August 2009

Earth Gift by Kevin Locke

Kevin Locke recording, Earth Gift, receives ISMA nomination

Released in November 2008, Kevin Locke’s latest CD Earth Gift was recently nominated by the Indian Summer Music Awards as “Best Spiritual Album.” Three years in the making, this breakthrough recording, produced by two-time Grammy winner Tom Wasinger, features traditional Lakota songs played on flute by Kevin and arranged in a contemporary world-music setting. Kevin says of Earth Gift, “The songs of this recording echo the earth rhythms, and invoke the reality that all of life can come to us through the act of singing. Each is part of a larger whole, a ritual, calling forth the divine energy that is the object of the prayer. They are sung for the animals and in ceremonies to Eagle and Thunder, connecting the people to the sacred through sound.”

Rising Fawn Gathering CD

New CD:
Rising Fawn Gathering –
Boys of the Lough with Norman & Nancy Blake and James & Rachel Bryan

It took two decades of scheduling conflicts, and a year of production before the Spring 2009 release of Rising Fawn Gathering could come into fruition. The desire for a partnership recording between Boys of the Lough and Norman & Nancy Blake dates back to a double bill at Harvard University in 1984. “Nancy wanted to do a session with them ever since. She went to one of their shows in Atlanta, Georgia and, lo and behold, she and Cathal McConnell fell to making plans to record,” says Norman. Rising Fawn Gathering with the Boys, the Blakes, and James Bryan and his daughter Rachel is the result. “What more can I say – it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Good friends. Good music.”

Although the environment was relaxed – recorded at the Blake’s home in Rising Fawn, Georgia the quality and level of instrumentation is exactly what you’d expect from a Boys/Blake/Bryan pairing. “We had one of the best times in our whole lives. We all came away with rough mixes for a new CD which held great promise,” says Dave Richardson.

The recording has already garnered praise from Sing Out! Magazine, noting of Rising Fawn Gathering that “good things are worth the wait,” and not just for the music.

“There is so much great music to be found on Rising Fawn Gathering, but, beyond the music, the interaction of the nine musicians is the real treat. Sensitivity is in short supply in this day of multitracked digital studio recordings; it is found in abundance on Rising Fawn Gathering.” Sing Out! Magazine, Summer 2009

Beppe Gambetta guitar workshop

Beppe Gambetta leads international acoustic guitar workshop

From August 2 to 9, Beppe Gambetta leads the 17th International Acoustic Guitar Workshop in Ambroz, Slovenia. Beppe has led the Ambroz workshops for 16 years. They include multiple lessons each day, plus group activities, panels, evening events, and jam sessions. Instructing the workshop this year with Beppe is US musician Dan Crary. Although this current workshop is in Slovenia, Beppe offers workshops whenever he is on tour in the US, too. The workshops, which are tailored, may also be curriculum-based. Beppe’s workshops are derived from research and study of the acoustic guitar in American and European roots music.

Winter holiday online brochure

New winter holiday online brochure added to Ixtlan website

Ixtlan’s newest 60-second online brochure features three winter holiday concert programs: “A Celtic Christmas with Boys of the Lough,” “Christmas in the Heartland with Peter Ostroushko and The Heartland Band,” and “An Irish Christmas with Tommy Sands and his family.”

In 2008, Ixtlan introduced a new “first look” tool with five online brochures, designed to be read in “60 seconds.” The brochures use a click-interface through photos and text that enable one to quickly get a feel for artists and their programs. The brochures are Web based, so there is no need to download the files to view them (although that is an option). The online brochures are easily shareable to a board of directors, a colleague, or anyone.

Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble

Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble on tour in South America

The Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble traveled to Suriname in August as part of a US government initiative to foster cross-cultural relations with the arts. The US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs supports a variety of cultural exchange programs that utilize the performing arts to reach out to the public abroad.

“The objective is to bring artists to foreign countries for a cross-cultural exchange,” says US Embassy Suriname representative Political/Economic Officer Eric Anderson, “to demonstrate to Suriname that we are committed to fostering a relationship of mutual respect.”

