Listen to the world


Music fest celebrates cultures :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


Looking for a way to kick out the summer jams? Music from around the globe will be rocking during the World Music Festival: Chicago 2004, Sept. 17-23.

"Kids are our next lifelines, and you gotta keep them educated about all the music and culture that doesn't get represented on the radio," says Brian Keigher, program co-coordinator for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. "There's enough Britney Spears and pop to go around, but we try to keep the kids educated and their ears open."

"It's for everyone, and everyone can enjoy music. Some of the events are in the evening, when kids may be sleeping, but there are concerts all during the day on weekends," says department spokeswoman Marta Juaniza.

Since 1999, the annual World Music Festival has brought music from around the world and spread it around Chicago. Shows and educational workshops are scheduled at the Chicago Cultural Center, Grant Park, Rogers Park, the Museum of Contemporary Art and under the Picasso sculpture at the Daley Center.

"In layman's terms, we try to provide a world music 101," says Keigher. The festival will offer at least 62 events-about half are free-including 20 different concerts. This year's event "is focusing on our music in Chicago from some of our Chicago immigrants and our population that has a harder time accessing music festivals," Keigher says.

In addition, some artists will do their thing in the schools-they'll give mini-concerts and then a short presentation about their culture and "why they play what they play," Keigher says.

Among the artists performing throughout the week are Abdeli, a traditional Algerian singer who plays instruments from throughout the globe; Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, an Indian drummer; and Katie Viquiera, an Argentinian jazz musician. Use the music to launch a social studies lesson for your kids. After you hear Abdeli, for example, head home to look for Algeria on your globe. Or stick around for a workshop on international music and culture.

An event's schedule for World Music Festival: Chicago 2004 is at worldmusic/.

For details or to schedule a school visit, call (312) 742-1938. Russell Jaffe

Kids Eat Chicago

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