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Contact: Andrew R. Chatfield, Press & Marketing Manager
Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University
283 Washington Terrace
Middletown, CT 06459-0442
v: 860.685.2806 f: 860.685.2061

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts and Music Department present
A Conversation with Hugh Masekela

Music & Public Life: The Role of the Artist as Activist
Saturday, April 20 at 11pm
Free event to be moderated by Professor Eric Charry in Crowell Concert Hall


Hugh Masekela. Photo by Brett Rubin.

Middletown, Conn.— Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts and Music Department will present a free conversation with South African trumpeter, composer, producer, and activist Hugh Masekela, led by Wesleyan Professor of Music Eric Charry, on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 11am in Crowell Concert Hall, located at 50 Wyllys Avenue on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown.

This conversation will take place the morning following a sold-out concert by Mr. Masekela (on Friday, April 19, 2013 at 8pm in Crowell Concert Hall) with Abednigo Sibongiseni “Fana” Zulu (bass guitar), Francis Manneh Fuster (percussion, backing vocals), Cameron John Ward (lead guitar, backing vocals), Randal Skippers (keyboards, backing vocals), and Lee-Roy Sauls (drums, backing vocals). Mr. Charry will also be giving a pre-concert talk on Friday at 7:15pm, followed by an opening performance by students of West African Drumming at Wesleyan, directed by Master Drummer and Adjunct Professor of Music Abraham Adzenyah.

A defining and innovative force in world music and jazz, Mr. Masekela has been called "one of the most thrilling live performers around" by Rolling Stone magazine. He performed his Grammy Award-nominated song "Grazing in the Grass" (which sold over 4 million copies in 1968) at the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, as well as at the inaugural "International Jazz Day" at the United Nations in 2012 with Stevie Wonder, Lionel Loueke, Angelique Kidjo, Richard Bona, and Jimmy Heath. Mr. Masekela's 1987 song "Bring Him Back Home" was an anthem for the "Free Nelson Mandela" movement. He also toured with Paul Simon in support of the classic album "Graceland" (1986), and appeared with U2 in Johannesburg in 2011.

Friday night's concert is a Crowell Concert Series event, co-sponsored by the Center for African American Studies; part of the 12th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend; and an anchor event of both the Performing Arts Series at the Center for the Arts, and the “Music & Public Life” Series at Wesleyan, during the 2012-2013 academic year. Please see below for more details about the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend, “Music & Public Life” and the Crowell Concert Series.

About the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend

The 12th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend opens on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 8pm in Crowell Concert Hall with a free concert by the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra, directed by Adjunct Professor of Music Jay Hoggard, and the Wesleyan Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jazz Ensemble Coach Noah Baerman, performing classic jazz compositions, including tunes by Wayne Shorter, Charles Mingus, Ted Dunbar, Kenny Barron, Duke Ellington, and Charles Lloyd.

The 12th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend concludes on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 8pm in Crowell Concert Hall with a free concert by the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra and Mixashawn's "Ghostly Trio." The Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra will perform classic jazz compositions by Thelonious Monk, Tadd Dameron & Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, Charles Mingus, and Oliver Nelson. Special guest flutist, saxophonist, percussionist, vocalist and mandolin player Mixashawn will bring his "Ghostly Trio," featuring Wesleyan Private Lessons Teacher Pheeroan Aklaff on drums and Bill Arnold on percussion. The trio will perform music spanning from pre-colonial to post-electric, including original compositions and arrangements of traditional indigenous melodies, jazz, rock, and Latin tunes.

Past artists that have been featured as a part of the annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend have included the Jay Hoggard Quartet with special guests Anthony Braxton, Marty Ehrlich, Kwaku Kwaakye Martin Obeng, and Brandee Younger; Sherrie Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the Bennie Maupin trio with Buster Williams and Billy Hart, Dr. Lonnie Smith with Jonathan Kreisberg, Cedar Walton, Tina Fabrique, the Boston Jazz Repertory Orchestra directed by Bill Lowe and Carl Atkins, the Phil Woods/Ted Rosenthal duo, and Bobby Hutcherson.

About "Music & Public Life"

Today, the private and public worlds of music often overlap and intersect in virtual networks, community musicking, and public policy. During the current academic year, Wesleyan University has been celebrating and studying the sounds, words, and spirit of music in public at the local, national, and transnational levels through concerts, workshops, gatherings, and courses, all designed to cross disciplines and engage the campus and Greater Middletown communities.

