sit well with his new faith, although his beliefs don't clutter the record with preachiness. Since his conversion Capital D has made the limiting choice not to perform in venues where alcohol and tobacco are consumed, so this is only All Natural's second local gig since the album was released in the spring.

CHERRY NATURAL

Aka Jamaican dub poet Marcia A. Wedderburn. Bad poetry is bad poetry, whether it's on the page or recited over preprogrammed reggae grooves.

Noon, Daley Center

ECLIPSE

See September 26 entry.

12:30 PM, Museum of Broadcast Communications

BLACK UMFOLOSI

See September 26 entry.

2 PM, Field Museum ($10, $8 for Field Museum members)

NGO THANH NHAN

6:30 PM, Field Museum ($10, $8 for Field Museum members)

WORLD OF WORDS: JOHN BALABAN, NGO THANH NHAN

7 PM, HotHouse ($10)

yBLACK UMFOLOSI

See September 26 entry.

BLACK EARTH

ENSEMBLE

Flutist and composer Nicole Mitchell is one of the most active and promising young members of the venerable Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. Earlier this year she released her first album as a leader, Vision Quest (Dreamtime), and it's as original as it is pretty. Her playing is rhythmically fluent and melodically potent--and, delightfully, never florid. With Savoir Faire and Edith Yokley on violins and viola, she weaves hypnotic lines that glide and collide with warm, imperturbable grooves carved out by drummer Hamid Drake, percussionist Avreeayl Ra, and bassist Darius Savage. The compositions really move, but they never fall into predictable patterns, thanks in part to subtle African polyrhythms that create good tension with the gentle but steely timbres of the front line.

7 PM, DuSable Museum ($5)

ECLIPSE

See September 26 entry.

9 PM, HotHouse ($10)

yELY GUERRA

Ely Guerra is one of the most original and arresting musicians Mexico has produced since the late 80s, when Spanish-language rock bands began turning to native traditions for inspiration. Her most recent album, the gorgeous Lotofire (EMI, 1999), has inexplicably failed to see release in the U.S., even though it was recorded in New York with a raft of well-known musicians, including guitarists Marc Ribot and Chris Whitley, bassists Melvin Gibbs and Greg Cohen, and violinist Eyvind Kang. The fire of Mexican bolero flickers within Guerra's cool, breathy singing, which reflects the rhythmically breezy Brazilian pop music she grew up with--her father was a professional soccer player and discovered the music through his teammates. Both on record and live (I saw her perform in March at South by Southwest) Guerra likes to keep things at a slow simmer. Beats both acoustic and programmed and subtle electric guitar filigree drop in and out of the mix, making the moments at which she chooses to raise the intensity all the more effective. But her sense of dynamics is far more sophisticated than the Nirvana-esque soft-loud game, with every piece of the instrumentation meticulously arranged to give the impression that the music emanates from her rising and falling emotions. Her songs are filled with surprises, like the way the phrase "lonely nights, lonely nights" appears out of the blue to ride the pretty, slow-drag funk on "Tengo frio" home, or the shift from big rock drumming to shuffling drum 'n' bass-like beats on "Abusar." If an American record company ever gets smart enough to release her music, Guerra will have

as much potential as anyone to test how big of a hurdle language really poses

for the pop audience.

CHICAGO SAMBA

Close your eyes when Chicago Samba plays highly percussive Carnaval music and you may find yourself transported to sunny Rio. But when the group attempts more lyrical styles like bossa nova or forro, it'll take you no further than the lounge of the O'Hare Hilton.

9 PM, the Hideout ($8, 21+)

ILGI

See September 24 entry. Also on the bill are two local rock bands, Land of the El Caminos and the Dorks.

Noon, Museum of Science and Industry

ILGI

See September 24 entry.

4 PM, Borders Books & Music on Clark

yELY GUERRA

See September 28 entry.

7:30 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music ($10)

ILGI

See September 24 entry.

SLAVEK HANZLIK

& GROOVY LIX

INTERNATIONAL

See September 24 entry.

PM, HotHouse ($10)

FUNKADESI

This popular local 11-piece band aims to please all of the people all of the time with a mix of basic Latin rhythms, slick funk accents, Jah-love sentiment, and a variety of watered-down Indian elements.

10 PM, Empty Bottle ($10, 21+)

yELY GUERRA

See September 28 entry.

ETERNALS

The trio of singer and keyboardist Damon Locks, bassist Wayne Montana, and drummer Dan Fliegel has been confounding local audiences for four years with its genre-defying sound, a strange clash of motion and stillness. The group's eponymously titled debut last year captured it at its most enigmatic: over deep bass grooves, creatively propulsive percussion, and catchy but noisy keyboard riffs, Locks sets up tensions both rhythmic (as on "Billions of People," where his run-on phrasing phases in and out of sync with the groove) and melodic (on "Feverous Times," where he sounds like a Shirley Bassey impersonator). Their careful selection of ingredients and the way they maximize their choices bring the Eternals' music far closer to hip-hop and dancehall than the dubby indie punk Locks and Montana played in the last days of their former band, Trenchmouth.

4 PM, HotHouse

Azucena Vega

A 12-member flamenco dance group based in Chicago.

7 PM, HotHouse

Hot Domingos

David Hernandez & Street Sounds are featured in this program of poetry and Latin percussion.

10 PM, HotHouse

Arabique

After Party With DJ Red Lox

Add a comment