Red Baraat

Led by the omnivorous drummer Sunny Jain, Red Baraat is a fun, infectious Brooklyn-based band that deftly blends North Indian bhangra rhythms, rowdy brass-band energy, and konokol singing to create an explosive sound that’s “fun as hell” (Chicago Reader).The music is grounded by heavy-duty sousaphone basslines, abundant percussion, and potent free improvising from trombone, saxophones, trumpet and bass trumpet.

This program is sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Hotel Group. More Information

Viva Mexico!

The Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Los Camperos – under the direction of Nati Cano – have shared the tradition of Mexican mariachi music with audiences throughout the world. This special tour represents the 50th anniversary of the group and the 200th anniversary of Mexican independence. They are beloved by audiences everywhere for their spirited music and high-energy performances. Recommended for all ages. Running time: 60 minutes.

Curriculum Connections: Mariachi music, Mexican independence, Cultural awareness, Culturally authentic music.

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Mariachi los Camperos de Nati Cano

The Grammy Award-Winning Mariachi los Camperos-under the direction of Nati Cano and comprising the finest musicians from Mexico-takes the Fine Arts Center stage for a lively sensational evening of traditional music and dance from the Mexican state of Jalisco. They are beloved by audiences everywhere for their spirited music and high-energy performances.

“The unusual mix gives mariachi bands its distinct, often joyous sound. In Mariachi Los Camperos’ case, the musicians’ virtuosity gives the Grammy-winning ensemble a more polished, professional sound” (The Capital Times). More Information

Ice Jellies: Moistmedia Paintings

Artists Statement:
This new body of work, Ice Jellies, is a process of sketches and experimental fusion works on aluminum and plexiglass. Moistmedia describes an emerging substrate for art beyond the post-digital era. We live in a world which encompasses both, the biological and the digital. It is intended to contribute to our shared conversation on climate change. I”m thinking about this new grid we are creating, the smart grid for energy distribution. I’m thinking about how ice and jelly fish each appear lit from within which leads me to the idea of bioluminescence and the light within each human heart. Maybe what we can do is create a grid from the light inside each of us. From the vision each of us holds in our hearts of a new world. More Information

Amir ElSaffar’s Two Rivers Ensemble

In 2006, upon receiving commissions from the Painted Bride Arts Center in Philadelphia and from the Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT),¬†ElSaffar composed Two Rivers, a suite that invokes Iraqi musical traditions and frames them in a modern jazz setting. His 2007 Pi Recordings release, Two Rivers, featuring jazz (Rudresh Mahanthappa, Nasheet Waits, Carlo DeRosa, Amir ElSaffar) and traditional Iraqi musicians (Tareq Abboushi, Zaafer Tawil), was described by All About Jazz as, “a stirring example of the creative possibilities of international jazz in the 21st century.” The disc landed on many Top 10 of the year lists. “Two Rivers is a staggering accomplishment,” writes The Chicago Reader.

After winning the 2001 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet competition, Amir ElSaffar traveled to his father’s homeland to immerse himself in the Iraqi maqam, pursuing masters who could impart this centuries-old oral tradition. “This is new turf,” writes The Philadelphia Inquirer, “and it’s likely to be a lot for either culture to digest. Yet the feeling and eloquence that emanate from this sextet make the experiment worthwhile.”

ElSaffar also leads a collaborative quartet with tenor saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh, featuring Mark Dresser, bass and Alex Cline, drums. Their recent release, Radif Suite (Pi Recordings), has already received considerable acclaim. Time Out Chicago calls it “a stunning album…a surprisingly inviting amalgam of influences, merging both Iraqi and Persian modal systems into a continuous whole. The quartet adds a new chapter to the jazz tradition’s ever-evolving history.”

ElSaffar has received commissions from the Jazz Gallery and Jerome Foundation for the creation of a new work, Within Between, which premiered in February, and from Chamber Music America for a new work for Two Rivers. ElSaffar has also composed for theater projects, including the Wilma Theater’s productions of Heather Raffo’s Nine Parts of Desire and Wajdi Mouawad’s Scorched. He has composed, improvised, and performed on several film soundtracks, and appeared in Jonathan Demme’s Oscar-nominated film, Rachel Getting Married.

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The Interconnected World: Various Projects

2011 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts: The Interconnected World is the international forum for emerging and established artists, cultural administrators, residency directors, teachers, critics and curators providing a unique cross-disciplinary platform to network, showcase, support and promote artists’ work.

“One of the best things in the world of art today.” -Director or the London Biennale, David Medall

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We Four: A Tribute to John Coltrane

Legends and young lions come together for a concert that lovingly pays tribute to John Coltrane and the music of his time. Coltrane created some of the most innovative and expressive music in Jazz history. Having worked with countless jazz musicians over the years, drummer Jimmy Cobb is probably most renowned for his contribution on Miles Davis’ recording of Kind of Blue. The evening’s program will include the music of Coltrane plus original material from the ensemble.

“There’s a moment on Miles Davis’ ‘stella by Starlight” in 1958 that crystallizes drummer
Jimmy Cobb’s brilliance. Jimmy’s seamless
change from wispy brushes behind Miles to solid wood rim shots to support Coltrane completely
changes the mood and energy level of the standard” (Jazz Wax). More Information

Divahn: Jewish Songs of the Middle East

An edgy all-female powerhouse ensemble infuses traditional and original Middle Eastern Jewish songs with sophisticated harmonies, entrancing improvisations, and funky arrangements. Lead singer Galeet Dardashti follows a family tradition of distinguished musicianship dating back to 19th-century Persia. But it was down in Austin, Texas, where Divahn’s bold all-woman Mizrahi/Sephardi ensemble began dazzling audiences with its Middle Eastern grooves. Infusing traditional and original Jewish songs with sophisticated harmonies, entrancing improvisations, and funky arrangements, today Divahn has engendered an international following performing in venues ranging from top concert halls in Poland to the most prestigious clubs in NYC. More Information

Cirque Mechanics

The creators of Birdhouse Factory transport you to the 1865 mining town of Rosebud, where an unlikely discovery sets off a series of hilarious and unexpected events full of the lore, excitement, and adventure of the Old West! Cirque Mechanics is an extraordinary troupe of Cirque du Soleil, Pickle Family Circus, and Moscow Circus veterans who transform the mundane into the magnificent.

A New York Times reader characterizes this troupe in superlative terms: ” Without a word these artists tell an inspiring story of change and new possibilities, showcasing their remarkable talents in a family-friendly, impressive, and awesome show featuring acrobatics, dance, balancing, juggling, ropes, trapeze, and other phenomenal skills.” More Information

Boomtown

The creators of Birdhouse Factory transport you to the 1865 mining town of Rosebud, where an unlikely discovery sets off a series of hilarious and unexpected events full of the lore, excitement, and adventure of the old west! Cirque Mechanics, is an extraordinary troupe of Cirque du Soleil, Pickle Family Circus, and Moscow Circus veterans who transform the mundane into the magnificent. Recommended for all ages. Running time: 60 minutes.


Curriculum Connections: Circus arts, Gold Rush, Mining towns/Old West, Physics

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