Gateways to World Music Performance Series Announced

The Robert E. Brown Center for World Music is pleased to announce Gateways to World Music programming for Fall 2019. The performance / lecture series will feature artists drawing from music traditions of West Africa, Spain, the Carpathian Bow, and India. Events are scheduled in the School of Music Building Auditorium, 1114 W. Nevada Street, Urbana at 7:30p on the following dates: September 30; October 7; October 28; and November 6. 

The series begins on Monday, September 30 with Sean Gaskell, an American kora player who studied extensively under the instruction of Malamini Jobarteh and Moriba Kuyateh in Gambia, West Africa.  His program features traditional songs on the kora, a 21-string harp that is native to the Mandinka people traditionally presented by musicians and cultural historians name, griots. Gaskell’s visit is co-sponsored by Spurlock Museum with support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

On Monday, October 7, the series continues with flamenco guitarist David Chiriboga, a Chicago-based artist whose style was nurtured in Andalusia where he studied with prominent guitarists Paco Serrano, Jose Antonio Rodriguez, Emilio Maya, and Antonio Heredia. His visit concludes with a collaborative concert organized by graduate student Brian Stark titled, The Illinois Flamenco-Jazz Project, on October 10 at 7p at Spurlock Museum. Both programs are sponsored by George A. Miller Programs Committee.

In collaboration with C-U Folk and Roots Festival, the gateways series continues on Monday, October 28, with a special presentation by Veretski Pass, a trio performing music from the Carpathian Bow featuring Cookie Segelstein (violin), Joshua Horowitz (chromatic button accordion) and Stuart Brotman (bass). With colorful instrumentation and unique arrangements and compositions, Veretski Pass plays "old country" music with origins in the Ottoman Empire, once fabled as the borderlands of the East and the West. This event is co-sponsored by Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation Endowment Fund of the C-U Jewish Federation; Hillel at the University of Illinois; Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center; and Program in Jewish Culture and Society, UIUC.

The series concludes on Wednesday, November 6, with Mark Deutsch, a visionary artist who created the bazantar, a six-string acoustic bass fitted with an additional 29 sympathetic strings and four drone strings. Stemming from his background as a classically trained bassist and sitar player, combined with his interests in nonlinear mathematics, sacred systems, and cosmology, Deutsch will illustrate how this remarkable instrument evokes all the power of Western classical music with the depth and nuance of Eastern traditions. This event is co-sponsored by Unit One / Allen Hall.

The Robert E. Brown Center for World Music is an engagement program of the School of Music committed to promoting understanding and appreciation of music and dance traditions of the world. Programming of the center is sponsored in part by the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the School of Music, and contributions from generous donors.

All programs are open to campus and community audiences free of charge. For more information visit

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