Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116
Pangaea: The URI Roots Music Series to
bring show-stopping ASZA to campus
KINGSTON, R.I.-- September 10, 2003 -- ASZA, a unique, eclectic and stunningly imaginative world music ensemble, will perform at the University of Rhode Islands Edwards Auditorium on Friday, October 3 at 8 p.m. The performance, part of Pangaea: The URI Roots Music Series, is free and open to the public. Bring the whole family! ASZA will give a workshop at South Kingston High School on the morning of the performance. Both the workshop and performance are sponsored by the URI Department of Housing and Residential Life.
No matter what musical style from Tuvan throat singing to Brazilian rhumbas, to Chinese folk melodies, to African pygmy music --ASZA weaves them together to produce a jaw dropping whirlwind tour of the music of the world. ASZA engulfs the stage with 50 to 100 strange-looking and non-western instruments including saw, zheng, naw, Chinese pipa, shakuhachi player and oud. The exciting element of ASZAs work is that it is able to integrate multiple ethnic cultural rhythms, melodies and enthusiasm into a collage that represents a homogenous whole. They are a wonder to watch and hear.
The group's leader and driving force, Randy Raine-Reusch, is a composer, international concert-artist, writer, producer and world music consultant. He has studied music with numerous teachers in more than 10 countries, from the jungles of Borneo to the temples of Korea and Japan. He has premiered works at three World Expos. A multi-instrumentalist with a collection of more than 600 world instruments, he has worked with a wide range of artists including Pauline Oliveros, Sainkho Namtchylak, Aerosmith, Yes, The Cranberries, and Cirque du Soleil.
Mei Han is a blend of performer and scholar, specializing in the Chinese zheng (zither), the parent instrument of the Asian long zither family. Recognized as one of the world's leading virtuosi and authorities on the zheng, her career spans Asia, Europe and North America. She began playing the zheng at 10 and was a featured soloist for more than 10 years with the prestigious Beijing Zhan You Ensemble. Moving to Canada in 1996, she performed at various festivals including WOMAD Festival Singapore, the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia, the Vancouver Sacred Music Festival, and the Chime Conference in Prague. She holds two master degrees in ethnomusicology.
Fana Soro is an internationally acclaimed percussionist and performer whose musical expertise includes the balafon (West African marimba), drumming and traditional West African dance. Chosen at 7 to play the balafon, solo artist at 11, and recruited into the National Ballet of the Ivory Coast at 17, he has performed and taught West African music and dance internationally from a young age. After nine years with the National Ballet, he was invited to work for the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, bringing music to schools across Scandinavia and working as artist-in-residence at The Museum of Childrens Art in Oslo. Moving to Canada, his Masabo Culture Company performs at festivals and in schools both regionally and internationally.
Laurence Mollerup is known as Vancouvers top acoustic and electric bassist. He is at home in the classical world, performing in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and numerous classical ensembles and comfortable in the jazz world, performing with various artists, including Herb Ellis and Louis Bellson; and comfortable in world music, performing with a wide range of ensembles from Latin to Asian, and African to Middle Eastern. He is the bass player at Vancouver Community College and is an excellent bass guitar maker.
Incorporating influences from jazz, blues, ragtime and bluegrass music, Steve Dawson has developed an exciting unique style of slide and Hawaiian guitar. He has toured extensively with violinist Jesse Zubot as the duo Zubot and Dawson, performing at major jazz and folk festivals across North America and Europe. Steve has won numerous awards.
Doors open at 7:30 p. m. Anyone with questions about the ensemble can go to their web-site, www.ASZA.com. Anyone with questions about the concert should contact URIs Office of Residential Education at 401-874-5162.