SEE

Education Program Performances

Overview

Each MUUS program is one hour long. The venues are Slosberg Recital Hall, on the Brandeis campus, and at the auditorium of Waltham High School. Performances are geared to the appropriate age level and are of the highest quality. The aim of these programs is to explore meaningful historical and social perspectives of different cultures through the unique autobiographical narrative voice of music. Programs are carefully chosen according to the following guidelines: Diversity, authenticity, quality, school curriculum, budget, and availability of performers. Cooperating teachers teach lessons related to the historical and social aspects of the cultures represented in the music programs. These lessons in the classroom precede the concerts. (See sample lesson plans.) Prepared recorded selections previewing the concerts are provided by MUUS and distributed to the classroom teachers.

NEW FOR 2008-09: MUUS PDP WORKSHOP

2016-2017 Performances

Visiting artists will present a program for students of Waltham Public Schools.  The program is linked to the classroom by a lesson plan, written by a lesson plan writer who teaches in the schools.

Fall: From India: Rhythms of Life
Spring: From East Asia: The PAN Project

2015-2016 Performances

Visiting artists will present a program for students of Waltham Public Schools.  The program is linked to the classroom by a lesson plan, written by a lesson plan writer who teaches in the schools.

Fall (all Waltham 9th grades):  Voices from Syria:  "Home Within"
Spring (all Waltham 7th grades): Korean Gugak - Soundscapes of the Soul

2014-2015 Performances

Stay tuned for more info:

Fall: Theater production of Conference of the Birds

Spring: Music from Azerbaijan: Fargana Qasivmova and ensemble

Lydian String Quartet

2013-2014 Performances

Friday, November 22 at Brandeis University: two programs for the 7th grades of Waltham Public Schools

MFC photoSilk and Bamboo: Music From China

“Music From China is music from heaven” Kansas City Star

“What the audience has heard…is an erhu – a two-string Chinese fiddle…gorgeously played by Wang Guowei.” New York Times

Music From China invokes the subtlety and power of both traditional and contemporary Chinese music. Artistic Director and erhu soloist Wang Guowei leads the ensemble in one of the most popular of Chinese music genres – sizhu. Sizhu, or silk and bamboo (for the silk strings and bamboo flutes) is comparable to Western chamber music and is commonly heard in teahouses where a casual, informal atmosphere is the norm.

 

KidsImmigration: Around the World in a String Quartet

The Lydian String Quartet

Date TBD, for the primary grades

The Lydian String Quartet is Brandeis University's internationally acclaimed quartet-in-residence since 1980. The Lydian String Quartet has concertized throughout the United States and Europe. The Lydian String Quartet will present a MusicUnitesUS program that reinforces the 4th grade history and social science curriculum that will include topics such as A Nation of Many People, Immigration, and Communities. The focus will be diverse traditions major immigrant groups have brought to the United States through music. What songs did they bring? What values and world views are represented through the music? What did these new immigrants leave behind? In this unique presentation of music through the lens of the string quartet (with its own Eurocentric tradition), students will hear many of the voices that make up this country's soundscape of multiculturalism.

www.brandeis.edu/departments/music/lydian.htm



DaKaliTrio Da Kali. Tradition-inspired contemporary Malian griot music

Date, TBD

Fodé Lassana Diabaté   22-key balafon
Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté  singer
Mamadou Kouyaté  bass ngoni

Trio Da Kali unites three outstanding musicians from the Mande culture of Mali, who come from a long line of distinguished griots (specialist hereditary musical artisans). Long-term collaborators, the artists come together as a trio with the aim of bringing to the forefront neglected repertoires and performance styles of the griots and celebrating African continent’s finest, most subtle, and sublime music. In so doing, they bring a fresh, contemporary, creative twist to their musical art, breathing new life back into this ancient music.

An original combination of voice, bass ngoni, and balafon, the trio takes their name from one of the oldest songs in the griot repertoire, an acapella praise song that recalls the role of the griots as advisors to Mali’s pre-colonial rulers. “Da kali” means “to swear an oath” and represents the griots’ pledge to their art. Trio Da Kali present a performance that revolves around the soaring, rounded vibrato voice of Hawa Kasse Mady (compared by some to Mahalia Jackson), who performs the songs she grew up surrounded by in Kela, one of the most musical centres of the griot world. The programme includes dazzling solo balafon pieces by the group’s leader Lassana Diabaté on the 22-key balafon. Few can match his lyricism and virtuosity, and the resonant sound of the rosewood keys of his balafon. Mamadou Kouyaté, the eldest son of ngoni maestro Bassekou Kouyaté, underpins the music with punchy bass lines on a large ngoni, West Africa’s oldest string instrument.
Sponsored by the Aga Khan Music Initiative.

