Danlee in Bali

Danlee Mitchell has been a San Diego institution for over 40 years—as the world’s leading authority on the music of American composer Harry Partch, as a Professor in the School of Music and Dance at San Diego State University, and as a distinguished board member of the Center for World Music. As a true renaissance man traveling the world over, he has lectured and performed Western, Asian, and African music in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Pacific, and across the United States.

It has been my distinct pleasure to have enjoyed many years being enriched as a colleague of Danlee, both at SDSU and through the programs and projects of the Center for World Music. I have found him to be an artistic visionary—one with a laserlike focus on promoting art, especially music, of the highest quality. On behalf of both SDSU and the CWM, I wish to thank Danlee Mitchell for his many and distinguished contributions to world music in San Diego.

Thank you Danlee for being such a valued colleague of mine and for being such a trusted friend of all San Diegans.

Gracias señor Danlee for your participation and assistance with the SDSU Javanese gamelan performances in Tijuana and Ensenada. I can’t believe you didn’t pull your back lifting the big gong on to the stage all by yourself!

Xie xie Xian Sheng Mitchell for your support and assistance with the numerous workshops, concerts, and classes in Chinese music that the SDSU students enjoyed over ten years. Confucius himself would surely have admired your devotion and industry!

Arigato Danlee-San for your assistance with concerts and classes of Japanese music in San Diego, both through the Center for World Music and through the SDSU World Music Concert Series. Haiku to you!

Kamsa hamnida “Professor” Mitchell for your support and assistance with the SDSU lecture/demo. by the distinguished Korean komungo player Jin Ki Kim. Did you really set up the risers all by yourself?

Danlee GamelanTerima kasih Pak Danlee for mentoring SDSU music students while they were conducting fieldwork for the first time in Indonesia, for your devotion to holding the SDSU and Canyon Crest Academy Javanese gamelan programs together over the years, and for performing public concerts with them as necessary. Aduh! What a gong player!

Suksma pesan Bapak Mitchell for comforting music students whenever they experienced the sting of culture shock in Bali. Thank God they all returned safely to Flower Mountain after all those cremations!

Teshekkurler Bay Danlee for your companionship in Turkey, and for all those fabulous videos of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Experiencing the whirling dervishes, the mehter band, and the Topkapi Palace just wouldn’t have been the same without you there!

Mamnoon Mitchell Khan for your support and assistance with all those workshops, concerts, and classes in Iranian classical music. I know that you have earned the lasting gratitude of the entire San Diego Iranian community!

Ndatenda VaMitchell for your encouragement and support of the mbira classes, workshops, and recitals. I am confident that the Shona ancestors are looking down on you with pride, nay, with gratitude for sharing their precious sacred tradition with Americans!

Akpe “Professor” for initiating the SDSU African Music Program and for patiently mentoring SDSU music students while they discovered wondrous cultures in Africa, of Ghana and Togo. I only wish I could swing those hips as well as you!

Kiitos Mr. Mitchell for helping to raise funds to purchase dozens of Finnish kantele zithers that university and K-12 music students throughout San Diego have enjoyed for many years. Surely no other city in America has access to so many kanteles!

Thank you Danlee for putting San Diego on the world map with Harry Partch’s unique musical instruments and musical compositions, for co-directing the SDSU World Music Program for over 10 years, for co-directing the SDSU and CWM World Music Concert Series for over 10 years, for co-directing national-level summer world music workshops under the auspices of The College Music Society and the CWM and The SDSU School of Music and Dance for over 10 years, and thanks too, Danlee, for continuing to rediscover the beauty and fascination of world music along with me—as a teaching colleague, as a performing musician, as an arts administrator, and just as an explorer of the worlds of music.

Danlee Mitchell at Indonesian Sunset Gamelan Recital

Thank you Professor Mitchell for being such a wonderful friend and supportive colleague. We in San Diego have greatly enjoyed your visionary leadership, your endless support, your helpful assistance, your optimistic encouragement, your tireless industry, and your profound devotion to music in our city on the Pacific. And, when you finally leave America’s Finest City for your retirement island in Puget Sound, we shall truly miss having such a trusted friend right across town.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANLEE!

