Jean René Balekita & Timbalú at IMC

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Event Date: 
March 2, 2018 - 7:30pm - 11:59pm
Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center
202 S Broadway Ave, Urbana, Illinois

Urbana is holding an international-themed First Friday for March. Come out for a special night of music at the IMC! Congolese musician Jean René Balekita will be opening, followed by CU’s new salsa band Timbalú! The doors open at 7 p.m., music starts at 7:30p.m. Bring your dancing shoes!

Co-sponsors: IMC and Robert E. Brown Center for World Music, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Illinois Student Association of Music Scholars.

$5.00 at the door.
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Saturday, March 10, 2018
2:00p - 3:30p
Levis Faculty Center, 919 West Illinois Street, Urbana

Anthony Russell - CONVERGENCE

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Event Date: 
February 20, 2018 - 7:30pm
Spurlock Museum
600 S. Gregory, Urbana

CONVERGENCE: Spirituals from the Shtetl. Davening from the Delta

CONVERGENCE is a new repertoire of works exploring exile, spirituality, hope and redemption. Combining diverse strains of traditional Ashkenazi Jewish and African American music, CONVERGENCE stands directly at spiritual, historical and textual crossroads. The musical sources are diverse: Chassidic piyyutim, negro spirituals, Yiddish labor union songs, Civil Rights anthems, Israeli folksong and traditional Ashkenazi synagogue music. The musical idioms are diverse as well, bearing elements of contemporary classical, jazz, blues, gospel, klezmer, chazzanut and experimental music.

Mr. Russell is accompanied by pianist Rachel Jensen.

Hosted by: Program in Jewish Culture and Society

In conjunction with: Department of African American Studies, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, Department of History, Department of Religion, Illini Hillil, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, Robert E. Brown Center for World Music, Russian, East European and Eurasian Center, School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, School of Music, Sinai Temple, Spurlock Museum

Free Admission
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Event Information
Event Date: 
February 16, 2018 - 9:00pm
The Iron Post
120 S. Race Street, Urbana

Timbalú is Champaign Urbana's premier salsa band, playing Latin boogaloo, classic salsa, and Cuban timba.

Made up of representatives from across Latin America, as well as their North American and European allies, the ten-piece Timbalú makes powerful music-to-move-to. Directed by UIUC school of music graduate student, Ian Middleton, the group brings together UIUC students, graduates, faculty, staff and members of the Urbana Champaign community. It is a practical development of Ian's ethnographic research on Latin American traditional and popular musics.

Rony Die - Bass
Liz Faermark - Vocals
Lorraine Finkel - Piano
Lucas Henry - Saxophone
Cody Jensen - Timbales
Ian Middleton - Congas
Sergio Poo - Vocals
Eddy Quiroga - Trombone
Gabriel Solis - Saxophone
Lina Zambrano - Vocals

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Experiencing the Music of Iran and Azerbaijan

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Event Date: 
March 10, 2018 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Levis Faculty Center
919 West Illinois Street Urbana

Gateways to World Music series continues with a program featuring music from Azerbaijan performed by visiting musicians Kamila Nabiyeva (Mugham vocals), Miralam Miralamov (Mugham vocals), Rauf Islamov (kamancheh), and Zaki Valiyev (tar), all featured in Mark Morris Dance Group's Layla and Majnun. Music from Iran will be presented by visiting scholar/performer Farzad Amoozegar-Fassaie (setar) and University of Illinois graduate students Parisa Karimi (kamanche) and Ardavan Ardeshirilajimi (tonbak).

This program is supported by Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, School of Music, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, Center for Advanced Study, and Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Performer Bios

Kamila Nabiyeva (Mugham vocals) was born in 1997 in the Khanagah village in the Ismayilli district of Azerbaijan. In 2004, Nabiyeva became a winner at the Children’s Mugham Competition held by the Kainat Group. She studied at the Baku Humanitarian College and in 2014, joined the Azerbaijan State University of Art and Culture. She studies with the famous female mugham performer of Azerbaijan, Gulyanag Mammadova. In 2011, she was awarded at the Mugham Competition held by the Azerbaijan State Television company and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and frequently appears as a soloist on Azerbaijani National Television. Nabiyeva has successfully introduced Azerbaijani mugham to the audiences in Austria, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Macedonia, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, the United States, and many other countries.

Miralam Miralamov (Mugham vocals) was born in 1988 in the Shamakhi district of Azerbaijan. He studied in the Asaf Zeynalli Music College in Baku, Azerbaijan and in 2012 joined the Azerbaijan National Conservatory where he is a member of the graduate program. Miralamov studied with the outstanding masters of Azerbaijani mugham, such as Alim Qasimov and Zabit Nabizade. In 2011, he was awarded First Place at the Mugham Competition held by the Azerbaijan State Television Company and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. In 2013, Miralamov became Winner at the National Mugham Competition and International Mugham Competition and frequently appears as a soloist on Azerbaijan National Television. Miralamov has successfully introduced Azerbaijani mugham to the audiences in Canada, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Norway, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, the United States, and many other countries.

