Posts Tagged World Music Festival

World Music Festival Returns to Chicago for the Eli’s Cheesecake Festival

We are delighted that the Eli’s Cheesecake Festival will once again be a venue for the World Music Festival sponsored by the City of Chicago Office of Cultural Affairs.

On Sunday, September 16th at 2pm, the World Music Festival will present Balla Kouyate and World Vision on the US Cellular Main Stage at the Eli’s Cheesecake Festival.

Balla Kouyaté is one of the greatest balafon players from the Djeli or “griot” tradition in Mali. The Kouyatés were the first djelis in the Mandé Empire. The balafon (ancestor of the xylophone) was given to Balla’s ancestors by nobles in the 12th century and has remained in his family ever since.

Balla seemed destined to play this instrument, learning at the age of six. He performed for the first time in Bamako, Mali at “Palais de la Culture” with Malian singer Sanignai Kouyaté. In 1994, he was a member of the National Percussion of Mali. By 1997 he was granted the opportunity to play with singer Ami Koïta at the O.I.A. conference, which brought together 27 African presidents.

Balla has been called on to play with many African artists touring in the United States and his superior musicianship has been featured on at least 35 albums. Currently he works with kora master Mamadou Diabaté playing venues such as Lincoln Center Outdoor Festival, Symphony Space and festivals around the country. They both are part of Roswell Rudd’s MALIcool ensemble. In 2004, Balla played with Sidiki Condé at Carnegie Hall for a month long residency for children, and has been engaged by many African artists to tour in the United States. He joined Ursel Schlicht’s Ex Tempore in 2004. While playing with Ex Tempore, he felt the need to expand the tonal possibilities of the balafon and created a chromatic instrument, to his knowledge the first chromatic balafon ever. Check out his Collaborations page to see more of his current and past projects.

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Eli’s Proud to Partner with Borders Books as a Venue for the World Music Festival

The Borders Book & Music Stores in Chicago are perfect destinations to enjoy the World Music Festival. The first performance by Sara
Tavares is on the evening of Thursday, September 14th at the Michigan Avenue Borders and continues through Thursday, the 21st of September with a final performance by Carmen Consoli. Over the course of the week, there are performances at the Borders stores on State Street, in Hyde Park, Clark Street in Lakeview, North Avenue and Broadway in Uptown.

We are delighted that Borders, one of our important customers nationally, has highlighted our World Music Festival performances on Sunday, September 17th by Heather Maxwell and Afrika Soul and Son Trinidad.

All of these performances are free and are part of this wonderful cultural week organized by the Office of Cultural Affairs of the City
of Chicago.



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Eli’s Cheesecake Festival to be a featured venue for the World Music Festival Chicago on Sunday, September 17th

The middle of September is a great time to be in Chicago. You can take in the 10th Annual Eli’s Cheesecake Festival on September 16th and 17th and the 8th Annual World Music Festival Chicago which runs from Thursday,  September 14th through September, September 21st.

On Sunday, September 17th, you can experience the best of both when the World Music Festival Chicago comes to the Eli’s Cheesecake Festival. This is the 3rd consecutive year that the World Music Festival has brought outstanding talent to our free Festival and we welcome the opportunity to highlight these performances on the northwest side and on the Wright Campus.

This year, we will first feature Heather Maxwell & Afrika Soul at 2:45 on Sunday on the U.S. Cellular Main Stage. Maxwell, a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Music Department has a PHD in Ethnomusicology and African Studies from Indiana University. She lived as an undergraduate in Ghana and later lived in Mali for three years as a Peace Corp Volunteer. According to Maxwell, “talking through song, may not be an especially new concept in places where much of the population cannot read,” but Maxwell notes that “musicians can share progressive ideas that might otherwise not be politically popular” “You can say a lot in music that can slide by because it’s a song.”


Our second World Music Festival Chicago performance is at 4;15PM by Son Trinidad on the U.S. Cellular Main Stage.Son Trinidad is the single fused voice of Latin, folk and jazz. The rhythm of Latin music, the powerful
expression of folk, and the spontaneity of jazz are present in the sounds of this young band. The combination of five essential elements; guitar, bass, percussion, trumpet and voice, create the quality of sound to be expected of a large ensemble. Together, they radiate a progressive electric and acoustic guitar mix with raw percussion beats blended with a warm and contemporary bass. Melodic, laid-back jazz lines in the trumpet contrast with firm yet mellow vocals. Son Trinidad has performed all over Chicago including The Hot House, Club “ñ,” Rumba, The Old Town School of Folk Music, the Chicago World Music Festival, and more



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Nomo and Golem to perform at Eli’s Cheesecake Festival as part of the World Music Festival

NOMO and

Saturday, September 17, 3:30pm and 5pm
Eli’s Cheesecake Fest, 6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive

3:30pm: NOMO
5pm: Golem


A first aural encounter with Elliot Bergman’s trans-cultural Nomo ensemble from Ann Arbor, MI, will undoubtedly and correctly stir the soul and move the feet. Bergman, the leader and composer, has assembled a large band around the sound of reeds and brass, the occasional woodwind, a myriad of percussion instruments to create a large Afrobeat sound. For more more information visit

New York-based klezmer/rock band Golem transforms the music of its Jewish grandparents, making it modern, edgy, sexy and brash. Golem has infused the world music scene with a breath of fresh air from Eastern Europe. Fronted by Annette Ezekiel, the bandleader, accordionist and singer and madcap vocalist Aaron Diskin, Golem’s explosive onstage attitude gets klezmer to rock. For more more information visit


World Music Festival Chicago 2005 schedule of

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Eli’s Cheesecake Festival Again Proud to be a venue for the World Music Festival

We opened Eli’s Cheesecake World on World Food Day, October 16, 1996. To celebrate that event and our role in the community, we annually sponsor the Eli’s Cheesecake Festival. This year is the 10th Annual which will be held on September 16-18th. The event benefits long time partners the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the New Horizons Center for the Developmentally Disabled.

Last year we were fortunate to partner with one of Chicago’s most dynamic and interesting music festivals, the World Music Festival Chicago, which is sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of Special Events. The World Music Festival brought the Mamadou Diabate Ensemble to our Festival for a free performance. We had a huge interested crowd who had never before been exposed to its West African Sound with an American flair.

We have dedicated the afternoon of Saturday, September 17th to the World Music Festival and look forward to another great day of music from around the world.


Photo of Mamadou Diabete with his Kora, which makes a harp like sound

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