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Jazz adds a kiwi kick

Jazz meets Maori in a musical dialogue between the African-American and traditional New Zealand cultures in a concert titled "Korero: Conflu-ence of Two Cultures" on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 8pm in Killian Hall.

Using both Maori and European instruments, the Pacific Jazz Arts Ensemble (PJAE), featuring Maori musician Bernard Makoare and led by African-American bassist and composer Harold Anderson, will perform a set of jazz compositions inspired by traditional Maori chants and music depicting myth and legend. "Korero" translates to "conversation" in the Maori language.

"This will be an exciting blending of Maori, African-American and jazz cultures--three related and, to some degree, overlapping musical languages," said trumpeter and MIT music lecturer Mark Harvey, who will perform with the ensemble on Wednesday. "All are dialects of the heart," he said, calling the confluence "a perfect illustration and expression of how music can embody the local and the universal."

Bernard Makoare recently performed at the opening of Te Papa, the new National Museum of New Zealand in Wellington. He has published several tracts on Maori music including a glossary titled Nga Taonga Puoro: Maori Voices.

Harold Anderson, a New Zealand resident for 14 years, has performed with many international artists including Bernice Johnson Reagon on the soundtrack for "Africans in America" (airing on PBS this fall).

Other artists in the ensemble include New Zealand trumpeter Kingsley Melhuish, Boston-area musicians Stan Strickland (flute/saxophone) and Bill Lowe (trombone), New York pianist/trombonist Richard Harper, and percussionist Royal Hartigan from San Jose State College.

This program is produced by MIT and One World Living Art (headquartered in Auckland) and is sponsored by Creative New Zealand, the New Zealand national arts body. For more information, call x3-2826.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 7, 1998.

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