L.A. concert series has global flavor

LOS ANGELES - The eighth season of the World City performance series, featuring renowned artists in dance, music, song and storytelling, begins Oct. 16 the Oyu Oro Afro-Cuban Dance Ensemble.World City performances are free and held at Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets are distributed one hour before show times on Grand Avenue at 2nd Street. The 2010-11 schedule of performers includes: Oyu Oro Afro-Cuban Dance Ensemble (music and dance, Cuba), Oct. 16 - Committed to the preservation of Afro-Cuban culture through dance, song and music, Oyu Oro explores traditional dance forms from a variety of influences. They include the diverse cultures of West Africa, the rich Haitian influences that remain in Cuba, along with popular dance of Cuban heritage, including rumba, conga, chancletas and son. Red Thunder (dance, Native American), Nov. 20 - With authentic regalia consisting of vibrant feathers, intricate beadword and handmade jewelry and headdresses, Red Thunder celebrates the unique heritage of the Plains Indians. Showcasing music, song and traditional dance while retelling stories that have been passed through generations, Red Thunder entertains and educates audiences of all ages. Chen Kuai Le Puppet Theater (puppetry, Taiwan), Jan. 22 - Directed by Taiwan's leading female puppeteer, Shi-Mei Chiang, Chen Kuai Le Puppet theater has devoted itself to the preservation of traditional arts and to the training of new generations of performers. The company, which included Chiang's son and grandson, is accompanied by live traditional Taiwanese music and uses masterful puppet-manipulation skills and vivid narratives to present this enchanting art form. Hot 8 Brass Band (music, New Orleans), Feb. 12 - New Orleans' own Hot 8 Brass Band has epitomized New Orleans street music for over a decade. Known for playing the traditional Second Line parades, the band infuses their performances with the funk and energy that makes New Orleans music loved around the world. A Gaelic Gathering (music & dance, Ireland), March 19 - Celebrating the exuberance of Irish culture, A Gaelic Gathering presents the rhythmic hard shoe Jigs and Hornpipes, along with lyrical soft shoe Reels and Slipjips. Accompanied by traditional Irish instruments like the fiddle, flutes, whistles, uilleann pipes (elbow bagpipes), and bodhran (drum). A Gaelic Gathering takes the audience on a cultural journey through Ireland's rich heritage. The Tinkers (music, Scotland), March 19 - Pioneers of the growing Tribal Celtic movement, The Tinkers play jigs and reels from the Scottish Highlands. This roving pipe-and-drum band blend the ancient art of the Highland bagpipes with the driving rhythms of drums, and the haunting sound of a Bronze-Age Celtic Horn. Dressed in traditional tartan kilts, The Tinkers inspire audiences to clap along to the pulsating rhythms of this spirited music. Sakai Flamenco (gypsy dance & music, Spain), April 17 - "Sakai" is the gypsy word for "eyes" and the eyes hold the emotions or feelings of the gypsy people. Sakai Flamenco is a dynamic ensemble dedicated to performing the music and dance of the gypsies of Southern Spain. Comprised of dancers, a singer and guitarist, Sakai Flamenco uses traditional clapping and strong, rhythmic footwork to showcase the beauty, power and intricacy of flamenco. Les Yeux Noirs (gypsy klezmer music, France), April 17 - Performing Yiddish and Gypsy music, Les Yeux Noirs invites its audience to share in moments of intense emotion and indescribable happiness, as they weave their magic with extraordinary energy. Both joyous and nostalgic, this nomadic music is beautifully interpreted through the group's own compositions, enriched with violins, drums, cymbalum, electric bass and guitar.

********** Published: September 16, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 22