Saturday, December 21, 2013

Triple Tragedy Puts Blog on Hiatus


Hello Fellow Arts Lovers,

2013 seems to be the year for things interfering with this blog and it's ending with a special dose of bad luck - I was robbed, my elderly but dearly missed cat passed away and then my laptop went on the fritz just to complete the trio of misfortune.

Blogging with one of those baby laptop-netbook thingies isn't fun, so I'll have to put blogging on hold until my workhorse is back from the shop in two or three weeks.

Have a wonderful and artsy end of 2013

- Anya Wassenberg

Thursday, December 12, 2013

CD Release/Revival: Juaneco y su Combo, The Birth of Jungle Cumbia (Release December 10, 2013 - The Vital Record)

From a release:

CD Release/Revival
An Album Lost in the Amazon: Juaneco y su Combo’s Groundbreaking Early Jungle Psychedelia Recordings are Revived
Juaneco y su Combo, The Birth of Jungle Cumbia
(Release December 10, 2013 - The Vital Record)

Buy it Here


In the early 1970s, a small and largely unknown city called Pucallpa, nestled in the heart of the Amazon jungle on the far side of the Peruvian Andes, was the birthplace of a genre of music that would become a regional phenomenon and a white whale for Latin music collectors many years later. A mid-century oil boom brought workers to the region to toil daily in the oppressive equatorial heat. With hard living so often comes brilliant music, the kind that can only be created by people needing an exceptional release from the hard work and drudgery of the day. It’s these conditions that brought Juaneco y su Combo together in the 1960s, creating a new sound known as jungle cumbia, a genre that now holds near-mythical status for fans of South American music, made all the more legendary by the tragic 1977 airplane crash that killed more than half of the band. Juaneco y su Combo’s first records were laid down for the Lima-based IMSA label in 1970 and 1972, and it is these early recordings, never before released internationally and virtually forgotten, that make up The Birth of Jungle Cumbia, to be released on December 10, 2013 by The Vital Record.

Juaneco y su Combo started out as a standard good-time dance band, led by Juan Wong Paredes, known as Juaneco. Called Juaneco y su Conjunto in those days, they made their name playing waltzes and polkas and rumbas for fairs and weddings in the Pucallpa region. In 1965, Juan Wong Popolizio, the son of Juan Wong Paredes, who shared his father’s nickname, returned from his mandatory military service in the capital with the notion to electrify the band’s music.

Taking over as bandleader, Juaneco Jr. brought the band’s simple dance party sounds into the emerging zeitgeist: driving electric guitars instead of folk strings, and a honking Farfisa organ instead of an accordion. He also brought in Noé Fachín Mori on lead guitar. Fachín, who came out of the criollo music tradition, was known locally as el brujo (the witch doctor). His gift for driving melodic hooks defined and solidified the band’s wailing, psychedelic sound, and he composed many of the group’s numbers.



Identifying comfortably with their indigenous neighbors in Pucallpa, a progressive-bordering- on-revolutionary outlook for the time and place, Juaneco y su Combo appeared in traditional dress on stage and in photos, and further incorporated both the sounds and the lore of the inner jungle in their music. Their earliest IMSA recordings are loose, rangy, sensual, and untamed, and it’s these sounds that caught on so fervently in the region; a micro-regional answer to the rock-and-roll that was sweeping the world, but one that, by design or by chance, happened to sound fresher and more raw than almost anything else being produced on the planet.

The raw emotion and unabashedly down-and-dirty qualities of these records more than make up for whatever production values they lack. Indeed, listening to later recordings of the same group, one has to wonder if a producer’s presence didn’t overly bridle their sound. The recordings that make up The Birth of Jungle Cumbia are taken from exceptionally rare vinyl copies, as the masters were long ago lost or taped over. Minor audio flaws are entirely eclipsed by the glorious passion and effervescence of the songs themselves.

Listen, for example, to the driving, hip-shaking rhythms of the opening track, “Caballito Nocturno” (an ode to an Amazonian creature of legend, a woman who turns into a centaur and is ridden and whipped by the devil himself, all as punishment for salacious deeds). The grungy organ hook and the reverb-heavy guitar need no lyrical assistance in telling this cautionary tale. Or appreciate the striking beauty of “El Forastero,” a strutting Cuban bolero composed by bandleader Juaneco, one of the rare songs by this group to add lyrics for more than simple vocal textures. “I wander looking for a love/ Who knows how to understand me/ Because I’m a stranger/ Who’s very understanding/ Then, when I find that love/ I’ll stay with you forever.”