In Search of the Griot - A Journal of My Trip to Mali

2012-2013 Performances

Friday, October 19 at Brandeis University: two programs for the 7th grades of Waltham
Pablo Ziegler and his Classical Tango Quartet
Special guest appearance: Dancers Fernanda Ghi and Guillermo Merlo

“There’s no question that Ziegler takes the tango to levels of sophistication and refinement probably undreamed of by Piazzolla” - Chicago Tribune

A consummate ensemble featuring piano, bandoneon, cello and double bass, the Pablo Ziegler Classical Tango Quartet breathes with nuance and refinement, at once subtle and utterly expressive. Latin Grammy-winner Pablo Ziegler, the pre-eminent living member of Astor Piazzolla’s groundbreaking ensemble, leads the group in exquisite arrangements of his own compositions as well as the music of tango legends like J.C. Cobian and Piazzolla.

 

KidsFriday, February 8 at Brandeis University: program for the 4th grades of Waltham, Newton, and the Conservatory Lab School.
Immigration: Around the World in a String Quartet
The Lydian String Quartet

The Lydian String Quartet is Brandeis University's internationally acclaimed quartet-in-residence since 1980. The Lydian String Quartet has concertized throughout the United States and Europe. The Lydian String Quartet will present a MusicUnitesUS program that reinforces the 4th grade history and social science curriculum that will include topics such as A Nation of Many People, Immigration, and Communities. The focus will be diverse traditions major immigrant groups have brought to the United States through music. What songs did they bring? What values and world views are represented through the music? What did these new immigrants leave behind? In this unique presentation of music through the lens of the string quartet (with its own Eurocentric tradition), students will hear many of the voices that make up this country's soundscape of multiculturalism.

www.brandeis.edu/departments/music/lydian.htm

 

Friday, March 1, 9-10 am, Waltham High School:
REMIX: New Sounds from the Arab Lands

This adventurous program brings together eminent performer-composer-improvisers from Syria and Tunisia who create an exciting new music inspired by the rich cultural heritage of the Arab lands. Performing on instruments that are not necessarily native to the Middle East, these accomplished artists exemplify the talent, achievement, and breadth of a rising generation of cosmopolitan Arab musicians who combine jazz, classical music, and the microtonal subtleties and myriad melodic modes of Arabic music.

 

 

2011-2012 Performances

NavarasaNavarasa Dance Theater: Encounter
Thursday, October 27, at the Waltham High School
(lesson plans)

“… Navarasa’s choreography is grounded in traditional Indian dance, but reaches outward. They incorporate modern dance, Indian martial arts, aerial dance, Bollywood’s pop influences — all with an eye for originality and a skillful use of space, sending dancers into eye-catching floor patterns…” - Boston Globe, Sep, 2010

Navarasa brings story, poetry, and music to the stage through dance. This performance, linked to the social studies curriculum with a MUUS lesson plan, invites students to explore individual and cultural expression through dance theater. Navarasa artists with roots in classical Indian tradition and a commitment to extending into the future demonstrate how dance speaks to contemporary issues and human concerns through the art of movement.

Public concert

 

 

 

 

 

 

KidsLydian String Quartet
Immigration in the United States (for the fourth grades)
Winter, 2012 (TBD) (lesson plan)
Slosberg Music Center, Brandeis Univesity 9:30-10:30 and 11:00-noon.

