Music Beyond Borders 2017 travels from Ireland to China

Music Beyond Borders | Morris Arts

Initiated in spring of 2010, this series of free outdoor world music concerts, reflects a collaboration between Morris Arts and Mayo Performing Arts Center, with the rainsite graciously provided by Morristown United Methodist Church (50 Park Place on the Green).

Each Music Beyond Borders program features a performance of world music/dance reflecting the diverse culture and population of the area.

“We hope that people will enjoy our wonderful free lunchtime outdoor concerts that celebrate the rich cultural diversity of the area,” said Allison Larena, President and CEO of the Mayo Performing Arts Center. Tom Werder, Executive Director of Morris Arts , adds, “It’s exciting to collaborate with the Mayo Center on this special series and to literally bring the world to the center of Morristown.”

Mark your calendars now and plan to spend your lunchtimes on Morristown’s Green enjoying world music showcasing Irish, Native American, West African and Chinese cultures. For the eighth consecutive year, Morris Arts and the Mayo Performing Arts Center continue their collaboration, presenting four free, outdoor, world music/dance programs during June, July and August 2017. All concerts will run from 12:30-1:30pm on The Morristown Green, starting June 27thh and continuing on alternate Tuesdays until August 8th. Special thanks go to the Morristown United Methodist Church on the Green, 50 Park Place for providing a wonderful rain site.
This year’s schedule includes:

June 27, 2017: Brian Conway, Irish Fiddler, with John Walsh on guitar


– “Certainly one of the finest Irish-American musician fiddlers…” Dirty Linen Magazine; – Irish Echo’s “Top Trad Artist for 2008”

New York-born fiddler Brian Conway is a leading exponent of the highly ornamented Sligo fiddling style made famous by the late Michael Coleman. The winner of two All-Ireland junior titles in 1973 and 1974 and the All-Ireland senior championship of 1986, Brian’s early studies were with his father Jim of Plumbridge County Tyrone and with Limerick-born fiddler/teacher Martin Mulvihill. However, it was the legendary fiddler and composer Martin Wynne who taught him the real secrets of the County Sligo style. Later, Brian met and befriended the great Andy McGann of New York a direct student of Michael Coleman, who further shaped his precision and skill on the instrument. Since 1979, he has recorded 5 CDs (including on the prestigious Smithsonian-Folkways label and the prominent Irish Label, Cló Iar-Chonnachta ), collaborating with top Irish musicians and as a soloist. A leading figure in the New York area Irish music scene, he also worked as an assistant district attorney but now, in recent retirement, devotes his full energies to the Irish fiddle and its rich tradition. The distinctness of his tone, the lift of his playing, and the deft ornamentation he brings to the tunes have placed him among the finest Irish fiddlers of any style, Sligo or otherwise. He has performed all over North America, Ireland, and Europe. He is also a noted instructor who has mentored many fine fiddle players, including several who have gone on to win All-Ireland Championships. Brian hosts regular sessions in White Plains, New York, and actively encourages countless musicians in the art of Irish music and fiddle playing.

Brian wass accompanied by John Walsh, Irish-American guitarist, singer, and producer who has travelled across Europe and the US performing and teaching guitar with Paddy Keenan, Pat Kilbride, Jameson’s Revenge, Brian Conway, among others. Walsh recorded many well-received albums and educational videos. (He also treats people with Healing Tibetan Singing).

Approximately 500 people, including 80 children, enjoyed the artistry and delightful Irish tunes of these two wonderful musicians. covered the event - and you can check out the article, photos and video HERE.  
And here are some of the photos from the performance:

