Oct. 11, 2005
Three distinct Caribbean musical traditions will be featured in a unique touring concert, Masters of Caribbean Music, to be presented at the Rose Lehrman Arts Center on the Harrisburg campus of HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College on Friday, November 4 at 8pm.

Festivities get underway at 6pm with a Feria del Barrio (Community Fair) in the arts center lobby. The room will be filled with information tables, decorations, and cultural displays. A free "Taste of the Caribbean" will feature samples of distinctive foods from the varied regions. Select artists from the concert tour will present a free pre-event lecture at 7pm. Media sponsor for the show is Raices De Todos. The tour is supported by the National Council for the Traditional Arts and by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

Masters of Caribbean Music will explore the musical ideas, influences and relationships in the cultures of the Caribbean Basin and will bring to the stage a variety of exciting musical forms representing the rich heritage of Caribbean communities in the U.S: Puerto Rican jíbaro, Trinidadian calypso and Haitian twoubadou, reflecting the complex, multi-cultural histories and cultures of the region.

Outstanding performers from three distinct Caribbean musical traditions will be featured: legendary calypsonian The Mighty Sparrow from Trinidad, the exquisite Puerto Rican jíbaro ensemble Ecos De Borinquen and, from Port-au-Prince, the engaging and rarely heard Ti-Coca et Wanga-Nègès making its U.S. touring debut.

Miguel Santiago Díaz, founder of Ecos de Borinquen, has played an important part in driving the renaissance of Puerto Rican roots music. Miguel founded Ecos de Borinquen in 1978. The group has performed throughout Puerto Rico and has toured to the United States, Mexico, Venezuela and Costa Rica. The group's very first recording entitled Jíbaro Hasta el Hueso on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has garnered critical acclaim, a 2004 Grammy© nomination for Best World Music Album, and a Latin Grammy© nomination for Best Folk Album.

Slinger Francisco, better known as The Mighty Sparrow, is a living legend with a career that spans over 40 years and counting. The acknowledged "King of the Calypso World," rivaled only by the late Lord Kichener, has entertained audiences around the world. It is said that he used the name "Little Sparrow" on his Carnival debut, but his rapid success led competitors to ridicule this title. So Sparrow added the prefix "Mighty" as a form of damage control and this twist delighted his fans.

Ti-Coca (David Mettelus) is considered one of the best singers in Haiti today. Forming his first group with neighborhood friends in 1971, he soon acquired the nickname "Ti-Coca" (little bottle of Coca-Cola) because of his short stature. For the last 28 years, Ti-Coca and his accordion-led acoustic quintet Wanga-Nègès have created twoubadou (from troubadour) in the traditional style. In their first-ever U.S. performances at the 2004 Smithsonian Folklife Festival the group created a sensation, as it is certain to do in its first U.S. tour with Masters of Caribbean Music.

Masters of Caribbean Music will be presented on Friday, November 4 at 8 pm at the Rose Lehrman Arts Center, HACC. Tickets are $25 adult and $20 student/senior citizen. RLAC Box Office is 717.231.ROSE (7673). All pre-event activities are included in the ticket price. RLAC is online at Websit below.

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