—Lewis Peterman, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, School of Music and Dance, San Diego State University

Mbira

Celebrating Mbira Month

Mbira Month is a 30-day, global celebration of a Zimbabwean traditional musical instrument called the mbira. Mbira Month provides an international platform for celebrating and sharing traditional spiritual aspects of Zimbabwean Shona culture with all humanity. As both a musical instrument and a type of classical music, mbira is a “telephone to the spirits” associated with centuries-old cultural practices and religious beliefs. It is a vehicle for communicating deep human spirituality, both inside modern Zimbabwe and around the contemporary world.  The Center for World Music celebrates Mbira Month by sponsoring and coordinating a series of events in San Diego and in Japan—lessons, meditations, public concerts, informal presentations, and an informal get-together for mbira players in Southern California. See events here.

—Lewis Peterman, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, School of Music and Dance, San Diego State University

Dr. Timothy Rice

The Center for World Music congratulates board member Dr. Timothy Rice, who was awarded an honorary doctorate from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, the oldest and most prestigious university in Bulgaria. The award recognized Dr. Rice’s decades of study of Bulgarian traditional music, song, and dance, and his efforts to bring it to a wider audience. “Dr. Rice is an esteemed ethnomusicologist,” said Rick Speer, who first reported this news on the East European Folklife Center message board, “and a fine musician himself!”  The ceremony included a lecture by Dr. Rice on “Four Paradigms for Ethnographic Research on the Bulgarian Musical Experience.”

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Rice commented:

I do not have the words to express my sincere gratitude for this incredible honor. It is very personal and emotional for me because of my long love of Bulgarian culture and music. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
See photos of the event on the Sofia University website.

A long-time member of the Department of Ethnomusicology at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Dr. Rice has published numerous articles and books in his field. Among these contributions are his books May it Fill Your Soul: Experiencing Bulgarian Music (Chicago, 1994) and Bulgarian Music: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture (Oxford, 2003).

We at the Center for World Music are proud to have Dr. Rice as a member of our Board of Directors.

For further information on Tim’s career, please see:

YouTube video Music Educator Profile: UCLA Professor of Ethnomusicology Timothy Rice | Radio Bulgaria story An American in Love with Bulgarian Folklore

The Center for World Music would like to welcome back Nomsa Burkhardt to our family of outstanding teaching artists in residence, rejoining our World Music in the Schools program.

Update: Congratulations to Nomsa Burkhardt, Teaching Artist for the World Music in the Schools program, for winning a grant from Rising Arts Leaders San Diego to attend the Teaching Artist Institute.

Born in Soweto, Center for World Music distinguished teaching artist Nomsa Burkhardt is an extraordinary South African musician and dancer. She spent her formative years in KwaZulu, Natal, a region famous for its rich Zulu heritage and culture. There, she studied various traditional dance styles with master dancers, such as Indlamu, ukuQhobosha, and ukuSina. After immigrating to Philadelphia, she co-founded the African dance troupe HIMOSHA. Her artistic skills and passion for dance quickly propelled her into serving as both the director and lead choreographer for the troupe for seven years. She collaborated with well-known Philadelphia-based South African multi-instrumentalist and artist Mogauwane Mahloele at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walt Whitman Cultural Arts Center, and at many universities and schools. She also performed and conducted workshops annually at the Philly Dance Africa Project. In 2000 she returned to South Africa to study with the accomplished ethnomusicologist Prof. Meki Nzewi at the University of Pretoria. Upon her return to the USA in 2004, she joined the Grammy-nominated South African band Sharon Katz & The Peace Train. As part of the Peace Train Project at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, Nomsa was instrumental in developing a teacher-training program that focused on South African history and conducted a series of educational performances. Nomsa has toured throughout the USA, South Africa, Israel, Italy, and Germany. She is the co-founder of IZINDE, an Afro-fusion band composed of performing artists from around the world.