The Lydian String Quartet is Brandeis University's internationally acclaimed quartet-in-residence since 1980. The Lydian String Quartet has concertized throughout the United States and Europe. The Lydian String Quartet will present a MusicUnitesUS program that reinforces the 4th grade history and social science curriculum that will include topics such as A Nation of Many People, Immigration, and Communities. The focus will be diverse traditions major immigrant groups have brought to the United States through music. What songs did they bring? What values and world views are represented through the music? What did these new immigrants leave behind? In this unique presentation of music through the lens of the string quartet (with its own Eurocentric tradition), students will hear many of the voices that make up this country's soundscape of multiculturalism.

www.brandeis.edu/departments/music/lydian.htm

 

 

RagaMusical Cousins: From India to Afghanistan
Friday, March 9, at the Waltham High School (lesson plans)

Listen to their music

Homayun Sakhi is the outstanding Afghan rubab player of his generation. Sakhi’s performance style has been shaped not only by traditional Afghan and Indian music, but by his lively interest in contemporary music from around the world. Born in Kabul into one of Afghanistan’s leading musical families, he studied rubab with his father, Ustad Ghulam Sakhi. Homayun Sakhi maintains a worldwide concert schedule and is active in teaching rubab to young Afghans, both in Afghanistan and in the West


Ken Zuckerman, internationally acclaimed as one of the finest sarod virtuosos performing today, has also been called “…one of the world’s most eclectic masters of improvisation.” He completed thirty-seven years of training under the rigorous discipline of India’s legendary sarod master Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, up to the maestro’s passing in June 2009. He also performed with Maestro Khan in numerous concerts in Europe, India, and the United States and with some of India’s finest tabla virtuosos (Swapan Chaudhuri, Zakir Hussain and Anindo Chatterjee).

Salar Nader, born in Germany in 1981, is one of his generation’s leading performers on the tabla. A disciple of the great tabla master Zakir Hussain, Salar Nader frequently accompanies Homayun Sakhi as well as other performers of Afghan and North Indian classical music. A resident of San Francisco, Nader recently appeared as an on-stage musician in an American theatrical adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel, The Kite Runner.

Public concert

2010-2011 Performances

LamineLamine Touré and Group Saloum
Thursday, October 14, at the Waltham High School
(lesson plans)

Listen to their music

Group Saloum is America’s hottest Afro-mbalax band. Founded by world-renowned griot percussionist Lamine Toure, Group Saloum fuses Senegalese mbalax- highlighted by the infectious rhythms of Toure’s sabar drums - with elements of jazz, funk, reggae, and Afrobeat.

Lamine Toure is widely recognized as one of Senegal’s leading percussionists. Born into a griot family of sabar drummers, Lamine Toure has been drumming since the age of four, a skill that he inherited from his ancestors. Since the early 1990s, Toure has been a key figure in the Senegalese music scene, performing with the successful mbalax band Nder et le Setsima Group throughout Africa, Europe, and North America. Toure’s global experience inspired him to create a new style of Afro-mbalax music, incorporating the diverse musical influences he encountered during his travels. Upon settling in Boston in 2001, Toure began to search for musicians who would help realize his inspiration. The result was the creation of Group Saloum.

Public concert

 

 

KidsLydian String Quartet
Immigration in the United States (for the fourth grades) February 4 (lesson plan)

Slosberg Music Center, Brandeis Univesity 9:30-10:30 and 11:00-noon.

The Lydian String Quartetis Brandeis University's internationally acclaimed quartet-in-residence since 1980. The Lydian String Quartet has concertized throughout the United States and Europe. The Lydian String Quartet will present a MusicUnitesUS program that reinforces the 4th grade history and social science curriculum that will include topics such as A Nation of Many People, Immigration, and Communities. The focus will be diverse traditions major immigrant groups have brought to the United States through music. What songs did they bring? What values and world views are represented through the music? What did these new immigrants leave behind? In this unique presentation of music through the lens of the string quartet (with its own Eurocentric tradition), students will hear many of the voices that make up this country's soundscape of multiculturalism.

www.brandeis.edu/departments/music/lydian.htm

 

Shaheen

Simon Shaheen: Palestinian composer and musician
Thursday morning, March 10, at the Waltham High School (lesson plans)

Listen to their music

Palestinian composer and oud and violin player, Simon Shaheen dazzles his listeners as he deftly leaps from traditional Arabic sounds to jazz and Western classical styles. His soaring technique, melodic ingenuity, and unparalleled grace have earned him international acclaim as a virtuoso on the ‘oud and violin. Shaheen is one of the most significant Arab musicians, performers, and composers of his generation. His work incorporates and reflects a legacy of Arabic music, while it forges ahead to new frontiers, embracing many different styles in the process.

