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World News

World Music Institute 2008-2009 Season Preview
Published July 24, 2008

Celebrating the 24th season of presenting the finest traditional music and dance from around the world.

Fri Sept 19 - Rumba Africana - Congo: Shiko Mawatu - Guitarist/songwriter Shiko Mawatu, from Kinshasa, captures the essence of vintage Congolese rumba with its irresistible rhythms and lilting guitar melodies. A veteran musician, he collaborated, wrote and arranged songs for renowned Congolese artists and worked with the Soukous Stars. He was recently nominated for the NAACP Image Award. This program features selections from his CD Kimbanda Nzila, which re-introduces Mbwakela, a genre of songs coded in metaphor that he learned and perfected from his spiritual godfather, the legendary Franco.

Sat Sept 20 - Rajasthan - Music & Dance Of The Desert: Rupayan - From the windswept Great Thar Desert in Rajasthan (“the land of kings”) in northwestern India comes the famed Rupayan ensemble with its mesmerizing music. Composed of members of the Langa (“song giver”) and Manghaniyar hereditary groups of itinerant entertainers, Rupayan performs a program of vibrant folk music encompassing driving percussion, ecstatic Sufi songs, and hypnotic sarangi (bowed lute) and algoza (double flute). The ensemble is joined by the Kalapriya Dancers under the direction of Pranita Jain, the “Dance Jewel of Rajasthan.”  Rupayan has performed worldwide, and toured for three years with the Zingaro equestrian show.


Sun Sept 21 - Whirling Dervishes Of Damascus With Sheikh Hamza Shakkur & Ens. Al-Kindi - The Whirling Dervishes Of Damascus have captivated audiences throughout the world with their spellbinding mystical dance that dates back to the 13th century when Rumi, a towering figure of Sufism, created it as a means of ‘spinning off’ worldly diversion to find oneness with the Divine. The Dervishes are joined by Sheikh Hamza Shakkur, the grand master of Muslim sacred song who officiates at the Great Mosque of Damascus, and Al-Kindi, one of the leading ensembles devoted to classical Arab music, on ‘ud (lute), qanun (zither), ney (flute) and percussion.


Fri Sept 26 - Electric Ganesha Land: Prasanna - Prasanna is the best-known performer of traditional Carnatic (South Indian) music on the electric guitar.  In addition to performing Indian music with major Indian artists, such as Hariprasad Chaurasia and L. Subrmaniam, he has appeared with top musicians in jazz and fusion music, including Joe Lovano, Airto Moreira, Larry Coryell and Vijay Iyer.  This program features traditional Carnatic music, as well as selections from Electric Ganesha