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RFC Blog Archive - RFC Jan-Mar 2013

 

31 March 2013

EVENT ALERT 911 Mambo Orchestra at City Winery Wednesday, April 3, doors open 6 PM.
Angel Melendez is out about town with his small combo pretty often doing their Tribute to Lavoe book, but the GRAMMY-nominated big band, which is playing this performance with a much wider range of material, gets out much less frequently and is worth catching when it does. Doors open at 6:00; dance lessons start at 7:30, band starts at 8:30.  Highly recommended way to scratch that Mambo/Salsa itch.  It's worth noting too that the City Winery is relatively new to the city; kudos to it for booking this type of music.

COMING SOON:  Havana Blue ,  Auditorium Theatre Saturday, April 13 at 8:00pm

Havana Blue  is a music and dance performance to be presented by River North Dance Chicago and Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic at the Auditorium Theatre on April 13, 2013 at 8:00pm.  This was a specially-commissioned work that came about in the wake of an extended trip to Cuba by Orbert Davis and Frank Chavez, who immersed themselves in the music, dance and culture of Cuba during their stay.  This will be original material rather than a recreation of existing songs and dances.  Mr. Davis recently explained in a roundtable discussion at the Instituto Cervantes that the music will include pieces with clave but will also be evoking a period of several decades and different aspects of the culture. The following is a brief video clip from a You Tube promo for the performance, but the viewer is cautioned that these short clips almost never capture the full musical range of works ot this scope:

 


24 March 2013

The Afro-Cuban All Stars filled Louisville's Clifton Center (oh, a few seats were left, but only a few) last week, and what a show - dancing in the aisles, call and response with the audience - a little later this week, you will be able to read all about it and see pictures in our Sin Clave No Hay Na' blog. As we said last week, it's unfortunate that the group didn't get penciled into Chicago somewhere, and one of our resolutions for 2013 is to try to do what we can to help make sure that things like this bypass our city less often in the future.  But we are genuinely delighted that Louisville can give that kind of reception to this kind of band. 

Earlier today, we saw Pedro Páramo, a joint production with Cuba's Teatro Buendía ,  today at the Goodman Theatre.  We can't recommend it as a Cuban music experience, because that's not what it is at all (the source material from the play is originally Mexican as is much, but not all,  of the music). But as a piece of theatre, it was wonderful, and if you enjoy live theatre, we recommend this.  It's in Spanish with English supertitles.

Check out this week's Calendar of Events , which has a lot of options during the week includingSureya at Siboney on the 30th. 


17 March 2013

THIS WEEK:   Afro-Cuban All Stars, Wednesday, March 20, 7:30PM
Clifton Center , Louisville, Kentucky

Yes, Louisville is roughly a 5-6 drive for most Chicago-area residents, but Juan de Marcos ' group, which has been selling out shows in some other cities and will be fresh off a multiday stint at the Blue Note in New York, is worth the trip if you can do it, and unfortunately, this is as close as they will be coming to Chicago during this tour. The Clifton Center 's page for the show has an excellent story about the group's history and recent activities as well; we encourage you to check it out even if you can't make the concert.   
(Stock photo supplied by the Clifton Center)Editorial comment: It is unfortunate that Chicago wasn't on the itinerary this trip, especially since this group played the Chicago Theatre the last time it came through a decade ago.  When we consider this together with some other major acts that have bypassed Chicago over the past year, it appears that we as an arts community still have some work to do regarding getting the city back on the map for some of the larger touring bands from Cuba that are playing contemporary music. 

Panel for From Cuba to Chicago , L to R: 
Raquel Carrío , Playwright, Teatro Buendía; Frank Chaves , Artistic Director, River North Dance Chicago
 Henry Godinez , Resident Artistic Associate, Goodman Theatre; Tony Sarabia , Radio Host, WBEZ
 Orbert Davis , Artistic Director, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic,  Flora Lautén , Artistic Director, Teatro Buendía
 

There is better news for Chicago in other areas of the cultural exchange front.  On Thursday, March 14, we attended a roundtable discussion at the Instituto Cervantes , one of Chicago's cultural gems which is operated by the Government of Spain, related to two upcoming performances in the city with connections to Cuba. Ignacio Olmos , Executive Director of the Instituto Cervantes, introduced the panel, which was moderated by Tony Sarabia of WBEZ.   The focus of the discussion was two upcoming performances in Chicago that were a result of trips to Cuba by Chicago area performing artists.
The first, Pedro Páramo , is a production by Teatro Buendía of Juan Rulfo's 1955 novel by that name. Mr. Rulfo is a Mexican author, and the novel is considered a classic of Latin American literature. Ms. Carrío, the Playwright for the piece, and Ms. Lautén, the Artistic Director, explained that it is common for theatre groups in Cuba to take international classic and interpret them in a Cuban context and setting.  The play will be presented by the Goodman Theatre in association with MCA Chicago in Spanish with English subtitles with a run from March 22-31, 2013.  For much more about the performance and Teatro Buendía, and to purchase tickets, check out the Goodman Theatre's page for the performance. 

