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Myriad music events to choose from this month

A kora player from Mali, a contemporary music ensemble from Paris, a Boston-based jazz orchestra and MIT vocalists are among the musicians taking to the stage in the next two music-filled weeks. For more information on the following events, call x3-2826.


On Saturday, April 17 at 8pm in Wong Auditorium, MIT's East African performance group, MITCAN, presents a free program of "heart-pounding rhythms, melodious tunes and stories" from both eastern and western sub-Saharan African traditions. MITCAN will be joined by celebrated musician and griot (storyteller) Alamako Balla Tounkara, originally from Mali, who sings and accompanies himself on the 21-string harp known as a kora and will offer music and stories of Mali's Mandinka people. The MITCAN performance, under the direction of Professor James Makubuya, will also include three Ugandan dances.


Created in 1976 by Michel Guy, France's Minister of Culture, Ensemble Intercontemporain fulfilled the vision of composer Pierre Boulez of an ensemble devoted entirely to music of the 20th century. Under the direction of David Robertson, 16 members of this internationally acclaimed group will present a free concert in Kresge Auditorium on Friday, April 23 at 8pm as part of a mini-residency at MIT.

The program will feature Karlheinz Stockhausen's Kreuzspiel; Igor Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale Suite; Iannis Xenakis' Thallein and Gyorgy Ligeti's Piano Concerto with soloist Florent Boffard. While they're here, the Paris-based Ensemble will also coach students in the MIT Chamber Music Society and present a reading of MIT student compositions.


A band of MIT "all-stars" headlined by the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra led by Mark Harvey, lecturer in music, will present An Ellington Centennial Salute on Saturday, April 24 at 8pm in Kresge Auditorium. Joining Aardvark will be the All Saints Choir of Men and Boys from Ashmont, the MIT Chamber Chorus, and vocal soloists Donna Hewitt-Didham, Pamela Wood (senior lecturer in music) and Jerry Edwards. Ayida Mthembu (associate dean for counseling and support services) will serve as narrator and Thomas DeFrantz (assistant professor in theater arts) will tap dance.

The free concert, presented five days before what would have been Edward "Duke" Ellington's 100th birthday, will offer a spectrum of his works spanning five decades, from familiar standards and portions of extended suites to selections from the "Sacred Concerts." Dr. Harvey's own tribute, For Edward, will also be performed. The concert will be taped by WGBH-FM for broadcast on Thursday, April 29, Ellington's actual birthday.

A version of this article appeared in the April 14, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 26).

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