Thursday 28, 2011
            MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University's 2011-12 International Performing Arts Series lineup includes six world music performance groups representing the following cultures: Finnish, Brazilian, Yiddish, Anishinaabeg and American.

Michigan’s Eisenhower Dance Ensemble opens the series on Thursday, Sept. 15, in Forest Roberts Theatre.  This marks the ensemble's 20th season. The EDE has toured nationwide and entertained audiences in St. Petersburg, Russia. Renowned as one of the best contemporary dance troupes in the United States, the EDE performs pieces choreographed by famous,well-established choreographers and up-and-coming talents. 

Finnish fiddlers Frigg make their way to the Upper Peninsula, home of many Finnish descendants, for a concert on Saturday, Oct. 1, in Kaufman Auditorium. The performance is sponsored by Finn Grand Fest Foundation.  A recent appearance on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion sparked great interest in this Scandinavian group.  Members originating from all over Finland, along with two brothers from Norway, create a modern version of Finnish folk music on different types of fiddles. The group’s slogan, “Hot fiddles from cool Scandinavia,” could not be a more accurate description. 

Canadian Anishinaabeg blues group Digging Roots will cross the border to perform on Friday, Nov. 11, in Ishpeming’s Peterson Auditorium.  The band’s sound is described as “almost undefinable …  somewhere blurred between the lines of roots, rock, hip hop and blues.”  Digging Roots’ 2009 album WE ARE won an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award for best blues album and a Native American Music Award for best pop album. Featuring tube-electrified acoustic guitar, lap steel guitar and male-female harmonies, Roots’ performance will showcase the versatility and range this group offers. 

Wisconsin-based group Yid Vicious will start off the winter semester with its Friday, Feb. 3, performance in the Great Lakes Rooms of the NMU University Center.  Featuring an array of instruments ranging from fiddles and accordions to French horns and tubas, Yid Vicious mixes traditional klezmer music, which has come to characterize the style of secular Jewish music played for joyful celebrations, with contemporary influences. The group has performed at KlezFiesta in Argentina and KlezKamp in New York. It has also toured Japan, promoting the importance of keeping traditional klezmer music and dance alive.

Grammy-winning vocalist Luciana Souza, along with guests Romero Lubambo and Cyro Baptista, will come to Marquette from Sao Paolo, Brazil, on Thursday, March 22.  Souza, typically classified as a jazz singer, effortlessly blends styles and genres to mesh with her unique voice.  She has worked with numerous recording artists, musicians and orchestras.  Entertainment Weekly stated, “Her voice traces a landscape of emotions that knows no boundaries.”  In 2005, the Jazz Journalists Association named her female jazz vocalist of the year and, until 2010, she was jazz artist in residence for the prestigious San Francisco Performances. 

Closing out the NMU International Performing Arts Series is San Francisco-based Rupa and the April Fishes.  Lead singer and founding member Rupa sings in French, Spanish and English. The April Fishes' music combines Latin, jazz and pop to create a wholly unique sound. Trumpet, upright bass, cello and accordion give the group the sound akin to a gypsy orchestra. The concert is scheduled on Thursday, April 12, in the University Center Great Lakes Rooms. The event is co-sponsored by First Aid Productions.

Season tickets are available at all NMU EZ Ticket outlets. They can also be purchased online at www.nmu.edu/tickets or by calling 227-1032. Season ticket prices are as follows: NMU students, $27; children 18 and under, $32; NMU faculty/staff and seniors 60+, $77; general public, $102. Individual tickets will be available beginning Aug. 15 and prices vary. Tickets for concerts at Kaufman Auditorium include a $1 Kaufman Renovation Fee. For more information, visit www.nmu.edu/performingarts.

Kristi Evans
News Director