About World Fest

DSU has recently entered a two-year partnership with Arts Midwest to bring four international music ensembles to perform and conduct workshops for the DSU and Dickinson community. Each ensemble will spend a week in Dickinson during which the ensemble will share its unique culture and music through workshops for schools, assisted living communities, DSU students, and through a public concert celebration at the end of the week.

October 15-17, 2017 - Sofi & the Baladis (Israel)

Sofi

Experience one family’s remarkable story through the heartfelt melodies of Sofi & the Baladis. Journey through time to explore ancient Samaritan songs and a timeless search for balance, understanding, and belonging. With a unique blend of cultures and styles, this soulful ensemble will connect you to the heart of Israel.

Sofi & the Baladis, a five-member ensemble led by singer Sofi Tsedaka, features soulful and richly textured performances of an array of musical traditions that lie at the heart of Israel's diverse and historic cultures. The group's multi-lingual concerts present new interpretations of songs from the ancient Samaritan community as well as compelling vocal and instrumental work from mid-20th century Arabic composers. Their music transcends genres and moves easily from deeply spiritual to an upbeat and rhythmic style that captivates and brings audiences to their feet. The commentary Sofi provides throughout the concert tells the moving and powerful story of the Samaritan Tsedaka family and their search for balance as they navigate the pathway between their Jewish and Arab identities.

Spring 2018 - Ondekoza (Japan)

Ondekoza

Hear the thundering sounds of taiko drums with the world-famous ensemble Ondekoza from Japan. Fusing incredible athleticism, pounding rhythms, and peaceful melodies, their performances will leave you inspired and energized. Experience an unforgettable creative force that has captivated audiences across the globe.

Formed in 1969, Ondekoza are masters of the world-renowned art of taiko drumming. In a performance that is as much dance as drumming, the thundering taiko style must be experienced live. At the foundation of Ondekoza’s style is a unique combination of physical fitness, running, and drumming—a philosophy called sogakuron, where “running and drumming are one, and a reflection of the drama and energy of life.” They demonstrated this principle in 1975 in Boston, where after completing the Boston Marathon, Ondekoza immediately ran onstage for a full concert performance. Ondekoza members live together in Japan, running and drumming at the base of Mt. Fuji.

Fall 2018 - Manhu (China)

Manhu

Discover the folk sounds of rural China right in your own backyard. Share the ancient melodies and captivating instruments of Manhu, lively musicians from a remote landscape of small towns, quiet lakes, and forests made of stone. Experience this exciting American debut and connect to an age-old culture made modern.

Hailing from the Stone Forest of Yunnan Province in southwestern China, Manhu brings to life the traditions of the Yi people, an ethnic minority group with a rich musical history. Playing the hulusheng, a mouth organ made from dried gourds, and even an ordinary leaf used as a reed, Manhu shares instruments and songs that are well-known in their homeland but rarely seen on an international stage. The ensemble has performed throughout China, but this is their first international tour.

Spring 2019 - Unni Boksasp Ensemble (Norway)

Unni

With joyous fiddles and bright vocals, the Unni Boksasp Ensemble introduces audiences to warm sounds from the heart of Scandinavia. Explore the folk music of Norway with this lively band as they breathe fresh life into traditions shared across generations. Bring your family and friends and prepare to tap your feet, learn a new tune, and connect to the roots of Norwegian culture.

Unni Boksasp is a warm and imaginative singer who draws you easily into the heart of Norway. Over the years, Unni has delved into the deep traditions found across her homeland, studying music and dance with renowned singers and folk arts departments in Norway and beyond. Her fresh arrangements of folk songs and original compositions have earned wide acclaim: she was a Norwegian national champion of traditional singing in 2010 and 2011 and won a Norwegian Grammy Award and Norwegian Folk Music Award for her 2010 album, Karamello. The purity of Unni’s voice, her ability to connect with an audience, and the vitality and joy of the entire ensemble ensures you are in for a treat.

Sponsors

World Fest Sponsor Block