World-class experience

(Written 09/03/2016)

This is an ideal topic for my first cultural post. You’ll see…

Last night, after taking the DART train from Far North Dallas to Union Station, jumping on the newly-opened Streetcar to Bishop Arts, and being picked up by car by my husband (who was coming from Fort Worth), I finally arrived at my destination: a home-based music event at The Carriage House in Oak Cliff, where two world-music groups performed in front of about 40 people. In the intimate, charming venue, we all gathered in a living room with one couch, a few stools and chairs, and plenty of wall to lean against and floor to sit on. People brought drinks and snacks to share.

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The first group to perform was Sombati (name of a Middle Eastern rhythm) from Fort Worth. Their hypnotic music transported me to places like the Sahara Desert and Ireland fields. The band’s 5 members alternated between unique instruments and gave the history of some of the ones they use, like the hurdy-gurdy, which produces a bagpipe-like sound by turning a crank and is commonly used to play Catalan, Cajun French, and Hungarian folk music.

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Next came the 6-member band The Obscure Dignitaries.  The lead singer, Rachel, was very energetic and engaging with the audience. She has the remarkable talent of singing in languages she does not speak! Rachel delighted the party-goers with songs in Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Macedonian, and Hebrew, just to name a few.

It was exciting to be surrounded by so much world diversity under one roof. I had the pleasure to have conversations with Anu and her husband from India, Ina from Ukraine, Tereza (my friend), and Tereza (her friend) from Brazil. Anu was very proud to be there to support her high-school senior daughter, who was beginning as a performer with The Obscure Dignitaries. Ina and I shared a passion for Frida Khalo and she was excited to visit La Casa Azul in Mexico City next month. The Terezas were singing along and dancing to the international rhythms.

It was a fascinating event and I look forward to attending many, many more international/cultural events and sharing my experiences here.

 

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