“Lamento en la Selva” provides a frightening, tragic bit of foreshadowing. This mostly lyricless song was written as a lament for the lives lost in the famous 1971 commercial plane crash that killed 92 people en route to Pucallpa (and later, because of the astonishing story of the sole survivor, became the subject of the Werner Herzog documentary Wings of Hope). Juaneco Jr.’s sister and brother were both lost in that crash.

That tragedy would not be the only airline disaster to strike the Pucallpans, though. In 1977, on the way home from a gig, an airplane containing 5 of the 9 band members, including musical visionary Noé Fachín, crashed. It killed everyone on board. Remaining band members did regroup and continue playing, but without Fachín in particular, the sound was never the same.

All the more important, then, are these stunning early recordings. With 18 tracks in total, coming from a full-length LP and a handful of singles all recorded in the early 1970s, it’s the earliest Juaneco y su Combo work that’s ever been reissued, and the most vivacious and vital. Says The Vital Record label head David Aglow, “This album was never really heard by most Peruvians. This is, more than anything, a lost album.” Though the group did achieve national popularity in Peru with their more heavily-produced later albums, they never found the same page. “It was probably too raw for people outside the jungle at that time," says Aglow, of this collection of early recordings. "In our opinion, that's what makes it sound so good to us now.”

DJ Skate Nights at Harbourfront Toronto December 14 2013 to March 1 2014

From a media release:

DJ Skate Nights
at Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink

Feel the beat in your blades every Saturday Night from December 14, 2013 to March 1, 2014

TORONTO, ON –
Put the beat in your blades when Harbourfront Centre’s wildly popular DJ Skate Nights series returns for another season. Twelve consecutive Saturday nights from Dec. 14 to March 1 feature Toronto’s top DJs spinning a wide variety of music on the Natrel Rink.

This year, Harbourfront Centre explores emerging events that are forming Toronto’s underground party scene, as well as long-running events that have shaped Toronto’s nightlife over the years. Parties such as Shindig, Uma Nota, SLOWED, Pop!Goes the World and Yes Yes Y’all represent new school jams while 1 LOVE T.O., Footprints, Cherry Bomb, and premier DJs like Skratch Bastid, Dr. Jay de Soca Prince and Starting from Scratch represent the legends of Toronto’s DJ scene.

With themed nights ranging from rare groove to top 40 hits, there is truly something for everyone. So get ready to lace up and get down with Toronto’s finest spin masters.

Dec. 14, 2013 – Season launch with Skratch Bastid
Dec. 21, 2013 – 1 LOVE T.O. Holiday Ice Skating Party
Dec. 28, 2013 – Shindig on Ice
Jan. 4, 2014 – Feliz Ano Novo with Uma Nota
Jan. 11, 2014 – SLOWED on Ice
Jan. 18, 2014 – Footprints on Ice
Jan. 25, 2014 –Lunarskate with Pop! Goes the World
Feb. 1, 2014 – Cherry Bomb on Ice
Feb. 8, 2014 – Soca on Ice
Feb. 15, 2014 – Yes Yes Valentines
Feb. 22, 2014 – DJ Starting from Scratch
March 1, 2014 – Season finale with FLOW 93-5

New Music Recently Released: Neil Rolnick's Gardening at Gropius House (Innova Records - October 29 2013)

With material from a media release:

New Music - CD Release:
Neil Rolnick's Gardening at Gropius House
(Innova Records - October 29, 2013)

Composer: Neil Rolnick
Performers: Alarm Will Sound, Todd Reynolds, Alan Pierson, Neil Rolnick, San Francisco Conservatory New Music Ensemble, Daniel Cilli, Nicole Paiement


Do not be afraid of New Music, electronic music or the fact that this CD contains only two long tracks. Neil Rolnick's latest work is a seamless marriage of musical styles, of organic melody and edgy live digital processing. The release includes two 30-minute pieces for big ensemble, soloist and computer.

From the composer himself:

Gardening At Gropius House is based on interactions I had with the famous modernist achitect Walter Gropius when I worked at his gardener in college. It explores the tension between 20th century modernism and music based on melodies and grooves. And the groove definitely emerges triumphant. The second piece, Anosmia, explores the experience of living without the sense of smell. And in the end, it turns our to be a love song. Because when you can't smell yourself, who can you depend on? "Dear lover, sweetheart, be my nose ..."

