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Concerts, Events and Reviews

Once upon a time, this was going to be a comprehensive calendar of live bands playing music of interest to our readers.  Doing that sort of thing reliably requires the active participation and cooperation of bandleaders and presenters.  While some have been excellent in that regard, many others have not.  Effective September 2014, we are changing our mission to focus on the major musical events most important to our readers.  We will still post other events if requested but will no longer be calling upon bands and venues to provide their listings.    Most of the restaurants and venues shown below feature live music at some point during a typical month, and you can contact them directly to see who is playing. 

This Calendar lists live music events both within Chicago and the larger region within reach of Chicagoans.  The Agenda view shows more detail, and clicking on each item will also bring up a Google map. These listings are based upon information provided by venues, bands and promoters, and is not responsible for schedule changes, cancellations, etc.
Are you a Timba, Salsa or Latin Jazz band, a venue presenting one, or a promoter for the band with an upcoming performance in the Chicago area or within driving distance from Chicago?  Listings here are free (we reserve the right not to list any information submitted).  Send the information (band, venue, performance dates, start/end times) at least a week in advance of the performance to

See the Interviews & Reviews subpage and the new Reviews section for reviews and interviews of concerts, CDs, films, books etc. For some capsule reviews of area restaurants that regularly feature live music, see the Restaurants with La Música page. For a listing of the directories for Salsa instructors, DJs and their events (there are one or more DJ events somewhere virtually every night of every week), see the Dance Events and Resources page.


Abbey Pub , 3420 W. Grace St, Chicago IL 60618 (773) 478-4408   
AG (Abram Gale) Lounge , 2366 N. Neva Av., Chicago, IL 60707 (773) 804-6011
Alhambra Palace Restaurant ,
1240 W. Randolph St, Chicago IL 60607 (312) 666-9555
Bottom Lounge ,   1375 W. Lake St., Chicago IL 60607 (312) 666-6775
Candela Latin Cuisine & Bar, 2451 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60647 (773) 227-9898
Carnivale , 702 W. Fulton Market, Chicago IL 60661 (312) 830-5005 
Chicago Theatre , 175 N. State, Chicago IL 60601 (312) 795-0034 
Club Mambo , 3336 N. Milwaukee Av, Chicago IL 60641 (773) 481-2050 
Coconut Beach Nightclub ,  2787 S. Floyd St, Louisville KY 40299 (502) 634-2843
Coco , 2723 W. Division St., Chicago IL 60622 (773) 384-4811
Coup d'Etat, 2109 S. Wabash Av., Chicago IL (312) 753-5700
Cubby Bear Chicago,   1059 W, Addison St., Chicago IL 60613 (773) 327-1662
Dragon Lounge at Sushi House , 1107 Lake St., Oak Park, IL (708) 660-8899
Excalibur Nightclub , 632 N. Dearborn, Chicago IL 60607 (312) 266-1944 
Family Den , 8940 S. Stony Island Avenue, Chicago, IL 60659 (773) 734-8545
The Foundry , 85 Executive Drive, Aurora, IL 60504 (630) 978-2088 
Green Mill Cocktail Lounge , 4802 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60640 (773)-878-5552
Havana, 412 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 644-1900
Instituto Cervantes,   31. W. Ohio,   Chicago IL 60654 (312) 335-1996
Kabuki Japanese Restaurant , 2473 N. Clark St., Chicago IL 60614 (773) 975-2340
Las Tablas Restaurant , 4920 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago IL 60641 (773) 202-0999
Latino Arts Inc, 1028 S. 9th Street, Milwaukee WI 53204 
Lazo's Tacos, 2009 N Western Av, Chicago IL 60647 (773) 486-3303
Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie AV, Chicago IL 
Mas O Menos, 2539 W. Division St., Chicago IL
Maya del Sol, 144 S. Oak Park Av, Oak Park, IL 60302 (708) 358-9800
Mayan Sol Latin Grill Chicago, 3930 W. Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 (773) 539-4398
Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse Ave, Chicago, IL 60626 (773)-381-4554 
McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage,   425 Fawell Blvd, Glen Ellyn IL 60137 (63) 942-4000
Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago Av, Evanston IL 60201 (847) 905-1500 
90 Miles Cuban Cafe, 2540 W. Armitage, Chicago IL 60647 (773) 227-2822
Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Av, Chicago IL 60625 (773)-728-6000  
Output Lounge, 1758 W. Grand Ave., Chicago IL 60622 (312) 929-2515
Paladar, 2252 N. Western Ave., Chicago IL (773) 252-4747
Ravinia Festival, 418 Sheridan Rd, Highland Park, IL 60035  (847) 266-5000
Room 43, 1039-1043 E. 43rd St., Chicago IL 60653 (773) 285-2222
Sabor Restaurant & Tequila Bar, 2907 45th St, Highland, IN 46322 (219) 595-0102
Sabor A Cafe , 2435 W. Peterson Av, Chicago IL 60659 (773) 878-6327
Salud Tequila Lounge , 1471 N. Milwaukee Av, Chicago IL 60622 (773) 235-5577
Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, 4046 W. Armitage Av, Chicago IL 60639 (773) 698-6003
Siboney Cuban Cuisine, 2165 N. Western Av., Chicago IL (773) 276-8776
Sky Bar at Saints, 131 Breckenridge Lane, Louisville KY 40207 (502) 896-6711
Tumbao, 3213 W. Armitage, Chicago IL 60647, (773) 772-9800
Viper Alley, 275 Parkway Drive, Lincolnshire, IL 60059 (847) 499-5000
Warrenville Library, 28W751 Stafford Place, Warrenville, IL 60555 (630) 393-1171
Wherehouse, 818 S. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53204 (414) 383-7593
WIRE6815 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn, Illinois 60402 (708) 669-9473

