2017 Uptown Saturday Nights

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 4.10.04 PMUptown Saturday Nights is a series of FREE concerts across the Uptown Entertainment District – a partnership of Uptown United and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

World Music Festival! Sat, September 9, 2017, 8:00 PM
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Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events | Choose Chicago

Ugochi and The Afro Soul Ensemble (A.S.E.) are taking over the world. Ugochi was born to Nigerian parents in Chicago, she credits both as the catalyst for her unique word, sound power, and singing ability. Ugochi’s sound has been described as “lively, energetic music that makes your feet move and heart think.” Her musical reverberation, part Afrobeat and part Chi-town soul has been coined Afro-Soul. Generally Ugochi’s choreo-poetic style of spoken word has been fused with her unique singing ability in order to generate a more powerful word sound attraction. A child of Nigeria, West Africa, Ugochi has grown into a full-fledged singer and songwriter comfortable enough with her talent for sound and the absence of it. A former rapper, turned poet, gone singer, Ugochi is versatile and creative with the music she is able to perform.

Neema Ya Mungu (Kiswahili for “God’s Grace”) is Mweniake, his wife Egi, and their family – who are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. When soldiers burned their village down during the civil war, Mweniake, Egi and their youngest children fled across Burundi to a refugee camp in Tanzania, 200 miles away. After several months apart they were reunited with their older children. The family spent 20 years in that refugee camp, living in a tent for many years, eating the barest of rations, and waking up at 4:00 a.m. to line up for water. Throughout it all, Mweniake, Egi, their children and grandchildren remained profoundly thankful that their family was together and safe. They even formed a band called God’s Grace and sang in front of crowds of 1,000s. The whole family was resettled in Chicago by RefugeeOne last year. RefugeeOne enrolled the adults in English class and helped them find jobs. Today, they work proudly at various businesses and organizations, including The Selfhelp Home, a nursing home in Uptown created for refugees who fled Nazi Germany in 1938. And the children? RefugeeOne staff helped enroll them in school and their after-school program, where they receive extra help and make friends from around the world.

Uptown Saturday Nights is hosting its FREE season finale on Saturday, September 9 in the Wilson Abbey Auditorium, 935 W. Wilson. As part of the 19th Annual World Music Festival Chicago, we are thrilled to be hosting Ugochi and The Afro Soul Ensemble with a special performance by Neema Ya Mungu, a local Congolese refugee family.

The 19th Annual World Music Festival Chicago will take place September 8-24, 2017 and is presented by the City of Chicago and produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. This city-wide, multi-venue, eleven-day festival has attracted over 650,000 concertgoers and has presented more than 650 artists and ensembles from over 80 countries since it began in 1999.

7:00pm – Doors Open! Seats are general admisison and first-come, first-served.
8:00pm – World Music Festival performance featuring Ugochi & The Afro Soul Ensemble and Neema Ya Mungu (God’s Grace)

Parking: There is street parking and paid parking lots in the area. Please plan to use public transportation (Wilson Red Line Station or CTA bus routes #36, #78, or #151).

2016 Concerts:

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Past Shows Included:

• Neo-Futurists at Alternatives Inc.
• ESSO Afrojam Funkbeat at the Uptown Lounge, part of the World Music Festival
• Alyssa Allgood at the Charlie Chaplin Theater, part of the Chicago Jazz Festival
• SummerDance 20th Anniversary Celebration at Buttercup Park
• Chicago Blues All-Stars at the Black Ensemble Theater, part of the Chicago Blues Festival
• Pat Whalen at Truman College
• JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound at the Preston Bradley Center

Sponsor the Events:

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