Public concert

 

2009-2010 Performances

Obbini

Obbini Tumbao: Afro-Cuban Rhythms
Thursday morning, October 22 (lesson plans)

Listen to their music

See their video

“If Mambo Kings Poncho Sanchez and Tito Puente got together to jam with Herb Alpert and Ry Cooder of the Buena Vista Social Club, it might sound something like Obbini Tumbao.” - Liza Weisstuch, Boston Globe

With musical roots in Spain and West Africa, Cuban music has long claimed its place on the world stage. Congas, timbales, and claves join brass, piano, and bass to meet in Cuban son. Add vocals and let Obbini Tumbaotake you on an aural cruise to the Caribbean.

Students experience the history and culture of Cuba through music. Demonstration of instruments, dance rhythms, and song as well as performances of traditional forms of son.

Public concert

 

KidsLydian String Quartet
Immigration in the United States
February, 2009 (lesson plans)

The Lydian String Quartetis Brandeis University's internationally acclaimed quartet-in-residence since 1980. The Lydian String Quartet has concertized throughout the United States and Europe. The Lydian String Quartet will present a MusicUnitesUS program that reinforces the 4th grade history and social science curriculum that will include topics such as A Nation of Many People, Immigration, and Communities. The focus will be diverse traditions major immigrant groups have brought to the United States through music. What songs did they bring? What values and world views are represented through the music? What did these new immigrants leave behind? In this unique presentation of music through the lens of the string quartet (with its own Eurocentric tradition), students will hear many of the voices that make up this country's soundscape of multiculturalism.

www.brandeis.edu/departments/music/lydian.htm

 

Qasimov

Alim and Fargana Qasimov: Spiritual Music of Azerbaijan
Thursday morning, March 4 (lesson plans)

Listen to their music

Alim Qasimov, (born in 1957), is an Azerbaijani musician and is one of the foremost mugham singers in Azerbaijan. He was awarded the prestigious International IMC-UNESCO Music Prize in 1999, one of the highest international accolades for music. His music is characterised by his vocal improvisation and represents a move away from the traditional style of mugham. His work has been influenced by, and compared to, the music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Qasimov has recorded nine albums, three of which are mugham albums with his daughter, Fargana Qasimov. He has performed internationally, including concerts in: France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Brazil, Iran and the United States.

For this residency, Alim Qasimov is joined his daughter Fargana, and a 4-person ensemble that includes tar, kemanche, balaban, and percussionfor a stunning presentation of music from Central Asia. More on the music

Students will learn about the history and culture of Azerbaijan and spiritual traditions through the music of the region in a talk/play program.

Public concert

More on the music

2008-2009 Performances

Shubha

Shubha Mudgal
Passageways of the Soul
October, 2008 (lesson plans)

“As her full throated voice filled the rotunda, my heart stood still.  In turns, tears welled up in my eyes and I felt elated and enthralled.  At times I looked up to the blue sky … and wondered if the spirits of Akbar, Jehangir and Shahjahan were hearing this celestial voice.  For me it was the experience of a lifetime.”  Khushwant Singh, The Sunday Observer

From a living tradition extending back thousands of years, Shubha Mudgal’s richly textured voice takes the listener on a musical journey that draws inspiration from medieval Sufi poetry, romantic love, and the paradoxes of modern life. Mudgal’s music, whether heard on stage or in film, explores the hidden passageways of the soul, balancing extraordinary discipline and breathtaking virtuosity with the improvisation of the imagination.

Join Shubha Mudgal and musicians Aneesh Pradhan, tabla; Sudhir Nayak, harmonium; and Murad Ali, sarangi on Saturday, October 18 for an evening of North Indian classical music, as these consummate artists illuminate two beloved Hindustani styles: the profound beauty of Khyal and the sensuous imagery of  Thumri

More on the Performer

KidsLydian String Quartet
Immigration in the United States
February, 2009 (lesson plans)

The Lydian String Quartetis Brandeis University's internationally acclaimed quartet-in-residence since 1980. The Lydian String Quartet has concertized throughout the United States and Europe. The Lydian String Quartet will present a MusicUnitesUS program that reinforces the 4th grade history and social science curriculum that will include topics such as A Nation of Many People, Immigration, and Communities. The focus will be diverse traditions major immigrant groups have brought to the United States through music. What songs did they bring? What values and world views are represented through the music? What did these new immigrants leave behind? In this unique presentation of music through the lens of the string quartet (with its own Eurocentric tradition), students will hear many of the voices that make up this country's soundscape of multiculturalism.

