Chance the Rapper uses Twitter to rally fans for massive parade to the polls

By Nia Prater “If you’re planning on voting tomorrow, say ‘hell yeah!’” exhorted local rapper DJ OddCouple, hyping up the crowd in front of the Petrillo Music Shell in Grant Park Monday. A resounding “Hell yeah!” came back in response. It was dusk, and thousands jammed into the park for a get-out-the-vote rally and free […]

Local band blends east and west to get people dancing and talking

By Nikita Mandhani FunkaDesi is a Chicago-based band that represents diverse ethnic communities through its members, music and fan base. The band is a six-time winner of the Chicago Music Awards and combines Indian music with western trends. [vimeo 162015929 w=474] A FunkaDesi performance uses music to enhance deeper conversations about unity and diversity. (Nikita […]

Palestinian music director conducts Persian Concert for packed house

Waneez Zarour directing the Middle East Music Ensemble

By Vishakha Darbha and Hannah Gebresilassie Emotional, passionate and a musical genius are just a few words used to describe Wanees Zarour. Born and raised in Ramallah, Palestine, director and composer Zarour leads the Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago, which was established in 1997. His “Persian Concert” at the Reva and […]

Chicago festival celebrates hip-hop arts’ positive impact

7th Annual Winter Block Party for Hip Hop Arts

By Marisa Endicott Some might claim that “hip-hop is dead,” but the 7th Annual Winter Block Party for Chicago’s Hip Hop Arts this Saturday suggested otherwise. “If you go to the spaces, if you go to the open mics, it is alive and well,” said Damon Williams, a performer and activist emceeing for the event. […]