World Music Festival Chicago 2019 (Sept 13–29)

Press Release

GRAB YOUR PASSPORT! World Music Festival Chicago, September 13–29

Schedule highlights are included below. For complete festival information, visit WorldMusicFestivalChicago.org and follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter @WMFChicago #WorldMusicFestivalChicago


The world will come together for the 21ST Annual World Music Festival Chicago at 17 venues across the city from September 13 to 29. Celebrating diverse music from across the globe, this FREE festival is produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and is the largest festival of its kind in the United States. The full schedule can be found at worldmusicfestivalchicago.org

World Music Festival Chicago opens Friday, September 13, with Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music an overnight concert starting at 6 p.m. through 8 a.m. on Saturday. A tradition in India, ragas (traditional scales or modes) are all-night classical concerts seldom held publicly in the United States. This is a rare opportunity for visitors to experience ragas as they are meant to be heard – during early morning and late-night, under the Tiffany stained-glass dome of Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.). Presented in collaboration with Indian Classical Music Society of Chicago and People of Rhythm, performances will feature Hindustani and Carnatic music.

¡SÚBELO! – A Celebration of Pan Latin Music and Culture starts at 3 pm on Saturday, September 14 in Millennium Park. ¡Súbelo! (turn it up) features headliner, Pirulo y La Tribu from Puerto Rico, combining Nuyorican salsa, Afro-Cuban son and Puerto Rican bomba for a classic meets modern 21st century salsa and timba; Centavrvs, whose “electronica regional Mexicana” has made them one of the most popular indie bands from Mexico City; and Los Wembler’s de Iquitos, cumbia pioneers from Iquitos, Peru, the capital of the Amazon.  

The Global Peace Picnic on Sunday, September 22, will commemorate International Peace Day at the Humboldt Park Boathouse (1301 N. Sacramento Ave.) from 2 to 6 p.m. This day of family-friendly activities and music will feature The Garifuna Collective from Belize and Central America; KOKOKO! from the Democratic Republic of Congo; and master ‘sonero’ salsa singer Hermán Olivera from Newark, New Jersey, joined by an 11-piece band of top Chicago salsa talent convened by Segundo Ruiz Belvis, led by Nathan Rodríguez on percussion and Edwin Sánchez on piano.

Making their World Music Festival debut from Bali, Indonesia, Gamelan Çudamani takes the stage at 6 pm on Friday, September 27, at the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance (205 E. Randolph St.). One of Bali’s most active and respected ensembles, Gamelan Çudamani has been based in the village of Pengosekan near Ubud, Bali, for over 20 years. The group performs a diverse repertoire of music and dance with astonishing technical precision, high collective spirit, and artistic nuance, staying true to their name Çudamani – meaning “focus with your whole heart.

The 2019 Festival ends on Sunday, September 29, with World Music Festival meets World Dumpling Fest at the Polk Brothers Fountain and Performance Lawn at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave). This collaboration among Navy Pier, the Chicago Cultural Alliance and DCASE is from noon to 7 p.m. and includes Fidel Nadal featuring Mr. Pauer from Argentina and Venezuela, Alsarah & The Nubatones from Sudan and New York City and Chicago’s own LowDown Brass Band. Attendees will also be able to purchase dumplings from 20 neighborhood-based ethnic restaurants in the Chicago region including pierogis from Kasia’s Deli, bao and sui mai from Chinese Friendship Restaurant, coxinha de galinha and bolinho de aipim from Sinha Elegant Brazilian Cuisine & Catering and more! This all-ages event is a day of celebration of our region and world culture you won’t want to miss. For complete details, visit chicagoculturalalliance.org/alliance-programs/world-dumpling-fest.

World Music Festival is sponsored by Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Tribune, and Millennium Garages. Grant support for World Music Festival provided by the Beverly Arts Center, Chicago Park District, Irish American Heritage Center, National Museum of Mexican Art and Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information and festival updates, visit worldmusicfestivalchicago.org and follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter @WMFChicago #WorldMusicFestivalChicago.


21st Annual World Music Festival Chicago Highlights

Friday, September 13 – Saturday, September 14

Ragamala – A Celebration of India Classical Music at Chicago Cultural Center | 6 p.m.–8 a.m. (OVERNIGHT)

Saturday, September 14

¡SÚBELO! – A Celebration of Pan Latin Music and Culture at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion FTG Pirulo y la Tribu (Puerto Rico), Los Wembler’s de Iquitos (Peru), Centavrvs (Mexico) | 3-7 p.m.

Sunday, September 22

Global Peace Picnic: In commemoration of the International Day of Peace FTG The Garifuna Collective (Belize | Central America), KOKOKO! (Democratic Republic of Congo), Hermán Olivera y su Orquesta (New Jersey, USA) at Humbold Park Boathouse | 2-6 p.m.

Friday, September 27

Gamelan Çudamani (Bali, Indonesia) at Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St. | 6 p.m. ALL AGES (Tickets are required for entry at HarrisTheaterChicago.org and reservations are encouraged. Walk-up will also be available on a first come, first served basis.)

Sunday, September 29

World Music Festival meets the World Dumpling Fest at Navy Pier (Collaboration among Navy Pier, Chicago Cultural Alliance and DCASE) Fidel Nadal featuring Mr. Pauer (Argentina | Venezuela) + Alsarah & The Nubatones (Sudan | New York City, USA) + LowDown Brass Band (Chicago, USA) at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. | Noon–7 p.m. ALL AGES


For more information and festival updates, visit  worldmusicfestivalchicago.org and follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter @WMFChicago #WorldMusicFestivalChicago.

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