Project Kalinda, the scholarly arm of Columbia College’s Center for Black Music Research, probes for African influences in the folk traditions of Latin America and the West Indies. Ensemble Kalinda Chicago gives concerts meant to illustrate the linkages, which can be detected in the rhythms, repetitive structure, and tribal euphoria prevalent in Latin American and Caribbean music. The Brazilian samba (a Spanish term for a black woman), for example, shares enough traits with ceremonial dance tunes of coastal West Africa to back up the claim that it originated with slaves working on plantations around Rio. And the calypso of Trinidad and the reggae of Jamaica certainly reflect, if not mimic, the rhythmic intricacies of African percussion. All these genres are represented on this program, which also spotlights the much more obscure African imprints on the music of southern Mexico. African slavery was not as widespread in Mexico as in other parts of the hemisphere, but in three states bordering the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico there are pockets of black descendants of slaves. Some of the nonsacred music they play, though speckled with Spanish and Indian strains, is believed to be African in origin. The Sones de Mexico Ensemble will offer a sampler of such music, including a Veracruzian version of “La Bamba” and a rumba song called “Mozambique.” Among the featured soloists are renowned Haitian folksinger Raphael Benito, Cuban dancer Idabell Rosales, and a steel-pan wiz from Trinidad, Liam Teague. Tuesday, 7:30 PM, Skyline Stage, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand; 595-7437 or 559-1212.


Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo of Ensemble Kalinda Chicago, by Bob Kusel.