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World Music Festival Kicks Off

March 31st, 2017

NIU’s 2017 “Roots & Blooms” World Music Festival begins with the NIU Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, directed by Omar al Musfi, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, in the NIU School of Music Recital Hall.

Guest soloist Rabie Azar (violin) will join the musicians as they perform a wide array of traditional and contemporary Arabic and Turkish music.

All the events in the 2017 “Roots & Blossoms” World Music Festival are open to the public free of charge.

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Wednesday, April 5

The NIU Chinese Music Ensemble will present a concert of traditional and pop music from China and Taiwan in the School of Music Recital Hall at 6:30 p.m. under the direction of Chuan-Yuan “Alex” Wang and Jiaqi Li. The group performs with an assortment of traditional Chinese lutes, flutes, bowed strings and percussion.

Thursday, April 6

Aaron Marsala & Friends World Percussion Group will perform in the School of Music Recital Hall at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, April 7

The Northern Wind Trio, a world music fusion lab, conducted by Zac Economou, Tamir Hargana and Aaron Marsala, will perform at 6:30 p.m. in the School of Music Recital Hall.

Saturday, April 8

The Chinese zither (guzheng) comes to NIU in a concert performed by Qi Yu at 3 p.m. in Boutell Memorial Concert Hall.

At 7 p.m. in Boutell Memorial Concert Hall, Tamir Hargana and friends will bring the sounds of Mongolia to the NIU concert stage when he gives a “throat-singing and horse-head” fiddle performance.

Sunday, April 9

The 2017 World Music Festival concludes with the 3 p.m. World Music Concert, “Roots and Blossoms,” in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall.

The World Music Concert is an annual celebration of our community’s musical bounty. This year’s concert, “Roots and Blossoms” explores the transmission and transformation of culture as music and dance. Come hear children , adults, students, professionals, locals and friends from abroad cherish the traditional and create the new.

In addition to showcasing NIU’s gamelan, Chinese, and Middle Eastern ensembles, the program includes flamenco guitar and dance and the world music fusion groups Hiraeth Quartet and Northern Wind. Two Chicago-based student groups will also perform: the Korean Pungmul (folk music) group from the Global Pungmul Institute, directed by Byoung Sug Kim and Suwan Choi, and the Mariachi Juvenil Embajador de México, directed by José Ozuna.

Dedicated to preserving the traditional music of their respective cultures, these groups help audiences recognize the educational value of the NIU World Music Festival by keeping musical traditions alive.