Taj Weekes - Photo by Try Ting

Old Town School of Folk Music Announces World Music Wednesdays Schedule for Summer 2009

Taj Weekes - Photo by Try Ting
Taj Weekes – Photo by Try Ting
World Music Wednesdays replaces the previous format of Old Town School of Folk Music’s Peña, Afrofolk, and World Music Series by presenting music of all of these genres in each three-month series. The series will run all year round. This unique series is a free community series that explores the rich diversity that exists in the Chicago community. This series will present music, dance and culture of Africa, Europe, Asia, The Middle East and The Americas.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009, 8:30pm – 10:30pm

Miguel Medina and Juan Carlos Del Rio (Trovadores- Traditional country music from Puerto Rico)

Miguel Medina and Juan Carlos del Rio are Trovadores from Jayuya, Puerto Rico who specialize in the inspirational style of singing and music that comes from the Puerto Rican countryside or Jíbaro tradition. The music is accompanied by the cuatro, Puerto Rico’s national instrument. This uniquely Puerto Rican experience is produced in partnership with the Puerto Rican Parade Committee of Chicago and PRPC President Edwin Cardona.

The artists will offer a Jíbaro workshop in the Thursday Workshop Series

Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 8:30pm – 10:30pm

Boukman Eksperyans (Haitian dance music)

Boukman Eksperyans is undeniably one of the Haiti’s most revered and well-known bands. Beginning with their Grammy nominated debut album Vodou Adjae in the late 80’s, Boukman’s unique style of high-energy fusion of traditional Haitian and Caribbean rhythms with rock and reggae has made them a force on the international scene. Their social activism made them the spokesman for the common Haitian and forced them to live and record in exile in the early 90’s. Boukman Eksperyans continues to produce widely acclaimed albums and tour the world with their unique style and socially conscious message.

The artists will offer a workshop in the Thursday Workshop Series

Wednesday, July 15, 2009, 8:30pm – 10:30pm

Los Maestros del Joropo Oriental (Venezuelan Joropo)

Join us for this special presentation of typical music from Eastern Venezuela. The "Joropo" is a style of music played in the plains area that is shared by Venezuela and Colombia. Joropo Oriental is a rare Venezuelan version of the genre that is characterized by an improvisational style of singing, a variety of stringed instruments such as the bandola, mandolin, guitar and cuatro plus a regionally distinct style of maraca that provides the only percussive element. This group represents the masters of this endangered Venezuelan art form. This program is made possible by the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

A Joropo workshop will be offered in the Thursday Workshop Series

Wednesday, July 22, 2009, 8:30pm – 10:30pm

Taj Weekes and Adowa (St. Lucia)

Taj Weekes is a superb roots reggae artist from the small Caribbean island of St. Lucia who formed his group Adowa in New York City and has since released two critically acclaimed albums; Hope and Doubt and Deidem. Weekes sings assuredly and soulfully for the voiceless and the oppressed and has become a true cultural ambassador for the Caribbean. A poet and humanitarian steeped in Rastafari, Taj Weekes is a positive force whose nonprofit, They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO) has gained international attention for its work with disadvantaged children.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009, 8:30pm – 10:30pm

Megitza Quartet and Siumni (Polish/World)

Megitza Quartet is a Chicago based band formed by vocalist/bassist Malgorzata Babiarz, that is quickly gaining traction all over the city. Malgorzata’s singing and compositions reflect her Polish Highlander background while the diverse background of the other musicians offer an extraordinary fusion of the music of Poland, Roma, Greece, Italy, Ireland and the United States.

Siumni is a traditional Polish Highlanders’ music and dance group that will give audiences a true dose of Polish Tatra Mountains tradition. They are a group of skilled and dedicated dancers, singers and musicians who present traditional music, song and dance from Poland’s Highlands. The Ensemble performs throughout U.S. and presents vibrant programs for concerts, festivals and special events.

