Concert of Music from Around the World

May 4, 2007

We had a girl’s night out this evening. My mother-in-law, the girls and I went to dinner and then to a free concert at a local college. I really enjoy a variety of music types, so this was a lot of fun. There were three groups that performed: Paulownia, a Japanese Koto group; Son de la tierra, a Latin folk music group; and Agbekor, a Ghanaian percussion music group. I took some pictures, but we were sitting back a ways in the auditorium and as soon as I got ready to take the first picture, they dimmed the lights…go figure!

This is a picture of the Koto group, consisting of 3 women. The Koto is a stringed instrument made from the wood of the Paulownia tree. Originally the strings were made from silk, but now they are made from nylon. The instrument has a very sweet, fairly quiet sound. Although a stringed instrument, it really does not sound like any Western stringed instruments.

After the concert, they invited the audience to come on stage and look at the instruments. My girls took a couple pictures of the Koto. Erin took the first picture, which I thought was a great one because you can see the beautiful grain of the wood in it.

Sarah took this second picture of the instrument and one of the women from the group. This woman also happens to be the wife of one of the members of a band that my father-in-law plays bass in.

This is the Latin group. The man with the flute was the director of the concert. He also played with the Ghanaian percussion group.

Finally, the Ghanaian percussion group.

This group consists of students from the local college, except for the director, who is a professor of music at the school. The man standing at the end, on the left, is a master drummer from Ghana. Erin seemed quite taken by him so she took a close up of him after the concert.

After each of the groups performed individually, all 3 performed together in a very upbeat, interesting “World Beat” ensemble.

As I said, this was a fun event. It is not something we typically do, so the kids enjoyed themselves, even though it was quite late for them. I think they also learned a few things. In addition to each piece of music being explained, the groups each told a little about the history of their music. We hope to go to more of these types of things in the future. Free events are always good!


  1. This looks like an interesting field trip! I can imagine you all had fun, as it is always fun to hear music….be it “familiar” or not! The koto looks like a very beautiful instrument, and why not, as the Japanese are famous for their sense of beauty in art! What a great way to end a beautiful day. So glad you got a chance to go!

  2. That sounds very cool!! I’d like to invite you to check out Pharaoh’s Daughter at http://www.pharaohsdaughter.com, based here in NYC. I like to call it taking a Psychedelic World Beat Journey from the Shtetl to the Middle East. Enjoy! We have a CD release party on May 14th, so if you know anyone round these parts, and enjoy the music, please help spread the word!


    Alex on behalf of Pharaohs Daughter
    New York, NY

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