Where is Matt?

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.

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

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

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 . . .

Details available on PBS.org.  Meet the artists here.

Del Mar Heights School

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.

Metal and Castanha Agogos

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

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.