A Polish dance workshop with the artists is offered in the Thursday Workshop Series.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009, 8:30pm – 10:30pm

Alex Cuba (Cuba/Canada)

Alex Cuba is an outstanding Cuban musician who immersed himself in guitar, tres, percussion and bass as a teenager and went on to play bass with traditional Cuban artists recording and touring extensively. He fully discovered his extraordinary capacity as a singer/songwriter after moving to Canada. After recording an award-winning album with his twin brother (vocalist Adonis Puentes), he broke out of the Cuban mold to create a son-rock-soul style that is all his own. His releases Humo de Tabaco and Agua del Pozo both earned Juno awards for Best World Music Album and charted heavily on iTunes. Alex Cuba returns to Chicago after sold out shows in the 2008 World Music Festival and a stellar performance at the House of Blues in April.

Alex Cuba will give a workshop in the Thursday Workshop Series.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009, 9:30pm – 11:30pm

Don Fallo and Son Candela (Mexican Son Jarocho)

Rafael Figueroa Alaves known as Don Fallo has been an important creative force in the development of contemporary Son Jarocho. Both as a member of Grupo Siquisirí and as a solo artist, Don Fallo has impacted the vibrant genre incorporating the acoustic bass in this musical tradition. Don Fallo returns to the U.S. for a brief tour and makes his debut performance in Chicago on the stage of the Old Town School.

Special thanks to the Consulate General of Mexico for their financial assistance with this event.

A Son Jarocho workshop with the artists is offered in the Thursday Workshop Series.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009, 8:30pm – 10:30pm

The D-O-3-0 Featuring Justin Dillard and Art "Turk" Burton & Conga Square (Jazz)

The Old Town School of Folk Music in partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and the Jazz Institute of Chicago presents a stellar night of jazz with two formidable Chicago acts. Justin Dillard is a jazz organist who has been a mainstay in the Chicago Jazz scene performing with a myriad of artists and garnering the attention of our city’s top critics. "A new generation of jazz improvisers has emerged in Chicago in recent years, but few are more promising than pianist/organist Justin Dillard" – Howard Reich – Chicago Tribune.

Master percussionist, Art "Turk" Burton presents his tribute to the legendary Conga Square credited by many as the birthplace of jazz. Burton’s career in Chicago spans two decades and has been featured in many prominent jazz outfits including the AACM Great Black Music Ensemble.

This show is part of the Jazz Institute’s 26th Annual Jazz Club Tour

A workshop with Justin Dillard will be offered in the Thursday Workshop Series.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009, 8:30pm – 10:30pm

Sones de Mexico Ensemble (Mexican Son)

Sones de Mexico Ensemble specializes in son, a large (and lively) family of music styles, each with its own instruments, repertoire, and dancing style, and they play it with passion and masterful skill. The group made its first public appearance in 1994 at an art gallery in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, commemorating the death of Mexican land-rights revolution hero Emiliano Zapata. Since then, the group has recorded three albums (the latest one received two GRAMMY Nominations) and taken their music to new frontiers. They are no strangers to the Old Town School! They teach, and they’ve played many shows, including the 50th Anniversary concert, La Peña (founded by one of its members), Folk & Roots Festival, the Festival of Mexican Son, and the Festival of Latin Music.

The ensemble will begin their concert with an informative "geo-tour" of the different regional styles of Mexican son sponsored by the NEA with support from the National Geographic Society and then follow with a full serving of what they do best.

A dance and percussion workshop with ensemble members Lorena Iñiguez and Javier Saume is offered in the Thursday Workshop Series

Wednesday, September 16, 2009, 8:30pm – 10:30pm

Los Amancay (Argentina)

Los Amancay, founded by Benjamín Amicone, is a group of Argentine musicians from Tucuman near the border of Bolivia that has been performing the traditional music of the Argentine countryside for 33 years. Using guitar, bandoneón, violin and extraordinary harmonies, Los Amancay have recorded over 10 albums and have played virtually all of Argentina’s festivals and traditional music venues. Always appearing in the traditional dress of the gaucho and full of regional humor and anecdotes, Los Amancay are a true Argentine treasure. Special thanks to the Consulate General of Argentina for their support of this event.

A workshop with the artists is offered in the Thursday Workshop Series.

What: World Music Wednesdays
When: Every Wednesday from July 1 to September 16, 2009, 8:30 to 10:30 PM
(Except August 12th which will run 9:30pm to 11:30pm)
Where: The Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago
Contact: Call (773) 728-6000 or visit oldtownschool.org
Admission: FREE (suggested donation of $5)

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