Dedicated to the authenticity and historicity of living musical traditions, the Chicago Immigrant Orchestra was established in 1999 by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events to perform as part of the first annual Chicago World Music Festival. Directed by Willy Schwartz, the orchestra involved Chicago musicians from the immigrant community representing music from all over the globe. The project lasted through 2004 and had a lasting impact on the Chicago music scene.
In 2019, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events approached guitarist Fareed Haque and oud player Wanees Zarour to restart the Chicago Immigrant Orchestra and headline 2020’s Chicago World Music Festival. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the orchestra performed a critically acclaimed virtual concert in September 2020.
The new CIO today is a 20-piece ensemble that consists of members of the Chicago immigrant community, representing musical traditions from all over the world. In this fresh approach under the direction of Haque and Zarour, Chicago Immigrant Orchestra musicians from the Far East to Western Europe, Africa and the Americas are thoroughly involved in the evolution of the musical ideas that are presented. One orchestra, a world of music.
Tuesday, September 27 at 7:30pm in the Colwell Playhouse
See the Krannert Center website for more details and to purchase tickets.
This performance is a co-presentation of Krannert Center and the International and Area Studies Library. Tickets for this event are free to University of Illinois students, faculty, and staff.