Concerts & Events

Wednesday, May 30, 2018  ·  8:30 PM

Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú

World Music Wednesday

4544 N Lincoln Ave · Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall · 773.728.6000

World Music Wednesdays

A weekly showcase of world music and dance featuring the best local and touring talent! Most shows are Wednesday nights at 8:30 PM.

Most World Music Wednesday concerts are free with a $10 suggested donation. TO GUARANTEE YOUR ENTRY MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE EITHER ONLINE OR BY CALLING THE BOX OFFICE AT 773.728.6000. Reservations unclaimed 10 minutes before showtime will be released to waiting patrons.

FREE, with a suggested donation of $10, unless otherwise noted and FREE with an Urban Gateways Teen Arts Pass.

Huapango arribeño is a distinctive regional tradition of Mexican music born of colonial roots, longstanding but secluded in its mountainous homeland in the central states of Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, and Querétaro. Extraordinary folk poet Guillermo Velásquez and his group Leones de la Sierra de Xichú with their violins, guitarra quinta huapanguera, jarana, and percussive dancing carry the heartbeat of this enthralling vein of poetic and musical creation.

After releasing their first studio recording in 1982, Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú have subsequently entered the world Latin American protest song, performing alongside the likes of Amparo Ochoa, Óscar Chávez, and Pete Seeger. They have since traveled to Japan, Europe, Africa, and throughout Latin America, introducing audiences to huapango arribeño as an expression of Xichú, Guanajuato. They have recorded and released nearly forty independently produced albums, and they continue to expand the horizons of tradition.

Increased migration from the region to the United States beginning in the 1980s—to California, Mississippi, Texas, and elsewhere—has contributed to the group's transnational popularity, as their message has become vital in strengthening community cohesion amid the tense politics and economic circumstances that surround the migrant experience. This rich history comes through on their 2016 Smithsonian Folkways album Serrano de Corazón, as they combine traditional repertoire with new and unique takes, building on the message voiced more than 35 years ago, now at the intersections of issues like undocumented immigration, the war on drugs, and electoral politics affecting the lives of millions of Mexicans on both sides of the U.S.–Mexico border. Guillermo Velázquez y Los Leones de la Sierra de Xichú are an important artistic voice, which deserves to be heard, perhaps now more than ever.