World Music Ensemble Concert

Saturday, December 4, 2021

7:00pm - 9:00pm

Grant Recital Hall

The Brown University World Music Ensemble performs a concert at Grant Recital Hall at 7pm on Saturday, December 4. Admission is free and open to the public. Masks are required.

The World Music Ensemble

Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng - Drum Set, Vocal - Ensemble Director
David Isaac Tapper - Guitar
Emre Arslan - Guitar
Ruby A. Erickson - Vocal
Alexander F. Koh-Bell - Piano

Guest artists

Caroline Dressler ’22 - Violin
Michelle Bazile ’18 - Bass

About the Program

1. David’s Jig | David’s Jig is a piece composed by Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster who comes from Canada. In addition to traditional Cape Breton music, she performs Scottish, Irish, and American music. She has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, the Chieftains, Alison Krauss, and Carlos Santana. MacMaster’s family is extremely musical including her husband, fiddler Donnell Leahy, and their seven children. She has won two Juno Awards.

2. Have a Heart | Bonnie Lynn Raitt was born in Burbank, California in 1949 and is a singer, guitarist, pianist, songwriter, and activist. She performs blues, rock, country, and folk music, and has won 10 Grammy Awards. “Have a Heart” was released on her 1989 album Nick of Time.

3. Sinnerman | “Sinnerman” is an African American spiritual that was recorded by a number of performers in the 20th Century. The lyrics describe a sinner attempting to hide from divine justice on judgment Day. Many artists have recorded the song including the Les Baxter Orchestra, Guy Carawan, the Swan Silvertones. In 1965, Nina Simone released an extended version which became one of her most well-known songs.

4. Africa | “Africa” is a song by the American rock band Toto from their fourth studio album Toto IV. It was released as a single in 1982 by Columbia Records. The song was written by two members of the band, Jeff Porcaro and David Paich. Although they had never visited any part of Africa, they sought to create a song that would contrast with harmful stereotypes of the continent being portrayed in the Western media. It was their biggest hit and reached number one on the Bill Hot 100 Chart. In the 2010s, it gained resurgence on social media and was covered by American rock band Weezer at the request of fans.

5. Mağusa Limanı | This is a Turkish folk song performed by Grup Abdal. It describes a worker named Ali who was stabbed by British soldiers. Ali could barely walk, and moved towards the Mağusa Limanı (Mağusa Port) looking for help. He fell down, and never got up. The song laments his undeserved fate.

6. Villemann Og Magnhild | This is a medieval Norwegian ballad, a genre of folk music that sets an epic poem. In this case, the tale is about a hero who saves a maiden from a nokken (a monstrous water spirit) by playing his golden harp. While it has been performed by countless Norwegian singers, the version we are performing today is based on Rita Eriksen’s rendition from the album Tideland. Please listen for the incorporation of an Irish tune in homage to Eriksen’s album collaborator, Irish vocalist Dolores Keane.

7. Sweetest Taboo | The song “Sweetest Taboo” was recorded by Helen Folasade Adu in 1985. She is a Nigerian-born British singer, songwriter, and actor known professionally as Sade Adu and Sade. She is one of the most successful British female artists in history.

8. Eric MacDonald’s | This reel was composed by fiddler Ryan McKasson. He started to learn fiddle at the age of four with a focus on Scottish Fiddling. He has performed with a number of groups including The McKassons, The Syncopaths, and Ensemble Galilei, a Baroque/Celtic fusion band. He has also taught at fiddle camps in the US and New Zealand.

9. Sodade | This song comes from the West African island nation of Cape Verde. It is in Cape Verdean Creole and based on the Portuguese term saudade, meaning longing. It is a slow coladeira written in the 1950s by Armando Zeferino Soares. In 1992, renowned Cape Verdean singer and songwriter Cesária Évora released it on her album titled Miss Perfumado which helped to popularize the tune. Évora specialized in the genres of coladeira and morna.

10. Pata Pata | Miriam Makeba, or Mama Africa, was a highly influential South African singer, songwriter, actor, and civil rights activist. Makeba performed a range of genres including marabi (Afropop), gospel, folk, and world music. Of Xhosa and Swazi heritage, she sang in many languages including Xhosa, Sotho, Swahili, Zulu, and English. She was a strong anti-Apartheid advocate beginning in the 1960s following her exile from South Africa which would last 30 years. She used protest songs, and her position as an international artist, to speak out against the white-minority Afrikaner government. Makeba collaborated with many prominent artists including Dolly Rathebe, Dorothy Masuka, Hugh Masekela, Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, Dizzy Gillespie, and Nina Simone.