MARQUETTE, Mich.—The 2015-16 Northern Nights series at Northern Michigan University will feature performances by four ensembles representing diverse musical styles and increased opportunities for the visiting artists to interact with the community. Each will spend two days in the area conducting workshops and giving presentations. Season tickets for the series are now available at all NMU EZ Ticket outlets or at nmu.edu/tickets.
Northern Nights kicks off with the Taiwanese music and dance troupe Sheng Dong, which translates to A Moving Sound in English. The concert will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 29, in Kaufman Auditorium. A Moving Sound fuses Taiwanese, Chinese and neighboring Asian musical ideas in modern song compositions. Pieces are performed on Chinese instruments such as the vertically held and bowed erhu and the Chinese guitar known as zhong ruan, as well as Western instruments. Tom Pryor of World Music National Geographic wrote that A Moving Sound is “one of the most original outfits working in the world music arena today.”
Michigan-based Wisaal, an Arabic-influenced world music ensemble, will perform Friday, Nov. 6, in Forest Roberts Theatre. Wisaal is an Arabic word meaning links, connections or unities. The group’s goal is to provide a high-quality concert and educational presentations of music that fuse elements of the Arabic musical heritage with Klezmer, classical Indian and American influences, while respecting the spirit of these musical styles.
Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project will revive and reimagine traditional music collected by folklorist Adam Lomax. Stone, a Juno-winning banjoist and composer, will join some of North America’s most distinctive roots musicians on Thursday, Feb. 11, in Reynolds Recital Hall. The repertoire includes Bahamian sea chanties, African-American a cappella singing from the Georgia Sea Islands, ancient Appalachian ballads, fiddle tunes and work songs collected from both well-known musicians and everyday people.
The final concert of the series will be the Celtic folk band, Dervish, on Wednesday, March 9, at Forest Roberts Theatre. Five musicians—Liam Kelly, Shane Mitchell, Martin McGinley, Brian McDonagh and Michael Holmes—came together to record an album of local music and developed the informal gathering into a working band under the name Dervish. Performances by this group are a myriad of tones and moods ranging from high-energy tunes to measured songs.
All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Season tickets can be purchased at all NMU EZ ticket outlets, by calling 227-1032 or online at www.nmu.edu/tickets. Prices are: students/under 18, $17; NMU faculty/staff and seniors 60+, $50; and general public, $70. Tickets for individual performances are priced as follows: students/under 18, $5 advance/$6 at the door; NMU faculty/staff and seniors 60+, $15/$17; and general public, $20/$22.
For more information, visit www.nmu.edu/northernnights.