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Festival Features Music from Elsewhere

Drummers Tony Vacca (right) and Steve Leicach with a few of their instruments

Music from around the world will be celebrated and shared this Saturday, Nov. 11, during the World Music Festival, an International Students Organization event.

The festival will feature concurrent workshops on hand-drumming, composition, and dance during the day, culminating in an evening concert by high-energy percussionist Tony Vacca and friends.

Vacca, who recently performed with his World Rhythms Ensemble for the Senegal-America Project at the Academy of Music, has shepherded the electrifying Senegalese band Gokh-Bi System in bringing music from the African country to America.

Vacca will join members of his group in leading workshops during the day.

“We think that a concert such as this is an opportunity to experience a fusion of world music, as well as to learn about how instruments and musical forms travel and cross-influence cultures,” said Hyun Jung Kim ’08, an event organizer.

The workshops are open to all in the Smith community, free of charge. The 8 p.m. concert is also free and open to the public.

The World Music Festival schedule is as follows:

2-3 p.m. participatory workshops

John M. Greeme Hall
Multi-Culti Rhythm Ensemble with Tony Vacca. In this hands-on session, participants will learn to play a percussion composition, with instruments such as the djembe drum, balafon, tuned bells, shekere, talking drum, gongs and drum set. All skill levels are welcome. By virtue of the instrumentation and the sensibility of the composition, this workshop is equally about the phenomenon of World Music, as it is about developing an awareness of our interconnectedness to the world around us.

Davis Ballroom
Hand drumming techniques with Steve Leicach. A masterful drummer and teacher, Leicach is an accomplished performer on the djembe, conga, balafon, tama drum and others. His focus in this workshop is hand drumming techniques and the music of hand drumming. All skill levels welcome.

Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall
Drum and bass and more with Derrik Jordan and Joe Sallins. This workshop will shift between demonstration and participation, using the many and varied instruments these musicians play to combine sounds, knowledge, and imagination to create music.

3:30-4:30 p.m. workshops

John M. Greene Hall
The World Rhythms Ensemble, a group demonstration of World Music. In this workshop session the entire band, led by Vacca, will take apart a composition to show how it was created, how the cues work to begin or end sections, and what makes it World Music.

Davis Ballroom
Traditional West African Drum and Dance with Backa Niang and Abdou Sarr of Senegal. This workshop is all about being in the music through drumming and movement. The story that is told in sound and motion is also an illustration of the people and culture from which it comes. The focus is Senegal.

8 p.m.

John M. Greene Hall
Concert: Tony Vacca and the World Rhythms Ensemble

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