The second, Havana Blue , is a music and dance performance to be presented by River North Dance Chicago and Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic at the Auditorium Theatre on April 13, 2013 at 8:00pm.  This was a specially-commissioned work that came about in the wake of an extended trip to Cuba by Orbert Davis and Frank Chavez, who immersed themselves in the music, dance and culture of Cuba during their stay.  Both Mr. Davis and Mr. Chaves stressed in their portion of the discussion that this will be original material rather than a recreation of existing songs and dances.  Mr. Davis further explained that the music will include pieces with clave but will be evoking a period of several decades and different aspects of the culture. The following is a brief video clip from a You Tube promo for the performance, but the viewer is cautioned that these short clips almost never capture the full musical range of works ot this scope:

 

We have yet to hear anything from The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic that turned out to be a disappointment, so this is highly recommended with the reminder that this will be new, original material rather than a rendition of existing Cuban classics. For more information, and to purchase tickets, see the Auditorium Theatre's page for the performance .  
We'll share more about this performance closer to the date.

Finally, for those of you who are following our series about the Chicago International Salsa Congress, Part 3 is now available in our Sin Clave No Hay Na' blog.  


10 March 2013

THIS WEEK:   Creole Choir of Cuba, Wednesday, March 13, 8:30PM, 
 Old Town School of Folk Music ,  Chicago IL

(Photo by Bill Tilford)

We saw this group in Chicago in 2011 (you can read our review here , )  and we highly recommend these cultural representatives of the Creole (immigrants from Haiti) culture in Cuba. This is a full audiovisual experience, and it is one of our don't-miss events for the year.  An interesting extra twist is that their show will be part of a series of televised performances that the Old Town School is doing together with WYCC.  Kudos to both. 

ALSO THIS WEEK: From Cuba to Chicago: Pedro Páramo and Havana Blue,  will take place on Thursday, March 14 at the Instituto Cervantes and is a panel discussion about artistic exchanges with Cuba.  Artists from the River North Dance Chicago, the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Chicago's Goodman Theatre and Cuba's Teatro Buendía will participate in the discussion. Chicago will host the world premieres of Havana Blue  and Pedro Páramo in the near future.  One of the featured panelists will be Orbert Davis, whose recent trip to Cuba helped provide the spark for Havana Blue.  
This event is free to the public, but reservations are needed (for reservations, see  GoodmanTheatre.org/CubatoChicago )

AND, LAST BUT NOT LEAST:   CALJE (The Chicago Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble) is performing at the Jazz Showcase on Wednesday, March 13,  as part of the Chi-Town Jazz Festival.  This is part of a 5-hour marathon starting at 7pm with multiple bands.   


3 March 2013

This is a busy month, and we mean that in a good way.  Check out the Events and Reviews Calendar, and we don't even claim to have everything.  Two very special events this month:

EVENT ALERT:  Creole Choir of Cuba, Wednesday, March 13, 8:30PM, 
 Old Town School of Folk Music , Chicago IL

(Photo by Bill Tilford)

We saw this group in Chicago in 2011 (you can read our review here , )  and we highly recommend these cultural representatives of the Creole (immigrants from Haiti) culture in Cuba. This is a full audiovisual experience, and it is one of our don't-miss events for the year.  An interesting extra twist is that their show will be part of a series of televised performances that the Old Town School is doing together with WYCC.  Kudos to both. 

EVENT ALERT:    The Afro Cuban All Stars, March 13, 7:30PM,
 Clifton Center , Louisville, KY

(Photo by Tom Ehrlich)

Louisville is 5-6 hours by car from here, so you know the drill: phone first.  But this is Juan de Marcos' monster killer group, they sold out the Bay Area recently, and you know that the visa thing isn't an issue here. If you have never heard this group, let's just say that if you like Maraca , you'll love this too.  Another don't-miss if you can do it.   Why can't Chicago get bands like this when Louisville can?  Chicago, we have a problem...

Finally, check out our Sin Clave blog for our new chapter about the Chicago International Salsa Congress and reviews of 3 recent CD releases. 


21 February 2013

We're going to take a little break from our regular feature here until the beginning of March.  But check out our Sin Clave No Hay Na   blog along with rest of the website.


14 February 2013

TODAY:  

Happy Valentine's Day!   Today also begins our special segments about the Chicago International Salsa Congress, which starts today.  Read more about it here...