The five-day funded stay in Suriname began August 8 with an introduction from the US ambassador and a special multi-cultural celebration with the local Javanese population. The first night was the celebration of the Javanese immigration festival and the Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble shared their venue with a full-concert performance. August 9, the following night, was “The Day of Indigenous People of Suriname” and the Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble performed for the President of Suriname and the entire diplomatic corps present there. Before the performance, they were introduced in Dutch (the official language of Suriname) by the US ambassador, a great honor. “We are very proud that the ambassador was able to speak at an event that typically ambassadors are not invited to speak in,” says Anderson. This official concert was followed by a longer public performance later that evening for a large crowd of Surinamese.

Afterwards, for three days, the ensemble toured schools and tribal communities outside of Suriname’s capital city Paramaribo. Their cultural program was performed acoustically with four instruments that correspond to the four elements: drum (thunder), flute (wind), rattle (rain), and voice (lightning).

The ensemble provided educational programs and workshops attended by children from the city and children from surrounding rural regions. “We were extremely excited to offer the program to kids from the interior of Suriname. For many of them, coming in was a huge treat,” says Anderson.

After his tour with the ensemble, Kevin continues for thirteen days with solo workshops and performances in Suriname and Venezuela before his return to the US on August 26.

Ixtlan artists on tourOn tour: Kevin Locke, Tommy Sands with Moya and Fionán, Beppe Gambetta, Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble, Boys of the Lough.

US tours

Boys of the Lough (from Ireland and Scotland)
Friday, November 27 – Saturday, December 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 3 – Sunday, March 28, 2010
Late November – mid December 2010

Beppe Gambetta (from Italy)
Friday, September 11 – Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Wednesday, February 24 – Saturday, April 10, 2010

Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble (from US)
Monday, October 5 – Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, January 28 – Sunday, April 20, 2010

Tommy Sands with Moya and Fionán (from Ireland)
Sunday, August 9 – Monday, August 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22 – Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, January 8 – Sunday, January 31, 2010
Wednesday, February 10 – Monday, March 29, 2010
Thursday, April 15 – Monday, May 31, 2010

All other Ixtlan artists available year-round

International tours

Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble (to Suriname)
Thursday, August 6 – Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kevin Locke (to Suriname and Venezuela)
Thursday, August 13 – Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Conference logos

Ixtlan Artists conference schedule

Arts Midwest, September 9–12, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Booth 916.

PAE, September 23–26, Norfolk, Virginia. Booth 301.

Arts Northwest, October 12–15, Boise, Idaho. Booth 74.

APAP, January 8–12, New York, New York.

IPAY, January 18–25, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Ixtlan Artists Group logo
About Ixtlan Artists Group

For more than twenty years, Ixtlan Artists Group has represented virtuoso performers from Europe and the Americas who have a commitment to education and cultural diversity. Founded in 1986 under the name “Joan Sherman Artist Management,” the agency’s original mission of providing excellent folk artists has expanded to traditional world music artists who provide concert and educational experiences that open doorways to universal cultural understanding.

Each artist Ixtlan represents is a premiere talent in their idiom, and they take audiences beyond daily experience into the arena of performance virtuosity rich in cultural traditions. Ixtlan artists speak directly, not only to performance, but to making an impact, on and off the stage.

Through both stage performance and educational outreach, Ixtlan endeavors to provide a venue where performance is used as a bridge to cultural understanding, artistic awareness, educational involvement, and peaceful coexistence of shared ideas.

Each month, Ixtlan publishes a digest of the latest news about the artists on its roster.


Kevin Locke CD receives ISMA nomination

New CD from Boys of the Lough

Beppe Gambetta leads international guitar workshop

New winter holiday brochure now online

Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble tours South America

US tours

International tours

Ixtlan conference schedule

About Ixtlan


August 2008
Kevin Locke releases Earth Gift CD + Guitar master Beppe Gambetta joins Ixtlan roster + more

July 2008
Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble awarded NEFA grant + more

June 2008
Tommy Sands releases Let the Circle be Wide CD + Peter Ostroushko releases Peter Goes to the Circus CD + Kevin Locke releases Seven Fires CD + more

May 2008
Tommy Sands and Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble showcase at Arts Northwest + more

April 2008
Ixtlan creates new education division + more