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Latino State News

World Music Festival returns Sept. 21 with over 80 artists and 30 venues throughout Chicago

The City of Chicago celebrates the best of today’s international music at the 12th annual World Music Festival this September 21-30, 2010.

The city-wide, multi-venue, week-long festival has attracted over a half million concertgoers and has presented more than 500 artists and ensembles from over 75 countries since it began in 1999.

This 2010 festival includes nearly twice as many artists as previous editions.

Organized by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), the festival showcases both traditional and contemporary music from diverse cultures across the world.

This year’s events will include performances by Khaïra Arby (Sarahan desert rhythms from Mali), Mahala Rai Banda (high energy gypsy sounds from Romania), Razia Said (a blend of African music and contemporary R&B from Madagascar), Pansori Brecht (a Korean narrative musical inspired by the work of Bertolt Brecht), Rajeev Taranath & Nayan Ghosh (top Indian classical musicians), Oreka TX (Basque masters of the percussion txalaparta), among many others.

Presented at area museums, parks, cultural centers, plazas, theaters, clubs, and other venues, events include a combination of free and low-cost ticketed concerts, many of which are family friendly.

A full schedule of events follows.  For more information, artist bios, and music samples, visit WorldMusicFestivalChicago.org.  Information is also available at 312.742.1938.

World Music Festival Chicago 2010 opens on Tuesday, September 21, at 6:00 pm, with a free concert at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion featuring Zakir Hussain and special guest sitarist Niladri Kumar.

A classical tabla virtuoso of the highest order, Zakir Hussain has established himself as a national treasure in India, as well as in the contemporary world music movement.  His playing is marked by uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity found while studying under his legendary father, Ustad Alla Rakha, the longtime tabla player for Ravi Shankar.

Hussain has long been a favorite accompanist for India’s greatest classical musicians and dancers, and has performed with artists as diverse as George Harrison, YoYo Ma, Pharoah Sanders, Ravi Shankar, and Mark Morris.

The concert will begin with an Indian classical dance program by leading Bharata Natyam (South Indian classical) dancer Mythili Prakash and Ensemble and is presented as part of India Calling, a three-day festival celebrating the arts and culture of India.
New for World Music Festival Chicago 2010

  * The three-day India Calling! festival featuring free music concerts, arts exhibitions, cooking demonstrations, dance performances, yoga and meditation classes, and a handicrafts village.  These events take place in the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park, from September 21 to the 23.
  * A free documentary film marathon on Saturday, September 25, in the Chicago Cultural Center.  The screening includes films on festival performers DJA-Rara, Joan Soriano, and Oreka TX.
  * The World of Instruments exhibition in the Chicago Cultural Center from September 27-30, in the Chicago Cultural Center.  The collaboration with Andy’s Music features a selection of instruments from Andy Cohn’s incredible and eclectic personal collection, rarely on view to the public.  The instruments are beautiful examples of those played by festival performers and artists around the world.
  * A showcase of Chicago’s international music promoters, including Bhangratheque, RATIOnation, Arteyvidachicago, SoundCulture Chicago and GlobalGroove Chicago, to highlight the many events that are produced year-round in Chicago.
  * Several new participating venues including Mayne Stage, St. Josaphat’s Church, Darkroom, and Second Presbyterian Church.
  * Many Chicago debut performances by some of the world’s most talented musicians.

Returning highlights

  * “Continental Drift” radio broadcasts of live performance and interviews on WNUR 89.3 FM each weekday of the festival.
  * Concerts highlighting many Chicago-based international music groups.
  * Free and low-cost events throughout the city.
  * The always highly anticipated finale “One World Under One Roof”, a full night of music at the Chicago Cultural Center on September 30, 6:30-11:30 pm.

World Music Festival Chicago 2010 is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and is made possible with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts; The Chicago Community Trust; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; United Airlines, the Official Airline of the World Music Festival; the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; Chicago Public Radio 91.5 FM WBEZ; and the Chicago Office of Tourism.


The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs is dedicated to promoting an ongoing celebration of the arts and supporting the people who create and sustain them.