The Lotus Education and Arts Foundation (LEAF) put on a mini-version of their fine world music festival this spring and called it Lotus Blossoms. There were several days of workshops and performances around Bloomington and at area high schools, all culminating with two evenings of performances by visiting musicians. Click the links below to see some concert pictures from the shows...
Danú is a group of seven young musicians based in County Waterford, Ireland, who play traditional Celtic music and original tunes as well. They are a lively and talented group who bring a new vitality to ancient Celtic riffs--and they play like a house afire! Check out their website by clicking HERE.
Sones de México Ensemble Chicago If you think all Mexican music is just mariachi played by bored guys in big black hats, then you've gotta hear this band! They specialize in son and its many styles (huapango, gustos, chilenas and son jarocho) linking it to the diverse ethnic roots of Mexico's mestizo culture: Native American, Spanish, and the often overlooked influence of Black music in Mexico. Their instrumentation also reflects the diversity of cultural influences: you'll hear more familiar instruments such as violin, harp, and guitar along with unusual instruments like donkey's jaw, machetes, and clay flutes. Oh, yeah, and they play some roots mariachi that makes you realize why it became so popular in the first place. Here's a link to their website, it's a bit outdated but you might be able to order their excellent CD, ¡Que Florezca!, there.
Kevin Locke knows how to work a crowd. His comic timing is faultless, his humor gentle, his message urgently important. As spectacular as his hoop dancing is, I found his storytelling and his music equally enthralling. He does what every great educator does: entertains us so thoroughly we don't even notice as we learn the lesson he is teaching: that diversity is a natural and right way of life, and cause for celebration Visit Kevin Locke's website by clicking here.
Matapat I think we're going to have to teach these guys the Blooming-gulch secret handshake because they are definitely honorary Bloomingtonians after this last visit. They were the hit of Lotus Festival 2000, and this time around they got to spend quality time with the local music mafia making music, and making merry--which is what the locals do at the drop of a chapeau around here anyway. And I think the IU Francophiles hated to see them go back to Montreal,too. You can get info about the band and their CD at the Borealis Records website.