Book Release at Alhambra Palace

The World in Chicago, an evening of story and song! 

Sunday, November 27. 4pm $25
The Alhambra Palace Restaurant, 1240 West Randolph Chicago, IL 60607
Tickets and information


Join Chicago Folklore Ensemble for a show of stories and music collected from master musicians from Serbia, Ghana, Jordan, Argentina, and Thailand! This show will celebrate the release of an illustrated book featuring the oral histories of master musicians.

From the Serbian mountains of blood and honey to the passionate coasts of Argentina, rattling buses tearing through Thai countryside and back to sweet home Chicago, embark on a journey around the world atop a carpet of music and story. String quartet and storyteller come together to narrate the sights, sounds, and emotions stored in the memories of Chicago immigrant musicians.

The Chicago Folklore Ensemble celebrates Chicago’s immigrant communities and helps to share and pass on their stories and music. The ensemble interviews musicians of many ethnic backgrounds, collects their traditional music and oral histories, and adapts them into dynamic arrangements for string quartet and storyteller.

Album Release Concert on October 2


The World In Chicago

Sunday, October 2, 4pm
2nd Unitarian Church, 656 W Barry St, Chicago


Chicago Folklore Ensemble is releasing it’s first album, entitled The World in Chicago! Please join us as we celebrate with an afternoon performance of songs and stories of Chicago immigrants, followed by a feast with food from each country!

The World in Chicago is a delightful fusion of classical and world music! Original arrangements of traditional folk songs are played by string quartet featuring soloists from each country represented: master musicians Baha’a Abu-Taha, oud player from Jordan; Abee Mensah, keyboard player from Ghana; Alba Guerra, singer from Argentina; Phiwan Phonwiang, khaen player from Thailand; and Jovan Mihailović, violinist from Serbia.

Embark on a journey of melody, laughter, tears, and joy, we realize together the human behind each story, the worlds contained in each song.



Night Out In The Parks

We are pleased to announce two free upcoming shows! They are part of Night Out In The Parks, year round events sponsored by the Chicago Park District.

Tuesday, August 16, 4:30pm, Rainbow Beach Park. We’ll be performing Follow The Butterfly, our kids’ show featuring traditional music and folktales about respecting the earth.

Thursday, August 18, 6:00pm, Holstein Park. We’ll be performing The World In Chicago, featuring songs and stories collected from Chicago immigrant musicians.

Hope to see you there!

The World In Chicago as String Quartet

We are pleased to announce Chicago Folklore Ensemble’s first ever solely musical performances! Please join us as we play string quartet arrangements of pieces from our show The World In Chicago – music from Jordan, Ghana, Argentina, Thailand, and Serbia. We will be joined by guest musicians from each country – Baha’a Abu-Taha, Abee Mensah, Alba Guerra, Phiwan Phonwiang, and Jovan Mihailović! They will be beautiful events celebrating the musical culture that immigrants bring to our sweet home Chicago.

Thursday, July 14th, 7pm – Lake Street Church, 607 Lake St, Evanston, IL.

Sunday, July 17th, 4:30pm – St. Philip Neri Church, 2132 E 72nd St, Chicago, IL.

Big news: Chicago Folklore Ensemble has recently been awarded a grant from the City of Chicago’s DCASE to produce an album/book of our work The World in Chicago! Save the date for our CD/book release party with stories, songs, and food from around the world! Sunday, October 2nd, 4pm at 2nd Unitarian Church, 656 W Barry Ave, Chicago, IL.

Here is a preview of the upcoming shows in July! We are joined by Jordanian singer and oud player Baha’a Abu-Taha.

Upcoming shows!

May 21, 4:50pmSkokie Festival of Cultures, Interactive Stage (Indoors), Oakton Park, 4701 Oakton St., Skokie, IL – performing pieces from The World In Chicago as a 3-piece ensemble.

June 2, 8:00pmPivot Arts Festival, Festival Launch at Ras Dashen Ethiopian Restaurant, 5846 N. Broadway St., Chicago – performing pieces from The World in Chicago, $35 ticket also includes an Ethiopian buffet, which begins at 7:30pm. The dinner is preceded by a wine tasting nearby at Independent Spirits, 5947 N. Broadway. Get tickets!

July 10, 10:30am – Lake Street Church, 607 Lake St., Evanston, IL – performing pieces from The World In Chicago during Sunday service.

July 17, 12:25pmEvanston Ethnic Arts Festival, Dawes Park, Sheridan Rd. and Church St., Evanston, IL – performing Follow the Butterfly.

August 18, 6:00pmNight Out In The Parks, Holstein Park, 2200 N Oakley Ave., Chicago, IL – performing The World In Chicago.


Chicago Folklore Ensemble to Perform at Pivot Arts Festival

Chicago Folklore Ensemble will perform on June 2 as part of the upcoming Pivot Arts Festival in Chicago’s Uptown and Edgewater neighborhoods. We will be playing at the Festival Launch at Ras Dashen Ethiopian Restaurant. For $35, you can enjoy a wine tasting, an Ethiopian buffet, and our performance of pieces from our show The World In Chicago, songs and stories collected from Chicago immigrant musicians! Click here for tickets.

Pivot Arts Festival is organizing several events throughout Edgewater and Uptown from June 2-12, including a “Celebrate Community!” parade on June 4. Be sure to check out the many talented performers.



Follow the Butterfly: A Performance of Music and Earthlore

Earth Day Celebration1

The Chicago Folklore Ensemble’s new show, Follow The Butterfly, will premier on April 29 with a field trip performance at Old Town School of Folk Music.

Follow The Butterfly is a performance of songs and tales from around the world celebrating the earth. Students will learn through music and story how world cultures have honored nature. In an hour of wisdom and whimsy, find out how a girl in India saved a whole forest of trees, how a village in Nigeria angered the sky, and how an Amazonian butterfly taught a young girl not to be scared of the forest.

Come hear folktales that encourage care and respect for our planet, and folk songs that make participation irresistible! Students of all ages will enjoy this dynamic performance of string quartet and storyteller.

The show will be held at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln, 10:30 – 11:30 AM on Friday, April 29. Contact Old Town School for ticketing information.

Follow The Butterfly is available for booking! The performance is ideal for schools and libraries. Contact us for inquiries, and attend the show at Old Town School to see it yourself!