RALSD LogoUnder the sponsorship of the Center for World Music, Nomsa was selected in September 2017 to participate in the Teaching Artist Institute, a professional development program offered by Arts for Learning San Diego, an affiliate of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning. For a working musician who collaborates with schools as a teaching artist, this program is of tremendous value. Nomsa was awarded a Virgil Yalong matching grant from Rising Arts Leaders San Diego to support her participation in the Teaching Artist Institute.


 

Nomsa Burkhardt at Garfield Elementary

Nomsa Burkhardt at Garfield Elementary

Nomsa is a distinguished teaching artist for Center for World Music’s NEA-funded hands-on schools program. Her student-centered curriculum exceeds California arts standards by bringing joy and heartfelt fun into San Diego classrooms, while addressing core learning outcomes. Through the study of the traditional music and dance of South Africa, Nomsa’s classes focus on the importance of history and culture in the creation of music, the use of musical instruments, and the expression of community unity and collaboration through the performing arts. Students learn the geographical origins of musical instruments, increasing their global awareness and providing them with a global context to the music and dance of Zulu and Xhosa cultures. Nomsa integrates the science of making musical instruments in her program, and her students enjoy a diversity of music-making through singing and games that involve stories and simple songs, enhancing the connections to other disciplines such as literacy and math.

World Music in the Schools and the children of San Diego are fortunate to have Nomsa Burkhardt spreading joy and understanding through the traditional music and dance of South Africa.

Maluju – Stop Xenophobia By Nomsa

Video of Nomsa teaching South African Zulu Music and Dance

The Center for World Music would like to recognize Mark Lamson for his  dedication as an outstanding teaching artist in residence for World Music in the Schools.

Mark LamsonCenter for World Music teaching artist Mark Lamson is a highly acclaimed percussionist, ensemble director, recording artist, producer, educator, and one of San Diego’s best-recognized authorities on Cuban and Brazilian drumming and percussion. As a valued instructor in our World Music in the Schools program, he has taught the exciting rhythms of Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian drumming, communicating concepts in music, math, collaboration, and culture to hundreds of San Diego school children in his classes.

Mark has seven recordings and countless performances to his credit. He is known for his professionalism, expertise, and experience in playing a broad range of musical styles, and for assembling ensembles featuring top-notch talent. While Mark’s repertoire includes R&B, rock, Latin jazz, New Orleans brass band, funk, and hip hop, his true passion lies in fusing the popular and traditional music of Brazil and Cuba, with modern American and Latin American styles.

Based in San Diego, California, Mark is the director and lead percussionist for Sol e Mar, a dynamic Brazilian/Latin music collective which he co-founded in 1985. Sol e Mar can deploy anywhere from 3 to 50 performers, ranging from a bossa nova jazz trio to a full drum bateria replete with Brazilian samba dancers in full Carnaval regalia. In 1994, Sol e Mar won “Best Latin Band” at the Second Annual San Diego Music Awards.

Mark Lamson at Bird RockMark is an adjunct faculty member at San Diego State University and has also taught at Santa Clara University in San Jose, California, at California State University Long Beach, and at Palomar College. He is a sought-after workshop leader and lecturer, and has been invited to teach and speak at institutions of learning across the United States and around the world.

Check out Mark’s website at https://marklamson.com/.

eBay for Charity RibbonAre you an eBay seller?  Did you know that supporting charities like the Center for World Music can benefit your online sales?  Were you aware that, according to the 2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study, “83% of Americans wish more of the products, services, and retailers they use would support charities”?

Here’s the scoop:

Supporting non-profits and charities can not only do a world of good for the recipients of your donations, but it can also benefit your online business.

The fact is that implementing a donation program into your business model contributes to revenue increase, customer attraction, and community build-up. Not to mention the tax deduction bonus . . .

The Center for World Music is a registered eBay charity. Do you believe in our work of preserving traditional arts, bringing music and dance to the schools, and supporting traditional performing artists? A partnership with eBay for Charity and the Center for World Music might well help your business—as well as this worthy cause.

