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 – 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 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.
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 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
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.
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
Gambetta (from Italy)
Friday, September 11 – Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Wednesday, February 24 – Saturday, April 10, 2010
Locke Native Dance Ensemble (from US)
Monday, October 5 – Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, January 28 – Sunday, April 20, 2010
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
Locke Native Dance Ensemble (to Suriname)
Thursday, August 6 – Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Locke (to Suriname and Venezuela)
Thursday, August 13 – Tuesday, August 25, 2009
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.
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.