Lincoln Square is home to the Old Town School of Folk Music.   The 50-plus-year-old nonprofit music school welcomes students of all ages, cultures, and abilities who love music and want to make music.

Old Town prides itself on offering a rich educational tradition of musical diversity.This weekend on July 11 and 12, Old Town School hosts the annual Chicago Folk and Roots Festival in Welles Park (across the street from our newly opened Keller Williams office).   Since the festival’s beginnings in 1998, celebrating musical diversity has become a spicy summer Lincoln Square ritual for all ages and musical tastes.

This year’s lineup features international artists from West Africa to Venezuela, from blues to swing and tap, not to mention a fiddling contest.   Add to that a 40th anniversary tribute to Woodstock, and the Old Town School’s love of diversity walks its talk as host of the long-running Lincoln Square event.

Don’t miss Nuestra Moesica, as lively stringed instruments transport you to eastern Venezuelan sounds of musicians Maestros del Joropo Oriental.   The joropo oriental style resembles a fast waltz with European and African influences.   Also, from West Africa, Mbolo Moy Dolle showcases sounds of Guinea, Senegal, Mali and more, with percussion instruments as diverse as a talking drum.

The Woodstock Flashback Band features Old Town School teachers and Chicago’s Andrew Frost on the drums to celebrate the 40th anniversary of 1969’s 3-day festival.   Tunes from bands as The Who and Sly are nicely rolled into 30 minutes.   Not for Baby Boomers only, Generation X, Y and others will surely recognize these classics.

Lamajamal, a   world music original known and loved in Chicago as a “gypsy party” band, reinvents folk music styles with amazingly wide range, while classical Indian music meets the cutting-edge electronic age with Karsh Kale and Timeline.

The Young Stracke All-Stars, Old Town students 9-12, are recognized as embodying ideals of the school’s founder, Win Stracke.     Classically-trained violinist Rayna Gellert may have herself embodied the values of The Young Stracke All-Stars while growing up.   Rayna is joined by her father, Dan, fiddler and banjo player who inspired her to create an all-girl group who toured the world.

Don’t miss the fiddling contest when the Chicago chapter of The Fiddle Club of the World holds their fiddle competition.     Also fiddling will be Cedric Watson and his band, Bijou Creole.   With traditional as well as original material, Watson’s roots run deeply in Louisiana Creole music.   Meanwhile, Louisiana Blues and Zydeco styles are embodied in the work of Curley Taylor.

Also not to be missed is our new Keller Williams office across the street from the festival on the northeast corner of Lincoln and Montrose.   While you are in the neighborhood, stop by our new location to say hi and view our current inventory of homes for sale.

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