2018-19 World Music series

Monday, October 8, 2018, 8:00p.m.
Harper Hall, Music Drama Center

Nobuntu, the female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe, has drawn international acclaim for its inventive performances that range from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro Jazz to Gospel. The ensemble’s concerts are performed with pure voices, augmented by minimalistic percussion, traditional instruments such as the Mbira (thumb piano) and organic, authentic dance movements.
Nobuntu was nominated for Best Musician of the Year at the Zimbabwe International Women Awards in London in 2015 and in the last few seasons, the quintet has performed at festivals and concert halls in Italy, Austria, Germany, Belgium, the Czech Republic and throughout the African continent. The ensemble was a huge critical success at “Trans-Vocal” in Frankfurt and “Voice Mania” in Vienna. Their first tour to Canada, in 2016, included performances in Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Victoria.
The word Nobuntu is an African concept that values humbleness, love, unity and family from a woman’s perspective. The ensemble represents a new generation of young African women singers who celebrate and preserve their culture, beauty, and heritage through art. The ensemble’s mission is the belief that music can be an important vehicle for change, one that transcends racial, tribal, religious, gender, and economic boundaries.
Nobuntu has released two recordings- THINA in 2013 and EKHAYA in 2016. The group has made dozens of television and radio appearances throughout Africa and Europe promoting these recordings and the culture of their homeland.

Yumi Kurosawa
Monday, January 14, 2019, 8:00p.m.
Harper Hall, Music Drama Center

An award-winning koto star from a young age, Yumi Kurosawa is one of today's most exciting soloists on Japan's national instrument. Her solo repertoire includes classical Japanese compositions, as well as her own innovative and enchanting original works. Born in Morioka, Japan, Kurosawa began her koto studies when she was three, going on to win first prize at the National Japanese Koto Competition for students in 1989 and 1992. Since relocating to the US, she has played on such stages as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Apollo Theater, and the Blue Note. Kurosawa has been a principal soloist with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Swan in the UK, and the Houston Grand Opera, and in 2015, she was commissioned to write an original score for the Houston Ballet. Her many collaborations have included pairings of koto with tabla, with oud, with string quartet, and with dance, including a piece with the Beyonce-affiliated dance duo Les Twins. Kurosawa is currently working on a collaborative program with tabla player Anubrata Chatterjee, son of the world-renowned tabla master Anindo Chatterjee. She has two solo albums out to date: 2015's Looking up at the Sky, and 2009's Beginning of a Journey.

Projecto Arcomusical
Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
Harper Hall, Music Drama Center

Projeto Arcomusical is a world music sextet reimagining the berimbau, an Afro-Brazilian musical bow, through unique and powerful chamber music. The ensemble formed in 2013 specifically to interpret MeiaMeia, the collaborative composition cycle co-composed by ensemble members Gregory Beyer and Alexis C. Lamb. Arcomusical released MeiaMeia as its first album in 2016 on Innova Recordings. Arcomusical recently received a Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant that produced “Roda,” a kaleidoscopic, twenty-minute, four-movement work by Elliot Cole. This work will be featured on Arcomusical’s second album, “Rodar na roda,” which will be released in early 2019 on National Sawdust Tracks.

Fifth House Ensemble and Alash- Sonic Meditations
Monday, February 25, 2019, 8:00 p.m.
The Refuge, 1000 N Ballard Rd, Appleton, WI 54911

or Harper Hall, Music Drama Center

Fifth House Ensemble and internationally acclaimed Tuvan throat singing group Alash cross oceans, borders, and musical traditions. The culmination of a cultural- and continent-spanning collaboration that brought Fifth House to Tuva and Alash to the United States, this communal concert will explore how folk music preserves sacred stories through participatory music-making–including new commissions from Grammy-nominated video game composer Austin Wintry and Fifth House’s own Fresh Inc. Festival alumnus William Pearson. Join us as we delve into music both deeply familiar and deeply distant, and create brand-new music with us through guided improvisations that place the audience at the center of the action!

Innov Gnawa
Monday, April 8, 2019, 8:00p.m.
Harper Hall, Music Drama Center

Innov Gnawa is a Grammy Nominated Moroccan folk band, dedicated to exploring Morocco’s venerable gnawa music tradition. Formed in the summer of 2014 by Moroccan expat Samir LanGus, the group is based in New York City and draws on the considerable talents and expertise of Hassan Ben Jaafer, a Maâlem, or master gnawa musician, originally from Fes, Morocco. Under the guidance of Ben Jaafer, Innov has delved deep into the roots and rituals of gnawa music, and made a big splash in NYC, playing some of the city’s most prestigious rooms including Lincoln Center, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bowl, Terminal 5, Celebrate Brooklyn as well around the US at Coachella, Red Rocks Amphitheater, and The Cleveland Museum of Art.
For the uninitiated, gnawa music is the ritual trance music of Morocco’s black communities, originally descended from slaves and soldiers once brought to Morocco from Northern Mali and Mauritania. Often called “The Moroccan Blues”, gnawa music has a raw, hypnotic power that’s fascinated outsiders as diverse as writer/composer Paul Bowles, jazz giant Randy Weston, rock god Jimi Hendrix, and the contemporary artist Bonobo. The music is utterly singular, played on an array of unique instruments — from the lute-like sintir that the Maâlem uses to call the tune, to the metal qarqaba (castinets) with which the kouyos (chorus) keep time and pound out clattering, hypnotic rhythms.

Lawrence University Gamelan Concert
Monday, May 27, 2019, 3:00p.m.
Stansbury Theatre

The concert will include meditative traditional ceremonial pieces and vibrant contemporary works by Balinese composers.

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