Ricardo Lemvo performed Congolese soukous, rumba, Cuban son and salsa at the 11th annual Chicago SummerDance in the city’s downtown, June 28. Lemvo, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, moved to Los Angeles at age 15 to live with his father and pursue his studies. When he was growing up in Kinshasa, the country’s capital, Cuban music was very popular there. Lemvo was inspired by the salsa classics of Beny Moré, Abelardo Barroso, Ignacio Piñeiro and Arsenio Rodriguez. At first he became an active singer of Mexican rancheras. Then his music evolved, combining Latin and African elements from salsa to soukous with an occasional merengue of Afro-Portuguese roots.

Lemvo’s music includes Spanish, Lingala, Kikongo, French, Portuguese and English lyrics. They celebrate life, and most importantly, move his audiences to let loose and dance. For more information go to www.makinaloca.com.

Chicago Summer Dance (www.ChicagoSummerDance.org) offers free dancing lessons and live music downtown and in several neighborhood parks. It continues through Aug. 26.