Please read 5 Ways Supporting Charities Can Benefit Your Ecommerce Business and consider partnering with the Center for World Music on eBay for Charity.

The Center for World Music would like to recognize Garit Imhoff for his years of dedication as an outstanding teaching artist in residence for the World Music in the Schools program.

Garit in the Garden

Garit Imhoff is a professional mbira player, teacher, and all-around performer, specializing in storytelling and movement. He is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts and has participated in world music ensembles for over forty-five years. He has studied and performed traditional Zimbabwean music extensively, both in the United States and in Zimbabwe, and has studied the traditional music, puppetry, and cultures of Java and Bali in Indonesia. Mr. Imhoff learned and practiced Zimbabwean music under the tutelage of many great teachers including Ephat Mujuru, Jacob Mafuleni, Stella Chiweshe, Tute Chigamba, Irene Chigamba, and Musekiwa Chingodza.  As one of its cofounders, Mr. Imhoff is an active performing member of Zimbeat, a professional San Diego-based music ensemble that specializes in the traditional and popular music of Zimbabwe.  He is also a performing member of Kembang Sunda, a San Diego-based traditional west Javanese gamelan orchestra.

Zimbabwe DayIn 2013 Mr. Imhoff was awarded a grant through the Artist Outreach Project of the Kenneth A. Picerne Foundation–funding to support teaching children in Encinitas at the Boys & Girls Club of San Dieguito. The Center for World Music partnered with the Picerne Foundation and Ticha Muzavazi, instrument builders and teacher of students with disabilities in Zimbabwe, to develop specially made small-sized Zimbabwean mbiras that could be easily played by young children. The resulting year-long project subsequently developed into Center for World Music classes in public and private primary schools throughout the County of San Diego.

Mbira Students

Combining storytelling, dance, and singing to engage his students, Mr. Imhoff has been using the small-sized mbiras to instruct San Diego K-12 children in the compelling traditions of Zimbabwe. His music classes in the schools are supported by grants from the California Arts Council, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the local San Diego community.

Adler plays Khaen

La Jolla Light, February 11, 2016

The Center for World Music’s upcoming Passport to Worlds of Music series has been featured in the La Jolla Light.

CWM’s new executive director, Monica Emery, said she’s looking forward to introducing more people of all ages to the delights of world music. . . . ‘Our Passport concerts take place in an intimate setting, with the musicians actually walking you through their music, giving you special insights and inviting you to interact with them, as if they were in your living room.  You can bring your own wine, and we’ll have some snacks too.’

Read the full article:

La Jolla Light Article

Congratulations to Stefanie Schmitz, Teaching Artist for the World Music in the Schools program, for winning a grant from Rising Arts Leaders to attend the Teaching Artist Institute.

Multi-instrumentalist musical artist and teacher Stefanie Schmitz has been exploring the San Diego music scene since 2001. Her talents span an eclectic range of genres including jazz, classical, samba, choro, funk, musical theatre, playing the clarinet, tenor saxophone, Brazilian percussion, and more. Stefanie attended the University of California San Diego where she received bachelor’s degrees in Music Performance and in French Language Studies.Stefanie Schmitz She directs and performs with a number of San Diego-based music groups, including Choro Sotaque, Super Sonic Samba School, the Zicas, and Restoration One. She shares the same knowledge and enthusiasm she exhibits as a band leader with her students, teaching private and group lessons on clarinet, saxophone, and percussion to students over a range of ages and ability levels. As a teaching artist for the Center for World Music, she also works in school classrooms, sharing her passion for Brazilian rhythm with San Diego area K–12 students.


RALSD LogoUnder the sponsorship of the Center for World Music, Stefanie was selected in November 2015 to participate in the Teaching Artist Institute, a professional development program offered by Arts for Learning, an affiliate of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning. For a working musician who collaborates with schools as a teaching artist, this program is of tremendous value. Stefanie was awarded a matching grant from San Diego Rising Arts Leaders to support her participation in the Teaching Artist Institute.

