Intercultural Journeys: Songs for Peace
Alex Shaw, with special guests FACTS Charter School
This concert is performed with generous support from Stacy Maria Dutton
Specializing in the rich musical heritage of Afro-Brazilian culture, percussionist and vocalist Alex Shaw will be debuting new work featuring original material and his contemporary interpretation of traditional rhythms and songs of northeastern Brazil. Director of renowned Brazilian ensemble Alô Brasil, and long-time section leader in Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra, he has been performing and cultivating the region's Brazilian music scene for many years. In recognition of Black Consciousness Day in Brazil, this program will pay special homage to the musical tradition of Capoeira Angola, an ancient Afro-Brazilian martial art with an enduring legacy of social justice and cultural resistance. Live visuals of vintage capoeira footage and other Afro-Brazilian cultural images will also be interwoven throughout the program to include another dimension of context and artistry.
The ensemble will feature renowned musicians from this region and beyond, including: Alex Shaw - vocals, percussion; Patricio Acevedo - guitar, cavaquinho; Luke O'Reilly - keys; Mike Boone - bass; Jeremiah Shaw - cello; Tim Thompson - trumpet; Ernest Stuart - trombone; Zé Mauricio - percussion; Fernando Saci - percussion; Rucyl - audiovisual artist.
A small ensemble of students from Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures (FACTS) Charter School in the Chinatown neighborhood of Philadelphia, will join this performance as a culmination of an eight-week Dialogues in Music arts residency in Capoeira Angola with Alex Shaw. Special guest Dr. Ken Dossar will also provide some opening remarks about the tradition and legacy of Capoeira Angola.
Alex Shaw is a percussionist, vocalist, composer, and arts educator specializing in Brazilian music traditions. He holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College (2000) and is a member of Philadelphia's award-winning Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra and Director of the renowned Brazilian ensemble, Alô Brasil. A freelance arts educator since 2001, Alex regularly teaches, lectures, and performs throughout the tri-state region and also works at several universities as a dance accompanist. In 2010, he joined the music faculty at the University of the Arts. Alex has been awarded several competitive artist grants to support his music research and study in Brazil, including Arts International’s Artist Exploration Fund (2004) and the Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts (2007). In 2012 he was honored with an Emerging Legacy Award at the UPenn MLK Commemorative Symposium for Social Justice. Alex currently serves as a board member for LiveConnections and is a lead facilitator for their music education programming.
Listen to a pre-concert podcast on the Intercultural Journeys website.
Hear Alex discuss the urbanization of Samba on WXPN's World Cafe, and watch him perform his original composition “Dia de Praia” below, blurring the lines between musical and cultural aesthetics: