Sunday, November 4, 2012

2nd Annual Afro Caribbean Improvised Music Festival

Dear friends and fellow salsa fanatics,
I want to tell you all about a great cultural event happening in Chicago during the period of December 12 – 16. While many of my friends do not live there, I do have some in the area and I am urging you all to check this out. Especially exciting to me is the live music. Pupy Cantor will be channeling the spirit of Chamaco Ramírez, Henry Cole and his ensemble will be invoking the spirits of afrobeat originators Tony Allen and Fela Kuti, as well as the Boricua bomba and plena masters of yesterday and today;  and Orquesta el Macabeo will blow your mind with their irreverent, progressive salsa stew! All three will be unique acts that people in the Windy City have rarely seen live before, if ever (El Macabeo and Henry Cole are flying direct from Puerto Rico). I will be there helping out – doing some DJ-ing, helping to host the record fair, setting up some eye candy in the form of an album cover exhibit, etc. It all ties in with this project I am assisting with, a documentary film called Alive And Kicking: La Historia de Chamaco Ramrírez (The Story Of Chamaco Ramírez). Not to be confused with the British comedy from the 1950s of the same name, this is a bio doc about the Puerto Rican singer known as Chamaco Ramírez, taking its name for the singers only solo record released in 1979 (which I helped reissue with Fania/Codigo last year). The film is being put together by the extremely talented team of Eduardo Cintron, Omar Torres-Kortright, Eduardo R. Ortiz Romeu, Chamaco Ramírez Jr., Glorily Velez, Paul Galati and Steven Aguilar. I was recently with them in New Jersey participating in some “talking head” interviews (myself and Ron Levine, original cover artist for Alive And Kicking the LP) and it was a blast. The film features lots of interesting in-depth interviews as it tells the story behind the man and his music. You can find out more about it at the events listed below, and by checking it out on line:

Tribute to Chamaco Ramírez 
Featuring Pupy Cantor

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 8:30 PM - FREE
Old Town School of Folk Music - 4544 N. Lincoln

This tribute to Chamaco Ramírez will include an exclusive preview of the documentary Alive and Kicking: The Story of Chamaco Ramírez and a live performance by his dear friend Pupy Cantor. Don't miss this incredible night of film and old school salsa.

Pupy Cantor

Tribute To Chamaco Ramírez (pictured: Tommy Olivencia, rt; Chamaco Ramírez, lft)

Henry Cole & The Afrobeat Collective
Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 8:00 PM $15
Mayne Stage - 1328 W. Morse

Equally able to jam with a hip hop crew or jazz masters, Henry Cole harnesses well-honed rhythmic power and love of catchy, evocative melodies to create a deep, wide-ranging vision of unity, balance, and Afro-Caribbean creativity. This is their Chicago debut.

Henry Cole

Orquesta el Macabeo - Two Shows
Friday, December 14, 2012 , 9:00 PM- $10/$15
Bottom Lounge - 1375 W. Lake
Sunday, December 16th, 2012, 6:00 PM - $10/$15
Willowbrook Ballroom - 8900 S. Archer Ave. Willow Springs, IL

Orquesta el Macabeo

El Macabeo

With backgrounds in rock, punk, ska and reggae, Orquesta el Macabeo's intense, driven, highly percussive salsa dura is tinged with a bit of all of those influences and will have you dancing to salsa without having to take a single class.

2nd Afro-Latin Record Collectors' Fair and Exhibit
Saturday, December 15, 2012 - 4:00 PM FREE
914 Studio - 914 N. California

Pablo Yglesias (DJ Bongohead), author of Cocinando: Fifty Years of Latin Album Cover Art (Princeton Architectural press, 2005) will be joining us for this one-of-a-kind Afro-Latin Record Collector's Fair. Collectors will be allowed to play, exchange, buy and sell records.

SRBCC's Traditional Traveling Parranda
Saturday, December 15, 2012 - 4:00 PM - $10
Studio 914 - 914 N. California

A still from video of last year's Parranda

Traveling Parranda in 2 large buses with pleneros and jíbaro music from Puerto Rico. Everything will end with a big party at the Afro-Latin Record Collectors' Fair taking place at Studio 914.