www.brandeis.edu/departments/music/lydian.htm

Nettle

Nettle
Music for a Nu World
March, 2009 (lesson plans)

Nettle is a geography defying project founded by DJ /rupture, involving 4 musicians and a video artist. The group melds superficially disparate genres & instrumentation into textured music that creates a new sense of common-place. Nettle has evolved over the years, but the live shows have remained intimate, beautiful, and challenging. North African folksong, free improvisation, and classical Arabic composition meet digital experimentalism and urban beat production. The band creates a powerful sonic space where the easy fusion of World Music clichés are abandoned for the intricate reality of border-crossing, conflict, and cohabitation. Their sound successfully crosses the acoustic (analog)/digital divide, using real-time sampling.

The Barcelona-based project unites musicians from three continents: Moroccan violin virtuoso Abdel Rahal, Scottish cellist Jenny Jones, American producer Jace Clayton (aka Rupture), and Moroccan gnawa musician Khalid Bennaji on guembri and vocals (in Arabic and Tamazight). The musicians are all 'resident aliens' living in Spain and communicate in Spanish, everyone's second language.

New York visual artist Daniel Perlin works directly with Nettle, creating live cinema through realtime video projections. Using original material and cutting-edge software, Perlin has constructed a series of environments for each song, where the ideas and feelings produced by the audio both infect and effect the video, just as the video completes the visual space of the performance.

The WIRE Magazine described Nettle's potent multimedia mix as "fresh, disruptive. . . dedicated to the shifting street music of North Africa, southern Spain and the wider diaspora."

Nettle has performed across Europe at festivals such as SONAR in Barcelona and Berlin's Transmediale, and have played live twice on BBC 1 radio. Nettle has toured the U.K. with Nass El Ghiwane, one of Morocco's most important musical groups, often referred to as "The Rolling Stones of Africa".

Nettle has released two albums, Build A Fort, Set That On Fire (2002, The Agriculture), and Firecamp Stories: Nettle remixed (2004, The Agriculture).

Their new album, a recording of a live performance in Denmark, is scheduled to be released early 2008.
Nettle is currently planning a Moroccan tour for summer of 2008.

The band's websites:
http://nttl.org/
http://www.myspace.com/n3ttle

Review for Jace Clayton's latest project as DJ /Rupture. Critical acclaim as usual --
http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/146769-dj-rupture-uproot

From DJ Rupture’s (aka Jace Clayton) piece for the New York Fine
Arts Quarterly:

“In addition to my activities as DJ/rupture, I make music as Nettle. Nettle originated in my fascination with the concept of an album heavily influenced by Middle Eastern ideas, but not necessarily at the audible level. I was unsatisfied with the narrative poles of electronic music—loop-based dance pieces or abstract/ambient pieces without storytelling force. A suite of rigorous modal improvisation in Arabic music called taqasims offered the solution: I knew and loved their internal play between free-flowing improv and strict technical guidelines. I spent a year or two translating these ideas into pieces for samplers and laptop. Two albums later I still wasn't satisfied: one-way cultural flows aren't good enough. I wanted community,two-way translations, the squeal of a feedback loop.

Earlier this year I was commissioned by a British arts council to transform Nettle into a proper live ensemble. Violin, oud, percussion, electronics,realtime sampling. I'd been involved in Barcelona's Moroccan music community for a while, but the Nettle project has upped the intensity of collaboration. A few days ago, Nettle's violin and oud player, Abdelaziz Hak, brought up taqasims to explain his response to a beat I'd prepared for him.

I broke into a silly grin.

This is working. We're starting to get under each other's skin.”

click for complete article

Listen to their music

2007-2008 Performances

The 2007-2008 MusicUnitesUS Education Program offers three very distinctive programs, Ologundê, the Lydian String Quartet, and Chinese Modulations and/or the Brandeis Theater production of Orphan of Zhao.

