Interweaving World Music And Oral History
Learning From Immigrant Musicians
We study with master musicians, gathering songs and stories and learning musical styles from around the world.
Making Original Arrangements
We create our own repertoire by interweaving the music and stories we gather, arranging dramatic pieces that feature simultaneous music and storytelling.
Presenting High Quality Performances
We work with accomplished professional artists to captivate audiences with beautiful shows that celebrate world cultures.
Bringing People Together
Throughout the process, our work is based on values of inclusivity and diversity. Our goal is to build interaction and understanding among Chicago’s diverse communities and cultures.
Song Offerings of Rabindranath Tagore
Our Gitanjali: Song Offerings of Rabindranath Tagore takes audiences on a spiritual journey through Bengali music and poetry and reflects on the continuing impact of a great Bengali songwriter on the lives of ordinary people. Vocalists from Kolkata, India are accompanied by sweeping strings and accordion harmonies.
WHERE RIVERS MEET
Stories and songs from masters of Arabic music
Where Rivers Meet is a show of Arabic music and storytelling that takes listeners down the rivers of the Middle East. String ensemble and storyteller accompany master musicians from Iraq, Egypt, and Palestine who share melodies and memories passed down in song and story.
FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY
Folktales about the earth and traditional music from around the world
Follow the Butterfly is a fun and interactive show for kids and families. String ensemble and storyteller present international folktales with themes of respecting nature and caring for the earth. Each tale is accompanied by traditional music from its respective region – Nigeria, Thailand, the United States, India, and the Amazon Rainforest.
THE WORLD IN CHICAGO
Music and stories collected from Chicago immigrant musicians
The World in Chicago is a show that celebrates immigrant musicians in Chicago. String quartet and storyteller present traditional music and moving personal stories of master musicians from Jordan, Ghana, Argentina, Thailand, and Serbia.
Chicago Folklore Ensemble will be performing a free concert of songs from Rabindranath Tagore’s poem collection Gitanjali. We will also be releasing a few tracks from an upcoming album! Please join us! Our GitanjaliSkokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton St, Skokie, ILSaturday, September 21, 1 pmFree Admission Our Gitanjali is a show that takes audiences on[…]
Chicago Folklore Ensemble’s new show, Lift Every Voice, premieres this month with three free performances hosted by Night Out in the Parks! Lift Every Voice uses the power of music to engage children and families in celebrating African-American and Latin-American freedom movements in Chicago. Guided by storytellers Sojourner Zenobia and Mercedes Inez Martinez, kids will sing[…]
Chicago Folklore Ensemble will perform Our Gitanjali: Song Offerings of Rabindranath Tagore on May 16th, 7:00pm, at the Assembly Hall in the International House at University of Chicago, 1414 E 59th St. Chicago. Our Gitanjali presents English translations of several poems from Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali paired with the songs sung in the original Bengali and improvisations in the[…]
Along the banks of a river, people wash clothes, sing songs, and tell stories. Spices, fabrics, and melodies are carried downstream, and villages are woven together by the current. The Shatt Al-Arab, the Nile, and the Jordan converge at Lake Michigan as Chicago Folklore Ensembles explores the music and stories of master musicians from Iraq,[…]
Chicago Folklore Ensemble’s new show, Gitanjali: Song Offerings, will premier on November 3, 2018, at Second Unitarian Church, 656 W Barry Ave., Chicago, at 7pm. Gitanjali: Song Offerings is a two-hour show that takes audiences on a spiritual journey via the music and poetry of legendary Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore. In 1912, Tagore published a book[…]
We will be performing our new show, Where Rivers Meet: Songs and Stories from Masters of Arabic Music, twice this June as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series! Both shows will be free and open to the public. June 16, 2018, 2pm – Marquette Park, 6743 S Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL[…]
Chicago Folklore Ensemble is proud to announce the premier of our new show, Where Rivers Meet. Join us for two free shows: December 10, 2017, 3pm at Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave. December 17, 2017, 3pm at Skokie Public Library, 5215 Oakton St. Where Rivers Meet is a show of Arabic music and storytelling[…]
The Chicago Park District is offering dozens of free programs this summer for their Night Out in the Parks series. Chicago Folklore Ensemble will be performing twice! Follow The Butterfly, Revere Park Traditional music and folktales about respecting the earth; for kids and families. 2509 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago Friday, June 16, 2017 6-7[…]
Chicago Folklore Ensemble will be performing The World in Chicago as part of Old Town School of Folk Music’s World Music Wednesday Series. Join us Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at 8:30 PM. 4544 N Lincoln Ave · Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall Click to reserve tickets!
Chicago Folklore Ensemble will have the honor to perform excerpts from The World in Chicago at TEDxUChicago on Saturday, May 6, 2017. The event starts at 10:00 AM and Chicago Folklore Ensemble will perform at 2:30 PM. Buy tickets here.