20th Lotus World Music and Arts Festival will begin with concert at IU Bloomington

Thursday, September 5, 2013

For two decades, Indiana University Bloomington has been an active supporter of the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival. This year, IU will help kick off the five-day event with a concert Sept. 26.

IU and the new School of Global and International Studies are teaming up with Lotus to present a free world music party featuring Chicago-based Funkadesi, Montreal's Nomadic Massive and Bloomington's own Pan-Basso.

The Lotus Campus Kickoff concert will begin at 8 p.m. in Alumni Hall, in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St. Paid campus parking is available in the nearby Sixth Street garage and at two surface lots adjacent to the IMU and nearby city streets.

Wristbands will serve as tickets to the event and will be provided to the first 800 people in attendance.

"IU is a global campus," IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel said. "Lotus brings world music to Bloomington. We are wonderfully aligned in our passion for global interconnectivity and cultural exchange. The Lotus Campus Kickoff celebrates the many ways in which Bloomington is a truly global community.

"We are delighted that our free concert in Alumni Hall will bring the incredible Lotus atmosphere to campus. It will also be an opportunity to showcase our vast array of academic opportunities for students to engage with the world," Robel added.

IU's Mathers Museum of World Cultures was the very first Lotus venue. On a cool October afternoon in 1994, the festival began on the museum's front porch, with a set of folk music by Andrew Lazaro, a Puerto Rican doctoral student at the IU Jacobs School of Music. Afterward, there was a small parade to the new Waldron Arts Center downtown, symbolically linking campus and community, IU and Lotus.

The School of Global and International Studies' collaboration with Lotus underscores IU faculty and students' great depth and breadth of interest in world cultures.

This year, sarod master Amjad Ali Khan will be the first SGIS Artist in Residence, offering a weeklong class on Indian classical music and culture at the Madhusudan and Kiran C. Dhar India Studies Program.

The class will culminate in a public demonstration at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, in Auer Hall, to which all are welcome. Khan's son Ayaan Ali Khan will join him to introduce the audience to time-honored traditional methods of sarod artistry.

"This year continues a tradition of area studies units helping to bring in Lotus artists from their respective regions," said Maria Bucur-Deckard, associate dean for international programs in the College of Arts and Sciences. "We are delighted to bring Lotus on campus through this and other events and provide unprecedented access to these remarkable cultural ambassadors."

More about the performers at the Lotus IU Campus Kickoff concert:

Funkadesi has been firing up Lotus crowds since 2001, and this year marks the band's seventh Lotus appearance. Chicago's multiethnic musical scene shapes the band's sound, which dips into reggae, Afro-Caribbean, Indian music (including Bhangra, Bollywood, and folk) and funk.

Nomadic Massive makes its Lotus debut, bringing multilingual, multicultural hip-hop to Alumni Hall on the IU campus. This collective of independent artists describes itself as a band of "musical nomads"; they rap in English, French, Creole, Spanish, and Arabic.

IU alumni form Pan-Basso, a quartet consisting of steelpans, percussion and electric bass, playing the Caribbean sounds of traditional calypso, jazz, and popular soca from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago.