World Arts Series
June through September 2009

Explore a world of traditional and contemporary music and dance from diverse cultures at THE place to go for free cultural events in Skokie–your Skokie Public Library.

This project is made possible by an award from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, received by Skokie Public Library as a 2008 winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

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June
July
August
September

June

Balkano
Sunday, June 14 at 3:00pm
in the Petty Auditorium

photoBalkano (rhymes with "volcano") melds the energy of Bulgarian wedding music, the soul of traditional Klezmer, and the groove of Latin jazz into an exciting original mix. The Chicago-based sextet was founded by bandleader and clarinetist Bryan Pardo to combine the influences of artists like Naftule Brandwein, Yuri Yunakov, Ruben Blades, and John Zorn into a synthesis of the Old World and the New. Since its inception in 2005, Balkano has played venues and events throughout the Chicago area, including the Taste of Chicago, the Chicago Cultural Center, the historic Velvet Lounge, and Uncommon Ground on Devon.

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July

Chinese Opera: Legend of Love
photoSunday, July 12 at 3:00pm
in the Petty Auditorium

With vibrant costumes and a fascinating performance that combines singing and dancing in a theatrical setting, Chinese Opera presents a unique theater experience to the western world. This performance, featuring excerpts from Chinese opera that incorporate love stories from classical Chinese literature, is presented by Chinese Opera for ALL, an organization aimed at introducing Chinese opera to communities throughout the metropolitan area. Founder and artist Tung-Ling Li Chen has appeared in many events in recent years, including the Navy Pier Chinese New Year Celebration and the Garfield Park Conservatory Music Festival.

Ashley Lewis & Ashton Gap
Saturday, July 18 at 4:00pm
in the Petty Auditorium

photoAshton Gap, a distinctive bluegrass group from Northern Illinois, possesses a clear, clean style, and an innovative approach to all facets of bluegrass music, while providing fresh definition to the traditional tunes. The combined effects of harmony and acoustic instruments blend to create incredible bluegrass music. Ashley is featured singing sweet, clear leads and smooth harmonies on her original songs as well as on many bluegrass standards. Her dynamic mandolin playing delivers a powerful bluegrass sound. Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Andy Hatfield creates a beautiful blend of unsurpassed leads, tight harmonies, and fiery guitar solos. Teresa Fry adds a vivacious spice to the group with her multi-talented upright bass, rhythm guitar, and spirited vocals, and Doug Knecht adds great expertise and discriminating taste on the banjo.

Chicago Cossacks and Mazurdance
Sunday, July 19 at 3:00pm
in the Petty Auditorium

photosThe Chicago Cossacks folk music group and Mazurdance folk dance company present a program of Russian, Ukrainian, and Russian Gypsy traditional songs, dances, and tunes. The musicians received formal music education and performed in musical groups in the former Soviet Union. They play the traditional instruments: bayan (Russian button accordion), domra (Russian mandolin), and balalaika. Roman Mazur, artistic director of Mazurdance, served for 32 years as artistic director and main choreographer for the world-known Kiev-based folk dance troupe “Poliot.” Roman choreographed more than 200 dances from different countries of the world, as well as dances for many artistic movies produced in the former USSR.

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photoAugust

Natya Dance Theatre
Sunday, August 2 at 3:00pm
in the Petty Auditorium

Natya Dance Theatre, a critically acclaimed dance company based in Chicago, was founded in 1975 by renowned dancer, choreographer, and dance educator Hema Rajagopalan. The group's uses dynamic body movement, rhythmic footwork, hand gestures, and facial expressions to convey meaning and emotion to create rasa, the aesthetic experience that transforms the audience. This style is rooted in Bharata Natyam, one of the great classical dance forms of India.

Lamajamal
Sunday, August 16 at 3:00pm
in the Petty Auditorium

photoLamajamal combines a wide variety of musical styles, instruments, rhythms, and songs into one universal expression. The group displays musically how specific traditions from around the world can harmonize with each other. Their current sound is influenced by music from the Balkans, Turkey, North Africa, and the Middle East, as well as a touch of '60s "Surf Sound." Whether playing a dabke dance from the Levantine region or an odd meter Balkan folk tune, Lamajamal never fails to entrance the audience while taking listeners on a musical journey from the Black Sea to the Nile.

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September

VOX 3—Folk/Art Song and Dance
photoSunday, September 13 at 3:00pm
in the Petty Auditorium

VOX 3 presents a concert of folk material spun into gorgeous melody by generations of familiar composers, from Spain to Scotland, China to Canada, Russia to the Rhineland. From the very beginnings of vocal music, tunesmiths have taken inspiration from the sounds of the world around them, from warbling birds to howling winds to roaring seas. As nations developed their own cultural identities, their music too developed its own unique character. Composers from Beethoven to Brahms to Dvorák wove these simple melodies from towns and villages across Europe into delicately crafted works. Folk influences from Asia, Latin America, and Africa eventually appeared in western art music, bringing new rhythms, scales, and vitality with them.

Santour Virtuoso Kiu Haghighi
Sunday, September 20 at 3:00 pm
photoin the Petty Auditorium

Kiu Haghighi, a santour virtuoso who has performed in concert halls around the world, combines and blends traditional Iranian forms with contemporary ones. Audience members have remarked at his approach to the tradition of the Persian santour. Kiu was an instructor at the Iranian Ministry of Education and Art until he left Iran for study in the United States. His musical career in North America has included numerous performances in colleges and universities, as well as concert halls throughout the world. He shares classical Iranian music with western audiences with unflagging energy and vigor of expression.

Laura Fuentes y Calicanto
Sunday, September 27 at 3:00pm
in the Petty Auditorium

photoCalicanto is a bridge of warmth and song between musicians from Latin America and audiences all over the world. The core duo of Laura Fuentes and Pedro Villagra celebrate the rich diversity of music from Chile, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. Laura (lead singer, guitar, cuatro, and percussion) was born to North American parents in Santiago, Chile. She received a degree in vocal performance at the University of Wisconsin and now performs internationally, residing in Santiago, Chile. Pedro Villagra (quena, quenacho, sikus, flute, charango, voices, and saxophones) is from Cotulmo, Chile. We are very pleased to welcome them back from their wonderful performance at the Library in September 2007.

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