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The World Music Institute Reveals January-June 2020 Season

Artists featured clockwise, left-to-right: Sahba Motallebi & Rahim AlHaj  (photo: Michael G. Stewart), Aditi Mangaldas (photo: Amanulla), Orchestre Les Mangelepa, Altan, Nyan & Ishaan Ghosh, A Moving Sound (photo: Magdalena Frackowiak)

New York City’s World Music Institute (WMI) has announced the artists set to perform during its January-June 2020 season.

Selected by Artistic Director Brian Keigher, the second half of WMI’s Season includes artists representing 16 different cultures, from 17 different countries. There are six New York City debuts: China’s Zhou Family Band; an extraordinary cross-cultural collaboration between Iran’s Sahba Motallebi & Iraq’s Rahim AlHaj; a trio of Indian master musicians Gaurav Mazumdar, Rupak Kulkarni, and Hindole Majumdar; Spanish nuevo flamenco sensation Los Aurora; Kenya’s “Godfathers of East African rumba” Orchestre Les Mangelepa; and a brand-new partnership between South African guitar virtuoso Derek Gripper and Malian kora maestro Yacouba Sissoko.

This Season features world music artists from Bulgaria, China, France, Guinea, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Kenya, Mali, South Africa, Spain, Syria, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United States.
WMI Executive Director, Gaby Sappington said: “As always, our programming aims to demonstrate how music and the arts transcend cultural divisions, connecting people through a joyful exchange that highlights and celebrates our shared humanity.

Sahba Motallebi from Iran and Rahm AlHaj from Iraq, for example, two masters of Persian music will for the first time perform together as well as individually at Merkin Hall, promoting peace and harmony in divisive times. In keeping with WMI’s tradition, Masters of Indian Music, Masters of African Music, the 9th annual Dancing The Gods Indian Dance Festival, as well as the Flamenco Festival are an integral part of our program. Many Cultures – One World is our motto and we are proud to be part of New York’s vibrant cultural landscape.

Origins Series

Zhou Family Band
Lunar New Year Celebration
Co-presented with Flushing Town Hall
Sunday, January 26, 2020 Doors 1:30 pm | Show 2 pm
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, Queens
(at the corner of Linden Place)

Global/Local Series

Faraj Abyad and His Orchestra – “Enta Omri”
Saturday, February 1, 2020, Doors 8 pm | Show 8:30 pm
Symphony Space Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater
2537 Broadway at 95th Street. Manhattan

Collaborations Series

Sahba Motallebi & Rahim AlHaj
Presented with Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
Saturday, February 15, 2020, Doors 7 pm | Pre-Show Artist Discussion 7:30 pm | Show 8 pm
Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 West 67th St, Manhattan

Origins Series

Altan
Sunday, February 23, 2020, Doors 7 pm | Show 7:30 pm
Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street, Manhattan

Flamenco Festival NYC

Niño de Elche with special guest dancer Leonor Leal
Presented in collaboration with Flamenco Festival NY
Saturday, March 14, 2020, Doors 7 pm
Leonor Leal 8 pm | Niño de Elche 9 pm
(le) poisson rouge
158 Bleecker St, Manhattan

Women’s Voices Series

Bulgarian Voices Trio & Navatman Music Collective
Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Doors 7:30 pm, Show 8 pm
The Cutting Room
44 East 32nd Street, Manhattan

Masters Of Indian Music Series

Gaurav Mazumdar, Rupak Kulkarni, and Hindole Majumdar
Presented with Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Doors 7:30 pm | Show 8:00 PM
Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 West 67th Street, Manhattan

Counterpoint Series

Paris Combo
Presented with Sony Hall
Saturday, March 28, 2020, Doors 6 pm | Show 8 pm
Sony Hall
235 West 46th St, Manhattan

Flamenco Festival NYC

Los Aurora
Presented in collaboration with Flamenco Festival NY
Sunday, March 29, 2020, Doors 7 pm | Show 8 pm
(le) poisson rouge
158 Bleecker St, Manhattan

Africa Now!

Natu Camara with DJ Sabine Blaizin, Hosted by Jodine Dorce
Curated by World Music Institute
Friday, April 3, 2020, DJ & Doors: 9 pm | Show: 10 pm
Apollo Music Café at the Apollo Theater
253 W 125th St,

Masters Of African Music Series

Orchestre Les Mangelepa
Thursday April 9, 2020, Doors 7:00 pm | Show 8:00 pm
(le) poisson rouge
158 Bleecker St., Manhattan

Origins Series

A Moving Sound
Saturday, April 11, 2020, Doors 7 pm | Show 7:30 pm
Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th Street, Manhattan

Dancing The Gods

Ninth Annual Indian Dance Festival
Co-curated by Rajika Puri
Saturday, April 18 & Sunday, April 19, 2020

Night One
Aditi Mangaldas’ “Immersed”
Solo Kathak with live music
Saturday, April 18, 2020, Doors at 6:30 pm
Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th St, Manhattan

Night Two

Revanta Sarabhai, Solo Bharatanatyam with live music & PARSHWANATH UPADHYE, Solo Bharatanatyam with live music
Sunday, April 19, 2020
Peter Norton Symphony Space
2537 Broadway at 95th St, Manhattan

Collaborations Series

Derek Gripper & Yacouba Sissoko
Co-presented with Littlefield
Sunday, April 26, 2020, Doors 7:00 pm | Show 8:00 pm
Littlefield
635 Sackett St., Brooklyn

Origins Series

DÜNYA Directed by Mehmet Ali Sanlikol
Co-presented with DROM
Friday, May 15, 2020, Doors 6:30 pm | Show 7:30 pm
DROM
85 Avenue A, Manhattan

Masters of Indian Music Series

Nayan and Ishaan Ghosh “Synergy”
Presented with Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
Thursday, June 4, 2020, Doors 7:30 pm | Show 8 pm
Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center
129 West 67th St, Manhattan.

More information and tickets at World Music Institute

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Artist Profiles: Yacouba Sissoko

Yacouba Sissoko

Yacouba Sissoko is a master kora player from the jeli tradition. He was born in Kita, Mali. His grandfather, Samakoun Tounkara, began teaching Yacouba when he was 12 years old. They raised Yacouba and educated him in his jeli heritage and in many lessons about life. Yacouba attended the Institut National des Arts du Mali in Bamako. After his graduation, he played with artists like Taye and Oumou Sacko, Haja Soumano, Djallou Demba, Ami Koita, Fantani Koure, Kandia Kouyate and l’Ensemble Instrumental du Mali.

In 1993, Souleymane Koli, the leader of the Ensemble Koteba of Abidjan recruited him. Yacouba spend the next 5 years performing all over the world with this 45-piece band. He is in demand as one of the best kora players in the world, playing with Jazz, Latin and R &B bands as well as traditional African ceremonies. As leader of his own band, Siya, and member of the group Super Mande, Yacouba continues to record with many musicians, including the groups Source, Tamalalou and Fula Flute.

Discography:

KoraNYC, with Atropolis (Dutty Artz, 2015)

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