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It is music and dancing that makes me at peace with the world, and at peace with myself. —Nelson Mandela

Aiko Majikina

The Los Angeles-based Majikina Honryu-Aigen no Kai dance company will present “Nufa Gukuru — My Spirit Dances” on Sunday, November 2, at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo, LA, led by artistic director Aiko Majikina.

“[My teacher] Yuko-sensei used to say that he could teach all the forms and techniques of the dance, but it can only come to life when you make it your own. Your spirit has to go into the dance,” remembers Aiko Majikina. “It has been a long-time dream of mine to bring his kumiudui to Los Angeles, and to honor him.”

Read the story at The Rafu Shimpo.

Spyros Zagoraios

His songs were hits throughout Greece for decades . . .

Music was his entire life, he once said in an interview. “I like to sing, my whole life is singing. Even when I walk around I whistle.”

Rebetico (Rebetiko, Rembetiko) is sometimes referred to as the “Greek blues.”  Very much worth a listen, if you’re not familiar with it.

Read the article at

See (and hear) also this YouTube clip.


The Mystic Music Festival (September 22-30) brought performing artists from Iran, Tajikistan, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Comoros, Bolivia, and Spain to Konya, Turkey, site of the tomb of Jalaluddin Rumi, the 13th century founder of the Mevlevi, or “Whirling,” dervishes.  Nice videos of performances by Sain Zahoor of Pakistan and Kayhan Kalhor of Iran . . .

Rumi’s idea of finding the ‘Beloved’ through the human heart, and his message of tolerance seem particularly relevant today, given the Islamic State crisis lurking nearby on the Turkey-Syria border. . . . During the festival, big sema ceremonies (recitations of Koranic verses, along with music and whirling) held in a specially-built building, as well as more informal musical gatherings and sessions in hotels and other venues throughout the city.

Thai Khon Dance

From the Bangkok Post, a dance master explains how and why he teaches Thai classical dance to children.  The video clip shows children learning to perform the Ramakien, the Thai version of the India’s great epic, the Ramayana.

Welcome to a school that teaches Khon to children – both rich and poor. A Khon teacher explains how this traditional masked dance based on the Ramayana epic can help children in both their personal life and their career.

Read the full article at



Dia de los Muertos

Celebrating the Day of the Dead in Old Town, San Diego, Nov. 1 and 2 . . .

Annually on November 1 and 2, Save Our Heritage Organization produces the community wide celebration in Old Town, San Diego. It is a destination event that showcases the traditions and cultural activities of this holiday that is celebrated around the world.

Read the full story here.


Grover Burt

A new book with wonderful photos of blues musicians . . . And check out the excellent collection of audio files down the page linked below!

As founder and executive director of the Music Maker Relief Foundation, Tim Duffy snapped photos while helping musicians make ends meet. The photos and captions in his new book of his black-and-white photography tell a rich and vivid history of the life and music of these artists.

Read on at

Royal Cambodian Ballet

The Royal Ballet of Cambodia performs in Long Beach Saturday, October 18, 2014, 8:00pm.

The show is called “The Stars of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia” and it was inspired by the late Queen Kossamak Nearyrath. The dance form was established in the early Cambodian royal courts for the purpose of entertainment and ceremony. It includes dances of tribute or invocation and the enactment of traditional stories and epic poems. Dancers were considered messengers to the gods and ancestors.


Girija Devi

The new film Girija explores the biography of Girija Devi, her life in Banaras, and her unique contribution to North Indian music.

I devoted myself to understanding the importance of poetry and lyrics in singing. Rasa, the expression of emotion, became the primary focus of my compositions. I worked long and hard to express the various forms of love, such as love for God, love for your beloved, and simple, maternal love. My Thumris, which are typically based on stories of Krishna, became the focal point of my practice. I decided to change the entire complexion of Thumri singing. I was determined to give it a new face.

Zakir Hussain

Rack up one more for legendary tabla master–and friend of the CWM–Utsad Zakir Hussain!

While he’s received all of the most prestigious awards for musicians in classical Indian music, composer and tabla master Zakir Hussain sees his latest honor as a sign of the Hindustani tradition’s growing international status more than as a personal tribute.

Read the full article at