Come on out and hear some great sounds at the Chicago Latino Music Festival: The Kaia String Quartet performs new music from Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina, sponsored by One Book, One Chicago. The festival continues to Nov. 19. 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Pritzker Auditorium, Chicago Public Library, 400 S. State St.; free; http://latinomusicfest.org
The KAIA String Quartet is a Chicago-based ensemble devoted to capturing the essence of Latin American culture through the medium of the string quartet. KAIA is currently in residency with WFMT Chicago’s classical and arts radio station where they perform, curate, and expose audiences to new ways of thinking about Latin American music.
The quartet recently toured Uruguay and Argentina in support of their latest work, QUARTANGO, an album featuring all tangos from the Rio de la Plata. Their debut album Latinoamérica was released in 2014 and includes works by local composers Elbio Barilari and Gustavo Leone as well as Cuban composer Julián Orbón. The group recently completed an album of Latin music with guitarist Fareed Haque that includes works by Astor Piazzolla, Elbio Barilari, Eduardo Angulo and Leo Brouwer.
KAIA’s ongoing involvement in Latin American communities has resulted in notable performances in Chicago and abroad. The ensemble is a regular guest artist at the Latino Music Festival of Chicago, Western Piedmont Symphony Chamber series in North Carolina, and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art where they are currently in residence. They have collaborated with Grammy winner Raúl Jaurena, the National Chamber Music Ensemble of Uruguay, Chicago’s Tangata ensemble, Chicago Summer Dance Festival and the Latin American Music Center of Indiana University. In 2013 KAIA performed with Grammy Award winning musician and composer Paquito D’Rivera. Their performance was featured on NPR’s New Year’s Eve “Toast of the Nation.”
Passionate music educators, KAIA gives in-school presentations around Chicagoland through the Ravinia Festival’s Reach*Teach*Play program, in which they introduce students without music programs to classical and world music. Annually since 2013, the organization Promotora de las Bellas Artes, Mi Festivalbrings KAIA to Tijuana, Mexico to give educational and formal concerts. This tour consists of 24 educational concerts for elementary students as well as performances in San Diego, Los Angeles and Tijuana.
The ensemble completed graduate studies together under the Avalon Quartet at Northern Illinois University, where they were the graduate string quartet in residence.