Where is Matt?

Where in the World is Matt? An Uplifting Video

A must-see video if you haven’t seen it; wonderful to watch again from time to time if you have.  Not traditional music, but otherwise embodies very nicely the spirit of the Center for World Music’s mission . . .

See also Matt’s website.

Happy Lunar New Year! U-T Details San Diego Events

Thursday, February 19, 2015 is the New Year for many San Diego residents of East and Southeast Asian heritage. There will be many celebrations.  The San Diego Union Tribune details some local events if you’d like to catch one:

The Lunar New Year is already being observed in San Diego with festivals, parades and other cultural events throughout the 15-day affair. If you’re looking for a public event complete with the traditional food, firecrackers and Lucky Lion dancers, there are many in San Diego happening throughout the month.

Find the details, with a list of events, in this U-T article.

Listen to the KPBS Radio story, Lunar New Year Tet Festival Celebrates Vietnamese Heritage.

Benefits of Playing Music

Great Ted-Ed Video: How Playing Music Benefits Your Brain

Here’s an excellent (and cute!) Ted-Ed animated video on the benefits of playing musical instruments.  Well-worth five minutes . . .

When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout.

View at Ted-Ed.

PBS's State of Music

PBS’s “State of Music” Documents Master Musicians of Southern Appalachia

A new PBS documentary, narrated by Appalachian musician David Holt, introduces a rich history of music and musicians, extending into the present:

Grammy Award-winning performer David Holt introduces viewers to modern masters of traditional music in the Southern mountains and remembers the greats who taught him. Featured artists are Bryan Sutton, Josh Goforth, Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Bruce Molsky, the Branchettes and Balsam Range . . .

View video on PBS.org.  Meet the artists here.

Gamelan Sekar Jaya LA

“Gamelan Weekend” in LA: Gamelan Sekar Jaya Workshop and Concert, Feb 21-22

For lovers of Balinese music and dance, this will be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a “hands-on” workshop and concert. The Music Center in downtown LA will host the Saturday, February 21 workshop and the concert on Sunday the 22nd.

Gamelan Sekar Jaya is internationally recognized as “the finest Balinese gamelan ensemble outside of Indonesia” (TempoMagazine). True to Balinese tradition, the Bay Area-based musicians and dancers learn the complex musical figurations and elaborate choreographies through intensive training with master teachers. The orchestra is composed of bronze metallophones, bamboo marimbas, tuned gongs, drums and flutes which the musicians play with technical precision and collective spirit. The performance includes the masked dance of Jauk Manis, the “sweet demon” character who is both mischievous and endearing.

Both events are free, but the Saturday workshop has limited space and an RSVP is required.

More info and links at laist.com.

Del Mar Heights School

Del Mar Heights Builds Awareness and Ability with World Music

Del Mar Times, February 8, 2015

A report on a thriving World Music in the Schools sponsored, artists-in-residence program at Del Mar Heights School, north of San Diego, which seeks to help children “become creative, expressive members of their communities.”

Each grade level at Del Mar Heights has multiple instructional sessions with visiting musicians and dancers from various cultures. Students participate in creating and understanding music using a wide range of instruments. These instructional sessions often culminate with student concerts or presentations of learning.

The program features several Center for World Music teaching artists (Koresh Taghvi is pictured above, with students).  The Center’s World Music in the Schools program is funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council.

Read the full story at DelMarTimes.net

Keep Music in Schools

Help “Keep Arts in Schools” with Your CA Tax Return

The California Arts Council, which we are proud to say supports the work of the Center for World Music, invites you to add a few bucks to your CA tax return to support arts education:

Californians believe in arts education, and research shows most are willing to give a little extra on their taxes if they know the funds are spent on the arts for children and teens. Almost a third of schools in California have no music, dance, theatre, media arts or visual arts available whatsoever. The California Arts Council is working to increase arts education statewide by supporting teaching artists in the classroom, incorporating arts into “Common Core” teacher instruction, and turning around low performing schools through the arts.

Interested in helping? It’s easy – and deductible! Give a little extra on your state tax return to the “Keep Arts in Schools Fund,” and 100% of your tax-deductible contribution is applied to arts education programming by the California Arts Council.

The “Keep Arts in Schools Fund” can be found in Voluntary Contribution Section 110 (425) of the “540” individual state tax-return form, and the minimum donation is just $1. Every dollar counts, so please join the California Arts Council and “Keep Arts in Schools” through your state tax return!

Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.

CAC Logo

Metal and Castanha Agogos

World Music Instrument: The Agogô

The first in a planned series of reports on the fascinating variety of musical instruments that students in World Music in the Schools enjoy working with . . .

The agogô is an instrument used widely in West Africa, Brazil, and throughout the world. The name comes from ágogo (AH-go-go) meaning “double bell” in the tonal Yoruba language and is onomatopoeia for the two sounds it makes. In my classes for the Center for World Music we use the Afro-Brazilian agogô (ah-go-GO). The agogô is a type of handbell similar to our cowbell. It has two or more bells attached to a handle and is played with a wooden stick. The bells can be made of metal, castanhas-do-Pará (Brazil nut shells), coconuts, gourds, wood, or large seeds. The agogô is found in a variety of Afro-Brazilian musical styles including maracatu, maculelê, batucada of the samba schools, afoxé, songs of capoeira, and more. It is used in ceremonies and rituals of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé.

—Stefanie Schmitz, World Music in the Schools Teaching Artist

Agogôs in action on YouTube:  Demo with Stefanie | A Four-Toner in Brazil |  Brazil Nut Shell Agogô

More on Stefanie: StefanieSchmitz.net

Nomsa Burkhardt

“Best of Journeys” to Teaching Artist Nomsa Burkhardt

Farewell to Nomsa

Nomsa Burkhardt at GarfieldIt is with a mix of emotions this month that we must say farewell to our good friend and stellar teaching artist Nomsa Burkhardt, who will be relocating to Germany with her family soon. Nomsa is a brilliant dancer, percussionist, and teacher, and over the last four years has shared her deep knowledge of South African Zulu music, dance, and culture with many hundreds of lucky San Diego students as part of our World Music in the Schools program.

During her time with the CWM, Nomsa has held artist residencies at Bird Rock, Del Mar Heights, Euclid, and Hearst Elementary schools, at the King-Chavez Academy of Arts Charter School, at Bell Middle School, and at numerous other festivals and workshops. She has set an exceptionally high standard of teaching and performance, and has brought a deeper understanding of the world we live in and the riches of its traditions to all those fortunate enough to have met and learned from her.

We wish her the best of journeys, success and prosperity in her new home, and our deepest thanks for all of her contributions to the Center for World Music during her time in San Diego.

—Jonathan Parker, Schools Programs Director

Nomsa’s CWM YouTube videos are here and here. See also Nomsa.net.