Chicago Band “Funkadesi” to Replace Susheela Raman in Thursday’s Music Without Borders Concert in Millennium Park
Cuban Musicians Sierra Maestra Will Headline the Event Thursday, July 14, 2011 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion
The Chicago band, Funkadesi, will open the Music Without Borders concert this July 14, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, bringing their own blend of Indian music mixed with reggae, funk and Afro-Caribbean grooves. They will replace the previously announced Susheela Raman who is unable to travel to Chicago due to visa issues. The Cuban band, Sierra Maestra, will still headline the night, bringing their infectious dance music and the legacy of the Cuban son tradition to the stage.
Chicago’s own Funkadesi represents the diverse multi-ethnic communities within the city. What distinguishes Funkadesi as a group is each band member’s unique and uncompromised cultural/musical contribution merging to create one unifying sound and vision. Funkadesi’s one-world sound, roots-watering vision, and positive vibe make the band a unique and compelling musical force. They are a five time winner of The Chicago Music Awards and have been hailed by Time Magazine. Funkadesi has appeared in the World Music Festival and just performed at opening night of the 15th Annual Chicago SummerDance last week.
Originally founded at the University of Havana in 1976, Sierra Maestra has spent the last 35 years revitalizing, reinventing, and preserving the Cuban son music tradition. Headed by Juan d’Marcos Gonzales, they were the first of the modern-era groups to play in the old-style son line-up which includes the tres, guitar, trumpet, bongo, gűiro and vocals. Their aim, then as now, was to revive and re-explore this popular Cuban music style of the 1920s which had been forgotten. This revival of son, with a modern stamp, was a sensation for the new generations of Cubans.
Sierra Maestra is one of the most popular musical ensembles performing in the Spanish Caribbean. Nominated for a 2010 Latin Grammy Award, the group is now celebrating 35 years since its formation. They return to Chicago for the first time in nearly ten years, following President Obama’s lift of the restrictions on travel to Cuba.
Returning for a sixth summer, the free Music Without Borders series features music spanning five continents—Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America—with five groups making their Chicago debut at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. The series is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, and is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. United Airlines is the Official Airline, the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park is the Official Hotel, and WBEZ 91.5 FM is a media sponsor of Music Without Borders.
For more information about all of the Music Without Borders concerts in Millennium Park, visit http://www.millenniumpark.org, call 312.742.1168, visit Millennium Park on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @Millennium_Park.