On April 5, from 12:30 to 5 p.m., the Spurlock Museum celebrates spring with an afternoon full of performances! During its annual WorldFest event, the museum hosts six different acts offering music, dance, poetry and folk tales. Admission is free, and all ages are welcome. A schedule for the afternoon can be found on the museum’s online events calendar. This event is supported in part by the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Here is the list of this year’s performers:
— Jean Rene Balekita and Laeticia Kyungu perform songs in six different languages: English, French, Kikongo, Swahili, Lingala and Tshiluba. Their music mixes a variety of styles — African traditional music, Congolese rumba, gospel music and the flavor of jazz — performed on the ndara, likembe, marimba and acoustic guitar.
— Mariana do Berimbau performs a fierce blend of poetry and music derived from African mythology and Afro-Brazilian cultural elements such as dance and capoeira songs. Expressed through popular language, Mariana do Berimbau’s artistic work reflects on Afro-Brazilian womanhood, racism and sexism.
— Formed in 2019, Mirage Ensemble is an Iranian music ensemble from the Iranian community of Champaign-Urbana. The ensemble plays pieces from Iranian classical music, a modal music with similarities to 16th-century European music. Inspired by folk musical pieces from different parts of Iran, Mirage seeks to remain faithful to the musical construct of these songs. The compositions and arrangements made by Omid Zandi, also a violinist in the ensemble, mold distinct constructs of harmony and counterpoint while displaying melodic textures of Iranian classical music.
— Bloco Gaviao is a community music ensemble celebrating Afro-Brazilian drumming traditions including samba, samba-reggae and maracatu, promoting a small part of the immense richness of Brazilian culture in Illinois. At WorldFest, Bloco Gaviao will offer a hands-on introduction to the instruments featured in samba, play a short performance of associated music and teach the basics of moving to the rhythms. The ensemble will be joined by special guests Mariana do Berimbau and Wilson Rocha de Silva.
— The Roots of Flamenco will give a presentation highlighting the voice, guitar and dance as the three prominent main elements of flamenco. The artists are all based in Chicago with various diverse backgrounds. They are brought together with their passion for this art form and aim to bring some of Spain to the Midwest.
Kim Sheahan is the museum’s assistant director of education and resident storyteller. She performs multicultural folktales and historical one-woman shows for audiences of all ages throughout central Illinois.
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