Ologunde
©Jack Vartoogian - Front Row Photos

 

Ologundê
Afro-Brazilian Music & Dance

October, 2007 (lesson plans)

“…their daring gestures drew gasps from the audience” - Dayton Daily News

“When Ologundê members perform, color, clamor and captivation are the order of the day.” - Santa Fe New Mexican

The New York-based Ologundê ensemble celebrates the rich Afro-Brazilian culture of Salvador, Bahia through a diverse repertoire of music, dance and martial arts. Comprised of Brazilians living in the United States and Brazil, includes former members of world-renowned music and dance troupes and is under the direction of noted percussionist Dendê from the famed Timbalada band. The ensemble has performed throughout the US since its formation in 2002 and toured Greece as part of the Cultural Olympiad, appearing at the Kalamata Dance Festival and at the Athens Festival at the Acropolis.

Ologundê, which ranges from 8-15 members, performs a diverse repertoire which includes the rituals associated with candomblé, a synthesis of the Yoruba and Catholic religions in which various orixás (gods) are invoked; the breathtaking capoeira martial arts dance; maculêlê, a warrior dance which utilizes sticks and machetes and was originally created in the sugar cane fields by slaves; and the exhilarating samba de roda, which can be traced back to the semba of Angola.

More on the Performance
See Ologundê Video

Kids

Lydian String Quartet
Immigration in the United States
February, 2008 (lesson plans)

The Lydian String Quartet is Brandeis University's internationally acclaimed quartet-in-residence since 1980. The Lydian String Quartet has concertized throughout the United States and Europe. The Lydian String Quartet will present a MusicUnitesUS program that reinforces the 4th grade history and social science curriculum that will include topics such as A Nation of Many People, Immigration, and Communities. The focus will be diverse traditions major immigrant groups have brought to the United States through music. What songs did they bring? What values and world views are represented through the music? What did these new immigrants leave behind? In this unique presentation of music through the lens of the string quartet (with its own Eurocentric tradition), students will hear many of the voices that make up this country's soundscape of multiculturalism.

www.brandeis.edu/departments/music/lydian.htm

amaz

Jiebing Chen and Yangqin Zhao
Chinese Modulations
March, 2008 (lesson plans)

Jiebing Chen, erhu (2-string vertical violin) and Yangqin Zhao, yangqin (hammered dulcimer), offer a program that ranges from the Chinese classical repertory to cross-cultural explorations spanning time and place. Both artists, whose musical narratives begin in their native China, have successfully extended the boundaries of their traditions with technical innovation and stylistic virtuosity. Chen and Zhao have lived in the United States for the last 15 years.

Orphan of Zhao
An original theatrical adaption of the traditional Chinese tale.
April, 2008 (lesson plans)

The Orphan of Zhao covers three centuries of struggle for power during the mythological period between 800 BCE - 500 BCE in china. This adaption will focus on the climactic moments of this epic tale of the struggle for power between the ruthless Tu Ango and Zhao Dun, a loyal general to the Emperor Jin. Sacrifice and relentless determination in the face of overwhelming odds characterize this highly stylized piece.

Thie Brandeis Theater Company production will feature an original dramatic text by Mia Chung and original music by Brandeis composer Yu-Hui Chang. The music will be recorded by noted Chinese musicians Jiebing Chen and Yangqin Zhao, in collaboration with Lydian String Quartet’s violist Mary Ruth Ray and cellist Joshua Gordon.

Please see Brandeis Theater Company for more information on the play and tickets.

2006-2007 Performances

The 2006-2007 MusicUnitesUS Education Program offers three very distinctive musical programs, the Kayhan Kalhor & Erdal Erzincan, the Lydian String Quartet, and Amazones. These three musical ensembles gave three public school education programs that brought over 1,000 students to Brandeis.

Persian & Turkish Improvisations: Kayhan Kalhor & Erdal Erzincan
October 19 - 21, 2006 (lesson plans)

This duo brings together the music of two cultures that have much in common -- the Persian classical tradition and the Turkish Sufi (Alevi) tradition. The duets, which meld seamlessly, are performed on Persian kamancheh (spike fiddle) and on the Turkish baglama, (a lute sometimes known as the saz) to astonishing effect. Kayhan Kalhor, born in Tehran, Iran has composed works for Iran's most renowned vocalists, including Mohammad Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri and has performed and recorded with many of Iran's greatest artists. His recent commissions include works written for the Kronos Quartet and for Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project. In 2003, he was nominated for two Grammy Awards. Erdal Erzincan is an exceptional musician, and disciple of Turkey's greatest virtuosos of the baglama, Arif Sag. A highly respected artist who started his own Baglama Music Academy in Istanbul, Erzincan has performed throughout the world. He is a brilliant improviser, which makes him an ideal musical companion for Kalhor. The duo will present a program that reinforces the 7th grade history and social science curriculum.

