Press Releases

Circle the Globe in Three Days: CalArts World Music and Dance Festival 2016

Valencia, CA April 1— Come take a journey around the world with California Institute of the Arts' (CalArts) annual World Music and Dance Festival. As part of the Wild Beast Concert Series, The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts is offering seven concerts featuring music from the Middle East to Africa. One of the first schools in the country to offer degree programs in World Music for performance, CalArts has a history of nurturing both traditional and new forms of music from a variety of cultures. 

Concerts in the Wild Beast Concert Pavilion are FREE with lawn seating. 

Festival schedule:
Friday, 29 April 2016, 8:00pm
A Night in Java: Music and Dance of JavaUnder the direction of Ki Djoko Walujo Wimboprasetyo, the CalArts Javanese Gamelan Ensemble, Kyai Doro Dasih (Honorable Dream Come True), will play new experimental gamelan compositions. The dance accompaniment, led by Nanik Wenten, features two court dances, Floret from the Paku Alaman palace and traditional Serimpi Pandelori from the Hamengkubuwono court in Central Java.

Saturday, 30 April 2016 
1:00pm: Student World Music Ensembles: SKAN (Baltic Folk), The CalArts Japanese Ensemble, Ramaya (World Music Fusion), and Maryama Band (Persian)
4:00pm: Balinese Gamelan
7:00pm: A Mystical Journey
8:00pm: Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri in a Tabla Solo Concert

Saturday, 30 April 2016 4:00pm
Music and Dance of BaliFusing ancient traditions with contemporary ideas, the CalArts Balinese Gamelan Gong Kebyar Burat Wangi (Fragrant Offering) features the dance Taman Sari by renowned Balinese choreographer, I Ketut Rena. The instrumental and dance ensembles are led by faculty members, I Nyoman Wenten and Nanik Wenten.

Saturday, 30 April 2016, 7:00pm
A Mystical JourneyPirayeh Pourafar, Tar; Houman Pourmehdi, Tonbak, Daf; Music and musicians play an important role in mysticism. Around the world, music serves not only as entertainment but also as a way to express devotion and reinforce common values and traditions. “A Mystical Journey” brings together artists from Iran and Palestine to take the audience on a journey of the mind and soul. The program seeks to showcase the diversity of devotional expressions through the performing arts, reflecting different geographies, languages and traditions. These master musicians illustrate the search for the divine that is a common thread across the world.

Saturday, 30 April 2016, 8:00pm
Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri in a Tabla Solo ConcertAccompanied on Sarangi by Pandit Ramesh MisraCalArts is proud to present a very special concert: a Tabla Solo by our very own Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. Esteemed the world over for his purity of sound, depth of knowledge, rhythmic creativity, and dedication to teaching, Swapan Chaudhuri is considered one of the greatest living musicians and tabla virtuosos of our time.As both a soloist and accompanist, Swapan possesses a nuanced ability to bring to life even the most complex and challenging compositions, giving audiences a glimpse into the depth and majesty of the tabla’s vast repertoire.

Sunday, 1 May 2016, 2:00pm
CalArts Tabla Ensemble and Student Persian EnsembleUnder the direction of esteemed CalArts faculty member, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, along with fellow faculty member, Randy Gloss, the CalArts Tabla Ensemble draws from the repertoire of North Indian tabla, presenting both traditional and contemporary works. This performance will feature a composition by Swapan Chaudhuri originally written for the San Francisco World Music Festival in 2001. Love is one of the central themes in mystical music and poetry, and the invocation of love throughout the program of the Student Persian Ensemble is a testament to its importance. 

Sunday, 1 May 2016, 5:00pm
CalArts World Percussion EnsembleDirected by Randy Gloss, Houman Pourmehdi and Andrew GrueschowThe CalArts World Percussion Ensemble is an ongoing experimental forum bringing together the percussion, drumming and world music traditions at CalArts. The ensemble bridges cultures and musical ideas by creating new works for percussions both in fixed composition forms and improvisations. The World Percussion Ensemble was conceived in the early days of the institute by founding faculty vanguard, the late John Bergame, and it remains a vital and integral platform for percussionists and world music students to explore the possibilities within the world of drumming. 

Sunday, 1 May 2016, 8:00pm
African Music and DanceVictor Nani Agbeli along with Andrew Grueschow will lead the Aza Ensemble in a performance of ADZOGBO, a type of dance and music that blends traditional dance with poetry and spoken words. Adding to the excitement, Aza will be performing Agbekor, Fume Fume, and Bammaya. The Ensemble will also be joined by visiting artist SK Kakraba from Ghana. 

Calendar editors please note:
World Music and Dance Festival
Friday, April 29—Sunday, May 1
California Institute of the Arts, The Wild Beast

Friday, 29 April 2016
8:00pm: Javanese Music and Dance

Saturday, 30 April 2016
1:00pm: Student World Music Ensembles: SKAN (Baltic Folk), The CalArts Japanese Ensemble, Ramaya (World Music Fusion), and Maryama Band (Persian)
4:00pm: Balinese Gamelan
7:00pm: A Mystical Journey
8:00pm: Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri in a Tabla Solo Concert

Sunday, 1 May 2016
2:00pm: Tabla Ensemble and the Student Persian Ensemble
5:00pm: World Percussion Ensemble
8:00pm: African Music and Dance

Ranked as America’s top college for students in the arts by Newsweek/The Daily Beast, California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.