The players on both pieces are spectacular. Gardening At Gropius House features the unstoppable Todd Reynolds on violin, with members of Alarm Will Sound, conducted by Alan Pierson. Anosmia is performed by the San Francisco Conservatory's New Music Ensemble, conducted by Nicole Paiement, with baritone Daniel Cilli.




In exploring those two threads of modernism and melody Neil integrates the disparate elements seemingly effortlessly. The music is rhythmic and has a delightfully appealing exuberance. The first - and title - piece has a nice sense of drama and flair. The second track - Anosmia - has a playful nature and highlights the vocals. It's described as a monodrama for three singers (Andy Osmia and the 2 Scents), computer and ensemble and features baritone Daniel Cilli and the New Music Ensemble of the San Francisco Conservatory (conducted by Nicole Paiement). The piece draws on a variety of Western musical idioms - including doo-wop - that become an intriguingly whimsical look at the nose (and its absence, lol).

• For more of Neil's videos, check out his youtube page

Bedlam Theatre Brings Acclaimed Productions of Hamlet & Saint Joan Back to New York CIty on stage to February 2 2014


From a media release:

Bedlam Theatre presents
Hamlet & Saint Joan
On stage now - continues to February 2, 2014

Directed by Eric Tucker
Playwrights: George Bernard Shaw/ Shakespeare
Meredith Lucio & Sarah Hancock in association with Perry Street Theatricals at

The Lynn Redgrave Theater
at Culture Project
45 Bleecker St.
New York, NY

Tickets online
• Or by phone: 866-811-4111

Cast: Eric Tucker, Edmund Lewis, Andrus Nichols, Tom O’Keefe

NEW YORK CITY -
After celebrated engagements downtown and in Washington D.C., BEDLAM brings its critically-acclaimed productions of SAINT JOAN and HAMLET back to New York!

Following the edict “the play’s the thing,” this innovative theater company distills two of the stage’s greatest classics down to their simplest form—placing the focus on the actors’ performance and the authors’ words—and breaks down the walls between the performers and the audience.

The result is a powerful and immersive piece of theater that allows the viewer to experience these masterpieces like never before. The Wall Street Journal named BEDLAM’s production of SAINT JOAN the “Best Revival of 2012” and said their HAMLET is "an experience so intense and concentrated that you'll feel as though you were part of the action.” These thrilling productions will be performed in repertory for 12 weeks only. You cannot miss BEDLAM’s passionate, virtuosic and pulse-quickening performances in SAINT JOAN and HAMLET.

Committed to the immediacy of the relationship between the actor and the audience BEDLAM creates theatre in a flexible, raw space and is interested in contemporary reappraisals of the classics, new writing and small-scale musical theatre.

About Bedlam Theatre
The theatre we make always includes the audience. Storytelling is paramount to us. We believe that innovative use of space can collapse aesthetic distance and bring the audience into direct contact with the dangers and delicacies of life––inciting laughter and chaos, exciting thinking and recreating the thrill of lived experience.

Venus in Fur Returns to Canadian Stage (Toronto) December 13 to 29 2013

From a media release:

Canadian Stage’s hit production of Venus in Fur returns for the holiday season
Rick Miller and Carly Street star in ‘the other nutcracker’ in remount at the Berkeley Street Theatre from December 13 to 29, 2013

• Tickets from $29 to $59 are a perfect holiday gift, sure to top Christmas wish-lists across the city.
• Visit www.canadianstage.com/online/venus for performance dates and times.

Toronto, ON –
Canadian Stage’s Venus in Fur is back, just in time to heat things up for the holidays. The company is presenting a remount of the hit production from December 13 to 29 at the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley St.). Directed by Jennifer Tarver with Rick Miller and Carly Street reprising their unforgettable roles as Thomas and Vanda, the production (initially staged at the Bluma Appel Theatre) will feature a reworked set design in the intimate 244-seat Berkeley Downstairs Theatre space. During a season dominated by sugar plum fairies and mice kings, the show called “sexy, sophisticated and side-splittingly funny” (Toronto Star) will be billed as ‘the other nutcracker’.

