By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 28, 2011 at 5:16 AM

The Urban Economic Development Association of Wisconsin (UEDA) hosts its fourth annual Carnival Milwaukee fundraising event, on Saturday, March 5 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Zoofari Conference Center at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

The event gets a big boost this year from a performance by internationally renowned Congolese musician Ricardo Lemvo and his band Makina Loca.

"This year, Carnival Milwaukee is bigger and better than ever," said UEDA executive director Bill Johnson. "We're bringing in new restaurants and new elements of entertainment, but perhaps most exciting is our musical guest."

Born in the Congo but with Angolan roots, Lemvo performs in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Lingala and Kikongo, creating a style that is international.

Lemvo formed the L.A.-based Makina Loca more than 20 years ago and has toured the world in the years since. He's got five CDs to his name, including the latest, "Isabela," released in 2007.

In addition to appearing on BBC Radio, Radio France Internationale, Radio-Télévision Belge, National Public Radio, CBS "Sunday Morning," NBC "Today" show, CNN "World Beat," National Geographic World Music, Rádio Nacional de Angola and Televisão Pública de Angola, Lemvo and Makina Loca appeared alongside Vanessa Williams in the 1998 movie "Dance With Me."

The event celebrates the diverse carnival traditions from around the globe and expect your fellow guests to don costumes and ethnic attire while they enjoy the music and sample food tastings from a number of area restaurants.

Among the eateries and caterers taking part are Aladdin -- Tastes of the East, Antigua Latin Restaurant, Birdie's Cafe, Casablanca, Cempazuchi, China Gourmet, Gumboman, Immy's African Cuisine, Jamaica Fe Real, Mr. Perkins Family Restaurant, Quimera Cocina Boricua, Speed Queen, Taste of Art Presents ... Mo Bay Cafe Traveling Caribbean Food Fest and Thai Lotus.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online at or by phone at (414) 562-9904.

The money raised goes to support UEDA's work to build affordable housing, spur community development, offer financial education and support entrepreneurship through direct business assistance or commercial revitalization efforts.

Some other shows in Milwaukee this week include:

Irish band The High Kings play at Shank Hall on Tuesday, March 1. The band includes Darren Holden, who starred in Billy Joel's Broadway hit show "Movin' Out," Finbarr Clancy (yup, one of THOSE Clancy boys), Martin Furey -- son of the acclaimed piper Finbar Furey -- and Brian Dunphy, who is the son of show band legend Sean Dunphy. Showtime is 8 and tickets are $25.

Singer-songwriters Charlie Mars and Griffin House share the stage at Shank Hall on Friday, March 4. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $15.

Also on Friday, Megan McCormick performs songs from her debut disc, "Honest Words," at Club Garibaldi


Phil Lee, Eric Brace and John Sieger play a house concert on Sunday, March 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. Admission is $15, bring your own refreshments. Maybe Sieger will perform some music from the upcoming second Semi-Twang record. Call (414) 378-3723 for details.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.