The largest and longest running festival of international music in the United States returns with eight days of free and low-cost concerts throughout Chicago from September 15 to 22.
The City of Chicago transforms into a global center for the best of today’s international music when the 13th annual World Music Festival: Chicago 2011 returns.
Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture (COTC), the city-wide, multi-venue, eight-day festival features acclaimed musicians from more than 40 countries.
Featuring traditional and contemporary music from diverse cultures, the performances and events include a combination of free and low-cost ticketed concerts, many of which are family friendly.
The festival kicks-off in Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Garden as part of Chicago SummerDance, followed by seven jam-packed days of performances and events in Chicago’s neighborhood parks, clubs, cultural centers and downtown venues, culminating with the “One World Under One Roof” finale featuring multiple concerts held throughout the Chicago Cultural Center from 6:30 to 11:30pm.
Highlights include the Chicago debut of Staff Benda Bilili, an extraordinary group of paraplegic street musicians from the Democratic Republic of Congo who perform on homemade instruments, make their Chicago debut as part of their first U.S. Tour; The Creole Choir of Cuba (Caribbean); Boubacar Traore Trio (Mali); Sounds & Rhythms of Afghanistan; Esma Redžepova (Macedonia); Movits! (Sweden); Mad Professor (UK), among many others.
Since its inception, World Music Festival: Chicago has attracted more than a half million concertgoers and has presented more than 500 artists and ensembles from over 75 countries, making it the largest international music festival in the United States.
The full schedule can be viewed at WorldMusicFestivalChicago.org
For more information about top events in Illinois take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Illinois.