The World Music Institute (WMI) announced the 2007-2008 concert schedule for its 22nd season. WMI presents the finest traditional music and dance from around the world with more than 60 concerts in a variety of theaters throughout New York City. It supports and encourages musicians from immigrant communities and collaborates with universities, cultural organizations, and other presenting organizations that have similar goals. Through its concerts, WMI seeks to educate, entertain, and provide spiritual nourishment.
National Heritage Masters is a 12-concert series being held in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the National Heritage Fellowships, this country's highest honor in the traditional arts. The series, from October to May, features American roots music and music and dance traditions of recent immigrants.
Argentine Nights is a four-concert series ranging from the sensuous and passionate tango of Connectango (Oct 4, 5) and Fontango with Roxana Fontan (Oct 6) to chamame, a little known folkloric tradition performed by accordion virtuoso Chango Spasiuk (Oct 7).
New York Flamenco Festival 2008, the eighth annual edition, is featuring a stellar array of dancers and musicians from Spain with Gypsy guitarist Tomatito (Feb 9), Ballet Flamenco Eva Yerbabuena (Feb 16 & 17), Son de la Frontera (Feb 23 & 24), and other artists to be announced.
The new concert season will feature the first New York appearances of Eleggua (Sept 28), Afro-Venezuelan women drummers; Niger's Etran Finatawa (Apr 18), with its haunting and powerful sounds of the desert; Ngqoko (May 16), national treasures of South Africa who perform the extraordinary ancient vocal style known as split tone singing; and Zarbang (May 17), brilliant percussionists from Iran and Afghanistan who present meditative and ecstatic music drawing on Sufi and ancient Persian rhythms.
There will also be return engagements of Tartit (Sept 29), the charismatic Kel Tamashek (Tuareg) group from Mali; Ivo Papasov & Yuri Yunakov (Oct 21), legends of Bulgarian wedding music; the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey (Nov 3); Peru Negro (Jan 26), the pioneering Afro-Peruvian music & dance troupe; tanbur (lute) master Ali Akbar Moradi (Feb 2) performing Kurdish music; and many more.
New York appearances of WMI touring artists include “Spiritual Sounds of Central Asia” with 18 of Central Asia's finest artists including the legendary Azerbaijani singer Alim Qasimov, Tajikistan's Badakhshan Ensemble, and Bardic Divas (Oct 27); “Gypsy Dances from Rajasthan to the Nile” with Leila Haddad, one of the world's premier Oriental dancers, and the Ghawazee Musicians of Upper Egypt (Mar 6 & 7); and qawwali music of Pakistan with the celebrated Mehr & Sher Ali (May 3).