Arts Brookfield and Live Sounds present Waves of Tradition, a curated week-long celebration of New York City and the waves of immigrant cultures that make up its rich history.
Each day will focus on a different part of the world: West Africa, Japan, Ireland, the Middle East and Latin America. Artists will tell their stories through music and dance each afternoon and evening—with a culminating Friday night concert—making connections with fellow New Yorkers through traditions from the ancient to the contemporary. The series is curated by Isabel Soffer of Live Sounds.
MAY 1 | TRADITIONS OF AFRICA
African musician and poet, Salieu Suso joined by Ebrima Jassey will play traditional African instruments, the kora and balafon, throughout the day. The sound of a kora resembles that of a harp, though when played in the traditional style it bears a resemblance to flamenco and delta blues guitar. The balafon is an ancient wooden xylophone played in Africa since the 14th century, and has more than 20 keys that sit on calabash gourds that play melodic tunes.
MAY 2 | TRADITIONS OF IRELAND
Ensemble Jameson’s Revenge brings the luck of the Irish to day two. Led by four-time All-Ireland Champion, fiddler Denis McCarthy, joined by Andrew McCarrick on flute and whistles, John Walsh on guitar and vocals, Jameson’s Revenge is known for its hard driving jigs, reels and new compositions.
MAY 3 | TRADITIONS OF JAPAN
The premier Japanese classical dancer in the United States, Tokyo-born Sachiyo Ito and company perform a range of delicate and powerful traditional Japanese dances including Kabuki, Noh, Okinawan Court, and Jiuta-mai as well as contemporary choreographed works.
MAY 4 | TRADITIONS OF ARABIA
Zikrayat Ensemble perform music and dance from the Golden Age of Egyptian musical cinema (the 1940s to 1960s); traditional and classical compositions from the Arab world, as well as Raqs Sharki (Eastern Dance) often called bellydance and performed by both men and women for centuries at weddings, festivals and parties. Zikrayat (meaning “memories” in Arabic) is led by violinist, vocalist, composer and teacher Sami Abu Shumays and dancer Robin “Dameshe” Shumays.
MAY 5 | TRADITIONS OF LATIN AMERICA
The festival will come to a celebratory close with a special performance by Asthmatic Kitty artist Helado Negro (Roberto Carlos Lange) who blends the tropical lilt of Ecuador and the rich sounds and colors of the various Latin American cultures of his South Florida upbringing with the classical, folk-pop and electronica strains of his multifaceted artistic community. Helado Negro will perform “Ensemble Interpretations” during lunchtime and a version of “Brain Finger Composition” in the evening at 7:30pm, in which he controls musical parameters using yarn tethered to live musicians. The ensemble includes Angela Morris, Nathaniel Morgan, Jason Nazary, Eliza Bagg and Oliver Hill.
ABOUT LIVE SOUNDS
Live Sounds, founded by Isabel Soffer in 2011, produces, creates and curates international music and dance programs in New York and across the country. Devoted to preserving and cultivating innovative, thought-provoking traditional and contemporary performing arts from around the world to build bridges and engage audiences and communities. Live Sounds projects promote cultural understanding and appreciation for global traditions while supporting and preserving artists and their art forms.