Date: Friday, January 21, 2022
Time: 7:00 PM
Venue: Virtual & at American Islamic College Auditorium, 640 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
Parking: Free, 613 W Bittersweet Pl, Chicago, IL 60613 (rear of main building)
The Chicago Immigrant Orchestra & Zeshan B – Virtual & In-person
Date: Friday, January 21, 2022
The Chicago Immigrant Orchestra was first established in 1999 by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, to be presented 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 but 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 global 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 the evolution of the musical ideas that are presented.
The New Chicago Immigrant Orchestra explores the relationships and differences among these traditions, creating a unique and cohesive tapestry of cultures.
Modern world guitar virtuoso, steeped in classical, jazz and global traditions. His unique command of the guitar and different musical styles inspire his musical ventures with tradition and fearless innovation. Recent projects include the acclaimed Goran Ivonovic/Fareed Haque guitar duo.
Composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist with deep roots in Middle Eastern music and well versed in modern jazz and global musical styles. Directs the 60-piece Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago, and his touring jazz fusion group, “East Loop.”
Chicago native Zeshan B’s breakout album “Vetted” was released in April 2017 to commercial and critical acclaim with the album debuting at #8 on Billboard’s Top 10 Albums (World Music) and peaking at #1 on iTunes’ World Music chart.
Additionally, “Vetted” has received rave reviews from Rolling Stone, NPR, ABC, NBC, PBS, Salon Magazine, Democracy Now and the Times of India. Zeshan’s hit single from the album “Cryin in the Streets”–his reinterpretation of George Perkins’ 1970 classic civil rights anthem–has garnered praise from the New York Times, PRI, American Songwriter, and Chicago Tribune for its musical finesse as well as its relevance in America’s current socio-political climate. In August of 2017, Zeshan made his US television debut with a stirring rendition of his hit single, “Crying in the Streets” on CBS’s Late Night w/ Stephen Colbert. This was followed by his PBS NewsHour special (“Groovin’ for Change”).
Since then, he has toured with frequent appearances at Lincoln Center, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest Festival, House of Blues, Kennedy Center, the Blue Note, Riverside Church and the Canadian National Exhibition. He has performed for two US Presidents–Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama–with the latter performance taking place at the White House’s historic inaugural Eid Celebration in 2016.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Zeshan appeared with his wife Dr. Alexandra Roybal on MSNBC Morning Joe to shed light on COVID’s impact on minorities and musicians. This was followed by the May 2020 release of his NPR acclaimed album, “Melismatic”. (Listen to Melismatic here)
Zeshan is a polyglot–he is fluent in Urdu & Italian and proficient in Spanish and Punjabi. He and his wife reside in the South Bronx, NY.
This is a hybrid event. By registering and attending, you agree to AIC’s COVID-19 policy. Please see AIC’s COVID-19 campus policy here.
In order to keep everyone safe, all in-person attendees will be required to provide proof of vaccination status as well as a negative COVID 19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event. These will be checked at the door, and attendees who do not provide this documentation will not be allowed to enter the auditorium.