For more than a decade, David Alderdice has been the face of World Music in the North Fork Valley. The percussionist and former host of KVNF's Global Express show, he played music from all over the world. "But I would always try to play a couple of American pieces just to show that we are all one world," he said.
Alderdice is producing "World Music in Paradise," a series of four world-class World Music concerts presented at The Paradise Theatre in Paonia. The series opens Friday, Sept. 21 with Gamelan Tunas Mekor, a 20-person Balinese orchestra, with traditional dancers accompanied by bamboo flutes and hand drums. "Balinese music and culture is just underrepresented in this valley," said Alderdice
The series is produced with support from The Learning Council, Arts for All and individual sponsors, and in cooperation with local schools.
The former artistic director of World Music for the Blue Sage Center for the Arts, Alderdice presented the idea to Paradise general manager Sunshine Knight. She is also the former assistant director for the Blue Sage. With the theater focusing its mission more on community collaborations, "Of course I jumped on the idea," said Knight.
On Sept. 22, Gamelan Tunas Mekar will host a music workshop beginning at 10 a.m., which will include an opportunity to try their instruments. Admission is $15 adults, $5 for children 18 and under, and children ages 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult. In addition, they will perform two in-theater concerts for area students.
The series grew out of Alderdice's strong desire to bring World Music and its culture to the valley. In producing concerts for the Blue Sage Center, he discovered the desire for World Music, especially in the schools, but few opportunities and little funding. He also wanted to focus on outreach for the schools and to attract teachers of non-traditional, non-Western music who could share about the cultures each performance represents. As a result, all of the performers agree to provide outreach education to local schools through workshops and performances, and to put on all-ages public workshops at the Paradise.
"There was a hole in what's available to students in the area," he said. "To me that was a big push for bringing these musicians."
In describing World Music, Alderdice said it's anything "not western music... That's a very 'western centric' view of it, because it's not ours," he said. "But really it's the term for music from around the world... It's a melting pot of all these traditions."
On Oct. 19 the international guitar duo Goran Ivonavic & Fareed Haque will perform. Considered the finest players of their respective generations, their music is inspired by the flamenco rhythm, American jazz, classical, rock, and traditional music of the Balkan region.
On Dec. 15 the series goes local with the eight-piece, North Fork Valley-based Embodying Rhythm Marimba Ensemble. They will be joined by trombone, saxophones, flute, melodica, percussion, congas, drum set and voices. The show is also a release party for a CD the ensemble recorded last spring. It features 13 songs, 11 of them original, and two traditional tunes.
The series wraps up Jan. 12 with the Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet. Alderdice describes the theatrical all-female group as "super talented." The musicians play other instruments, have gimmicks and perform comedic shticks. During their stay they will do six outreach projects in the schools. "To me they're the icing on the cake," he said.
Alderdice sees another benefit to the series. By bringing these musicians in and allowing others to learn from them helps grow the World Music scene in the valley.
For Alderdice to bring these musicians to the valley is "invaluable," said Knight. "It's so important for the community to be able to see and experience different cultures, ideas, and styles of music. Who knows what it will inspire a kid to do."
Concert tickets are $20 in advance, $25 the day of the concert, and $15 for students. Season and single concert tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets (brownpapertickets.com/event/3598327), Lizzy's Market, The Cirque Cyclery, and at the Paradise Theatre box office.