Notes About Some Key Concerts and Events

Some of the key events accessible to Chicagoans are:

A. Orquesta El Macabeo at Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, 4048 W. Armitage
Friday, September 4, 2015 at 9PM
From Puerto Rico, El Macabeo is among the very best  and most original Salsa that this island has to offer.   Lyrics that are often funny and hard-hitting at the same time with  innovative compositions and arrangements that are still valid Salsa but also draw from the other genres in which they have worked. Whatever you think your tastes might be, this group is interesting, fun and puts on an actual show. 

B. Palo! at the Louisville World Fest
The Belvedere, 485 Main St., Louisville, KY 
Saturday, September 5 at 9:30pm (8:30pm Chicago Time)

Yeah, it's a  about 5-hour drive from Chicago, but Louisville is fun, and it's Palo!  Not to mention, this is a 4-day festival of international music.  Friday night includes the impressive Louisville-based band Cosa Seria, which has turned on the citizenry to a little Songo along with their Salsa; some of its members are alumni of the schools in Cuba. .

C.  Jane Bunnett & Maqueque at the Chicago Jazz Festival, Millennium Park
Sunday, September 6 at 6PM
If this brings the original personnel of this intriguing all-female Cuban Jazz project, it will include Yissy Garcia and Yusa, either of whom by themselves would also make this a must-see event, but the entire ensemble is first-tier talent.   

D.  Juan de Marcos & The Afro-Cuban All Stars
 Overture Center, 201 State St., Madison Wisconsin
 Friday, October 2, 8pm
Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, 19805 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield, WI
Saturday, October 3, 8pm

Juan De Marcos is in residence at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and Wisconsin is benefitting from his presence. 

E. Compañia Folklórica Yoruba Andabo, Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago,  
Saturday, October 31 at 7pm 
Monday, November 1 at Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center,  4048 W. Armitage, Chicago, 4pm (workshops)

One of Cuba's best Afro Cuban folkloric ensembles in concert followed by percussion and dance workshops the next day. . 

F.  Chucho Valdés:  Irakere 40 at Symphony Center, 220 South Michigan Avenue
Friday, November 6 at 8PM
This is in celebration of Irakere's founding 4 decades ago with a younger generation of performers.  Another don't miss. 

G.  The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic presents Scenes of Life: Cuba!  
Auditorium Theatre, 50 East Congress Parkway
Friday, November 13, 8PM
This is a reprise of a December 2014 concert in Havana by the CJP augmented by young Cuban musicians; these musicians are being brought up to Chicago for the occasion.





Tuesday, 29 September 2015, 12:14 PM