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Lamont world music series aims to expand audience’s horizons

Ravish Momin brings Trio Tarana to the Newman Center April 13 as part of the new Expanding Horizons series at the Lamont School of Music. Photo: Carlo Dainese

The Lamont School of Music is expanding its horizons with a new world music concert and lecture series.

The mission of the new initiative — titled “Expanding Horizons” — is to bring greater understanding and appreciation of world cultures and performing arts to DU and the Denver community through performances, lectures and residencies by artists and scholars, says Sarah Morelli, assistant professor of ethnomusicology at Lamont.

“Ethnomusicology is considered a sister discipline to both musicology and anthropology,” she explains. “Musicology is basically the historical study of Western art musics in their social and cultural contexts. Ethnomusicology’s purview is the entire world.”

Morelli says the study of ethnomusicology encompasses all genres of music and explores the intersection and interactions between music and other aspects of human culture.

“Part of the mission [of the new initiative] is to work to connect with the Denver community through these events, particularly to make connections with various ethnic communities in Denver,” Morelli says.

On April 13, the series will present New York-based jazz group Trio Tarana, along with Lamont student ensembles, at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts’ Hamilton Recital Hall.

Headed by South Asian American percussionist/composer Ravish Momin, who formed the group in 2003, Trio Tarana also features violinist Trina Basu and Denver-based saxophonist Aakash Mittal. Together they provide a unique fusion of world music, jazz, improvisation and electroacoustic music that utilizes multiple laptops. Trio Tarana will perform independently and in collaboration with DU student ensembles.

On May 1, the series will present a lecture by Corinna Campbell, a doctoral candidate at Harvard University’s Department of Music, titled “Personalizing Tradition: Surinamese Maroon Music and Dance in Contemporary Urban Practice and Performance.”

Campbell’s research is based on the music and dance styles of the Suriname maroons, one of two groups of African descendants in the small South American country of Suriname.

Her 5 p.m. lecture — in room 209 of the Newman Center — will be followed by a reception.

On May 16, Marsala “Mass” Mbaye, an adjunct instructor for the spring quarter, will lead a performance of DU’s new Senegalese Drumming Ensemble. A native of Dakar, Senegal, Mbaye is part of a long line of griots, a caste of musicians and oral historians among the Wolof people of Senegal. The ensemble’s performance will focus on sabar drumming, a vibrant tradition of the Wolof people.

The performance will be at 12:15 p.m. at the Harper Humanities Gardens, located on the lawn between the Mary Reed Building and Evans Chapel.

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