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Rahman returns to Global Rhythms

By Kara Pietrowski, For The Miami Student

Family Weekend marks the return of Global Rhythms under the direction of Shrinivas Krishnan, percussionist and Miami Alumnus.

The first part of the program "Voyages of the Soul" will take place Friday Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in Peabody Hall's Leonard Theatre with a tribute to peacemakers, performed by soloists from around the world.

The second production "We Are Together" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Hall Auditorium will feature over 300 performers, including student performers, members of the Oxford community, Grammy Award Winner Glen Velez and an international collection of world renowned artists. The guest of honor is notable, Grammy and Academy Award winning composer and performer A.R. Rahman.

Global Rhythms took shape in 1996 with the goal of exposing the audience and performers to different cultures through musical collaboration, according to Krishnan.

The program is a collaborative concert that ties together music and dance from around the world to nurture dialogue between cultures. One of the numbers, "Farika" unites Maeve Gilchrist on Celtic harp, Miami Alumnus Jason Koontz on steel pan, Abou Sylla on balafon and the vocals of Jayteerth Mevundi to create a unique musical dialogue.

Other performances will include music and dance from Argentina, China, Guinea, Scotland, India, Brazil and artists from across the United States as the program continues to reach out to new cultures.

"Every step we take is an initiative to reach out to another culture," Krishnan said. "Music is just the medium, and Miami University is reaching out to the rest of the world through music."

By exposing the Miami community to the diverse world of music, Global Rhythms aims to foster an interest in global cultures.

"I think everyone should expose themselves to other cultures in some way," sophomore Shanice Wiechman, who will be performing African dance with the percussion group Ogade, said. "When we live in a cultural bubble, we miss out on other knowledge."

Global Rhythms provides people with a platform to explore new cultures through the exciting and entertaining medium of music.

"Music is a universal language because it translates the experience of an individual, who can be in any situation and makes the experience universal though sound, Miami University Symphony Orchestra (MUSO) conductor Ricardo Averbach said.

MUSO will be featured, participating in the entire second half of the show, accompanied by vocal soloists and dancers.

According to Averbach, the unique aspect of this production is the combination of a traditional orchestra with world instruments.

"No other orchestra does this systematically, and I think this will have a major impact on the future of music," Averbach said.

The orchestra will also be performing A.R. Rahman's original and premiere works including "Lothlorien" and "Engae Pogutho."

More information about Global Rhythms can be found at