Old Town School of Folk

The Old Town School of Folk Music is one of Chicago's most cherished institutions, and they long ago expanded the definition of "folk music" beyond Americana to encompass global traditions and the modern sounds that are built on them. Pueblo Latino Chicago is their initiative that provides programming through classes, workshops and concerts that celebrate the diverse cultures of Spain, Brazil, and Spanish speaking America - catch one of their concerts tonight! 

Look for these great concerts over the next few weeks that represent the breadth of Latino culture, and all of them are priced at $10 or less.  

Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta, February 21

Just as Celtic music traveled to Spain a millennium ago and mixed with local culture, cumbia from Colombia spread throughout Latin America in the 1970s, where it encountered both locally indigenous traditions and rock n' roll guitars to become something new. Dos Santos take their inspiration from this visceral sound to create irresistible dance floor grooves guaranteed to heat up a cold winter night.

El Payo y La Tiranta "Noche Flamenca," March 14

El Payo y La Tiranta will present a night of flamenco music and dance including styles such as Rumbas, Sevillanas, and Bulerias. The members hail from diverse ethnic backgrounds including Spain, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the USA. Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune calls El Payo "a first-rate Chicago ensemble acquitted itself quite well, offering an unmistakably contemporary approach to Flamenco."

Dos y Mas, March 19

Elio Villafranca and Arturo Stable, two Cuban-born maestros of jazz and world music, unveil Dos y Mas, an exquisite new piano and percussion collaboration. Villafranca's virtuosic and multifaceted pianism engages Stable's poly-rhythmic percussion genius that pay tribute to the spiritual, classical and traditional legacies of Cuba, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Spain. Both Villafranca and Stable are at the forefront of the latest generation of remarkable Cuban artists making major creative contributions to the international development of modern jazz.

Hungry before or after the show?

You'll find three terrific Mexican restaurants within walking distance to suit every mood and budget. El Asadero is a simple storefront taqueria offering cheap and tasty favorites. Their carne asada taco is one of the best in the city. A more refined, yet still casual experience is Los Nopales , a BYOB serving tangy ceviche and creatively prepared entrees. Several dishes utilize the nopal (cactus) after which they named the restaurant. After the show, stroll up Lincoln Avenue to Garcia's, a lively neighborhood place that serves up generous portions of classic dishes alongside potent house margaritas and Mexican beers.

Written by Don Macica / Arte y Vida Chicago