I will be playing three hours of music to celebrate the long and already much celebrated life of Pandit Ravi Shankar. There’s certainly not much that I can add to all the accolades which he received both during his lifetime, and as people from all over the world learned of his passing. All I can say is this: were it not for the impact which Ravi Shankar made to the world of music, I would not be hosting this radio show. In the big scheme of things, the little radio show which I host on the little radio college radio station in Midwest, USA doesn’t amount to much. The impact of WIDR World is small. But Ravi Shankar’s role in my hosting of this radio show for somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 years cannot be understated. Ravi Shankar didn’t introduce the sitar to 1960s rock and roll, but when George Harrison began to experiment with the instrument, it was Ravi Shankar who gave him instruction. That instruction led to a collaboration which lasted until George Harrison’s passing. Ravi Shankar was able to ride on the wave of fame that came with his association with a Beatle, and thereby spread the sounds of classical Indian music throughout the world. Once the ears and the mind are open, one is able to discover that there is a magnificent world of music to be enjoyed. Ravi and George used that Beatle-releated fame to raise money and awareness for the people of Bangladesh in 1971, and continued to introduce the sounds of Indian classical music to the world. He was able to continue to be an ambassador for the country and culture of India throughout the rest of his life, and will continue to do so after his death.
The video presented here does not crystalize his musical lifetime into three minutes. His playing is hardly evident. But it’s one of the songs I will be playing today, and it seems like a great way to introduce his music. The internet generation doesn’t necessarily have the attention span to listen to a 20-minute raga… so take three minutes out of your day, and perhaps your ears and mind can be opened… and your lifetime might be that much richer.
This being Latvian Independence Day, this event seems like a fitting thing to let folks know about…
Inspired by the Christmas Market in Riga, Latvia that began in sixteenth century, the European Christmas Bazaar brings a cherished Latvian tradition with local charm to Kalamazoo.
Artisans, woodworkers, potters, needlecrafters and chocolate makers who produce and sell their own work are among the over 30 vendors at the festive Bazaar. Artwork, jewelry and many other unique and creative selections will provide great gifts ideas. Authentic Latvian bread, pastry and tortes as well as European deli meat and cheese round out the offerings. Be sure to finish the visit with an authentic European lunch, served until it’s gone. Learn more at www.kalamazU.com.
The 2012 European Christmas Bazaar, held December 1, 2012 from 10 am to 3 pm, at the Latvian Cultural Center at 100 Cherry Hill Street, Kalamazoo Michigan 49006, just off West Main between Solon and Kendall streets.
Seems a little bit odd, but it could be true. It seems that the authorities in northern Mali have banned local radio stations from playing any music other than musical Koranic verses. Find our more from our friends at PRI’s program The World. Folks in West Michigan might have a better chance of hearing the Malian Toureg band Tinariwen than people in their native country. In addition to hearing their music on WIDR World, people in our area will also have the opportunity to see them in concert at Calvin College on October 26. Find out more on the WIDR World events page.
The 10th Annual Francophone Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday. As usual, I wish that I had seen more about this in advance… heaven knows that I would have promoted l’enfer de la. Oh well. Find out more on their web site.
A musician from New York has recorded and released a song for freedom loving people around the world. You’ll see the video above, and can get the MP3 version here. The song was originally composed by Mohamed Abdel Wahab, who compiled an amazing catalog of compositions in his lifetime. Learn more about him here, and find TONS of his music here (Real Audio format). Learn more about freedom and music at Freemuse.org. As the events in Tunisia, Egypt and the Sudan continue to unfold, I have a feeling that we’ll be reading a lot more about musicians playing a role in the various protests, etc. FreeMuse is a great place to stay updated about the role that musicians play in these areas around the world.
The Chinese Association of Greater Kalamazoo are planing big things for their 30th annual celebration of the Chinese New Year. Chenery Auditorium in Downtown Kalamazoo will provide the venue for an evening of music, dance and more, as the group ushers in the year of the rabbit. Check out this article from the Kalamazoo Gazette for more information.
Bummer… but I just heard word from the promoters that Rodrigo y Gabriella’s entire tour has been cancelled. That means that there will be no show in Kalamazoo. That also means that those people who had won tickets from the show are out of luck. Sorry about that… Here’s the press release:
Rodrigo y Gabriela are deeply saddened to announce the cancellation of their forthcoming United States October tour.
After a year of relentless touring, the wear and tear finally caught up with Gabriela. Her incredibly physical style of play involves banging out complex rhythms on the neck and body of her guitar night after night, putting great stress upon her right hand and arm as well as joints like the wrist and elbow. It is under doctors recommendation that she rest her joints and muscles to avoid further harm and permanent damage. While the duo is incredibly frustrated to have to pull out of dates in cities they were very much looking forward to visiting for the first time, the move was an unavoidable reality that had to be made in order to ensure that Gabriela fully recovers and is able to play at full capacity for many years to come.
Rodrigo y Gabriela hope to return to the cities affected by the tour dates in the future and are grateful for their fans continued support and understanding.
WIDR World is heard each Sunday afternoon from 3-6 P.M. (Eastern US) on 89.1 WIDR-FM in Kalamazoo, Michigan. WIDR is the student-run voice of Western Michigan University, and features an eclectic mix of music, 24 hours a day.