Also by Mark Corece

It is no secret that the The Shrine’s Sonic Diaspora is about movement. Not just the pulsing pumps or baseline bounces, it’s about the people. It’s about cultural resonance that urges us to intertwine our already complex selves with the intensity of African influenced music; from reggae to bomba to cumbia to music deeply imbedded in the vales and valleys of places often overlooked.

Sonic Diaspora delivers, in many ways, particularly by living up to its name. The musical sonics played at the popular monthly party have traveled from the shores and inner lush-laden landscapes of Africa to the coasts and in-lands of Latin America where the sounds and rhythms converged like its people to create beautiful and upbeat diasporas. In Chicago, Sonic Diaspora bloomed from the concrete to offer a culturally-lacking urban night scene an alternative to its mainstream boredom.

“[It’s] Both an event and an idea. The idea bringing together people from [the] African Disapora, from similar cultures and struggles.” Said Sonic Diaspora creator and Peoples DJ Collective member, DJ Brotha Onaci. He continued, “We meet around the music, people interested in the musical aspect [meet to dialogue] and we are starting to build on other things…”

Although attendance is all about getting down on the floor—and in turn be lifted up–to music that will make your heart thump. There’s a silent undertone about the importance of convening in a space that’s about solidarity and music being the linkage of cultures. One of its purposes is to build consciousness about the music played, where its from and where it’s traveled, it tells the stories about the communities from which the sounds were born, the people who create it, and about those who receive it. As stated on the Sonic Diaspora site: “We all know Chicago is home to House Music, but have we connected with its home in Africa?”

It’s not just about how our minds connect with the sounds but our bodies too: think a dance floor serving as witness to the shoulder-to-shoulder dancing, and to the bodies rhythmically swaying, moving back-and-forth to a hybrid collection of high-energy African and African diasporic beats, such as Kuduro, Kwaito, Moombahton, Soca, and Soukous. Music will be played not only by Brotha Onaci, but Itch 13, Afroqbano, and Itzi Nallah: regulars.

All in all, Sonic Diaspora will take you on a musicultural voyage throughout Africa and beyond!


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