The 2013 edition of the World Music Festival Chicago will take place Thursday, September 12 – Sunday, September 22. The citywide, 11-day world music festival will present more than 70 free concerts in over 20 venues. This is one of the largest world music festivals in North America and will feature musicians and groups representing 34 countries from around the world. The impressive line-up includes five concerts in Millennium Park, an all-night celebration of Indian music at the Chicago Cultural Center and shows from Malian artists as part of the Festival au Desert – Caravan for Peace helping to make the 2013 festival one of the largest and longest running to date.
“World Music Festival Chicago will bring a diverse, international lineup of celebrated musicians to the people of Chicago for its 15th year,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The 2013 festival will extend its reach into more Chicago neighborhoods than ever before through partnerships with the Chicago Park District, colleges and universities, community-based venues and clubs – advancing many of the key priorities of the Chicago Cultural Plan.”
World Music Festival Chicago 2013 begins on Thursday, September 12 with the legendary Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra. At 6:00 p.m. the nine-time Grammy Award winner will take the stage after an opening performance by the vibrant Puerto Rican plena and bomba ensemble, Plena Libre, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.
Opening weekend of the festival also includes performances by the African Showboyz (Ghana) on Thursday, September 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Garden as part of the closing weekend of the 17th Annual Chicago SummerDance series. The African Showboyz will also perform in Daley Plaza at noon on Friday, September 13.
On Friday, September 13, the festival will present RagaMala: A Celebration of Indian Music, a rare all-night Indian classical music concert with various performances in Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center. A tradition in India, all-night classical concerts are infrequently held in the United States, and this will be the first all-night Indian classical music concert held in Chicago. This is a great opportunity to hear ragas (traditional scales or modes) that are hardly ever performed in public and are only to be performed early in the morning or late at night.
The RagaMala will open at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park at 6 p.m. with North Indian sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, joined by his sons, Amaan Ali Khan & Ayaan Ali Khan, and with an opening performance by the Hindustani slide guitar virtuoso, Debashish Bhattacharya & Family. At 9 p.m. the RagaMala will move to the Chicago Cultural Center and feature a dozen different groups and artists performing North Indian Hindustani music and South Indian Carnatic music all night, until 8:00 a.m.
The Festival au Desert – Caravan for Peace tour will make a stop in Chicago for the World Music Festival on September 13, 14 and 15 with Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba, Sidi Touré, Mamadou Kelly and Leila Gobi.
The festival will close with “One World Under One Roof,” an open house featuring nine groups on Sunday, September 22 at the Chicago Cultural Center. The grand finale will include performances throughout the building, kicking off in Randolph Square, continuing in Preston Bradley Hall and the Claudia Cassidy Theater.
A number of venues throughout the city will play host to World Music Festival artists and all performances are free admission. They include: Austin Town Hall Park, Beverly Arts Center, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago SummerDance – Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, Columbia College – Conaway Center, Constellation, Daley Plaza, David and Reva Logan Center at the University of Chicago, DePaul School of Music, Hideout, Humboldt Park Boathouse, IMAN Community Café, Martyrs’, Mayne Stage, Millennium Park, National Museum of Mexican Art, Navy Pier, Old Town School of Folk Music, Reggie’s Rock Club and Schubas.
World Music Festival Chicago 2013 is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and sponsored by the Chicago Transit Authority and Millennium Garages. Grant support provided by the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, managed by Millennium Park Inc.; the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York; and Navy Pier, Inc.
More at worldmusicfestivalchicago.org.