Wednesday, August 15

Year-long celebration of Ethnomusicology Department’s 50th anniversary continues Wednesday with concert ‘Music of Europe and the Americas’

Andrew Bain / Daily Bruin

Music of Europe and the Americas
Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Jan Popper Theater

Correction: The original headline for this article contained an error. The year-long celebration of the Ethnomusicology Department’s 50th anniversary began in May.

Wednesday night, the air in Schoenberg Hall will be filled with music: The sound of guitars will make its way through the halls, shimmering trumpet melodies will wind through seats and under benches and singing voices will waft through the air.

At 7 p.m. in the Jan Popper Theater, UCLA’s Ethnomusicology Undergraduate Student Organization will put on the first of a three-part concert series called “Sounds of the World” that celebrates the ethnomusicology department’s 50-year anniversary with music from around the world. The concert is free to all UCLA students.

Wednesday’s concert will mainly feature students from the ethnomusicology department and is entitled “Music of Europe and the Americas.” The theme of this concert complements the theme of Ethnomusicology 20A (Europe and the Americas). The next two concerts in the series will complement the subjects of 20B (Africa and Near East) and 20C (Asia).

At the concert, students will have the opportunity to see performers, including Fusionando, Randy Taylor and Friends, Mariachi de Uclatlán, and the UCLA Bluegrass and Old Time String Ensemble, also known as the Los Angeles Bluegrass Hoppers.

Marcos Ruedas, a fifth-year ethnomusicology student, is co-president of EUSO and a member of both Fusionando and Mariachi de Uclatlán. Ruedas is one of the primary organizers of the event.

“(The concert) is an opportunity for the UCLA community to see what undergraduate students are doing musically here at the (ethnomusicology) department,” he said.

One of these student groups is Fusionando, a Latin acoustic fusion ensemble. Miguel Pasillas, a fifth-year ethnomusicology student and musical director of Fusionando, started the group four years ago before bringing the music and concept of the ensemble with him to UCLA when he transferred here two years ago.

Pasillas explained the fusion of musical styles that Fusionando plays. In addition to blending elements of funk and soul, Fusionando blends traditional Mexican and Cuban styles.
According to Pasillas, Fusionando’s instrumentation also represents an example of fusion.

“We use different instruments than you’d normally see,” he said.
One of those instruments is a guitarrón, a large six-stringed acoustic bass instrument, which the group uses instead of a traditional bass. The group also uses stringed instruments, such as the violin, in addition to percussion.

Another group performing at the concert is Randy Taylor and Friends, a jazz combo formed by Randy Taylor, a fourth-year ethnomusicology student. The combo is comprised of four jazz studies students and features a vocalist, pianist, bassist and drummer. Taylor formed the combo for this concert.

“We’re going to be playing mainly jazz and blues,” Taylor said. He also said that the band will be playing some traditional hymns.
The “Sounds of the World” concert series will continue with one concert taking place each quarter for the rest of the year.

According to Ruedas, winter quarter’s concert will feature music from Africa and the Middle East, and spring quarter’s concert will highlight music from Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Pasillas said the concert is a good change of pace from the types of music normally played by student groups.

“I think most of the time, groups here at UCLA are rock or jazz ““ more contemporary or popular stuff. You can’t really see Latin or traditional styles at all. I just want to bring that out for everybody to hear,” Pasillas said.

Ruedas said that Wednesday’s concert, and the concert series in general, gives students the opportunity to be exposed to both different cultures and different sounds. He also said the concert is a great opportunity for students to see the talent and musicality of their classmates.

“They’ll see their peers on stage, performing these musical styles at a professional level,” he said.

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