Lydian String Quartet
Immigration in the United States
Spring 2007 (lesson plans)

The Lydian String Quartet is Brandeis University's internationally acclaimed quartet-in-residence since 1980. The Lydian String Quartet has concertized throughout the United States and Europe. The Lydian String Quartet will present a MusicUnitesUS program that reinforces the 4th grade history and social science curriculum that will include topics such as A Nation of Many People, Immigration, and Communities. The focus will be diverse traditions major immigrant groups have brought to the United States through music. What songs did they bring? What values and world views are represented through the music? What did these new immigrants leave behind? In this unique presentation of music through the lens of the string quartet (with its own Eurocentric tradition), students will hear many of the voices that make up this country's soundscape of multiculturalism.

www.brandeis.edu/departments/music/lydian.htm

Amazones: Women Master Drummers of Guinea
March 2007 (lesson plans)

A concert of dynamic West African drumming, song, and dance, this program has been hailed by critics as “a heavenly outpouring of throbbing jubilation, forceful uplifting beats, and pounding enthusiasm that is hypnotic.” Amazones was the name given to the warrior women of the ancient kingdom of Dahomey (now called Benin) in honor of their ferocity against slave traders, which recalled the mythological Greek Amazones. The celebrated artists from Guinea have reclaimed their own musical heritage by mastering the djembe – the traditional drum historically forbidden to women – and also work to achieve economic self-sufficiency in a developing nation. This program, designed for 8th grade level, introduces students to West African traditions of drumming, dance, and story-telling. Participating schools are provided with a MusicUnitesUS lesson plan that teaches about history and culture and invites students to employ critical thinking skills as they explore issues of social justice.

2005-2006 Performances

The 2005-2006 MusicUnitesUS Education Program offered three very distinctive musical groups, the Yuval Ron Ensemble, the Lydian String Quartet, and Sol y Canto. These three musical ensembles gave three public school education programs that brought over 1,000 students to Brandeis.

Yuval Ron Ensemble
Spiritual traditions in the Middle East

October 2005 (lesson plans)

The Yuval Ron Ensemble is a collaboration of musicians from Arab, Israeli, and Armenian origins who unite the sacred musical traditions of Sufism (Islamic mystical tradition), Judaism and the Christian Armenian Church. Their performance imparts the ancient and deep intercultural connection among these traditions and the musical influences they share. Their mission and this residency are framed around a mission of peace and reconciliation. The Yuval Ron Ensemble will present a program that reinforces the 8th grade history and social science curriculum.

Lydian String Quartet
Immigration in the United States

December 2005 (lesson plans)

The Lydian String Quartet is Brandeis University's internationally acclaimed quartet-in-residence since 1980. The Lydian String Quartet has concertized throughout the United States and Europe. The Lydian String Quartet will present a MusicUnitesUS program that reinforces the 4th grade history and social science curriculum that will include topics such as A Nation of Many People, Immigration, and Communities. The focus will be diverse traditions major immigrant groups have brought to the United States through music. What songs did they bring? What values and world views are represented through the music? What did these new immigrants leave behind? In this unique presentation of music through the lens of the string quartet (with its own Eurocentric tradition), students will hear many of the voices that make up this country's soundscape of multiculturalism.

www.brandeis.edu/departments/music/lydian.htm

Sol y Canto
Songs of Struggle - The Nueva Canción Tradition of Latin America

February 2006 (lesson plans)

Sol y Canto will perform the music and songs from the nueva canción (new songs) movement of Latin America. Nueva Canción arose in the 1960's in response to social struggle engulfing a continent largely ruled by dictatorships. It combined indigenous musical elements with lyrics addressing questions of justice, freedom, and human rights. Illustrating the importance of cultural memory to identity and the power of art as a tool of resistance, this residency speaks to issues of political and personal freedom through the oral history tradition music provides. Sol y Canto will present a program that reinforces 9th grade history and social science curriculum.

2004-2005 Performances

In 2004-2005, more than 1,000 Waltham public school students came to Brandeis University to take part in MusicUnitesUS programs.

