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RFC Blog Archive - RFC Mar-Apr 2012
29 April 2012:
Poncho Sanchez with Terence Blanchard: Cubano Be! Cubano Bop! A Tribute to Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie at the Old Town School of Folk Music , Saturday, May 5 2012, 7:00pm and 10:00pm.Before Chano's death from acute lead poisoning in 1947, his work with Dizzy Gillespie firmly established Afro-Cuban rhythms in Gillespie's work and laid the foundation for what came to be called Afro-Cuban Jazz in the United States. Percussionist Poncho Sanchez and trumpeter Terence Blanchard have teamed up using Poncho's band in a tribute to the two musical legends. This concert is also in support of a 2011 CD release by the pair, Poncho Sanchez and Terence Blanchard = Chano y Dizzy! which we will review in the near future.
Also of interest:
Angel d'Cuba 's new CD Heritage is now out, and the Sextet unit of the larger band is playing at Salud Tequila Lounge, 1471 N. Milwaukee Av, Chicago at 3pm. This is a great opportunity to pick up their CD (you can read our review here ). Carpacho y su Super Combo is playing the same club later at 7pm.
22 April 2012:
Poncho Sanchez with Terence Blanchard: Cubano Be! Cubano Bop! A Tribute to Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie at the Old Town School of Folk Music , Saturday, May 5 2012, 7:00pm and 10:00pm.Before Chano's death from acute lead poisoning in 1947, his work with Dizzy Gillespie firmly established Afro-Cuban rhythms in Gillespie's work and laid the foundation for what came to be called Afro-Cuban Jazz in the United States. Percussionist Poncho Sanchez and trumpeter Terence Blanchard have teamed up using Poncho's band in a tribute to the two musical legends.
Also Coming Soon:
Mango Blue at Latino Arts , Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Friday, May 11 at 7:30 PM. Mango blue is led by composer, arranger, bassist and vocalist Alex Alvear and also features multiinstrumentalist Gonzalo Grau on keyboards and percussion. We'll be saying more about this group between now and the date of the performance. For now, here's a taste:
Sound clips from "Mango"
15 April 2012:
This Week: as always, check our Calendar of Events for a more comprehensive listing of what's happening, but here is a key item for this week:
The movie, "Los 100 Sones Cubanos" is at Instituto Cervantes , Sunday, April 15 at 6:00pm. Part of the Chicago Latino Film Festival; we saw the movie a couple of days ago and you can read our review here. There's a little history in it, but more worth watching as entertainment. For more information, see the film festival's website at
Incidentally, a new film about Orquesta Aragon just premiered in NYC and is about to hit the film festival circuit, hopefully including us at some point. Stay tuned.
Finally, we missed the Rodrigo y Gabriela y C.U.B.A. concert due to other commitments but were advised that it sold out. Hopefully this is a good omen for other Cuban musicians (Rodrigo Y Gabriela aren't Cuban but the backing band is) hoping to do Chicago.
8 April 2012:
This Week: This week's main event is Rodrigo y Gabriela y C.U.B.A. , a joint project with the duo and a collective of musicians from Cuba. They are performing Thursday, April 12 at 7:30pm at the Chicago Theatre . This is in support of their recent recording project, Area 52.
There are other worthy local events happening this week - check our Calendar of Events for details.
Second Chance for Arturo Sandoval: If you missed Arturo Sandoval's Pick-Staiger concert Saturday, hey, so did we. Can't be everywhere at once. Don't fret, though, he's coming back in the fall. Tickets are now on sale for an October 5th performance at theViper Alley . We saw him there last year as well, and it was a great venue for him.
EVENT ALERT: MOVIE, "LOS 100 SONES CUBANOS" at Instituto Cervantes , Friday, April 13 at 6:30pm and Sunday, April 15 at 6:00pm. Part of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, this film, made in the Dominican Republic and Cuba, traces the spead of popularity of the Son. For more information, see the film festival's website at http://chicagolatinofilmfestival.org/film/the-100-cuban-sones/
1 April 2012:
This Week: Check out our Events & Reviews Section for what's happening around town this week. Of special note: Arturo Sandoval is at Pick-Staiger Hall on Saturday, April 7 with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra at 7:30pm. More details are at
Also, the Abbey has resumed including live bands on Wednesdays during the 4 Fantasticos nights there. We haven't heard this week's group, Los Perros Cubanos, a local band, but from their website, they appear to play more of the older traditional Cuban music: http://losperroscubanos.com/
Angel d'Cuba's concert at the Old Town School of Folk music was very successful and a lot of fun for everyone. Read about it and see more photos here .
