2012 marks the 7th annual and most ambitious Celebrate Clark Street Festival to date. The Rogers Park festival, curated by Sound Culture Center for Global Arts, has grown from a community celebration into one of Chicago’s most renowned and unique street festivals, attracting over 30,000 people annually. This year the festival debuts many outstanding and critically acclaimed artists from as far away as Mali and Ecuador!
Critically acclaimed and recognized for its eclectic lineup by the Chicago Reader, the festival continually breaks the mold of Chicago’s predictable street festivals in what could be considered a multi-cultural music revelation for the city. “Make no mistake – the live music acts rival, if not exceed some of those at the Taste or anything else you could find at a Grant Park fest.” – allvoices.com
The festival has become a mecca for concert and festival goers and Chicago’s hippest globalistas. It highlights folkloric music and dance from around the world, and cutting edge international touring bands redefining the world music genre on two stages.
20 World Music Bands on two stages over two days! Featuring:
SMOD – (Mali | Chicago Debut)
“…unique fusion of Malian folk and traditional guitar styles with a not-so-traditional approach to hip hop”
– Nat Geo Music.
Here comes another generation of masterful West African grooves: the Malian group makes their Chicago debut. If there’s a familiar, lilting guitar-and-song groove underpinning the band’s layers of hip-hop rhymes, don’t be surprised; one of the members, Sam, is the son of the phenomenal duo Amadou and Mariam. SMOD has benefited from that sphere of music’s influence; the visionary Manu Chao, who produced Sam’s parents’ excellent album Dimanche à Bamako, also produced SMOD’s debut. With tightly wound vocal harmonies and effervescent guitar played by Sam, the singing was even more effective than the rapping. – By Anastasia Tsioulcas for NPR
Sarazino – (Ecuador/Algeria | Chicago Debut)
“Sarazino’s mix of hip-hop, reggae, Algerian rai, Latin American grooves and funk is deliciously good.”
– World Music Central.org.
“Upbeat, irresistibly catchy songs” – Nat Geo Music.
What kind of music would come from a person who was born the son of a diplomat in Algeria, raised in various West African countries, educated in Montreal and now calls Quito, Ecuador home? While the answer might surprise you, it certainly won’t disappoint. Sarazino’s music takes an exotic array of ingredients, including Latin grooves, reggae, hip-hop, funk, African beats and throws them into a musical melting pot. The result is spicy, a feast for the senses and leaves you wanting more. Everyday Salama, Sarazino’s new album being released today, features a number of special guests including Sabina Sciubba (from Brazilian Girls), Rootz Underground, Novalima, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Luisa Maita and many others.
Free download | Music Video | NPR Interview | Full Artist Bio
Janka Nabay & The Bubu Gang –
(Sierra Leone/USA | Chicago Debut)
“In a potted history of Bubu music, the horn-fueled traditional sound of Sierra Leone, Janka Nabay’s arrival is the defining moment. There is the pre-Janka era, when bubu was played by five tribes in the country’s north and could only be heard on one holy day a year, during Ramadan. But in the post-Janka landscape, young people from Sierra Leone to Liberia are jamming bubu bangers in the club every weekend” – The Fader.
Janka Nabay is the undisputed king of bubu, a frantically-paced dance music with ancient, magical origins in Sierra Leone. The Bubu Gang are the posse of musical collaborators he has hooked up with in the US (featuring members of Skeletons and Gang Gang Dance among others), to create a wild, high-octane juggernaut of call-and-response vocal interplay, juddering dancefloor rhythms, synths and guitars: throw in a taste for tearaway improvisation and you have an absolute blast of a sound, that keeps it quick, loose and natural and runs on pure musical joy. A full-length album on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label later in the year.
Artist Website | Profile in NPR’s The World | Video
Outernational – (USA/NY)
New York band Outernational puts politics back in rock with their album “Todos Somos Ilegales: We Are All Illegals.” It’s a bouncy, bi-lingual, almost cinematic look at America’s southern border. The New Yorker: Channelling the radical stance and the disregard for stylistic parameters that were a hallmark of the Clash, New York City’s Outernational is hellbent on restoring righteous indignation to rock and roll. BBC Radio: These boys are the next big thing… They are an incredible mix of hard-rock, hip-hop, and world music. They mix politics and dance music in the best way, much like The Clash did.
Artist Website | Music Video | In depth video
Morikeba Kouyate Ensemble – (Senegal | New Orleans)
Morikeba’s story is a legend that began more than 700 years ago with his Ancestors. The Griot, or Jali, is the “Carrier of the Oral Tradition” and composed of Griot families among the Mandinka people. First of these families was the Kouyate family. Those histories and oral traditions were, and still are, passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years. Morikeba Kouyate was born and raised into this family in Bounkiling Senegal and is known throughout West Africa for his electrifying performances and virtuosity with the traditional African stringed instrument, the Kora.
Artist Website | Video
Los Empresarios – (Puerto Rico/USA | Chicago Debut)
“Hopscotching between Latin beats, dubby reggae and funky house rhythms, the Empresarios are the next name to watch on the city’s international party scene.” – Washington Post.
The Empresarios sound is best described as “Tropicaliente”, and that is the vibe that the band brings to the stage as well. Each and every time the Empresarios take the stage; there is a lively party that forms on the dancefloor. Mixing together the warm sounds of the Caribbean comes with ease for this group of talented musicians. Band leader Javier Miranda and lead singers Frankie Rosado and Felix Perez all hail from Puerto Rico, which comes through in the band’s unique blend of salsa, reggae, cumbia, dub and house.
Artist Website | Video
Raiz Viva – (Mexico/Chicago)
Opening the festival with a pre-hispanic Aztec ceremony and musical performance. The ensemble was founded in 1995 with a common interest to continue the traditions of their ancestors. They aim to introduce listeners to a deeper understanding of their indigenous cultural legacy, through passages of songs and poetry song and spoken in Nahuatl, one of the many indigenous languages still spoken in various areas throughout Mexico. They collect and play a variety of traditional musical instruments similar to those found in ancient and pre hispanic times. Over 50 instruments including Drums (Huehuetls, Panhuehuetls, Teponaztles), Rain Sticks (Chicahuiztlis, Omechicahuiztlis), simple flutes, double and triple flutes of clay, bamboo, and wood, ocarinas, trumpets and sea shells (Chalchayotes, Conchas) and others are commonly made of natural materials such as skin, bone, clay, seeds, stones, sea shells, and wood.
Local Favorites Include:
Los Vicios de Papa, Planeta Azul & Passistas Samba Dancers, Magic Carpet, Son Peru, Ecos del Pacifico, Sangre Michoacana, Son del Viento, Juvenato, Son de la Habana, Estampa Colombiana, JaroChicanos, and many more…
Detailed schedule can be found Here