Civil Rights: Songs of Hope and Struggle
October 18, 2004

African-American singer, songwriter, and educator Jane Sapp collaborated with South African artist, musician, and educator Stompie Selibe in a program of freedom songs that speak out against inequality, racism, and injustice. With words that express courage and dreams, anger and hurt, strength and hope, this music inspired and united oppressed people, accompanying them in their long march toward freedom. Lessons drawn from the MUUS Unit on the American Civil Rights Movement and the South African Anti-Apartheid Movement preceded this program. For the 4th grade.

Jane Sapp (Mel King Fellow at MIT, Director of Voices of Today), African-American educator, musician, performer, and songwriter has made a career as an activist in civil rights and community organizing. She has worked for the past twenty-five years to develop techniques that help the silenced find their voices through the arts.

Stompie Selibe is a South African artist, musician, and art educator. He is deeply committed to empowering disadvantaged individuals and communities in South Africa, and has been involved in several South African outreach programs in the areas of education, health, and poverty relief. His work in Africa promotes reconciliation in divided communities through African drumming, music, and song.

Orchid Ensemble: Music From the Silk Road
October 20 – 21, 2004

The exquisite Orchid Ensemble blends ancient Chinese musical traditions with contemporary New Music and Jazz. This program explores the vast cultural influences of the Silk Road through original works inspired by Persian, Indian, and Jewish music. Whether painting musical landscapes of the vast Taklimakan desert, awesome mountain ranges, and endless steppes; or telling the stories of the many people who lived along the ancient pathways of cultural exchange, Orchid Ensemble is “a flawless bridge between Eastern and Western traditions, a musical adventure on the Silk road.” Lessons drawn from the MUUS unit on The Ancient Silk Road preceded this program. For the 7th grade.

In conjunction with the Orchid Ensemble program, students visited The Rose Art Museum to view and hear a short talk on a related exhibit: Yun-fei Ji: The Empty City. Yun-fei Ji’s graceful murals depict the social, political, and environmental effects of China’s construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Ji’s visual storytelling illustrates the failure of modernist utopian ideas in China. It is an historic and prophetic view of the people and traditions of the Yangtze River Valley. This exhibit provides a modern perspective on the pros and cons on cultural exchange, modernization, and globalization.

Peru Negro: Cultural Ambassadors of Black Peru
March 8 – 9, 2005

The vibrant Peru Negro has been embraced around the globe as the official “Ambassadors of Peruvian Culture”. Featuring dazzling dances, colorful costumes, electrifying rhythms, and historic verses, this thrilling 26-member ensemble performs music originated in the slave trade of colonial Peru and passed down through generations. MUUS programs are in workshop format, inviting student participation. The lesson plan provided by MUUS surveys history as well as the concept of cultural identity. For the 5th grade.

2003-2004 Performances

Lydian String Quartet
October 2003

The first program featured the critically acclaimed Lydian String Quartet, quartet in residence at Brandeis University since 1980. The LSQ presented a program of music from the Western World, including music from the early United States, Argentina, Western Europe and Russia. A central theme threaded through this program was the claim to national independence and personal freedom. Students traveled forward in time from the American Revolution through the growing movement toward nationalism in Western Europe in the 19th century, to Stalinist Russia, then back to the USA for a perspective of Civil Rights in the first half of the 20th Century. A variety of classroom social studies lessons preceded the performance.

www.brandeis.edu/departments/music/lydian.htm

Africa
November 2003

The second program featured three musicians from Africa, in conjunction with the Slifka Program in Intercommunal Coexistence at Brandeis University. Nicholas Kotei Djanie, Ghanaian master drummer, dancer, teacher, and performer from Johannesburg, SA, Lena Slachmuijlder, radio and print journalist, and musician from Bujumbura, Burundi, and Daniel ‘Stompie’ Selibe, artist, musician, and art educator of South Africa were the three the visiting fellows who performed. Their work in Africa promotes reconciliation in divided communities through African drumming, music, and song. Lesson plans preceding this program included a history of Nelson Mandela and the fight against Apartheid in South Africa.

Peru Negro
February 2004

The final program featured Perú Negro, internationally renowned cultural ambassadors of Black Peru. This 22 -member troupe of singers, dancers, and musicians tell the story through music of a unique redefined culture that emerged from the history of forced immigration (slavery) from Africa to Peru, the ensuing repression by Spanish colonialism, and liberation.. Lesson plans survey history as well as the concept of cultural identity.

CSK MCC