Venus in Fur follows a young actress (Street) determined to land the lead in a new play based on the classic sadomasochistic novel, Venus in Furs. During her audition, she gets caught up in an electrifying game of cat and mouse with the playwright/director (Miller) that blurs the line between fantasy and reality in an increasingly serious match of submission and domination that only one of them can win.

“This fall, our production of Venus in Fur, under the impeccable direction of Jennifer Tarver and brilliantly performed by the dynamic duo of Rick and Carly, galvanized our audiences and largely exceeded attendance expectations,” said Matthew Jocelyn, artistic and general director, Canadian Stage. “We couldn’t be more excited to remount the show in our more intimate, see-it-up-close Berkeley Street Theatre space – our holiday gift to those who saw the show and want to see it again, as well as to those that missed it the first time around.”

Originally presented from September 29 to October 27 as part of Canadian Stage’s season at the Bluma Appel Theatre, the much buzzed about Venus in Fur was a favourite of audiences and media alike, with the performances and on stage chemistry between Miller and Street garnering critical acclaim. The show, which generated the highest single ticket sales revenue to date under Jocelyn’s tenure as artistic director, exceeded sales expectations by 40 per cent. Revisiting a popular (and recent) production with added holiday programming is a new initiative for Canadian Stage as the company explores its adaptability and growth.

To ensure theatre-goers won’t miss a thing during the busy month of December the 90-minute show will have a holiday schedule with 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. curtain times leaving enough time to catch a performance before seasonal soirees or dinner with family, friends and colleagues. The Berkeley Street Theatre bar will offer festive treats, like cider and sweets, and will be open before and after the show with live music at select performances.

• Tickets from $29 to $59 are a perfect holiday gift, sure to top Christmas wish-lists across the city.
• Visit www.canadianstage.com/online/venus for performance dates and times.


Images of Rick Miller and Carly Street by David Hou

A Toronto Holiday Favourite: Wintersong December 13 & 14 2013


From a release:

Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre
WinterSong – dances for a sacred season
December 13-14, 2013
at Harbourfront Centre - Toronto

TORONTO - Now a 26-year tradition, WinterSong returns to warm the hearts of family audiences with its breathtaking tapestry of seasonal dance. Come celebrate the holidays with some of Canada’s most exciting choreographers, dancers and musicians inspired by the world’s rich solstice traditions.

Includes favourites by Santee Smith, Carol Anderson, Colin Connor, Kim Frank and Deborah Lundmark. Highlights include the return of the company’s 2012 hit, Sknaht, by Dora Award-winning street dance artist, Ofilio Portillo, and a gospel-inspired world premiere by New York’s acclaimed Kevin Wynn.

Wintersong is a family show with works that explore solstice traditions from around the world. It’s a joy to watch the young dancers tackle the complex choreography, which provides insight into how different cultures celebrate the holidays.

Lynanne Sparrow
Artistic Associate – Dance, Performing Arts Department
Harbourfront Centre

Afro-Latino Night at the African Diaspora International Film Festival in New York City December 13, 2013

From a media release:

AFRO-LATINO NIGHT: TANGO NEGRO & CANDOMBE
ADIFF Centerpiece Screening
Friday, December 13, 2013 @ 8:30pm -
Cowin Center, Teachers College

• Q&A after the screening followed by catered reception
• Tickets: $25
TICKETS HERE


NEW YORK CITY  - The African Diaspora International Film Festival is in full swing in New York City and specially for music lovers, this Friday's Centerpiece Screening looks at the African roots of music we automatically associate with South America.

The African Diaspora International Film Festival NYC continues to December 15, 2013

TANGO NEGRO, AFRICAN ROOTS OF TANGO
US Premiere

Directed by Dom Pedro, 2013, 93 min., France, Documentary , French/Spanish/ English subt.
Tango Negro, African  Roots of Tango by Angolan filmmaker Dom Pedro explores the expression of Tango's Africanness and the contribution of African cultures in the creation of the tango. Tango was a reflection of the social life of the slaves that were taken to South America - including Argentina and Uruguay - mostly from central Africa, particularly from the former Kongo Kingdom. Director Dom Pedro reveals the depth of the footprints of the African music on the tango, through this rich movie combining musical performances and interviews from many tango fans and historians in Latin America and Europe, including the renowned Argentinean pianist Juan Carlos Caceres.

Shown with:CANDOMBE
Directed by Rafael Deugenio, 1993, 16 min., Uruguay, Docu-drama, Spanish/ English subt.
More than two hundred years ago, there was an influx into Uruguay of slaves from Africa who, after being freed, continued to make up the poorest and most marginalized strata in society. Fernado Nunez, a black man, a musician, and a maker of drums, sees himself as the heir to "Candombe", an important social and cultural legacy from his slave forefathers. The official history and culture of Uruguay, on the other hand, which has never acknowledged this contribution to the degree which it deserves, continues to marginalize expressions of black culture. Fernando Nunez and his friends from the Barrio Sur back street quarter of Montevideo have decided to fight to keep these important cultural roots alive in the consciousness of the Uruguayan people.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at New York City Center Dec 4 2013 to Jan 5 2014

From a media release:

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
at New York City Center

featuring 39 different performances
Dec 4, 2013 - Jan 5, 2014
Tickets start at $25

Performances & Schedules
Tickets

NEW YORK CITY -
The world’s most popular modern dance company is “dancing better than ever” (The New Yorker) and Artistic Director Robert Battle “has injected the company with new life” (The New York Times). This holiday season, Ailey returns with an ambitious array of premieres and repertory favorites. New this year are Wayne McGregor’s sensory feast Chroma, Bill T. Jones’ exhilarating D-Man in the Waters (Part I), Ronald K. Brown’s powerful Four Corners, and LIFT, a world premiere by the audacious Aszure Barton. New productions of Pas de Duke and The River celebrate the extraordinary collaboration between Alvin Ailey and Duke Ellington, and most programs end with Mr. Ailey’s masterpiece, Revelations (performed with live music on select dates).

New this Season:
World premieres from Ronald K. Brown and Aszure Barton, company premieres of the groundbreaking Chroma by Wayne McGregor and and Bessie Award-winning work D-Man in the Waters (Part I) by Bill T. Jones, and two Alvin Ailey/Duke Ellington collaborations.



Returning Favourites:
The season also includes Ohad Naharin’s audience-grabbing Minus 16, Jirí Kylián’s breathtaking Petite Mort, Kyle Abraham's jazzy Another Night, Ronald K. Brown’s fan favorite Grace, the spirit-lifting joy of Revelations, and more.  

Special Programs:
At select performances, enjoy the added thrill of Revelations accompanied by live music, free Q&As with the Ailey dancers, a celebration of dancer Matthew Rushing, and more.

• Can't decide what to see at NY City Center, Dec 4-Jan 5? "Ask Robert Battle" and receive customized recommendations with our interactive webpage: http://ask.alvinailey.org/

OPENING NIGHT GALA
Ailey’s star-studded Opening Night Gala is one of the most spectacular events of the holiday season. All proceeds benefit the creation of new works, scholarships to The Ailey School, and Ailey's educational programs for children.

Program:Chroma C
The groundbreaking British choreographer’s contemporary ballet is full of sensory surprises: sumptuous movement, a driving score by Joby Talbot with orchestrations of songs by the White Stripes, and a luminous set by minimalist architect John Pawson.

Revelations with Live Music
Using African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs and holy blues, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations fervently explores the places of deepest grief and holiest joy in the soul. More than just a popular dance work, it has become a cultural treasure, beloved by generations of fans. See Revelations with live music at this performance.

Janak Khendry Dance Company Present: John Milton's Paradise Lost December 6 to 8 2013 in Toronto

From a media release:

JANAK KHENDRY DANCE COMPANY
Celebrates 35th Anniversary with World Premiere
dance presentation of one of the greatest works of poetry in the English Language:
John Milton's PARADISE LOST
Choreographed by Janak Khendry
December 6 - 8 2013 at Fleck Dance Theatre as part of Harbourfront Centre's NextSteps

TORONTO -
The Janak Khendry Dance Company (JKDC), presents the world premiere of Paradise Lost, transforming the mysteries of this great literary work by John Milton (1608-1674) into the first-ever full-length dance production.

A monumental artistic undertaking, Paradise Lost runs December 6-8 at Harbourfront Centre's Fleck Dance Theatre as part of NextSteps celebrating both John Milton's 413th birthday (Dec. 9, 1608) and JKDC's 35th Anniversary.

