Half-way through her performance the other night, Nuriya, whose high energy makes Shakira seem as if she were powered by a tiny triple A battery, stops to tell a story.
She recounts how her grandfather who came from Baghdad and migrated to Mexico would always implore her grandmother at large gatherings to sing one of his favorite rancheros.
Thus, she sang one and a loud roar went up from those with memories back to such rancheros.
What a moment.
A brilliant young singer from Mexico City of family roots in Iraq and Syria and the music of the migrants and their new homes. This is what makes Chicago’s World Music Festival so powerful a message about the journeys that have brought us here and melded us to this place. It is a story worth reporting by ethnic news media outlets.
Stories like the collaboration between a musician from Mali playing a kora and French musician playing a cell. Stories like the one that Gerard Edery spun in songs about the Sefardic music that traveled and trailed Jews as they left Spain for the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East.
For events that continue through this week go to:
Hear us, world, Chicago is talking back to you.