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Global sounds and local eats on offer for the World Music Festival

World Music Festival Chicago 2013 is taking place from Sept. 12-22.

World Music Festival Chicago 2013 is taking place from Sept. 12-22.

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World music festival
Chicago 2013

♦ Sept. 12-22

♦ Various times and locations

♦ Free

♦ (312) 744-3316;

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Updated: September 15, 2013 5:23PM

Are you ready for free trip around the world? A musical one, that is.

World Music Festival Chicago, organized by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, returns with more than 70 performances by a wide variety of musicians and singers performing in venues around the city. Here are a few picks — and to make the evening even more culturally defined, we offer dinner suggestions from the city’s equally diverse lineup of restaurants. Amjad Ali Khan

6 p.m. Sept. 13 at Pritzker Pavilion, Randolph and Michigan. The son of the storied sarod maestro Hafiz Ali Khan, Amjad Ali Khan ranks as the greatest living sarod player in Indian classical music. He’s joined here by Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan plus Debashish Bhattacharya & Family. For dinner try: Indian Garden, 2546 W. Devon. (773) 338-2929.

Plena Libre with AfriCaribe

6 p.m. dance lesson, 7:30 p.m. performance, Sept. 13 at Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, 601 S. Michigan. The Puerto Rican ensemble Plena Libre melds the island’s native plena style of music with touches of jazz, pop and other Afro-Caribbean genres. AfriCaribe has mastered the propulsive bomba rhythms of Puerto Rico. For dinner try: Borinquen, 1720 N. California. (773) 227-6038.

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole

9 p.m. Sept. 13 at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4545 N. Lincoln. Cajun and zydeco traditions are found in Watson’s original tunes and classics from predecessors like Boozoo Chavis, Michael Doucet and Dennis McGee. For dinner try: Heaven on Seven, 600 N. Michigan, 2nd floor. (312) 280-7774.

Mamadou Kelly

7 p.m. Sept. 14 at Old Town School of Folk Music, 4545 N. Lincoln, followed by Sidi Toure with Leila Gobi at 8:30 p.m. at 4544 N. Lincoln. Mali’s annual Festival au Desert was canceled this year due to the country’s political instability. So instead the artists bring their music to audiences around the world. Check the WMF schedule for more shows by other Malian artists. For dinner try: Yassa African Restaurant, 716 E. 79th. (773) 488-5599.

Nicolae Feraru & His Gypsy Band plus Krar Collective

3 p.m. Sept. 15 at Pritzker Pavilion, Randolph and Michigan. Nicolae Feraru performs the Gypsy traditional music he learned from his father and other lautari, or minstrels, from his native Romania. He plays the tambal mic (Romanian dulcimer). For dinner try: Little Bucharest Bistro, 3661 N. Elston. (773) 604-8500.

Los Cenzontles

7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th. Los Cenzontles (“The Mockingbirds”) is a California band influenced by Mexican regional folk music such as traditional mariachi, banda, ranchera and norteno. For dinner try: Nuevo Leon, 1515 W. 18th. (312) 421-1517.


8:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse. Colombia’s Alejandra Ortiz and Argentina’s Luis Maurette use electronic textures and beats and blend them with melodies from their respective South American cultures. For dinner try: Las Tablas, 2942 N. Lincoln. (773) 871-2414.

Janusz Prusinowski Trio

2 p.m. Sept. 22 at Randolph Square, Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph. The trio’s music is rooted in the traditional village sounds of central Poland, especially the centuries-old dance style called the mazurka. Also performing: Andreas Kapsalis & Goran Ivanovic and Paulinho Garcia. For dinner try: Staropolska, 5249 W. Belmont. (773) 736-5230.

Mary Houlihan is a Chicago free-lance writer.

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