Celebrating a legacy
DANCE: ‘A Tribute to Dame Libby Komaiko’
When Dame Libby Komaiko founded Ensemble Espanol four decades ago, she had a vision of a company that would grow the profile of flamenco dance and music and become a lasting part of the Chicago performance community. This weekend that company pays tribute to their late leader with “Flamenco Passion: A Tribute to Dame Libby Komaiko.” The three separate programs feature more than 40 dancers and musicians in a fusion of classical, folkloric, traditional, contemporary and flamenco styles. At 7:30 p.m. June 14-15 and 3 p.m. June 16, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie. Tickets: $20-$50. For a complete schedule, visit northshorecenter.org.
Blues in Aurora
MUSIC: Blues on the Fox
Aurora kicks off the summer with Blues on the Fox, the annual event that features blues favorites as well as new talent. The Taj Mahal Quartet and Ana Popovic perform at 7 p.m. June 14 followed by Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Coco Montoya, Ronnie Baker Brooks and Jamiah Rogers at 3 p.m. on June 15. At Riveredge Park, 360 N. Broadway, Aurora. Admission is $10 each day. Visit riveredgeaurora.com
FAMILY FUN: Scottish Festival and Highland Games
The Chicago Scots 33rd annual Scottish Festival and Highland Games takes place June 14-15 at Hamilton Lakes, 1 Pierce Place, Itasca. This is the only place to find out exactly what the caber toss is, listen to a bagpiping contest, watch a rugby tournament, Scottish Highland dance contest and a kilt competition and join in the uniquely Scottish Haggis hurling contest in which women compete to see who can throw a one pound, frozen haggis the farthest while standing on a whisky barrel. Admission: $12-$20, $28 festival pass. Visit scottishfestivalchicago.org.
Expanding her roots
On her sophomore release, “Deluxe Hotel Room,” Canadian artist Lucette (aka Lauren Gillis) takes the roots music she grew up on into new sonic territory built around a foundation of R&B, pop and soul that she says felt “more genuine to my upbringing and character.” Produced by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson, the songs feature raw, honest lyrics about love, loss and battling inner demons, which combined, reveal the depth and scope of her songwriting. The Long Lost opens at 9 p.m. June 20, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport. Tickets: $12, $15. Visit lh-st.com
Sit for a portrait
ART: Portrait Slam
If you’re looking for a custom portrait, check out the Portrait Slam at Intuit when six talented artists from Project Onward, the art studio that supports artists living with mental and developmental abilities, will be on hand to create unique versions of you or your pet. The artists are Adam Hines, David A. Holt, George Zuniga, Molly McGrath, Sereno Wilson and Stephon Doby. From noon-4 p.m., June 15, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, 756 N. Milwaukee. Portraits start at $40. Advance registration is encouraged. For more information, visit art.org
Latin music showcase
The sounds of Latin music will waft in and around Navy Pier during LatiNxt, a two-day event which features Latin music from around the world, a vinyl record fair, zine fest, panel discussions and an art and craft fair. Among the performers are Novalima, Balun, Alika, Nina Dioz, El Dusty, Blanca Oblivion, Dos Santos and many more. From 5:30-11:30 p.m. June 14 and noon-11:30 p.m. June 15. Admission is free. Visit navypier.org.
Hannah’s next act
COMEDY: Hannah Gadsby
Comedian Hannah Gadsby won widespread acclaim for her unconventional style in the Netflix special “Nanette,” which tackled topics like homophobia and misogyny. She also claimed in that performance that she was quitting comedy. Gadsby told the New York Times: “I think I meant it and still mean it in the sense of the strictest definition of what comedy is — yeah, I’ve quit that.” See how Gadsby extends her brand in her new comedy show, “Douglas,” named after her beloved dog. At 7:30 p.m. June 16, Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State. Tickets: $39-$59. Visit ticketmaster.com.
FAMILY FUN: Taste of Randolph Street
Enjoy food from 16 West Loop restaurants plus music (Anderson East, Cory Wong, The Rural Alberta Advantage, George Porter Jr. Trio and more) at Taste of Randolph Street, June 14-16, Randolph and Peoria. Visit starevents.com. Find tasty ribs and rock ‘n’ roll at Ribfest Chicago, June 14-16, Lincoln, Damen and Irving Park. Visit ribfest-chicago.com. Distilled spirits and stuffed tortillas are the stars of Chicago Taco & Tequila Fest, June 15, on Cannon Dr. just north of Fullerton. Visit chicagoevents.com.
Mary Houlihan is a local freelance writer.