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Afro-Cuban Jazz Star Daymé Arocena Closes out 2023 Global Music Series

With two dynamic performances on October 19, Afro-Cuban jazz star Daymé Arocena closed out this year's Global Music Series partnership with Music Moves Chicago, an Old Town School of Folk Music arts and community wellness initiative. The partnership has received generous support from the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and the October concert is supported by the International Latino Cultural Center.

“Daymé Arocena undoubtedly concluded the Global Music Series with an unforgettable performance,” said Arif Smith, program manager of Music Moves Chicago, an Old Town School of Folk Music arts and community wellness initiative. “Her sophisticated, yet explosive approach to music is deeply rooted in African diasporic cultural idioms that honor the history and ethnic composition of the Austin neighborhood.”

With exceptional warmth and strength, powerhouse vocalist-composer Daymé Arocena is one of the most brilliant exponents of Cuba’s contemporary music scene. Steeped in Lucumí melodies, rhythmic complexity, fluid jazz styling, and a nuanced Afro-Cuban soulfulness—she channels these elements in service of her audience and culture. The 520 Catalyst Circle Rock students who attended her 1:00 p.m. performance went wild during the show, dancing, clapping and singing along.

"We are thrilled and honored to announce our school's excitement for the performance by Afro-Cuban jazz sensation Daymé Arocena,” said Elizabeth Dunn, principal of Catalyst Circle Rock School, and member of the Kehrein Center’s board of directors. “Her remarkable talent and captivating music inspired, entertained, and enriched the cultural experiences of our students and the entire school community. We loved celebrating her artistry and the vibrant fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms that she brought to our stage, creating a dynamic and unforgettable moment of musical excellence."

Learn more about the Global Music Series in this Africa Out West concert feature: Africa Out West Embodies Diasporic West African Traditions in Feast of Drum & Dance.


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