Rauf Islamov (kamancheh) was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and studied kemancheh at the Asaf Zeynalli Music College, the Azerbaijan National Conservatory, and received his master’s from the Azerbaijan State Art University. He has toured widely with the Alim Qasimov Ensemble.

Zaki Valiyev (tar) was born in Ganja, Azerbaijan. He studied at the Ganja Music College and received a bachelor’s degree at the Azerbaijan National Conservatory. He is a member of the Alim Qasimov Ensemble, with whom he has toured extensively.

Aida Huseynova (introduction) is lecturer in music in general studies at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She teaches the courses Music of the Silk Road, East-West Encounters in Music, and Music of Russia as well as music theory. Her research interests include Shostakovich, twentieth-century Azerbaijani music, and multiculturalism. Since 2006, Huseynova has served as a research advisor for the Silk Road Ensemble under the artistic direction of Yo-Yo Ma, and in 2016 she became a research advisor for the Mark Morris Dance Group. She has toured with both ensembles throughout the United States and in Canada, France, and Qatar, giving pre-concert talks and participating in workshops.

Farzad Amoozegar-Fassie
Since his youth Farzad Amoozegar-Fassie has had a special relationship with music, spending formative years in Iran playing tar and setar. After migrating to Canada at age eleven, he continued to study with the intention of developing a career as a professional musician. In his early twenties, Mr. Amoozegar-Fassie decided to move back to Iran, embarking on a professional music career while immersing himself once again in Iranian culture. He has spent the past twelve years studying under Iranian master musicians such as Mohamed Reza Lotfi, Dariush Tala’i, Hooshang Zarif, Masood Shareai, Hossein Alizadah and Ershad Tahmasbie. Mr. Amoozegar-Fassie is currently enrolled as double doctoral student in the Department of Ethnomusicology and Anthropology at UCLA. His ethnomusicology research examines moral codes in Iranian music-making. It analyzes how the nexus of Islamic ideals, mystical practices and traditional values shapes the master musicians’ understanding of artistic experiences and moral judgments of music.

Parisa Karimi
Ms. Parisa Karimi is a PhD student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at UIUC. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, and her master’s degree from Sharif University of technology, Tehran, all in Electrical Engineering. Ms. Karimi is very enthusiastic about traditional Persian music, as well as Classical music, and her true passion lies in music composition. She has been playing Kamancheh for more than 9 years, during which time she won best Kamancheh soloist award in the youth music festival Tehran, 2015.

Ardavan Ardeshirilajami
Mr. Ardavan Ardeshirilajami is a PhD candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at UIUC. Very passionate about Iranian classical music, Mr. Ardeshirilajami has been playing Tar and Tonbak since the age of 12 years old. He studied radif of Mirza Hossein-gholi for Tar under supervision of mastero Dariush Pirniakan. In addition to music, he is interested in cooking, playing soccer, calligraphy, and ice-skating.

Free Admission

Smile Politely Features Center for World Music

The Robert E. Brown Center for World Music was featured in a Smile Politely article by James Scherer titled "Bands Around the World: A Look at World Music in C-U" published on January 31. We are pleased to note that Scherer's article launches a series on international music in our community for Smile Politely.

The article on the center is available here:

Ian Middleton


Ensemble Director, Timbalú

Piper's Hut Concerts: Kevin Burke

Event Information
Event Date: 
February 18, 2018 - 7:00pm
Community Center for The Arts (C4A)
202 W Main St, Urbana, IL 61801

Piper's Hut Concerts
Kevin Burke
Master Irish Fiddler
February 18 & 19, 2018

The next Piper's Hut concert featuring the one and only Kevin Burke has changed it's venue on February 18!!

Special thanks go to Robin Kearton and the Community Center for the Arts. They have offered to co-host this concert and the lessons in their lovely space in downtown Urbana, IL. 202 W Main St, Urbana, IL 61801. This is the NW corner of Main and Race.

Note: this is no longer a potluck dinner. Feel free to bring a sharable snack for the intermission. C4A might have coffee/hot water available and I will bring a flat of water. You may bring other beverages if you like, this is a kid friendly space.

Fiddle Lessons will *probably* be available on Monday, Feb 19.

Please email if you are interested in lessons. You can request private, semi-private or group lessons AND what time of day suits you best.
• FIDDLE LESSONS: Mr. Burke will offer fiddle lessons sometime the day after the show (Monday). Private lessons and group/workshops are potentially available.
o Private Lesson: one person, one hour = $75/hr. Does NOT include concert ticket.
o Semi-Private: two people, one hour = $40/person. Does NOT include concert ticket.
o Group Lessons: (at least 5 people must sign up) one hour.
$40 if student does NOT attend concert.
$50 if student attends concert (includes one concert ticket).


