World Music Festival Chicago 2016

Festival features more than 60 artists from 25 countries in 20 venues across the city


(Press Release) The world comes together at the 18th Annual World Music Festival Chicago, September 9–25, 2016, at a variety of venues across the city. Celebrating the diverse music from nations across the globe, this FREE festival is produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and is the largest festival of its kind in the United States. Highlights of the 2016 festival include the all night Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music, a weekend collaboration with Chicago SummerDance in Grant Park, a concert in Millennium Park and the The 606 Walk + Peace Picnic.


On the first night of the festival, Friday, September 9, Ragamala: A Celebration of Indian Classical Music starts at 6pm under the Tiffany stained glass dome of the Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.). A tradition in India, the all-night classical concerts are rarely held publicly in the United States. Visitors have the exceptional opportunity to hear the ragas (traditional scales or modes) during the early morning and late night hours when they were meant to be played. The concert features more than 10 musical groups and artists through 9am the next morning.

Also, the first weekend of the festival, Chicago SummerDance in Grant Park (601 S. Michigan) closes with a world music lineup that includes two days of Salsa music with Adonis Puentes and the Voice of Cuba Orchestra and OLA FRESCA as well as a Bhangra Blowout with DJ and live Dohl presented by Kalapriya.


In the second weekend of the festival, “Mr. Golden Voice of Africa” Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band performs on Saturday, September 17, at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion (201 E. Randolph St.). The afternoon of music will begin at 3pm with a performance by Herencia de Timbiquí, a fusion of traditional Afro music of Colombia’s Pacific coast and contemporary urban music.

The following day, Sunday, September 18, The 606 Walk + Peace Picnic is a day of family-friendly activities including instrument making, peace procession, music and more. The Global Peace Picnic from 2 to 6pm at the Humboldt Park Boathouse (1301 N. Sacramento Ave.) features concerts by Rocky Dawuni, Herencia de Timbiquí, and Rajab Suleiman & Kithara.

The full schedule with locations and times of each performance is included below. For more information and festival updates, visit and follow the festival on Facebook and on Twitter @WMFChicago #WorldMusicChicago.

World Music Festival Chicago 2016 Performance Schedule

The FREE admission World Music Festival Chicago is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and is sponsored by the Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Tribune, Metra and Millennium Garages.

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.

For more information, visit