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Celebrating diverse music from across the globe, the world will come together for the 21st Annual World Music Festival Chicago at 17 venues across the city from September 13 to 29. This free festival is produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and is the largest festival of its kind in the United States.
World Music Festival Chicago opens Friday, September 13, with Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music an overnight concert starting at 6 p.m. through 8 a.m. on Saturday. A tradition in India, ragas (traditional scales or modes) are all-night classical concerts seldom held publicly in the United States. This is a rare opportunity for visitors to experience ragas as they are meant to be heard - during early morning and late-night, under the Tiffany stained-glass dome of Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.). Presented in collaboration with Indian Classical Music Society of Chicago and People of Rhythm, performances will feature Hindustani and Carnatic music.
The Global Peace Picnic on Sunday, September 22, will commemorate International Peace Day at the Humboldt Park Boathouse (1301 N. Sacramento Ave.) from 2 to 6 p.m. The day of family-friendly activities and music will feature The Garifuna Collective from Belize and Central America; KOKOKO! from the Democratic Republic of Congo; and master ‘sonero’ salsa singer Hermán Olivera from Newark, New Jersey, joined by an 11-piece band of top Chicago salsa talent convened by Segundo Ruiz Belvis, led by Nathan Rodríguez on percussion and Edwin Sánchez on piano.
Making their World Music Festival debut from Bali, Indonesia, Gamelan Çudamani takes the stage at 6 pm on Friday, September 27, at the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance (205 E. Randolph St.). One of Bali’s most active and respected ensembles, Gamelan Çudamani has been based in the village of Pengosekan near Ubud, Bali, for over 20 years. The group performs a diverse repertoire of music and dance with astonishing technical precision, high collective spirit, and artistic nuance, staying true to their name Çudamani – meaning “focus with your whole heart.
The 2019 Festival ends on Sunday, September 29, with World Music Festival meets World Dumpling Fest at the Polk Brothers Fountain and Performance Lawn at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave). THe collaboration among Navy Pier, the Chicago Cultural Alliance and DCASE takes place from noon to 7 p.m. and includes Fidel Nadal featuring Mr. Pauer from Argentina and Venezuela, Alsarah & The Nubatones from Sudan and New York City and Chicago’s own LowDown Brass Band. Attendees will also be able to purchase dumplings from 20 neighborhood-based ethnic restaurants in the Chicago region including pierogis from Kasia's Deli, bao and sui mai from Chinese Friendship Restaurant, coxinha de galinha and bolinho de aipim from Sinha Elegant Brazilian Cuisine & Catering and more. For complete details, visit chicagoculturalalliance.org/alliance-programs/world-dumpling-fest.
World Music Festival is sponsored by Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Tribune, and Millennium Garages. Grant support for World Music Festival provided by the Beverly Arts Center, Chicago Park District, Irish American Heritage Center, among other area organizations.
The full schedule with locations and times of each performance The full schedule can be found at worldmusicfestivalchicago.org.
Thousands to Gather in Chicago as Global Artists Convene for World Music Festival Chicago 2019
Audiences gather in Millennium Park for international musicians and groups performing in the World Music Festival Chicago (photo courtesy of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events).
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts