The Old-Time String Band Ensemble
The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology presents the Spring Festival of World Music and Jazz with performances from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., May 20 through June 6 in UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall.
Saturday, May 20: The Music of Bali Ensemble and the Charles Mingus Ensemble
- Featuring gamelan — the Indonesian orchestra — and dance, the Music of Bali Ensemble will perform music celebrated for its fast tempos, abrupt changes of texture and brilliantly costumed dancers who act out stories from the Hindu Ramayana.
- The goal of the Charles Mingus Ensemble is to provide a workshop environment where students from the jazz, world and classical disciplines can learn to successfully integrate compositional and improvisational musical traditions. The ensemble utilizes many of Charles Mingus' musical approaches, employing improvisational styles within and outside of common jazz performance practice.
Sunday, May 21: the African American Music Ensemble and the Music of Mexico Ensemble:
- The African American Music Ensemble performs a diverse mix of gospel music, including Negro spirituals and traditional and contemporary gospel. Beginning in the 1600s with enslaved Africans, African-American choral music has evolved into a refined urban form accompanied by piano, drum, bass and tambourine.
- Under the direction of 2008 Grammy winner Jesús Guzmán, the Music of Mexico Ensemble features mariachi music in a variety of styles from various regions of Mexico, including son jalisiense, son huasteco, bolero, ranchera and huapango.
Friday, May 26: Music of India and the Music of the Balkans Ensemble
- Made up of sitar and tabla student performers, the Music of India Ensemble performs short compositions of North Indian classical and semi-classical ragas and talas.
- The Music of the Balkans Ensemble focuses on Bulgarian traditional songs and music. The ensemble also includes a women's choir that performs a-capella arrangements of folk songs in two- and three-part harmony.
Friday, June 2: the Old-Time String Band Ensemble, as well as the Intercultural Improvisation Ensemble:
- Performing traditional music of rural America, the Old-Time String Band Ensemble delves into the exciting sub-genres of Appalachian fiddle and banjo music, Mid-West fiddle tunes, North Carolina and Georgia string band music, Cajun/Creole fiddle, traditional bluegrass, country blues, and jug band music.
- The Intercultural Improvisation Ensemble experiments with different world music styles and traditions. With elements of improvisation playing an essential role in the creation of new and/or traditional pieces of music, musical arrangements will blend different musical instruments representing diverse world areas.
Saturday, June 3: The Near East Ensemble and the Music of China Ensemble
- The Near East Ensemble presents music and instruments from the Arab world. Its repertoire includes old court music genres from the Ottoman era, mystical works related to the Sufi Islamic sect, modal and drum improvisations, nightclub pieces, and songs from rural folk celebrations.
- The Music of China Ensemble performs arias from the Kun opera of the 16th century, "silk-and-bamboo" wind and string music from the Shanghai area, folk dances for festive celebration, zheng zither music in the Keijia style from Canton Province, music for large percussion ensembles, and modern compositions for traditional Chinese wind and string ensembles.
- Concentrating on the main components of African music including drum patterns, songs and dances, the Music of West Africa Ensemble performs the music and dances of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. The ensemble produces complex polyphonic textures on a variety of drums, bells and rattles to accompany dramatic and entertaining social dances.
- The Music of Persia Ensemble focuses on the performance of Persian classical music, including the radif and tasnifs vocal repertoire.
Monday, June 5: The Combo Concert will feature student combo ensembles directed by George Bohanon, Clayton Cameron, Charley Harrison, Charles Owens and Michele Weir. The Jazz Combo Concert will also feature performances by the Thelonious Monk Institute Ensemble.
Tuesday, June 6: Performing will be Big Band Jazz Concert featuring LatinJazz Big Band, the UCLA Jazz Orchestra and Big Band Jazz, an ensemble made up of UCLA’s award-winning jazz studies students.
The Spring Festival of World Music and Jazz is free and open to the public, with the exception of the Jazz Combo Concert. Tickets for the Jazz Combo Concert can be purchased through the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-825-2101 or online.