Intercultural Residency Series
2013-2014 Season

The Intercultural Residency Series (ICRS) brings to Brandeis University artists of high accomplishment from around the world. The goal of these residencies is to deepen understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures through exploring artistic traditions, promoting intellectual inquiry, and encouraging cultural

Residency events are open to the community. Open classes across the curriculum provide opportunities to explore culture, society, history, etc with some of the world’s great artists. From gender studies to anthropology, from peace and coexistence to regional studies, from dance to theater, the universal expressive genre of music offers insight to the complexities of human experience. See Fall and Spring Schedules for residency details

Silk and Bamboo: Music From China

Pre-residency visit: Sept. 17,18
Residency: November 20-23

Concert: Music From China and New Music Brandeis
Friday, November 22 at 8:00 pm

World Music Concert: Silk and Bamboo: Music From China
Saturday, November 23 at 8:00 pm
Preconcert talk at 7:00 pm

“Music From China is music from heaven” Kansas City Star

“What the audience has heard…is an erhu – a two-string Chinese fiddle…gorgeously played by Wang Guowei.” New York Times

Music From China invokes the subtlety and power of both traditional and contemporary Chinese music. Artistic Director and erhu soloist Wang Guowei leads the ensemble in one of the most popular of Chinese music genres – sizhu. Sizhu, or silk and bamboo (for the silk strings and bamboo flutes) is comparable to Western chamber music and is commonly heard in teahouses where a casual, informal atmosphere is the norm. The Saturday concert will include Jiangnan sizhu as well as Cantonese music. There will also be solo and ensemble music – featuring erhu, pipa, qu zheng, yangqin, ruan and dizi – as well as a performance of Brandeis composer Yu-Hui Chang’s Pu Songling’s Bizarre Tales (2011).

In September, musicians will work with Brandeis student composers, who will be composing music for traditional Chinese instruments. During the visit, the musicians will also perform on campus and have guest appearances in classes across campus.

In November, the musicians will return to rehearse and perform the new works, have guest appearances in classes, and participate in outreach educational programs for public school students. The final public concert, as part of the World Music Concert series is on Saturday, November 23.


Trio Da Kali – Tradition-inspired Contemporary Malian Griot Music

Da Kali

In Search of the Griot - A Journal of My Trip to Mali

February 26-March 1

Residency includes classes, workshops, outreach and final concert.

World Music Concert: Trio Da Kali
Saturday, March 1, 2014
8:00 in Slosberg Recital Hall
Preconcert talk at 7:00 pm

Fodé Lassana Diabaté   22-key balafon

Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté  singer

Mamadou Kouyaté  bass ngoni

Trio Da Kali unites three outstanding musicians from the Mande culture of Mali, who come from a long line of distinguished griots (specialist hereditary musical artisans). Long-term collaborators, the artists come together as a trio with the aim of bringing to the forefront neglected repertoires and performance styles of the griots and celebrating African continent’s finest, most subtle, and sublime music. In so doing, they bring a fresh, contemporary, creative twist to their musical art, breathing new life back into this ancient music.

An original combination of voice, bass ngoni, and balafon, the trio takes their name from one of the oldest songs in the griot repertoire, an acapella praise song that recalls the role of the griots as advisors to Mali’s pre-colonial rulers. “Da kali” means “to swear an oath” and represents the griots’ pledge to their art. Trio Da Kali present a performance that revolves around the soaring, rounded vibrato voice of Hawa Kasse Mady (compared by some to Mahalia Jackson), who performs the songs she grew up surrounded by in Kela, one of the most musical centres of the griot world. The programme includes dazzling solo balafon pieces by the group’s leader Lassana Diabaté on the 22-key balafon. Few can match his lyricism and virtuosity, and the resonant sound of the rosewood keys of his balafon. Mamadou Kouyaté, the eldest son of ngoni maestro Bassekou Kouyaté, underpins the music with punchy bass lines on a large ngoni, West Africa’s oldest string instrument.