Music as the Shared Heartbeat of Diverse Cultures

Tuesday, February 7 2012


By Donna Emert

MOSCOW, Idaho – Poets suggest that music is the universal language and shared heartbeat of humanity. The World Music Day concert, set for Feb. 19 in Moscow, aims to provide loud, joyful, cross-cultural proof of that hypothesis.

The World Music Day performance is set for 7:30 p.m., on Sunday, Feb. 19 in the Haddock Performance Hall. Tickets will be sold at the door. Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens

The concert is preceded by a drumming and dancing workshop to be presented Saturday, Feb. 18, at 1:30 pm at the Administration Auditorium.
That workshop is free and open to the public.

Music graduate student and composer Navin Chettri is a driving force behind the two days of events, culminating in the evening performance.

He hopes to provide students and the community an opportunity to participate in, and increase their understanding of, global art, dance and culture.

“I have a different cultural and musical background, growing up in India, and while living in Kathmandu I also was exposed to Cuban and African music,” said Chettri. “I got a chance to visit Africa in 2010, with Professor Barry Bilderback, and that also has had a huge influence. I wanted to share some of that, to bring added colors to the music scene we have here in Moscow, and to encourage students’ interest in music from
different parts of the world.”

Chettri planned World Music Day events in partnership with the members of the World Beat Ensemble, and with “immense support by the faculty and staff at the LHSOM, especially director Kevin Woelfel, professor Dan Bukvich, professor Barry Bilderback, and professor Sally Graves Machlis from the College of Art and Architecture,” said Chettri.

The World Music Day performance features guest artists Nii Ardey Allotey & Ekome, master drummers and dancers from Ghana, Africa. They have performed in Africa, Italy, Romania, Liberia, Germany, Russia, Puerto Rico, Japan and the U.S. Their music and dance has been influenced by the Ewe, the Dagbani and the Ga–Adagbe people of Ghana.

Allotey is founder and leader of Ekome – which translates to “Unity” – a group of Ghanaian dancers and drummers performing the traditional music and dance of the region.

At the concert, The Lionel Hampton School of Music’s World Beat Ensemble (WBE) will be performing with Nii Ardey Allotey & Ekome, with opening performances by U-Idaho graduate students Alberto Cusano, from Argentina and Navin Chettri, from Nepal/India, along with U-Idaho students Joe Steiner, Pete Chambers, Emily Benjamin, Daniel Ferguson and Kieran Gordon.

Leading up to and as part of the World Music Day celebration, works by University of Idaho graduate students and Ghanaian artists Charles Dodoo and Jacob Commodore will be on exhibit beginning Monday, Feb. 13 through Feb. 20. The exhibit will occupy multiple venues on campus, including the Lionel Hampton School of Music.

The exhibition will also feature art that originated from a design class project, coordinated by graduate student Donald Johnson in the College of Art and Architecture.

To hear and see video of previous Ni Ardey Allotey & Ekome performances, visit http://zomobo.net/Ekome.
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow to its 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.