The San Francisco World Music Festival 2003

SFWMFSan Francisco, USA – ­ The annual San Francisco World Music Festival  has officially announced the program for the 2003 edition of the festival. Coming to the San Francisco Bay Area from the mountains of Altay, the forests of Kamchatka, and the steppes of Tuva, some of the world’s most indigenous throat singers, folk dancers and musicians, and shaman spiritual elders of Central Asia and Siberia will unveil centuries-old folk rituals this September 12 & 14.  Additionally, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, India’s most celebrated santur instrumentalist and vocalist, his gifted son Rahul Sharma and the acclaimed tabla player Ustaad Shafaat Ahmed Khan will perform the timeless music of North India on September 13.

These concerts are a sampling of Door Dog Music Productions 4th annual San Francisco World Music Festival, running September 4-18, 2003 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco State University, and the San Francisco Dance Center, featuring artists from Afghanistan, Altay, China, Eastern Europe, India, Kamchatka, Lebanon, Russia, and Tuva. ”By bringing
together acclaimed international and local world music artists for 2 weeks of dynamic concerts, master classes, documentary film screenings and youth showcases, our festival facilitates human understanding through artistic vulnerability among the world¹s cultures
,” states Executive Director &
Producer Michael Santoro.

New to this year¹s festival is a specially commissioned orchestral work with libretto by the internationally acclaimed Lebanese composer Marcel Khalife, set to premiere September 11 as an international music experiment and artistic statement for global peace.  This centerpiece will be performed by a select orchestra of locally based world music masters, including KITKA, an all women
Eastern European vocal ensemble, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra as directed by Benjamin Simon, Chinese erhu virtuoso Zhang Xiao Feng, Chinese master percussionist Hai Pu, and a leading female Lebanese vocalist Omayma Al Khalil, and includes visual and lighting design by Matthew Antaky.  Co-produced with the San Francisco International Arts Festival, this opening concert will promote San
Francisco as a world center for arts and culture.

This concert is a metaphor for cultural understanding and communication,” notes Santoro. “All of the different compositional components – Western classical music, Chinese traditional music, Arabic music, Eastern European music, and all of the respective cultures uniting — is not an easy task and through this process, new territories will be explored, providing insight and enrichment.”  says Program Director Kutay Derin Kugay, “The San Francisco World Music Festival is going beyond traditional music with this commissioned composition by Lebanese composer Marcel Khalife.  And with over 200 strings of the Santur masters, father and son Shivkumars, the festival sets a new standard for world music presentation.”

Kicking off the festival this year on September 4th is a North Indian Master Class by the distinguished Vijay Kichlu.  Another highlight is the first annual Youth World Music Showcase on September 6, featuring elementary and high school students of world music masters in the San Francisco Bay Area — from Alice Fong Yu Chinese Orchestra & Percussion and Fremont Deaf Choir to the India Tabla Quartet and Korean Youth Orchestra.  “It¹s important to provide not only role models but opportunities for children in the Bay Area to experience world music,” explains Santoro, “to give them inspiration to pick up an instrument and learn about another culture¹s music.”  On September 18, Chinese Peking Opera artists Chen Tsai-Yen, Sun Ji-Hai, Guan Yi, and Zhang Ying-Chao
will hold a live lecture demonstration of scenes from “Farewell My Concubine

Comments Deborah Clearwaters, Manager of Public Programs at the Asian Art Museum, who has worked with Door Dog Music Productions to present a World Music Concert Series at the museum since March 2003, “The Asian Art Museum is proud to be part of the 2003 World Music Festival.  Many artifacts in our museum bear direct connections to musical traditions.  Presenting living masters of Asian music to San Francisco audiences helps build a better understanding of the diversity and richness of Asian culture.”

In addition to music there will be live radio performances, master classes at San Francisco State
University, San Francisco Dance Center and the Asian Art Museum, and a documentary film screening at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Screening Room.

Founded in 2000 by Executive Director Michael Santoro and Program Director Kutay Derin Kugay, the San Francisco World Music Festival  uniquely showcases the musical diversity from the Bay Area and around the globe by presenting high quality world music performances by master artists both locally and overseas, and from traditional to contemporary explorations.  

Tickets: Yerba Buena Box Office, Phone: +1 415-978-2787.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.