The San Francisco World Music Festival 2005

San Francisco (California), USA – The San Francisco World Music
Festival 2005 will celebrate its Sixth Anniversary September 26 – October 16,
2005 with an exciting gathering of some of the most interesting musicians in the

For festival 2005, Executive Director, Michael Santoro, and Program Director,
Kutay Derin Kugay, traveled to Azerbaijan, Iran, and Kurdistan (Eastern Turkey)
to meet with musicians and scholars to find new musical treasures to bring to
the San Francisco Bay Area this year and to do field research for the festival’s
main event. The trip was a resounding success: field recordings of women Ashug
singers in Baku, Azerbaijan; recordings of Dengbej singers in a Kurdish village
60 miles outside of Diyarbakir, Turkey; a film shoot of a tar player on the
2,400 year old burning mountain of Yanardag in Baku, Azerbaijan; & documentation
of a Nowruz song composed and performed by Kurdish tambur master
Akbar Moradi
in Tehran, Iran.The centerpiece of Festival 2005 is a specially commissioned world premiere work
called Nowruz Project, which will premiere on October 2 as an international
music experiment and artistic statement for global peace. Much of the research
from abroad will be incorporated in to the production, which will include scenic
and lighting design by Matthew Antacky. This evening will present traditional
and newly composed music, poetry, and film, featuring Azerbaijani pianist
Chingiz Sadykhov, Azerbaijani kamancheh soloist Imamyar Hasanov, Afghani dutar
and rubab player
, Persian ney master Hossein Omoumi, tombak and percussion virtuoso
, Persian tar player Ashkan Ghafouri, Kurdish vocalist Ozden Oztoprak,
and composer and lyra master
; Kurdish filmmaker Nizamettin Aric; and Kurdish community leader and
poet/singer Mustafa Kart. All of these artists represent a variety of
traditions, nationalities, ethnicities and disciplines. The binding thread in
bringing them together is the observance of the vernal equinox or Nowruz, whose
pre-Islamic origins are embraced in different ways throughout the Caucasus,
Middle East and Central Asia. Taking place at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,
this concert will help to promote San Francisco as a world center for
international music collaborations.

Also on the festival line-up… On October 1st at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,
coming to the Bay Area from Crete, world-renowned master musician and composer
Ross Daly with Kelly Thoma, Periklis Papapetropoulos, makes their US debut
accompanied by acclaimed Persian percussionist Pejman Hadadi.

On October 8th at Brava Theater Women Singers of the World,
featuring Dona Rosa (Portuguese), a blind fado singer making her US Debut, and
Gulare Azafli & Zülfiye Ashigli (Azerbaijani Ashug), two women Ashus singers
discovered in Baku, also making their US Debuts. Also on the program are a
diverse group of singers from several continents, including Ozden Oztoprak
(Kurdish), Barbara Chookasian (Armenian), Lichi Fuentes (Chilean), & Mariana
Sadovska (Ukrainian). On the program there will also be a 15-minute short film
presented about the music and life of the blind Taiwanese singer Yang Shuo Tsing,
filmed and edited by Michael Santoro in Taiwan especially for this event.

On October 9th at Ashkenaz in Berkeley, Dona Rosa, blind Fado singer coming from
Portugal and Gulare Azafli & Zülfiye Ashigli, Ashug singers coming from
Azerbaijan, perform a double-billed concert with lecture. On October 15th at
Brava Theater, there will be a concert of Chinese & World Percussion, featuring
Master Wang Wei, percussionist on the soundtrack of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon”, and several Bay Area master drummers from different countries. On
October 16th at the Croatian American Cultural Center of San Francisco, the
festival closes with a performance by Cemali & Guests, two brothers Cem and Ali,
whose progressive musical sense made them Turkey’s first alternative pop group
in it’s history. There will be DJs and cultural food.

Continuing in our efforts to introduce artists to the larger community, there
are several outreach events this year. On September 26th at the Community Music
Center, there will be a Nowruz Lecture, a demonstration and discussion of
Nowruz cultural perspectives from the Zoroastrian community; On October 3rd at
the Community Music Center, there will be a Ross Daly lecture & workshop, where
participants will learn about his music and have the opportunity to perform
Cretan musical instruments; On October 5th at the Alice Fong Yu Elementary
School, artists in a Festival Residency Program will perform an assembly program
in the afternoon, work with the school percussion troupe, & perform evening
concert for the community; On October 9th at the Asian Art Museum, the third
annual Youth World Music Showcase will feature elementary and high school
students of masters in the Bay Area; On October 11th there will be a UCSF
Children’s Hospital Concert, where Bay Area musicians will perform a free
concert for the hospital’s young patients; and On October 13th at the Asian Art
Museum, there will be a lecture called A Closer look at Kurdish Music, a
demonstration and discussion of Kurdish cultural perspectives.


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street, @ 3rd Street, San Francisco

Brava Theater
2781 24th Street, San Francisco

1317 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley

Croatian American Cultural Center of San Francisco
60 Onondaga Avenue, San Francisco

Community Music Center
544 Capp Street, San Francisco

Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street between McAllister & Fulton, San Francisco

Alice Fong Yu School
1541 – 12th Avenue, San Francisco

Tickets & Information
415-561-6571 (Door Dog Music Productions)
415-978-2787 (Yerba Buena Box Office)
415-647-2822 (Brava Theater Box Office)

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.

[Photos: 1 – Ross Daly, 2 – Dona Rosa].

Author: World Music Central News Department

World music news from the editors at World Music Central