Posted October 10, 2007 in

 If you’re looking for something a bit more culturally-enriching than just shamrocks and green beer this St. Paddy’s Day, the third annual UCR Festival of World Music presents an exotic, aural feast with diverse musics from Latin America and Asia. This ambitious offering, highlighting the ethnomusicology program in the university’s department of music, features UC Riverside students, faculty and staff, as well as community members. Who knew we could be charmed by the live sounds of Java, the Philippines, Mexico, the Andes, and Japan without leaving our own Inland Empire?

Two of the five participating ensembles are led by UCR music faculty, both ethnomusicologists. Professor Rene T.A. Lysloff has directed the UCR Gamelan Ensemble since 1996, and is a specialist in the music and shadow theatre of Central Java, Indonesia. Professor Jonathan Ritter, an expert in the highland musics of Peru, will lead the performance of Mayupatapi, the UCR Latin American Music Ensemble. The other ensembles are led by culture bearers from Los Angeles who teach at the university, including Tagumpay “Pi” de Leon, the director of the UCR Rondalla Ensemble, which plays small, traditional Filipino stringed instruments, including the bandurria, laud, octavina, guitarra, and bajo de unas. The Rondalla provides the music for Philippine folk dances, weddings, and other social functions.

Expect the most explosive sounds to erupt from the UCR Taiko Ensemble: New and Traditional Japanese Drumming. Taiko is a spiritual, ancient percussion music of strength and power, combining dance, the martial arts, and intense rhythms. This ensemble is led by Reverend Tom Kuraiis, the abbot of Sozenji Soto Zen Buddhist Temple in Montebello. (John Roos)


The third annual UCR Festival of World Music, UC Riverside, University Theatre, 900 University Ave., (951) 827-3245; www.music.ucr.edu. Sat., 7 p.m. $6-$10. Parking, $5 in Lot 6 (no fee with UCR permit). All ages.


Be the first to comment!

You must be logged in to post a comment.