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Chicago’s Best Upcoming Folk, Jazz, Country, and World Music Concerts

In February, see the University of Chicago Folk Festival, the Boston band Quilt, Terence Blanchard, and ten more events.

The Boston trio Quilt plays the Empty Bottle on February 6.   Photo: Courtesy of Quilt

Folk, Country, World

Old Town School of Folk Music

2/13 at 8 Piers Faccini and Dom La Nena. In the vein of other photogenic opposite sex musical pairings, the Brazilian-born cellist La Nena and the English-born guitarist Faccini make hushed acoustic tunes together. $16–$18.
2/16 at 7 Foghorn Stringband and Mike & Ruthy. The self-described “ass-kicking redneck stringband” joins forces with indie roots outfit Mike & Ruthy for a night of rollicking music. $20–$22.
2/21 at 8 Tom Rush. The blues and folk songwriter celebrated his 50th year on the stage in 2012. Clearly retirement is not an option. $33–$35.
2/26 at 8 Jayme Stone. The talented banjo player plays selections from his latest album, The Other Side of the Air. $10 suggested donation.
4544 N Lincoln. oldtownschool.org


2/6 at 9 Though the indie psych trio Quilt hails from Boston, its pastoral, reverb-soaked tunes sound more like the soundtrack to a trip through Laurel Canyon than a pensive reflection at Walden Pond. $10. Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western. ticketweb.com

Rachel Ries

2/13 at 9 The daughter of Mennonite missionaries, the South Dakota native Ries spent years in Zaire. That’s the reason her twangy catalog draws from not only the likes of the Carpenters but also Congolese spirituals. She plays here in support of her third LP, Ghost of a Gardener, recorded in Chicago with David Vandervelde and backup help from Chicago-based players such as Emmett Kelly of the Cairo Gang. $10. The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia. hideoutchicago.com

Josh Ritter

2/20–21 at 8 The singer-songwriter’s moody lyrics, a whispery tenor, and acoustic guitar thrill the NPR crowd. $30. Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E Chestnut. fourthchurch.org

Soweto Gospel Choir

2/19 at 8 With its rapturous voices and perfect pitch, this South African choir makes even the most maudlin pop songs listenable. $20–$62. Symphony Center, 220 S Michigan. cso.org


2/1 at 9 Swear & Shake. With the kind of friendly banjo-inflected indie pop that could score a car commercial, the Brooklyn quartet performs from its debut album, Maple Ridge. $10–$18. 1245 Chicago, Evanston. evanstonspace.com

University of Chicago Folk Festival

2/14–16 Free dancing and guitar-picking lessons are among some of the unintended highlights of this three-day festival put on by the good people of the University of Chicago Folklore Society. There’s live music as well, naturally, including guitarist Ari Eisinger and crooners Elizabeth LaPrelle and Anna Roberts-Gevalt. $10–$55. Mandel Hall, U of C, 1131 E 57th. uofcfolk.org


Terence Blanchard

2/26 at 7:30 Most famous for his film score work (that’s his haunting trumpet you hear on Mo’ Better Blues), Blanchard has recently gone in a more funky direction, as evidenced by the Afro-futurist sounds of his latest album, Magnetic (2013). $24–$48. Space, 1245 Chicago, Evanston. evanstonspace.com

Elmhurst College Jazz Festival

2/20–23 To the pessimists always convinced the end of jazz is nigh, this festival serves as a sharp rejoinder, featuring more than 35 college jazz ensembles in addition to established acts like trombonist Andy Martin and the Count Basie Orchestra. $10–$35 for sessions, $65–$75 for passes. Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel, 190 Prospect, Elmhurst. public.elmhurst.edu/jazzfestival

Mikolaj Trzaska and Tim Daisy Duo

2/7 at 9:30 The Polish alto saxophone player and the Chicago percussionist team up for a night of intricate improv. $15. Constellation, 3111 N Western. constellation-chicago.com


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