Chicago, Illinois, USA – Five acclaimed vocalists sing
the international language of love as part of Love Songs of the World on
Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005 at 6 p.m. in Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago
Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street. Featured artists in this stellar
line-up are Baimei,
Issa Boulos, Paulinho Garcia, Michaela Marchi and Joe
Reilly, and Bobbi Wilsyn. Their diverse repertoire of contemporary and
traditionally inspired music includes Brazilian bossa nova, Arab maqam, Chinese
pop, American Indian blues and African American jazz.Beimei is an internationally acclaimed vocalist and
songwriter from China. In Chicago, Baimei has hosted a TV music show and
anchored the news for Chinese Television. She recorded original songs for the
Museum of Contemporary Art audio presentation “Divided We Stand” and has
performed locally at the Park West. A graduate of China’s National Institute of
Traditional Performing Arts in Beijing and DePaul University, she has extensive
training in both vocal music and opera.
Issa Boulos is a Palestinian ‘ud player, singer,
composer and teacher who is trained in singing Arab classical maqam repertoire. His recent work is a blend of tradition and innovation that incorporates Western
musical practices with Palestinian sensibility. Boulos has composed hundreds of
instrumental and vocal pieces and performs regularly. He is currently a lecturer
at the University of Chicago and director of its Middle East Ensemble.
Paulinho Garcia was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and
began his musical career at the age of nine as a singer. Since his 1979 arrival
in the U.S., Garcia has performed and recorded two albums with the band Made in Brazil, and currently performs with his own band
Jazzmineiro, and with saxophonist Greg Fishman (Two for Brazil) and singer
Grazyna Auguscik. He is the recipient of the 2001 “Best Jazz Entertainer Award” by the Chicago Music Awards.
Michaela Marchi began her formal artistic training at
the age of 14 at the Chicago Academy for the Arts focusing on voice performance,
piano and composition. In college, she specialized in ethnomusicology, language systems and education. Marchi is of Italian,
Filipina and Isleta Pueblo heritage and performs regularly as a vocalist in
various genres including opera, jazz, R&B, musical theater, blues, alternative folk and world fusion.
Joe Reilly has been performing and collaborating on
creative projects for the past year with Michaela Marchi. Reilly is of Italian,
Cherokee and Irish American heritage and has been playing guitar since age 14. His repertoire as a singer/songwriter includes blues, folk, rock and traditional
Native American singing with the drum group Treetown.
Bobbi Wilsyn is a veteran Chicago vocalist known for her
glamour and ultra polished vocal style. Her versatility as a singer and
entertainer comes from nearly 25 years performing for all occasions in various Chicago clubs, churches and concert halls. After
touring with Milt Trenier in the ’70s, she settled in Chicago where she
currently is an artist-in-residence on the music faculty of Columbia College and
regularly performs with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. She
also performs with her all-female jazz combo She and the contemporary jazz
group, Bobbi Wilsyn & Co. She will be accompanied by Miguel de la Cerna on
piano and Jim Cox on bass.
Love Songs of the World is part of the MVP Series:
Multicultural Voices and Perspectives presented by the Chicago Department of
Cultural Affairs, the American Indian Center; Arts Council, Arab American Action
Network; Center for Asian Arts and Media, Columbia College; Center for Cultural
Understanding and Change, Field Museum; Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and
Culture, and the Gamaliel Foundation. The MVP Series primary purpose is to
present multicultural arts programs to foster better cross-cultural
understanding and exchange.
[Photo: Issa Boulos].
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.