Upcoming “Music & Public Life” events this spring include the Indonesian Performing Arts & Public Life Symposium (April 25-27, 2013) including University of California Santa Cruz Professor of Theatre Arts Kathy Foley, Yale University Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology Sarah Weiss, and Wesleyan University Professor of Music Sumarsam, Artist in Residence I.M. Harjito, and Professor of Theater Ronald Jenkins; and MiddletownRemix: Hear More, See More – A Festival of Art and Sound (May 11), celebrating the city's acoustic identity and featuring live sets by DJ Arun Ranganathan and Wesleyan student DJs; the world premiere of the sound installation "Lighthouse, beside the point" by Wesleyan University Professor of Music Ronald Kuivila; the world premiere of "MTRX" (2012) by Jason Freeman of UrbanRemix performed by Wesleyan's Toneburst Laptop & Electronic Arts Ensemble, directed by Assistant Professor of Music Paula Matthusen; a recreation of David Tudor's "Rainforest IV" (1973); a commissioned flash mob dance, choreographed by Wesleyan student Kelsey Siegel '13 to a hip-hop soundtrack incorporating sounds from MiddletownRemix; a North End Gallery Walk; two commissioned art/sound installations; and food trucks (for more information about the festival, please visit www.middletownremix.org).

“Music & Public Life” is supported by grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the New England Foundation for the Arts, and is co-sponsored by the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, the American Studies Department, the Center for African American Studies, the Center for the Arts, the College of the Environment, Iguanas Ranas Restaurant, the Middletown House Concert Series, the Music Department’s George Jackson Fund, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Office of the Dean of the Arts and Humanities, the Office of the Dean of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Programs, the Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns, and the Wesleyan Writing Programs.

For more information about “Music & Public Life,” please visit www.wesleyan.edu/mpl.

About the Crowell Concert Series

The Crowell Concert Series at the Center for the Arts features a wide array of world-class musicians. Past artists that have performed as part of the Crowell Concert Series include Afro-Cuban All-Stars, Amelia Piano Trio, American Brass Quintet, AnDa Union, Anonymous 4, Ahmad Jamal, Balfa Toujours, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Bill Frisell Trio, Boston Chamber Music Society, Bulgarian Bebop, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Charles Lloyd Quartet, Cherish the Ladies, Claude Frank, Crooked Still, David Krakauer & Klezmer Madness, Dither Electric Guitar Quartet, Don Byron: "Jungle Music for Postmoderns," Donald Berman: "Celebrating Chopin’s 200th Birthday," Dünya, Eddie Palmieri, eighth blackbird, Eileen Ivers, Entrequatre, Ernest Dawkins, Eugenia Leon, Fernando Otero Quartet, FleytMuzik, FLUX Quartet, Henry Threadgill, Joshua Roman, Kronos Quartet, Le Vent du Nord, Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Lionel Loueke Trio, Lionheart, Margaret Leng Tan, Maya Beiser & Anthony de Mare, Midori, Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, "Music at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello," Near Eastern Music Ensemble, Omar Sosa, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Otis Taylor, Parthenia, Paul Brady, Pedro Carboné, Peter Serkin, Randy Weston, Regina Carter Quintet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, San Jose Taiko, sfSoundGroup, Shanghai Quartet, Stanley Cowell Quartet, The American Piano, The Assad Brothers, The Baltimore Consort, The Hilliard Ensemble, The Mystical Arts of Tibet: Drepung Loseling Monastery, Thomas Mapfumo/Blacks Unlimited, Tiempo Libre, Tokyo String Quartet, Toumani Diabate, Trio Globo, Turtle Island String Quartet with Stefon Harris, Voices of Afghanistan, and Zakir Hussain & L. Shankar.

About the Music Department

The Wesleyan University Music Department provides a unique and pioneering environment for advanced exploration committed to the study, performance, and composition of music from a perspective that recognizes and engages the breadth and diversity of the world's musics and technologies. As an integral part of one of the nation's leading liberal arts institutions, the department has enjoyed an international reputation for innovation and excellence, attracting students from around the globe since the inception of its visionary program in World Music four decades ago.

Recent annual music festivals in partnership with the Center for the Arts have brought to campus a diverse array of artists, including Max Roach, Pete Seeger, Boukman Eksperyans (Haiti), and Boogsie Sharpe (Trinidad).

A recording studio, a computer and experimental music studio, the Center for the Arts media lab and digital video facility, the World Instrument Collection (which includes the David Tudor Collection of electronic musical instruments and instrumentation) and the Scores and Recordings Collection of Olin Library (which includes the World Music Archives) offer many learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

For more information about the Music Department, please visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/music/.

About the Center for the Arts

Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts is an eleven-building complex on the Wesleyan campus that houses the departments of Art and Art History, Dance, Film Studies, Music, and Theater. Opened in 1973, the CFA serves as a cultural center for the region, the state and New England. The Center includes the 400-seat Theater, the 260-seat Hall, the World Music Hall (a non-Western performance space), the 414-seat Crowell Concert Hall and the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.

Crowell Concert Hall and the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. The Center for the Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of its many generous funders and collaborators, including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of the Arts, as well as media sponsors the Hartford and New Haven Advocates, ShorePublishing, WESU 88.1FM, and WNPR.

For more information about Center for the Arts, please call (860) 685-3355, or visit http://www.wesleyan.edu/cfa.

Box Office Phone:   (860) 685-3355                                       Address:             Wesleyan University

Box Office Fax:       (860) 685-3935                                                                  45 Wyllys Ave.

E-mail:                     boxoffice@wesleyan.edu                                                   Middletown, CT 06459-0001

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