Chicago Immigrant Stories    interactive map

Use the form below to add your own stories, photos and favorite family recipes, and click on the red or blue dots on the map to read new posts and revisit previous performances of Chicago Immigrant Stories.

Chicago Immigrant Stories III: The Culinary Edition will explore the rich musical, cultural and culinary traditions of artists from Japan, Brazil and Ukraine, culminating with a musical production in October.  We will share their stories throughout the year, and have created an interactive map of Chicago so that YOU can exchange your own immigrant stories, photos, and family recipes with our extended Chicago Jazz Philharmonic family.

 

*Finale production on October 23, 2021. Concert info can be found here.*

Millenium Park

Immigrant Stories: Millenium Park

The World Premiere performance of the 2017-18 season series, "Chicago Immigrant Stories" at Millennium Park. Click here for artist photos and to watch the performance.

The "Chicago Immigrant Stories II" series finale was performed by the 2017-2018 series collaborating performers alongside CJP’s 60-member orchestra, conducted by Orbert Davis. Click here for artist photos and to watch the performance.

Greektown

Immigrant Stories: Greektown

This collaboration with Greek saxophonist and composer, Athanasios Zervas, was the first of the 2019 series. Click here for artist photos and to watch the performance.

Pilsen

Immigrant Stories: Pilsen

The second collaboration in our 2019 series featured Juan Díes and Victor Pichardo, founding members of the Grammy-nominated folk ensemble Sones de México; as well as Greek saxophonist and composer Athanasios Zervas. Click here for artist photos and to watch the performance.

West Africa

Immigrant Stories: West Africa

The second installment of the 2018 series, "Chicago Immigrant Stories: West Africa" featured Sekou Conde and Seneke, a percussion ensemble with dancers. Click here for artist photos and to watch the performance.

Chinatown

Immigrant Stories: Chinatown

This collaboration with Chinese multi-instrumentalist, Kerry Leung, was the first in our 2018 series. CJP was joined by Menghua Guan on Guzhong (Chinese zither) and Guang Long Li on Erhu.  Click here for artist photos and to watch the performance.

India

Immigrant Stories: India

The third and last installment of the 2017-18 season series, “Chicago Immigrant Stories: India” featured Kalyan Pathak, Hitesh Master, and Natya Dance Theatre. Click here for artist photos and to watch the performance. CIS: Millenium Park

Dorothea from "The Annie's"

Dorothea from "The Annie's"

We live in Edgewater Glen in the house that has been the Dunne Family home since 1972. Although it was built in 1908, there has only been one other family to have lived in this house prior.
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From Russia to South Lawndale

From Russia to South Lawndale

My great grandparents David and Minnie Taitsch emigrated to Chicago from Russia (now Belarus) in 1907. A few months after David arrived, Minnie followed with their three remaining children, our grandfather among them.
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Pappouli Family Diner

Pappouli’s Family Diner

My great grandfather, August Karras, was born in 1903 in Tripolis, Greece. He immigrated to south Chicago around 1922.
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Vedran, Panasonic

Found Memories - Life on a VHS Panasonic

My sister and I did some spring cleaning this morning and we found my dad’s old VHS-C Panasonic camera, 1989 or 1990 vintage. Dad bought it during a trip to Amsterdam for a veterinary conference in 1990, our first ever trip abroad. 
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Savory Bulgarian Pastry Recipe

Savory Bulgarian Pastry Recipe

My parents are immigrants from Bulgaria, and my sister and I are first-generation Bulgarian Americans. Banitsa- a traditional Bulgarian pastry dish- is one of my favorite recipes and has always been a regular staple in our house. 
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From Thailand to the “Hog Capital of the World”

From Thailand to the "Hog Capital of the World"

I am first generation Thai American.  My parents came to the USA in the early 1970’s – a time during which there was a demand for doctors and nurses, as America had been sending their medical personnel abroad to Vietnam.
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Federacion de Clubes Unidos Zacatecanos en Illinois

Federacion de Clubes Unidos Zacatecanos en Illinois 

During WW2, my grandparents would come all the way from Zacatecas, Mexico to work the factories in Chicago. Eventually my father, Ascencion Salinas, would run away from home at 15 years old – 1972 – and come to Chicago to work at a Golden Nugget.
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PiniPico

A Doctor and a Café

Conveniently located in Chicago’s vibrant Gold Coast neighborhood, PiniPico Brazilian Café opened in May 2020. Along with three generations of his family, Dr. Luciano Dias (also a renowned pediatric orthopedic surgeon) is proud to bring mouthwatering Brazilian baked goods and coffee to Chicago.
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A Taste of Ecuador

A Taste of Ecuador 

My parents arrived in New York City from Ecuador in 1968. They worked very hard in kitchens and factories. 4 years later after my two older siblings were born they made their way to Los Angeles to live the “American Dream.” Read more >

Grandma’s Kartoffelgratin

Grandma’s Kartoffelgratin

My family story isn’t one that directly relates to Chicago or one that happened even within the last hundred years, but it’s my family’s immigrant story non the less. The paternal branch of my grandmother’s family starts with a woman named Ida Griess who was born in 1835 in Prussia” Read more >

Chicago Immigrant Stories III

Chicago Immigrant Stories III at Wilson Abbey

Featured Artists Profiles

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500-Year-Old Favorite

A 500-Year-Old Favorite

I am of mixed ethnicity, 50% of which is Mexican. However, I did not grow up in Mexican/Mexican-American culture. As a result, I have sought out ways in adulthood of making connections to that heritage. Food and music are two of the strongest points of contact that I have...

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The First Chicago Winter

The First Chicago Winter

My parents came over in the early 80s from the Philippines during the time when many Filipino nurses migrated to the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. I would later be the first of our family born in a different country (and during the winter which does NOT exist in the Philippines!)

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GET INVOLVED

What is your family's origin story? Do you have family photos or recipes that you'd like to share? Fill out our form and we will add you to our map of Chicago!