By Dominique Wald
Who says enrichment can’t be fun?
Here are the top five reasons to go to the Humanitas Festival.
Hailing from Kiev, DakhaBrakha is a world music quartet whose name means “give/take” in the old Ukrainian language. The soul of their sound comes from a mix of Indian, Arabic, Africa, Russian and Australian instrumentation. That’s a world of unexpected new music. Why go? When else will you see and hear live Ukrainian folk music? That alone gives you one impressive conversation starter at your next cocktail party. DakhaBrakha will be performing at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Compton Union Building Ballroom at WSU. Admission is free.
American singer-songwriter Martin Sexton has performed at Bonaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tenn., and also opened for the Dave Matthews Band. His critically acclaimed songs have a vibe that blends R&B, soul and blues and his live performances have received praise from some big-hitters in the music scene like John Mayer and Dave Matthews. Why go? See this musician before his career explodes into major success. Besides, for $25 a ticket, you’ll be kicking your own butt in five years when he’s twice as big and tickets are twice as expensive. He’s taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Jones Theatre at Daggy Hall on the WSU campus. Tickets for Sexton’s performance can be purchased online at www.performingarts.wsu.edu/humanitas.
Tales from the Forgotten Kingdom
Embark on a musical trek with the Guy Mendilow Ensemble as they perform “Tales from the Forgotten Kingdom” at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday at Jones Theatre at Daggy Hall. Go, and you’ll be the most musically cultured person in your group of friends, hands down. The Guy Mendilow Ensemble is an award-winning quintet of world-class musicians hailing from Israel, Palestine, Argentina and the U.S. They have toured and recorded with Yo Yo Ma, Christian McBride and Bobby McFerrin. The members are also on the faculty of some of the world’s leading music schools like Boston’s Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory of Music, and the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in India. Why should you go? It’ll blow your mind for free, and it’s a better study break than Netflix.
When you add a little color and light to geometry, you get “Pentalum: A luminarium by Architects of Air.” As someone who has walked through the lumanarium, I can say this dome of colors and shapes is something you have to see to believe. The luminarium is where Islamic architecture, Archimedean solids and Gothic cathedrals meld, making it a breathtaking maze you’ll want to get lost in. The luminarium will be up noon-6 p.m. next Thursday-Sept. 25 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 26-27. Admission is $5, and presale tickets can be purchased online at www.performingarts.wsu.edu/humanitas. Take your friends and definitely take a picture.
Kenny Endo, one of the leading performers in contemporary percussion and rhythm, marks his 40th year of touring with a stop in Pullman. Endo paves new paths for Japanese-style drumming, incorporating funk, jazz, Afro-Cuban and Hawaiian while still firmly rooted in tradition. In 2005, Endo was a featured artist on the PBS special “Spirit of Taiko.” Endo has also been featured in several film soundtracks, including “Picture Bride” and “Apocalypse Now.” Why go? You can immerse yourself in a culture and tradition you normally wouldn’t experience but that is still approachably contemporary. Endo’s ensemble plays at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25, at Jones Theatre in Daggy Hall at WSU. Admission is free.
A full list of Humanitas Festival events can be found online at www.performingarts.wsu.edu/humanitas.