CalArts's Aza West African Ensemble performs at the World Music Festival 2018. Photos by: Angel Origgi. Courtesy of CalArts. Click here for high resolution version.
Friday, May 3, through Sunday, May 5, 2019: 20 free outdoor concerts, featuring music from Japan, Iran, India, Bali, Ghana, Bulgaria, Latin America and beyond.
Highlights: Representing the first-family of North Indian classical music: percussionist Pranesh Khan and sarod master Aashish Khan; Sulley Imoro, Ghanian master of Dagomba drum, dance, and song; Balinese gamelan maestro I. Nyoman Wenten and acclaimed dancer Nanik Wenten, subjects of the 2019 documentary film, Bali: Beats of Paradise. Must see: a special screening of Bali: Beats of Paradise on Sunday afternoon.
April 17, Valencia, CA--From Friday, May 3, through Sunday, May 5, 2019, the CalArts World Music and Dance Festival
transports musical traditions from around the globe to Southern California. Over one spectacular weekend, audiences will experience more than 20 free outdoor concerts on the campus of California Institute of the Arts
(CalArts) in Valencia. Click here for a schedule of performances.
Since the early 1970s, this one-of-a-kind annual festival has brought celebrated international artists to perform with CalArts’s renowned World Music Program faculty and students. Presented by The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, the 2019 festival features music from Bali, Ghana, India, Iran, Latin America, Bulgaria and beyond. The action takes place at two open-air venues: The Wild Beast Concert Pavilion and The Remo and Ami Belli stage. This year’s festival includes food trucks, a vendor village featuring instrument makers, and raffles and giveaways.
One of the first schools in the United States to offer degree programs in World Music Performance, CalArts has a long history of nurturing traditional and new forms of music from a variety of cultures.
Legends of North Indian classical music join forces with guest artist and percussionist Pranesh Khan
and his brother, world-renowned sarod master and CalArts faculty Aashish Khan
. These virtuoso musicians continue the extraordinary legacy of their grandfather, 20th century musical giant Alauddin Khan
, and their father, sarod master and composer Ali Akbar Khan
. Other not-to-be-missed performers include visiting faculty from Ghana Sulley Imoro,
master of traditional Dagomba drum, dance, and song, and such stellar faculty of CalArts World Music Program as Balinese gamelan master I. Nyoman Wenten
and acclaimed dancer Nanik Wenten,
who were the subjects of the 2019 documentary film Bali: Beats of Paradise. Bali:
The film will be screened in CalArts's Bijou Theatre on Sunday, May 5, at 3:40 pm. The director will be present.
Music from Latin America:
Banda Do Cabelo introduces Brazilian choro
music to the festival while the Brazilian Drumming Ensemble lays down beats with carnival rhythms. The Afro-Cuban ensemble fuses Cuban folk music with contemporary styles of West African drumming and vocals, and the Afro-Pacific Collective explores the Afro-Peruvian tradition. And get ready because CalArts’ incendiary Salsa Band is guaranteed to turn up the heat. Click here for KPCC FM’s
coverage of the Salsa Band and last year’s festival.
Exciting hands-on-drums action for children of all ages:
Remo will sponsor drum circles on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Check online schedule
for exact times.
Over the course of the three-day spectacular, student and faculty ensembles will take the Remo stage, bringing audiences a range of world-spanning acts including Rain at Sunset
, a work for Balinese Gamelan and western chamber orchestra written by student Brandon Carson
, featuring an 18-player ensemble combining Gamelan with western instruments; the faculty-led Balkan Ensemble performing traditional and contemporary arrangements from regions including Romania, Bulgaria, Serbo-Croatia, and Macedonia; and a procession led by the Brazilian Drumming Ensemble exploring carnival rhythms including samba, batucada
, and bloco afro
Other ensembles include those representing Japan and India, the Tabla Ensemble, the Daf Ensemble of rhythmic Iranian traditions, the Samulnori Ensemble of Korean percussion music, and the middle-eastern and jazz inspired music of the Youssef Sadek Ensemble.
Over the weekend, more than 100 CalArts students will take part in the Festival – performing as well as running tech, crew, concessions, and more – as an example of CalArts’s method of “learning by doing” while preparing them for careers in the music industry.
Founded in the early 1970s by pioneering World Music educator Nicholas England
, CalArts’s World Music Program launched with such renowned faculty members as sitar great Ravi Shankar.
Over the years, students from a wide variety of musical disciplines have studied in the program and its influence can be heard in bands featuring CalArt alumni, including Ozomatli
and Fitz and the Tantrums.
CalArts thanks Remo and Ami Belli for their support of the CalArts World Percussion Scholarships, and Remo Inc. for its support of the 2019 World Music and Dance Festival.
For a schedule of concerts and link for reservations, please visit:
Calendar Editors Please Note
: CalArts World Music and Dance Festival 2019
Friday, May 3, 5:30 pm
Saturday, May 4, 11:30 am
Sunday, May 5, 11:30 am
: The Remo and Ami Belli Stage and The Wild Beast Concert Pavilion
California Institute of the Arts, 24700 McBean Pkwy, Valencia, CA
: Free and Open to the Public
Click here for directions