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I-Pan Steel Drum Band

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Event Date: 
March 31, 2018 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Champaign Public Library, Robeson Pavilion Room A & B
200 W. Green St., Champaign

Immerse yourself in the sunny sounds of Trinidad and Tobago, performed on steel drums by students from the University of Illinois School of Music.

I-Pan is a student-run ensemble made up of members of the University of Illinois Steel Band, open to both music majors and non-music majors. The band primarily performs Calypso and Soca music, the native music of Trinidad and Tobago where the steel pan was invented. Members of I-Pan get a hands-on experience both writing and arranging their own music for the group, as well as honing their skills improvising on bass and percussion as well as the steel pans.

Free Admission
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16th Annual International Capoeira Angola Conference at UIUC

Event Information
Event Date: 
March 8, 2018 - 1:00pm - 8:00pm
multiple locations, check description below for details

The 16th Annual International Capoeira Angola Conference at UIUC will occur March 8 through March 11, 2018. The conference celebrates the richness of the African and Latin roots of Afro-Brazilian culture at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Illinois State University, presented by Contra-Mestre Denis of Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre João Grande Champaign IL and the Capoeira Club at UIUC.

The conference organizers are honored to have the Great Mestre João Grande, Mestre Marrom, Professora Silvana Marquina and Professora Nicole Thomas. The weekend will feature workshops in Capoeira Angola movement/Music and Afro-Brazilian dance Samba/ Afro-Brazilian dance workshop, Afro-Haitian Dunham technique, block printing workshop and yoga class.

Mestre João Grande (Capoeira Angola Center of Mestre João Grande)
Mestre Marrom - Rio Brasil
Professora Silvana Marquina (Samba & Afro- Brazilian Dance)
Nicole Thomas (Pinky) - St. Louis, MO
Casey Lowery- Artist

Event Schedule

Thursday, March 8th
UIUC Dance Department - DRR

Illinois State University
6:00-8:00pm - Capoeira Music class*

Friday, March 9th

Illini Union Quad West side (if weather permits)
12:00-1:00pm - Capoeira Angola Roda

UIUC Dance Dept. Nevada B Studio
6:00-7:00pm - Afro-Brazilian Samba Dance workshop (All Levels)
7:00-9:00pm - UIUC - Capoeira Angola Movement & Music class*

Saturday, March 10th
Lincoln Square Mall Urbana
10:00-11:00pm - Public Engagement Kids Capoeira Angola Movement/Roda
11:00am-1:00pm - Capoeira Angola Movement Class*
1:00-3:00pm Break

UIUC Dance Dept. Nevada B Studio
3:00-4:00pm - Afro- Haitian Dunham technique Dance workshop (All Levels welcome)
4:00-6:00pm - Capoeira Movement & Capoeira Roda*
8:30pm - Cultural Dinner, Capoeira Angola Center

Sunday, March 11th
UIUC Dance Dept. Nevada B Studio
9:30-10:15am- Yoga Class
10:30-11:00am - Maculelê Afro- Brazilian Stick Dance
11:00-1:00pm - Capoeira Movement & Dance Class*
1:00-2:00pm -Block printing class
Capoeira Angola Center IL
2:00-4:00pm Capoeira Angola Closing Roda*

Locations of Event

Address Locations:

UIUC Dance Department Nevada B
907 1/2 West Nevada Street,
Urbana, Illinois 61801

Illinois Union Quad
1401 W. Green Street,
Urbana, IL 61801

Capoeira Angola Center Illinois
201 Lincoln Sqaure, Space 157 (North Wing)
Urbana, IL 61801

Dress Code *
For Capoeira Angola workshops only
– Flat sole shoes
– T-shirt that can be tucked into your pants
– athletic pants or White pants
– Tank tops not allowed

Sponsors :
Paid for by the Students Cultural Programming Fee
Center of World Music
Capoeira Club at UIUC
UIUC Dance Department
Students of Capoeira Angola Center Illinois

Free for UIUC students with a UIUC Student ID
Free for ISU students with ISU Student ID

Full event $100.00
T-shirt $20 if paid for full event
T-shirt $25 without event

Prices for per-day rate

Thursday $30.00
Friday $50.00
Saturday $75.00
Sunday $50.00
*Samba /Afro-Brazilian Dance workshop free for community members*

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  • Programs of the Robert E. Brown Center for World Music are dependent upon grants, gifts, and funds raised through concerts, performances and services. The Center was established at the University

  • The Robert E. Brown Center for World Music was featured in a Smile Politely article by James Scherer titled "Bands Around the World: A Look at World Music in C-U" published on January 31. We are

  • The Robert E. Brown Center for World Music sends out occasional announcements regarding it's programs, teaching artists and associates.  If you'd like to recieve email announcements from us