Deemed one of the greatest works in the English language, Milton's epic poem is the story of the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Original music is being created by three prominent composers: Canadian contemporary composer Eric Cadesky (Glass Orchestra) and renowned classical Indian composers Ashit Desai and Alap Desai from Bombay.

Says Khendry, "We intend to illustrate the struggle between God and Satan, between good and evil, the angels and Satan's army, to represent the story of original sin - the story of Adam and Eve - and the role of human beings as pawns in this great saga between Satan and God. Such scenarios are echoed in Indian scriptures including the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. Juxtapositions of good and evil, and naivety and craftiness, as well as the act of falling from grace, are themes common both to Hinduism and Christianity. In short, audiences will witness a universal 'morality play' in our rendering of Paradise Lost."

Two world renowned Milton scholars are advising Artistic Director and Paradise Lost choreographer Janak Khendry: Mr. Philip Pullman from Oxford, England (author of Northern Lights, known as The Golden Compass in North America, adapted into a film of the same name) and Toronto's Dr. Tulsiram Sharma (whose PHD thesis from the University of London was on Milton's Paradise Lost). Drawing from a pool of distinguished Canadian dancers to play the characters of Paradise Lost, Indian classical and western modern dance styles will be blended to create a new dance vocabulary to present this great masterwork. With Allen Kaeja as SATAN, Eddie Kastrau as ADAM, Kala Vageesan as EVE, Daniel McArthur as GABRIEL, Austin Fagan as MICHAEL, Tyler Gledhill as RAPHAEL, Harikishan S. Nair as SON OF GOD, Mateo Galindo Torres as URIEL and Janak Khendry as GOD, Paradise Lost is poised to become a significant part of Canadian dance heritage.

Additionally, other noteworthy Indo-Canadian dancers assume the roles of angels and Satan's followers: Sinthuja Jeyarajah, Divya Divakaran, Rugsha Sivanandan, Meera Rajah, Keerthika Ravinthiran, Ishwaria Chandru, Harinnya Rajasekeran and Kalaisan Kalaichelvan.

Janak Khendry Dance Company presents the world premiere of Paradise Lost
Concept and Choreography by Janak Khendry
Costume Design by Janak Khendry
Sets and Lighting by Bradley Trenaman
Original Music by Eric Cadesky, Ashit Desai and Alap Desai
Performed by an ensemble of 17 including Austin Fagan, Tyler Gledhill, Allen Kaeja, Eddie Kastrau, Janak Khendry, Daniel McArthur, Harikishan S. Nair, Mateo Galindo Torres, Kala Vageesan

Friday December 6 - Sunday, December 8, 2013
Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 3pm


part of Harbourfront Centre's NextSteps series at Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., Toronto
Tickets: $28-$36
Harbourfront Centre Box Office: 416-973-4000 OR online at www.jkdanceco.org or www.harbourfrontcentre.com

YeYe Asa Festival: Celebrating African Women feat. Floxy Bee December 7 2013 in New York City

From a media release:

YeYe Asa Festival/NY
Celebrating African women succeeding, changing their culture for the better
Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 8:30pm 

at Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space 2537 Broadway at 95th St. New York, NY 10025

NEW YORK CITY -
Every year in early December, there is a cultural festival in Ile-Ife Iyanfoworogi, in the heart of Yorubaland. At 2012 festival, Nigerian singer and entertainer FLOXY BEE — a.k.a the Hikosso Queen — became a Chief: the YeYe Asa (Mother of Culture) of Ile-Ife Iyanfoworogi. As it is not possible for her to participate in this year’s festival in Nigeria, it was decided that she would hold a parallel event in New York City. And because the YeYe Asa is a woman, the NY festival would focus on the cultural contributions of African women.

The YeYe Asa Festival/NY will link with participants in Nigeria via video clips and will feature a performance by the YeYe Asa herself, FLOXY BEE, with her band.

It is not easy for a traditional culture to adapt to the modern world. Throughout Africa, traditional roles and values have broken down and women have been particularly vulnerable in the transition. In music, the traditional genres are being replaced with hip hop and Western pop styles, and the spirituality, the other–worldness of African music, is being lost. The YeYe Asa Festival celebrates those African women who struggle to preserve the positive in their culture while adapting to the gender-equal modern world. Who is better than a woman to mother tradition into the modern age?

Tickets are $33 advance, $38 day of show; $30 seniors/students/members, available through the Symphony Space box office: 212-864-5400 or online