The Sembrich's World Music Wednesdays kick off at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 16th, with a program of traditional music from China presented by the EastRiver Ensemble. The performance is preceded by a workshop for children at 11 a.m. Tickets for the concert are $10. The workshop is free.
The EastRiver Ensemble is a collective of top-notched musicians from north China, based out of New York City's Chinatown, uniquely led by the yangqin, a Chinese version of the hammered dulcimer.
"The group started as a loose gravitation of musicians," says Julie Tay, founder of the EastRiver Ensemble. "We had to answer to the call of the community in New York, especially around the time of the Chinese New Year, but throughout the year as well, for people who want traditional Chinese music as a part of a social occasion."
Repertoire for the Wednesday afternoon concert includes Chinese folk songs from the 50's, 60's and 70's, including some from Mao's cultural revolution era (1966-1975), impromptu "recall" of traditional music from oral traditions going as far back as the Tang dynasty, as well as the EastRiver's own eclectic renderings of "anything that comes to mind."
"Nature plays an integral role in much of the music that EastRiver performs," says Sembrich artistic director Richard Wargo. "We're pleased to welcome these fine musicians to Bolton to perform against the backdrop of our own beautiful lake."
"When we began performing more formal concerts, such as the one at The Sembrich, we realized that we needed to be introduced with a name," observes Tay. "We chose EastRiver Ensemble, because we represent the East, but it's a name that's also very local, since we do have an East River right where we live in New York City."
While World Music Wednesdays, sponsored by Adirondack Brewery, represents a departure from this season's World War I-themed programming at The Sembrich, each of the events in the series alludes back to the "Summer of Destiny" theme.
"This performance of traditional music by the EastRiver Ensemble is a way for us to pay homage to the momentous night of July 31st, 1914," notes Wargo. "An elaborate Chinese-themed costume ball, complete with fireworks and a fire-breathing dragon, had been planned in celebration of Ignacy Paderewski's name-day party. But the occasion was interrupted by the outset of war."
This event is made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program, administered locally by the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council.
World Music Wednesdays continue this summer with Zlatne Uste: Balkan Brass Band on Wednesday, August 6, at 1:30 p.m. and Jerry O'Sullivan and Friends on Wednesday, August 27, at 1:30 p.m.
The Sembrich Museum, located at 4800 Lakeshore Drive in Bolton Landing, New York, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.thesembrich.org or call (518) 644-2431.