Arida Arts Symposium
Arida Arts Symposium 2017
Celebrating 25 Years
A Celebration of World Music
featuring Free Planet Radio
Friday, October 27, 2017
Free Planet Radio is the shared vision of three multi-instrumentalists exploring the infinite and seamless relationships between musical cultures through the universal language of sound.
10 to 11:30 a.m., Thomas Auditorium
This free workshop is for student musicians and non-musicians alike. Come experience music and instruments from around the world, including our own American tradition of jazz. Join superlative performers and teachers Chris Rosser, River Guerguerian, and Eliot Wadopian for an accessible, articulate and enthusiastic workshop.
5:30 to 6:45 p.m., Thomas Auditorium Gallery (an opportunity to meet Chris, River, and Eliot)
7 to 8:30 p.m., Thomas Auditorium
The first thing you read on Free Planet Radio’s web site is their mission statement which boldly says; "The shared vision of three multi-instrumentalists exploring the infinite and seamless relationships between musical cultures through the universal language of sound.” This Asheville-based ensemble spans almost 17 years as a professional touring group and have performed all over the United States. In 2016, they completed a month-long tour in the Peoples Republic of China.
An evening with Free Planet Radio at the Arida Arts Symposium will offer a richly unique aural experience which will include the exotic sliding string sounds of the Indian Dotar dancing around a pulsing Jazz Bass accented by the shimmering jingles of an Egyptian Riq Tambourine. Free Planet Radio weaves Middle Eastern, Indian, American Jazz, and North African melodic and rhythmic structures and blends them expertly with the subtleties and harmonic vocabulary of Western classical music, underscored with the improvisatory element of Jazz.
During the evening event, the ensemble will perform selections from their newest recording “Global Symphony Project” as well as some new music the group is exploring. Free Planet Radio will also include a brief explanation during the show of the rhythms, the instruments, and the inspiration for the compositions. It will be a vibrant evening of new music and sounds that will provide something for everyone!
All events are funded by the Gamil T. Arida Endowment Fund through Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation and are free to the public.
Reservations are encouraged online or by calling (828) 694-1710.
Since 2001, Free Planet Radio has been bringing its exciting and innovative world-jazz-classical music blend to both concert stages and classrooms. Based in Asheville, NC, this musical partnership began with a clear mission statement as “the shared vision of three multi-instrumentalists exploring the infinite and seamless relationships between musical cultures through the universal language of sound.”
Free Planet Radio performances expertly weave the improvisatory element of jazz, and the subtleties and harmonic vocabulary of Western classical music, with Middle Eastern, Indian and North African melodic and rhythmic structures. Performing mostly original compositions, even while playing extremely complex melodies and time signatures, the trio always maintains a sense of accessibility, spontaneity and easy engagement with the audience. They have performed with jazz singer Lizz Wright, poet Robert Bly, Turkish instrumentalist Omar Faruk Tekbilek, bluegrass violinist Casey Driessen, flute virtuoso Rhonda Larson, Armenian singer Mariam Matossian, and Persian violinist Farzad Farhangi. In 2014, Free Planet Radio was awarded a prestigious grant from Chamber Music America for the commissioning and performances of a new set of works with the Opal String Quartet. In 2016, the trio travelled to the People's Republic of China for a 20 city tour of their finest concert halls.
Free Planet Radio consists of two-time Grammy winner Eliot Wadopian leaping effortlessly between rhythm and melody on electric and string basses; River Guerguerian on an extensive array of global percussion instruments including Middle Eastern frame drums and doumbek, the Indian kanjira, African djembe, and Western drum set; and Chris Rosser exploring melody on the 17-stringed Indian dotar, Turkish cumbus oud, guitar, piano and melodica.
To learn more, visit Free Planet Radio's website.
About the Arida Arts Symposium
The Arida Arts Symposium was established in 1993 to honor North Carolina artists and their contributions to the arts. This annual event is funded by the Gamil T. Arida Endowment Fund in the BRCC Educational Foundation.
Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation
180 West Campus Dr.
Flat Rock, NC 28731
Fax: (828) 694-1690
About the Dr. Gamil T. Arida
A scholar, physician, and benefactor, Dr. Arida established this endowment in 1990. The income is used to support the Arida Arts Symposium and may be used to provide scholarships to local or international students, for faculty positions, and for other priority needs of Blue Ridge Community College.