 

“In addition to learning about child development, lesson planning, and classroom management, I am connecting with other local teaching artists and developing my own personal mission statement as a performer, learner, and teacher. I’m looking forward to sharing my new energy and ideas with my students!”


Stefanie’s love affair with Brazilian music began when she took a samba drumming class. She started San Diego’s first choro group Choro Sotaque in 2009, performing traditional Brazilian folk music on clarinet. The group recorded its debut CD in 2015, which is available for purchase at chorosotaque.bandcamp.com. Stefanie has also performed with and led the community based Brazilian drum and dance group Super Sonic Samba School — a group which performs regularly for festivals and events around San Diego. Stefanie Schmitz MarchingStefanie seeks out her yearly fix of new inspiration at California Brazil Camp — a weeklong music and dance camp in the redwoods of Sonoma County. In 2013 she left her staff position at UC San Diego to embark on a six-month musical odyssey to Brazil, where she absorbed Brazilian language and culture, and studied with masters of samba and choro in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Olinda, and Jericoacoara.

As an associate artist for Lamb’s Players Theatre, Stefanie has played in the orchestras for several musicals, most recently in West Side Story. She also plays saxophone for the eclectic funk/rock/reggae band Restoration One, which was nominated for a 2014 San Diego Music Award. Most recently, she can be seen playing and singing with the Zicas, a new Brazilian music project.

When Stefanie is not playing music or teaching, you will find her making art, tap dancing, practicing yoga, or singing in her car. She blogs about her musical adventures at Everything Is Music, stefanieschmitz.blogspot.com, and she sells her original handmade jewelry in San Diego coffee shops and on Etsy.

Check out Stefanie’s website at www.stefanieschmitz.net for her upcoming performance schedule or to sign up for her mailing list.

Read Stefanie’s articles on the agogô and tamborim.

Marie Hayes

The Center for World Music would like to welcome Marie Hayes to our family of outstanding teaching artists in residence, joining our World Music in the Schools program.

Marie Hayes has been singing Balkan harmony music ever since she attended a Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble concert in Oakland in 1990. There were ten woman on the stage, elbows linked in a semi-circle, singing the most captivating music she had ever heard. She was also struck by the rich, refined choral style of Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, whose music initially amazed her. Ultimately, it was this exciting and expressive nature of the “village voice” sound that drew her in.

It wasn’t long before she found friends in San Diego who wanted to join her. Their quartet, Harmonija, whose motto was “Harmony Music from the Balkans and Beyond,” entertained people for the next decade. They performed at coffee houses and parties, and gave many concerts for San Diego Folk Heritage, often teaching workshops at that organization’s annual music festival. Marie performed for ten years singing and playing percussion with Eastern Exposure, a Balkan dance band that played live music for folk dancers all over Southern California. She has recently formed a new a cappella vocal group, Trio Zheni, with singers Mary Ann Downs and Stacey Barnett.

As a teacher of Balkan singing, Marie’s main goal is to help students learn to listen to each other and work together to produce a sound they can be really proud of—and feel the thrill of hitting a perfect chord that makes the whole room ring.

Marie takes workshops and private lessons regularly from world-renowned singing teachers sponsored by the Eastern European Folklife Center. These include Bulgarians Donka Koleva, Tatiana Sarbinska, and Iliana Božanova, UCLA Balkan Choir Director Tsvetanka Varimezova (and her daughter Tanya), Bosnian Mirjana Lausevič, and Macedonian Esma Redžepova. She has also studied with American master teachers such as Mary Sherhart and Michelle Simon for Balkan singing, Canadian Brenna MacCrimmon for Turkish singing, Christos Govetas for Greek singing, and Polly Tapia Ferber for doumbek (drum) and frame drum. Because Balkan rhythms are varied and sometimes quite complicated, she finds that a knowledge of drumming is essential.

Marie has a degree in sociolinguistics from UCSD, where she also studied music. She has taught English as a Second Language at Miramar College, been a tutor for the Laubach Literacy program, and spent seven happy years as a teacher at Mission Bay Montessori Academy, where she loved teaching music and movement to the preschoolers in her class.

Photograph by Steve Gould