Yamma Ensemble draws from the roots of ancient Israeli poetry to present joyous, vibrant and passionate music that blends the traditional sounds of the Middle East and the contemporary rhythms of the west.
To listen to Yamma Ensemble is to stroll the markets of Old Jaffa, to sip coffee in a café above the Mediterranean. Like the United States, Israel is the product of an immigrant society and its music derives from the Jewish communities that were scattered all over the world as well from the first European immigrants. These influences combine to create a fascinating mix between east and west.
Yamma Ensemble is a five member band formed in 2004 by musicians who represent some of the many different cultural and ethnic backgrounds that call Israel home. The variety of languages, cultures, and musical styles they perform in concert makes for a truly unique, entertaining, and educational world music experience.
The performance caps off a week-long residency that Yamma Ensemble will hold at LCCC and throughout the Greater Cleveland area from Sunday, October 16 through Saturday, October 22, 2011. During their week, the members of the Yamma Ensemble will conduct workshops with students, school groups, as well as at area temples and senior centers.
Everyone is invited to meet the ensemble at an opening reception for the residency week on Sunday, October 16 from 5-7 p.m. in the Beth K. Stocker Art Gallery, which will also be celebrating the close of the Artists and Teachers art exhibition.
“It’s rare for small and mid-size Midwestern communities to host ensembles from Israel,” said Janet Herman Barlow, Director of Stocker Arts Center. “The music and culture Yamma Ensemble shares will be absolutely fascinating and different from what we typically hear. The ensemble will be at LCCC for a full week and we expect this residency will be an engaging cultural and musical learning experience for the community.”
According to Barlow, LCCC does not regularly have the resources to host week-long residencies by international ensembles like Yamma Ensemble. Arts Midwest, a regional arts organization based in Minneapolis, offsets much of the cost and handles the coordination of Arts Midwest World Fest tours in order to offer smaller communities throughout the Midwest this rich international arts experience. Its purpose is to foster global understanding and appreciation through cultural experiences. LCCC was selected as one of only nine Midwestern cities to host the 2011-2013 Arts Midwest World Fest and is the only partner community in Ohio to be a part of the program for this cycle.
Yamma Ensemble is the first of four ensembles to visit LCCC over the course of this two-year partnership with Arts Midwest. The other ensembles coming to Stocker Arts Center include: Tarim, Uygur Song and Dance of Western China (March, 2012), Wust el Balad from Egypt (Fall 2012), and Cudamani from the island of Bali in Indonesia (Spring 2013).
Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for students with a valid ID; and $10 for children 12 and under. They will also perform a one-hour Student Matinee performance at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 21 at Stocker Arts Center. Tickets for the Student Matinee are $4/each. Tickets can be ordered online at www.stockerartscenter.com or by calling the Stocker Arts Center box office at (440) 366-4040.
For more information about Yamma Ensemble and Arts Midwest World Fest, visit www.stockerartscenter.com.