| 03.20.2018

A celebration of culture — UI School of Music to host annual World Music Celebration


Musicians from around the world will soon share a bit of their culture and musical traditions with the Lionel Hampton School of Music and the Moscow community during the University of Idaho’s sixth annual World Music Celebration.

Yacouba Sissoko of Mali and Navin Chettri of Nepal will perform alongside UI’s Jazz Choir I, World Beat Ensemble, Jazz Band I and Flute Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Administration Building Auditorium. Tickets will be available at the door and will cost $8 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens.

Chettri, co-organizer of the event, artist in residence and part-time lecturer of percussion at UI, said the World Music Celebration is meant to explore and unite different cultures through music.

“It’s amazing that we get to experience cultures from so many different places right here on the Palouse,” Chettri said.

The World Music Celebration event was first held in 2013 when Chettri was in graduate school. Chettri said UI didn’t have any events that brought people from around the world at the time, so he spoke with the music director in hopes of creating a new event.

Barry Bilderback, co-organizer of the event and associate professor of music history at UI, said he and Chettri were inspired by a trip to Ghana, so the celebration has a stronghold in Ghanaian culture. However, they are trying to branch out more each year in order to have a broader representation of cultures.

While flying in musicians from other countries can be difficult and expensive, Chettri said many of the artists in attendance actually live in the U.S. Sissoko, though born in Mali, lives in New York.

“The United States is such a melting pot that so many amazing musicians from around the world live in the United States,” Chettri said.

The event has the same theme each year, but the university tries to incorporate music from different parts of the world. In the past, UI has invited representative artists from a variety of countries, including Brazil, China, South America and Ghana.

Chettri said the school of music intends to continue the celebration for many years.

“We hope it can grow and we can get more people to come and share their energies and share their music and culture,” Chettri said.

The celebration also includes a workshop from 4:15-5:30 p.m. Saturday in the Haddock Performance Hall. The workshop, titled “Conversations in the universal language of Music” is free and open to the public and will feature Sissoko playing the kora (a harp-like instrument) and Chettri playing thew tabla (a type of drum).

Bilderback said the community notices the good that comes from the World Music Celebration.

He said music provides a common ground for people which allows them to experience unity.

“The World Music Celebration allows us to see ourselves alongside others,” Bilderback said. “Music speaks to so many people at so many different levels.”

Chettri said the World Music Celebration provides a great opportunity to experience something that many never have and never will get the chance to experience again.

The purpose of the celebration is mostly education and appreciation, Chettri said.

“It’s important to learn about and appreciate this world we are living in,” he said. “Hopefully this will bring people closer.”

Jordan Willson can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu

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