And, Last but not least, check out our Sin Clave No Hay Na' blog about last Friday's Charanga Habanera concert in Louisville, which was a blast.
UPDATE: Chuchito Valdes will be at the Jazz Showcase April 5, 6, 7 and 8 at 8pm and 10pm nightly. Chuchito will be playing in a trio setting for these sets.
25 March 2012:
This Week: Another wonderful week to be a Chicagoan. First up:
Angel d'Cuba's CD release party at the Old Town School of Folk Music , Wednesday, 28 March, 8:30pm. Folks, this has been a long time coming, but here it is, Angel's originals (which include a little Songo and Timba along with a wide variety of world music styles) by a group of musicians that can do them justice. You can read our review of the new CD here , andtaste a few moments of some of the songs here . Not to mention, you can't beat the price, this is part of World Music Wednesdays at the Old Town School, where the admission is a suggested $5.00 donation.
2. Paquito D'Rivera with The Chicago Chamber Musicians, Harris Theater, Thursday, March 29, 8:00pm. Paquito is always worth a listen, here he is working with a Chamber Ensemble. See the Harris Theate r's page for more information including prices.
3. Ok, so this isn't exactly a drive down the street, but Charanga Habanera's March 30 show at the Coconut Beach Nightclub in Louisville is as close as they will be coming to us, and you can get there from Chicago in 5-7 hrs by car depending on your starting point. If you go, advance tickets may be purchased through this link:
and you can see some recent video if you scroll down to our March 4 entries.
4. As always, see our Events & Reviews calendar for some other events around town this week.
Last but not least, see our Sin Clave No Hay Na' blog for pictures of last weekend's excellentSierra Maestra concert.
18 March 2012:
Sierra Maestra is one of Cuba's musical institutions that both preserve traditional Son and add some modern touches to the repertoire. They did some excellent shows in Chicago last year, and they have returned to the city this year for two shows (7pm and 10pm) on Saturday, March 24 at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Tickets are available at the OTS website. The Son is one of the most important building blocks of Cuban popular music, and without it, we would not have many other later forms including Timba. But this group is no museum piece - you won't be sitting still for this unless you're already dead. Here's a quick taste of them live:
Special bonus features for this concert are SPACE TO DANCE and an opening set by Buya, a group that performs Puerto Rican Bomba.
Last night, we caught Sureya y su Orquesta in a really fun set at Siboney Cuban Cuisine. You can read all about it and see more photos here.
Finally, remember that Charanga Habanera and Angel D'Cuba are coming the following week. See our March 4 entry for more details.
11 March 2012:
See our Calendar of Events for this week's live music listings and our March 4 Event Alerts for this month's big gigs. We have also just received word that Arturo Sandoval will be coming to Viper Alley on October 5, and we'll say more once ticket sales start in about a week. Finally, for those of you who were waiting for it to go online, Papo Santiago's Infraverde is now up on CD Baby . You can read our earlier review of it here.
4 March 2012:
Event Alerts: March is a great month to be a Chicagoan:
Sierra Maestra, one of Cuba's most important groups playing traditional Son(but also adding modern elements to their repertoire), is coming to the Old Town School of Folk Music for two shows on Saturday, March 24th. They put on some great shows in Chicago last year and will be worth catching this year as well. Very highly recommended. Tickets are now on sale.
Angel D'Cuba, a singer, composer, and multiinstrumentalist who worked with Mezclaand other groups in Cuba but now lives in Chicago, is about to release his debut recording as a bandleader in the United States, Heritage , and will be kicking off the release of the new CD at the Old Town School of Folk Music on Wednesday, March 28th at 8:30PM. This is part of the highly-affordable World Music Wednesdays series at the OTS, and we'll have more to say about the new CD very soon.
David Calzado y su Charanga Habanera is returning to the Coconut Beach Nightclub in Louisville KY (see our Calendar of Events and Venue Key) on Friday, March 30th. Louisville is approximately a 5-7 hour drive depending upon your starting point in the Chicago area and traffic. The venue is at a new location. This band has being doing both Reggaeton and Timba in recent times, and hopefully they'll bring enough Timba material to this set to justify the drive for hard-core Timba enthusiasts. The Kentuckians have had a few misfortunes with some other bands in the past, but CH did actually perform there last year. Here's a 2011 video of La Suerte: