ILCC Announces 2023 Fall Music Series Line Up

Kevin Johansen, Son Rompe Pera, Novalima and the Return of the Tango Spectacle Volver among the Many Concerts to be Presented this Fall by the ILCC

Rock en español and Afro-Andean funk. Tango and chamamé (an accordion driven fusion of European, African and indigenous rhythms from northeastern Argentina). Bachata and cumbias mixed with punk, danzón and ska. The International Latino Cultural Center’s year-round Chicago Latino Music Series will have something for every music fan this Fall.

Among the high profile artists visiting our city as part of the series: Argentinian rocker Kevin Johansen and graphic designer and illustrator Liniers collaborating on a multimedia show where Liniers will be drawing live, inspired by Johansen’s songs as he performs them; Son Rompe Pera’s intoxicating fusion of marimba music, cumbia, danzón, rock, punk and ska; Novalima’s equally exciting fusion of Afro-Peruvian rhythms and electronica; Chilean singer-songwriter Nano Stern, one of the leader’s of that country’s current New Song Movement and considered by Joan Baez “the best young Chilean songwriter of his generation”; and Argentinian classical and folk guitarist and singer-songwriter Juan Falú.

“The Chicago Latino Music Series was created to introduce audiences and showcase rhythms that are an intrinsic part of Latin American culture and may not necessarily get any airplay on radio. This first round of fall concerts is not only representative of the music that is being produced from Mexico to Tierra del Fuego but also of the multiple generations that are keeping it alive, from masters of Argentinean folk music to its new voices, from young students learning to play a particular style of music to the latest musical fusions,” said the International Latino Cultural Center’s Executive Deputy Director Mateo Mulcahy

For ticket information on all concerts, visit



Co-presented with the Old Town School of Folk Music

Sunday, September 10 at 7 p.m.

Where: Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago

Admission: $40 ($35 ILCC members)

Music, humor and the graphic arts join forces in a unique spectacle from singer-songwriter Kevin Johansen and cartoonist and graphic designer Liniers (Ricardo Siri). In this audio-visual experience making its Chicago debut, Johansen takes audiences on a musical journey through his career as Liniers draws images inspired by the songs as Johansen performs them. You never know what will come out of Liniers mind and onto the screen onstage. The show’s roots can be traced back to 2008 when Johansen released OOPS!, a collection of his lyrics, photos, interviews and even a comic, all illustrated by Liniers. The book itself produced a tour and a DVD shot in Buenos Aires. A second book, BIS, and DVD shot in Mexico City featured such guest stars as Natalia Lafourcade and Café Tacvba’s Rubén Albarrán.


In collaboration with the Old Town School of Folk Music
Tuesday, September 26 at 7 p.m.

Where: 18th Street Casa de Cultura, 2057 W. 18th St., Chicago

Admission: $15 ($12 ILCC members)

Based in Cabarete, Dominican Republic, Bachata Academy (Academia de Bachata) is the world’s only school for bachata music. The Academia enrolls 250 boys and girls in intensive daily tuition-free music classes. Under the tutelage of a faculty that includes Grammy-nominated Martires de León and Abel Mendez, the students are recognized for their virtuosity and mastery of Latin and Caribbean traditions. Academia de Bachata’s bands perform regular concerts and workshops throughout the Dominican Republic and the United States.

Bachata evolved from Iberian, African, and indigenous Caribbean influences. As with American jazz and blues, it was first practiced by the marginalized and shunned by elites. In the late 20th century, Dominican migrants brought bachata to the US. Second-generation Dominican-Americans combined bachata with US funk, rap, and R&B. The resulting “Bachata Urbana,” best represented by superstar Romeo Santos, has become hugely popular in the US and globally. The 2023 tour features an eight-piece student band led by Academia faculty. 


Friday, September 29 at 8:30 pm

Where: Constellation, 3111 N. Western Ave.

Admission: $25

Pacheco and his trio return to Chicago for an encore performance after a sold-out concert at Constellation in March presented by the ILCC. Hailing from Havana, Cuba, Jorge Luis Pacheco is a fiery young pianist with, as described by Cuban jazz multi instrumentalist Bobby Carcassés, “flying hands.” His music is a confluence of Cuban and Afro Cuban music, American jazz, and classical music with a measure of contemporary pop and soul. He has performed all over the world including prominent jazz clubs such as Dizzy’s Jazz at Lincoln Center and festivals such as the Blue Note Jazz Festival in New York as well as the Sziget Festival in the City of Budapest. He has collaborated with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Arturo O’ Farrill and the Legendary Lenny White and with some of the most important Cuban artists such as Isaac Delgado, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Pablo Milanes and Descemer Bueno. Pacheco is a passionate, extravagant, exciting entertainer on stage and constantly captures the audience’s attention with his heartfelt performances and electric energy. 


Co-presented with Future Rootz

Sunday, October 1 at 8 p.m.

Where: Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave.

Admission: $22.50

Born and raised in Naucalpan in the deep outskirts of Mexico City, brothers Jesús Ángel “Kacho” Gama and Alan “Mongo” Gama are keeping alive the legacy of marimba music running through their family with their latest project, Son Rompe Pera. While firmly rooted in the tradition of this historic instrument, their fresh take on this folk icon challenges its limits as never before, moving it into the garage/punk world of urban misfits and firmly planting it in the 21st century. Their absolute unique blend comes from a typical youthful rebellion, when as teenagers they left behind their upbringing on the marimba and began to play in various punk, rockabilly and ska bands. The contrast of the traditional marimba with their youthful attitude and street sense connects the audience to the past while they dance into the future.


Co-presented with Tango Lovers

Friday, October 6 at 7:30 pm

Where: Athenaeum Center, 2937 N. Southport

Admission: $43-$93

Back by popular demand, this multimedia spectacle featuring iconic tango singer Guillermo Fernández and World Tango Champions from Argentina and Uruguay takes audiences across the globe as they, through song and dance, tell the story of tango artists returning to their home country after working abroad. The show explores the feelings of nostalgia and longing for one’s homeland as well as the excitement and awakening to a new world and a new life. 

NANO STERN: Screening of the documentary We’ll be Singing by September and Concert dedicated to Víctor Jara

Saturday, October 7 – screening at 6 p.m. and concert at 8pm

Where: Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio St., Chicago

Admission: $30 ($25 for ILCC members)

Praised by folk legend Joan Baez as “the best young Chilean songwriter of his generation,” Stern is skilled across a range of instruments and languages and unites his talents to create a sound both utterly fresh and relevant. The grandson of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution, Nano’s childhood was painted vivid by not only his own family’s musicianship but by the powerful legacy of the Nueva Canción movement led by Chilean musical activists during Pinochet’s dictatorship a generation before. Legends like Inti-Illimani and Victor Jara -who suffered exile and even death during these troubling times- continue to inspire Nano’s breadth of sound and emotion.

Stern’s rise to fame has been meteoric, with a recording career spanning ten years that includes five award winning and critically acclaimed solo albums, a live solo album from Australia, a DVD, and collaborations with Swedish guitar master Mattias Perez (“Otoñal”) and youth folk supergroup Ethno in Transit. On his new album, Aún creo en la belleza, Stern explores the simple and subtle sounds of his inner worlds and landscapes. Since his USA debut performances at SXSW in March 2014, Stern has toured solo and with his trio to festivals and performing arts centers across Canada and the United States. 

Prior to the concert, we will be presenting We’ll be Singing by September, a feature documentary exploring the history, development and transcendence of Chilean music during the socialist government of Salvador Allende. Throughout a series of interviews with the most prominent figures of the Nueva Canción Chilena, stop-motion animation and never before seen archival material, the film travels back to a time when music, creativity, social movements and political force aligned to give birth to an artistic revolution whose songs still resonate throughout the world. September 11 marks the 50th anniversary of the overthrow of Salvador Allende’s democratically-elected government by the military with the backing of the U.S. government.


Co-presented with the 5th Annual Indigenous Peoples Day Chicago Arts & Music Festival

Monday, October 9. Doors open at 5:30 pm

Where: Chop Shop, 2033 W. North Ave.

Admission: Free (although tickets should be reserved in advance)

Started by four friends from Lima with a shared passion for traditional Afro-Peruvian music and global DJ culture, Novalima stands in the common ground bridging past and future, uniting tradition and innovation. The founders of Novalima, Ramón Pérez-Prieto, Grimaldo Del Solar, Rafael Morales, and Carlos Li Carrillo, became friends and started playing together in Lima during their high school years, and were a pivotal part of the 80s underground hardcore punk and the 90s psychedelic/acid-rock scenes. While they listened to traditional Peruvian folk music regularly in family reunions and in the street, they relentlessly explored new sounds in Rock, Dub Reggae, Latin and Electronic Music, which became grounds for their own discovery.

Taking a year off from touring during 2017, Novalima went back in the studio to explore and experiment with new sounds from Peru. This time around, the influences came not only from its African heritage but also from the exploration of ancient sounds, languages  and instruments from the Andes and the Amazon. On this album called Ch’usay (Voyage in Quechua, the native language of the Inkas) released in September 2018, Novalima goes one step further to enrich their sound by collaborating with new generations of local artists from the Peruvian music scene. This year, Novalima celebrates their 20th anniversary with the release of La Danza on San Francisco’s Six Degrees Records, where they go one step further by exploring the new generation of artists around the world who reinterpret their African heritage. 


Saturday, October 14 at 7 p.m.

Where: Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio St., Chicago

Admission: $20 ($15 for ILCC members)

In his dual role as composer and artist, Juan Falú is a cornerstone of Argentinean folk music. He obtained the prestigious National Music Award from 2000 to 2010, and has been named “outstanding artist” repeatedly by the music press in Argentina. His music for guitar recreates the freshness and inventiveness of Argentinean folk rhythms, and many of his songs are already established within the repertoire of the most outstanding Argentinian folk musicians.


Saturday, October 21 at 7 p.m.

Where: Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio St., Chicago

Admission: $25 ($20 for ILCC members)

Singer-songwriters Katie James and Karin Stein, both from Colombia, present a concert of original and traditional music. James, recognized for her interpretation of bambucos and other genres of Colombian music, is making her Chicago debut alongside Karin Stein, performer of joropo music and other Colombian rhythms.


The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago is a Pan-Latino, nonprofit, multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to developing, promoting, and increasing awareness of Latino cultures among Latinos and other communities by presenting a wide variety of art forms and education including film, music, dance, visual arts, comedy, theater and culinary arts.

The Center prides itself for its outstanding multidisciplinary local and international cultural programming which spans Latin America, Spain, Portugal, and the United States. 

Born out of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago also produces other programs, including the Chicago Latino Music Series (formerly known as the Latino Music Festival), which is celebrating its 17th edition this year; Film in the Parks, also in its 17th season; the monthly Reel Film Club, already in its 14th year; and many others. All in all, the audience has grown from 500 people in 1985 for the first Chicago Latino Film Festival to more than 70,000 (Latinos and non-Latinos) who enjoy the year-round multidisciplinary cross-cultural exchanges offered by the Center.