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Miami welcomes globalFEST carnival to campus

By Hannah Fierle, For The Miami Student

Miami University will host globalFEST Creole Carnival at 7:30 p.m. today in the Armstrong Student Center.

"Creole Carnival is going to be a wonderful performance of an international trio of artists that will showcase the musical riches of Carnival," said Ellie Witter, assistant director for audience development for the Performing Arts Series.

From Haiti comes the beautiful songstress Emeline Michel, known for her Haitian rhythms combined with an authentic acoustic jazz flavor. Beginning as a gospel singer from Gonaïves, her songs promote inspirational, social and political messages, delivered in her warm, dynamic voice.

Brushy One-String, a one-string guitarist from Jamaica, will also offer his talents to this year's globalFEST. Growing up poor in Jamaica, Andrew Chin, or "Brushy," believed that teaching himself to play guitar would provide access to the world. When he pulled out the acoustic guitar from under his bed, it had only one string - but it didn't stop him. His soulful, reggae sound has gained him international acclaim, as well as millions of views on YouTube.

From an urban neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro comes the eclectic ensemble Casuarina. Their samba genre combines contemporary urban and pop sounds, while paying homage to influences like the bossa nova, samba from Bahia and the Afro-Brazilian rhythms of the Nordeste.

The selection of artists for Creole Carnival will focus on the pre-Lent Carnival tradition and rich cultural history of the featured countries, Haiti, Brazil and Jamaica.

"While all of the sounds are very different, there is something cohesive and unifying about them and their celebrations of Carnival," said tour manager George Cruze.

GlobalFEST started in 2003 when students in New York expressed concern that there was not enough diversity or cultural presence in music at universities. What began as a single showcase of cultural music has become a globally renowned performance of musicians from around the world.

Additionally, globalFEST has made appearances at popular annual musical festivals, Bonnaroo and South by Southwest.

This year is the first official North American tour of globalFEST, traveling around the country to universities in the United States and Canada. Universities welcome the performance as a one-night music festival, celebrating the Carnival tradition.

Cruze, whose business card reads "Logistics, Advance and Merchandising for Performing Artists I Like," gets to know the performers on a deeper level. He travels with them on tour and handles the daily procedures behind the scenes and on the road.

"I go out on the road with them and get to form a strong bond with them, maybe even more so than their manager or agent," said Cruze. "I work with people I like because I'm interested in spending time with them. I have have been extremely fortunate because I continually am connected with these talents."

GlobalFEST is sponsored by Kona Bistro and in collaboration with Miami Activities & Programming (MAP). Tickets can be purchased at the Miami Box Office in the CAB building. Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for seniors and $10 for students.