Russian Circles are a Chicago-based instrumental rock trio that explore a wide swath of sounds and textures. They craft existentially searching, instrumental narratives with hints of alternative, metal, and prog rock. Almost trance inspiring, audiences will feel both mammoth and delicate sound waves washing over them.
Kardemimmit is a group of four awesome Finnish women who draw on a variety of Nordic musical traditions to create and perform music for the Finnish national instrument, the kantele, and their voices. With their beautiful, layered vocal harmonies and elegant, floating Kantele arrangements, they are not to be missed.
Väsen, a Swedish acoustic trio consists of a five-string viola of sophisticated symphonic taste, an adventurous 12-string guitar, and a nyckelharpa (a “keyed fiddle”) deeply rooted in the traditions of Swedish folk music. Väsen’s live show is a chance to witness virtuosic ensemble playing at its finest.
Using instruments constructed from typewriters, glass bottles, and engine parts, this explosive Congolese music collective makes irresistibly danceable music. Inspired by electronica, hip-hop, and African roots and jazz, KOKOKO!’s organic, exuberant sound merges political messaging with hypnotic dance rhythms.
Lucy Kaplansky is a rare vocal talent who blends country, folk and pop music in performances of her own sweet originals or her inventive covers of country and pop classics. After releasing her most recent album Everyday Street late last year, Lucy returns to The Cedar with her iconic voice.
At 24, Ziggy Alberts has already accomplished more than most of his peers. He’s released five records, started his own record label, and sold out tours worldwide. His honest and personal music and his soothing tenor voice, reminiscent of early Ben Howard and Jack Johnson, keep fans excited for what’s to come.
Singer songwriter Greg Laswell returns. A versatile artist, he sounds at home both with a guitar in simple folk pop arrangements while reveling in cinematic Americana, as well. Laswell is known for his single “Comes and Goes (In Waves)” and for numerous other singles featured on shows like Grey's Anatomy and True Blood.
Hawktail craft a beautiful and evocative blend of roots music. Combining fiddle, guitar, string bass, and mandolin, they unearth deep emotions from the wood of each. With individual members performing with Crooked Still, Live from Here, and the Punch Brothers, Hawktail is a rare gathering of talent and a joy to hear.
A creative and prolific songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist from Canada, Bruce Cockburn has been making and performing music for close to half a century. Though his music often circles back to blues and folk roots, it also incorporates gospel, reggae, and classic rock. He has a knack for distilling big picture spiritual revelations and personal experiences into memorable songs, earning him a spot among the best singer-songwriters of his generation.
Calvin Johnson established Olympia, Washington-based indie label K Records in 1982 and founded Dub Narcotic Studio in 1993. He has performed with groups such as Beat Happening, The Go Team, Halo Benders, Dub Narcotic Sounds System, and The Hive Dwellers. He tours as a solo artist, and also performs as Selector Dub Narcotic. He's touring behind his new solo album, A Wonderful Beast, which will be released on K Records this fall.
Jupiter and Okwess transcend the Congo’s unexplored musical heritage and dive into a pool of modernity. For their first show at The Cedar, they share a co-bill with Fendika, a troupe of the most accomplished azmari musicians and dancers from across Ethiopia.
Bands often claim to be unique, but Spiro really do defy easy categorisation. They are an acoustic instrumental quartet, playing violin, mandolin, accordion and guitar (which is occasionally replaced by cello), and though they do make use of traditional themes, they are most certainly not a folk band.
Very few musicians of any stripe so personify a musical genre as completely as Tony Furtado embodies Americana roots music. Tony is an evocative and soulful singer, a wide-ranging songwriter and a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist adept on banjo, cello-banjo, slide guitar and baritone ukulele who mixes and matches sounds and styles with the flair of a master chef.
Kari Arnett’s vocal style has often been compared to Patty Griffin and Lori McKenna with a vulnerable grit as honest as her songs and inhabits the folk-country borderlands.
The final night of the Global Roots Festival features free performances from Guadeloupean/French/New Orleans blues explorers Delgres and Toronto-based punk Balkan brass band Lemon Bucket Orkestra. Come early for the Wada Jir Riverside Band Album Release on The Cedar’s plaza.
The fourth night of the Global Roots Festival features free performances from East Chinese wind and percussion ensemble Zhou Family Band and marimba-centered Ecuadorian and Colombian supergroup Rio Mira. Come early and take in music from Dua and Tufawon on The Cedar’s plaza.
The third night of the Global Roots Festival features free performances from West African Kora virtuoso Sona Jobarteh and Kurdish vocalist Aynur. Come early and take in music curated by the East African Diasporic Artists Initiative on The Cedar’s plaza.
American Swedish Institute hosts day two of The Cedar’s 2018 Global Roots Festival. Catch a free screening of Martha & Niki, following the story of two Swedish friends who were the first ever female hip hop dance duo to beat all their opponents at international street dance competition Juste Debout in Paris.
American Swedish Institute hosts day two of The Cedar’s 2018 Global Roots Festival. At this free roundtable discussion, Aar Maanta & the Urban Nomads and Hoven Droven – two popular bands that take traditional music, reimagine it and use it to tell the stories of culture – come together with Somali multimedia artist, performer and educator Ifrah Mansour to talk about what their music symbolizes for them.
The first night of the Festival is a ticketed 30th Season Kickoff featuring two artists that speak to the Cedar Riverside neighborhood’s history of immigration: classic Swedish folk-rockers Hoven Droven, and The Cedar’s 2018-19 Artist in Residence, British-Somali musician Aar Maanta. Come early to explore free activities like the West Bank Night Market and music on The Cedar’s plaza.
Black Uhuru’s long success, including 14 full length albums, 7 instrumental dub albums, and 4 live albums, has allowed them to become ambassadors of reggae while earning several achievements in the music industry, including the first reggae Grammy.
American singer songwriter Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters performs in support of his new self-titled album released on Caldo Verde/Rough Trade in May 2018.
Now on her seventh album, Juana Molina is pursuing the experimental path she began years ago, marking a new milestone in the evolution of her own, unmistakable voice. The twelve tracks in Halo abound with hypnotic rhythms which seem to draw their energy from immemorial rituals; with timbral explorations and ever-changing soundscapes. She’s “on an evolutionary journey of her own devising” (Pitchfork), and pushes once more her “eerie, hypnotic” music to increasingly haunting heights.