10 February 2013

THIS WEEK:

This week is the 12th Annual Chicago International Salsa Congress ,an event with multiple days of dance instruction, workshops, demonstrations, competition daneing and social dancing with DJs and live bands including area favorites Nabori & Rica Obsesion ,Hermanos Lebron , Choco Orta with Luisito Rosario  and Grupo Niche , which closes the Congress.  It's worth mentioning that in addition to the Salsa dance workshops that you would normally expect at this type of thing, the schedule also includes modules for Rueda/Casino, Latin Jazz dancing, Chicago House, West African dancing and Brasilian Samba.  No Cuban bands this year (and this always seems to fall on the same week as San Francisco's festival every year), but there is some quality Salsa Dura on the bill, especially with the closing act Grupo Niche .   The workshops offer a little of something for everyone and are worth a look for that reason alone (maybe this is the year you try Samba  or West African dancing for example)

Last night, we dropped in on Angel d'Cuba 's performance at the Mayne Stage.   The group sports some roster changes since we saw them last time including Jerome Crosswell on trumpet, Edwin Sanchez on piano and Frankie Ocasio on congas.   Much (but not all) of the material was from their 2012 CD Heritage .  


3 February 2013

THIS WEEK: 

Photo supplied by James Cornolo of Angel d'Cuba's group

Angel D'Cuba will be at the Mayne Stage on Saturday, February 9 for a concert and party in support of their CD Heritage .  We have written about this group a few times, and we recommend this performance.   In addition to being one of the few groups in Chicago that plays some Timba and Songo, they play a wide range of styles well including Samba, Calypso, Funk etc.   


27 January 2013

If you are wandering about CD/record stores, some clubs, the Old Town School of Folk Music or similar places, keep an eye out for the current edition of World Percussion & Rhythm Magazine , a very nice freebie published twice a year in Chicago.  The current edition includes nice articles aboutSepteto Nacional Ignacio Pineiro and Jorge Emmanuelli Nater among other things. 

Our wanderings this last weekend included the birthday party for Maribel Lopez at the Conga Room, which featured local band Son de la Habana .  These fellows are due to release a CD later this year and currently have two singles up on SoundCloud .

We also dropped in on Sureya's band at Siboney Friday night; she was also singing with Samuel del Real at Sabor a Cafe Saturday night.  She is also wrapping up the last two tracks of a CD which is expected to be out later this year with a big band.  In the meantime, she has a nice video out:   

 


20 January 2013

Although it is a Colombian restaurant (and a very good one, we might add), Sabor a Café regularly features a lot of Cuban music including frequent appearances by Son de la Habana , which recently released a couple of singles (Lo Que Va a Pasar and Te Desafio ) and Son Peru, which also does a lot of Cuban material there (confused yet)?  We'll say more about Son de la Habana in the near future, in the meantime, we saw Son Peru on Saturday night, and you can read about them here...


13 January 2013 UPDATED 14 JANUARY

THIS WEEK:  ANISSA GATHERS AT ALHAMBRA PALACE 

Anissa Gathers  played the role of Celia Cruz  in the off-Broadway musical Celia: The Musical  a few years back and does an excellent job of channelling La Reina .  She'll  be backed by a live band as she performs two hours of Celia's hits.  For more information, the event's webpage is 
https://www.facebook.com/events/418163628255022/?ref=ts&fref=ts

In other news, we had lunch this week with Eddie Ortiz ,  the US Tour manager for Cuban Jazz piano phenomenon Ernán López-Nussa , and we learned that there is an excellent chance that we'll be seeing Ernán in Chicago (and a few other cities) later this year.  Stay tuned. 

ADDED 14 JANUARY: Trip to Havana Cuba in June 2013

The Contemporary Music Project is coordinating a trip to Havana Cuba from June 24 to June 29, 2013 in coordination with PlazaCUBA.  This is a licensed educational tour for musicians and dancers. For more information, see the website for the Contemporary Music Project at http://www.contemporarymusicproject.com/


6 January 2013

 

Once again, Happy New Year / Feliz Año Nuevo!   A couple of interesting things are coming up for Chicago very soon: 

Some of you may recall that Anissa Gathers played the role of Celia Cruz in the off-Broadway musical Celia: The Musical a few years back.  She'll  be backed by a live band  as she performs two hours of Celia's hits.  For more information, the event's webpage is 
https://www.facebook.com/events/418163628255022/?ref=ts&fref=ts

and in February, 

At this writing, the band list is being finalized, but we are told that the Thursday lineup will includeNabori and Rica Obsesion .   As always, there will be several days of demonstration dancing, lessons and social dancing.  For more information, see their website at 
http://www.chicagosalsacongress.com

We'll be saying a lot more about this closer to the date. 


 

viernes, 10 mayo 2013, 09:31 am