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09/12/2005
Japanese and Nigerian Musical Performances Featured at Hudson Valley Community College This Month

CONTACT: Jason McCord (518) 629-8071 or (518) 629-7180
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Monday, September 12, 2005

The diverse musical styles of Japan and Nigeria will be explored this month as part of Hudson Valley Community College's free Cultural Affairs program.

Ensemble East will share the music and history of Japan through their traditional Japanese chamber music ensemble performance at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 20 in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium.

The trio will play modern and traditional Japanese music and share stories and poetry from Japan. Ensemble East is led by James Nyoraku Schlefer, one of the few non-Japanese musicians certified as a grand master of the shakuhachi, a bamboo flute dating back more than 1,200 years. Masayo Ishigure and Mutsumi Takamizu complete the trio, playing the 13-string koto and 3-string shamisen, respectively.

Ensemble East has performed at Lincoln Center and The Kennedy Center as well as the Metropolitan, Philadelphia and Brooklyn art museums.

And at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 27 in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium, Frank Giorgini and Brian Melick will give an interactive performance highlighting the Nigerian udu drum.

Titled "The Art of the Udu Drum," the event will feature a performance by Melick, an accomplished musician twice voted Best Percussionist by Metroland. Melick also will create a drumming circle, giving audience members an opportunity to play.

Giorgini, an artist, teacher and designer, will share stories of how he helped bring the Nigerian tradition of the udu drum to the western world and the instrument's impact on contemporary music. Giorgini, who has a drum on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, also will discuss the technique of making the clay drums.

For more information about other Cultural Affairs programs on campus, visit www.hvcc.edu/culture.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 60 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and workforce and academic preparation programs offered through the Educational Opportunity Center. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has more than 60,000 alumni.