The North Dakota Museum of Art is one of three organizations in the country selected to host this year's Caravanserai, a tour of global music featuring contemporary Muslim-American musicians from across the U.S. The upcoming tour of Caravanserai: American Voices will kick off in Grand Forks with husband/wife hip hop duo The Reminders, featuring DJ Man-o-Wax, and MaMa2. The musicians will perform a week of workshops in schools, community centers, and the University, followed by a public performance on April 9, 7 pm, at HB Sound and Light (101 N 8th St, Grand Forks). The evening starts with a set by DJ Man-o-Wax before being joined by The Reminders and MaMa2. Tickets are available by calling the Museum at 701-777-4195 or at the door the night of the performance. Tickets: Adults - $10, Students - $5. For more information visit www.ndmoa.com/2015--2016-caravanserai-american-voices.
Grand Forks Residency Schedule
Monday, April 4 - Discovery Elementary (to be confirmed)
Tuesday, April 5 - Base Day, Grand Forks Air Force Base (to be confirmed)
Wednesday, April 6 - Red River High School - 10:45 am and 1 pm workshops
Thursday, April 7 - UND Cultural Night, The Loading Dock, 6:30 pm
Friday, April 8 Free Day to Explore Grand Forks
Saturday, April 9 - Public Performance - HB Sound and Light, 7 pm
Caravanserai is an innovative cultural exchange program produced by Arts Midwest of Minneapolis on behalf of its fellow U.S. Regional Arts Organizations. The program was launched in 2011 with a $1 million grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art's Building Bridges Program to Arts Midwest. In 2012, the Foundation renewed their support, with another $1 million investment. An additional commitment of over $250,000 will support the project through 2016. Building on its success with previous tours with Pakistani, Moroccan, Turkish and Malaysian artists, Caravanserai's 2015- 2016 season celebrates the diversity of the Muslim-American cultural experience by sharing dynamic, contemporary Muslim-American performers curated by Caravanserai: American Voices Artistic Director Asad Ali Jafri.
Although Caravanserai is supported by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts, the Museum is responsible for local costs such as hotels, technical equipment, sound technicians, etc. The North Dakota Council on the Arts and the J.R. Simplot Company have helped to off-set some of these costs with one-time grants. According to Matthew Wallace, Deputy Director of the North Dakota Museum of Art, "This is a special opportunity for the Museum, but also for students and community members throughout the region. With the help from the North Dakota Council on the Arts and local businesses such as Simplot, we have been able to keep ticket prices low so that as many people as possible can attend."
Caravanserai: American Voices is based in the concept of the historical caravanserai-a place where travelers exchanged stories, music, and culture after a long day's journey across the desert. Through immersive, community-based artist residencies, this modern-day caravanserai offers a new space to promote cross-cultural conversation and learning. Residency activities include educational workshops, performances, and community outreach activities such as public performances.
About the Musicians
The Reminders are a hip hop duo that comprises Belgium-born emcee Big Samir and Queens, NY native emcee/ vocalist Aja Black. The two spent most of their young lives on US military bases around the world, but ended up calling Colorado home. Their positive rhymes and powerful vocals mesh with reggae-tinged beats to carve a unique space in the American and global hip-hop scenes. The Reminders have shared the stage with artists such as Snoop Dogg, Fishbone, Barrington Levy, Nas, Mos Def, Big Boi, KRS-One, Rakim, and K'Naan.
MaMa2 is a hip hop and breakin' dance duo made up of Amirah Sackett and Mary Mar. Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Chicago-based dancer/choreographer Amirah Sackett graduated with a BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota and has studied at Tisch School of the Arts in NYC. Amirah's choreography was featured in Brother Ali's music video "Mourning in America" and won the Sage Cowles award for "Best Ensemble Performance." Amirah's love of hip-hop dance and devotion to her faith fused to inspire a contemporary dance collective called We're Muslim, Don't Panic, which is dedicated to elevating the status of women and educating the public on women's issues. Mary Mar joins Amirah Sackett to form MaMa2 for the Caravanserai: American Voices tour. Mary has been breakin' since 2001 and has actively studied, taught, and performed hip-hop dance all over the United States. She has been honored to learn from breakin' dance pioneers such as B-Boy Crazy Legs from the legendary Rock Steady Crew, BBoy Dyzee, BGirl Shie Chan, BBoy Born, Incredible Josh and many other breakin' masters. Mary Mar has been a member of Hardcore Detroit dance crew since 2002 and was recently inducted into the Venus Fly dance crew as well as the We're Muslim, Don't Panic collective.
Asad Ali Jafri is the Artistic Director for Caravanserai's 2015-2016 season. Asad runs an independent cultural consultancy called Sukoon Creative, building on extensive experience presenting Muslim artists as Director of Arts and Cultural Programs for the Inner-city Muslim Action Network in Chicago and a festival organizer for the World Islamic Economic Forum in Malaysia. He also performs internationally as DJ Man-O-Wax, spinning soulful, spiritual, and funky music from around the world. As a founding member and director of FEW Collective, Asad directs and tours with a rotating group of performing artists and musicians using art to engage, educate, and inspire. One of Asad's signature productions as an artist is "Turntable Dhikr," a spiritual meditation on the Divine through turntablism. Asad has performed as an artist across five continents and ten countries and is a proud member of the Universal Zulu Nation.
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