Taste of Chicago 2011 will encompass several used-to-be-independent festival days including Viva! Chicago Latin Music Day, Gospel Music Day, and World Music Day which is honestly great, considering the fact that last year’s festivals cost Chicago 1.5 million. Moreover, the addition of Celtic, gospel, Latin and country music really spices up the taste of Chicago from past acts that followed one genre theme to a lineup that truly reflects Chicago’s infamous diversity.
Here is a sampling of the myriad of Chicago artists to be found at the Illinois Lottery Taste Stage:
24th Angel d’Cuba. Listen to: Bilongo. d’Cuba’s removed vocals allow the instruments (including horns, guitars, and bongo drums) to hold the spotlight fashioning a classy, vintage summer vibe.
25th Empires. This rock band (real rock not soft or indie) went impressively far in Rolling Stones’ Choose the Cover Contest and has an album (Howl) due out soon. Hopefully their performance at Taste of Chicago will include grungy melody previews into what to expect later this year.
26th Dr. Albertina Walker Tribute. Often tributes are disappointing reminders of something you can no longer hear; not true for this band that honors Chicago born, Grammy winning, awesome Doctor of Letters Degree holder Albertina Walker. A tribute band devoted to someone so integral to Chicago’s gospel – and frankly entire music – scene is a must see.
27th Lamajamal. Gypsy surf is both an album title and fantastic way to describe this cultured and traditionally trained group. The way in which Lamajamal uses a diverse array of instruments (extensive percussions, the cumbus, and multi-lingual vocals) creates an eclectic experimental take on traditional Eastern European/African influences. Their intricate album is a vibrant and intriguing way to pique curiosity into the World Music genre.