From Niger to the Pacific islands at Chicago Folk & Roots Festival 



Ron Wyman

The Old Town School of Folk Music presents its Chicago Folk & Roots Festival in Welles Park (4400 N. Lincoln) from noon till 10 PM on Sat 7/9 and Sun 7/10. The fest's two days of music include bluegrass, blues, rockabilly, reggae, hip-hop, New Orleans brass, and traditional sounds from Colombia, the Congo, Mexico, Niger, eastern Europe, the Pacific islands, and elsewhere. Playing the main stage on Saturday are Delbert McClinton, Rosie Flores, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Glen David Andrews, and more; on Sunday the lineup features Maraca, Baloji, Soul Sonic Sirkus, and Bombino. The fest also offers a dance tent with lessons, workshops, and live music; a staff tent with performances from Old Town School faculty bands; and a kids' tent where the little ones can make their own crowns, masks, and necklaces, among other activities. The public is invited to join sing-alongs and jams in the Welles Park gazebo, where open-ended groups will be playing everything from Cajun music to the Beatles. Admission is a $10 suggested donation ($5 for children and seniors). For more info see Fairs & Festivals listings by day, call 773-728-6000, or visit

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