July 11, 2017: Redhawk Native American Arts Council/Dance Troupe

The Redhawk Native American Arts Council is a not for profit organization founded and maintained by Native American artists and educators based in NYC since 1994. Dedicated to educating the general public about Native American heritage through song, dance, theatre, works of art and other cultural expressions, the Redhawk Council draws its artists from indigenous peoples of North, South, and Central America, the Caribbean and Polynesia, sharing both historical and contemporary aspects of Native cultures. Producing four of the largest Native American heritage celebrations in the Northeast, the Troupe has performed for the President of the United States, at Woodstock, the Apollo Theatre, and Dance Theater of Harlem and appeared on such TV shows as Good Day New York and Regis & Kathy Lee, among others.; Video: and
Over 325 people, including over 50 children,  attended the performance by the Redhawk Native American Arts Council dancers, Cliff Matias (in turquoise), Raven Matias (in purple) and Valerie Rivera (in the jingle dress)...
Check out the wonderful writeup and videos provided HERE and HERE by
Here are some PHOTOS from the performance:

And here are some VIDEOS from their performance:

Raven Mattias performs a Mohawk Warrior Dance  while members of the public join Redhawk Dancers in the Buffalo Dance.

Valerie Rivera performs the Jingle Dress Dance and Cliff Mattias demonstrates a love song on a Native American flute.

Members of the audience join Redhawk in the Alligator Dance and Cliff Mattias demonstrates the complex, intricate moves of the fabled Hoop Dance.

July 25, 2017: Féraba: West African dance, drumming and tap dancing has a terrific feature article on Feraba and Music Beyond Borders HERE. and check out the post performance coverage - with photos and videos -  by HERE.


Explore the universal language of rhythm with this unique, award-winning multi-ethnic group. Féraba fuses traditional sounds and movements of West Africa with American tap dance, hip-hop and jazz, performing on international radio/TV, at Lincoln Center, Town Hall and throughout USA, Europe and West Africa.

Its artistic director, prominent tap dancer, Irene Koloseus  has performed throughout the US, West Africa and Europe, appearing with such world-renowned tap dancers as Dr. James “Buster” Brown and Savion Glover, among others. She is also a teaching artist leading award-winning workshops and residencies throughout the tristate area. Colleagues Ibrahima Kolipe Camar (a Master Drummer from Guinea, West Africa), Andy Algira (drummer, percussionist, balafonist and pianist with jazz and African music expertise), and Yalani Bangoura (Master dancer, performer, choreographer, acrobat and hip hop artist from Guinea, West Africa) join others in highlighting the unique ability of rhythm as a means of  promoting tolerance and cultural understanding.

Fabled dancer Gregory Hines states, “I am so impressed. I have never seen anything like this!”www.feraba.comVideo:

Over 385 people enjoyed the fascinating rhythms and high energy dancing of Feraba. Even the weather rain despite the clouds. Adults and children joined in the fun and learned some new steps along the way!

Here are some  PHOTOS from Feraba's performance:

August 8, 2017: Music From China Trio

Embracing both traditional and new music, members of the NYC-based Music From China have performed with major symphony orchestras, chamber groups and such jazz greats as Ornette Coleman. This performance spotlights music for the erhu ( 2-string fiddle), yanqin (hammered dulcimer) and zheng (plucked zither with movable bridges). 

Hailed by the NY Times and Washington Post as a “master of the erhu,” praised for his “extraordinary” and “gorgeous” playing, Wang Guowei performs on the erhu, the 2 stringed spike fiddle (With snake skin resonator). He performs along with yangqin (hammered dulcimer with bamboo mallets) artist Susan Cheng, founder of Music From China, and zheng (21 string zither with movable bridges) virtuoso, Wang Junling, in an exciting and hauntingly lovely program featuring classical and folk arrangements that evoke scenes of nature, Chinese culture and the lifestyle of the Chinese people.

The group has performed at such institutions as Princeton, Duke, Yale, Vassar, Dartmouth, the Peabody Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and the Library of Congress, among others. As a proponent of new music, Music From China also commissions and performs works that extend Chinese music and instruments beyond traditional boundaries, innovatively mixing Chinese and Western instruments and forming a unique repertoire. Since its founding in 1986, Music From China has performed over 130 new works by 79 composers, of which 43 are commissioned and 43 competition prize winners. Music From China is also the first Chinese ensemble to receive an “Adventurous Programming” award from Chamber Music America and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for creative programs that combine the music of East and West.

For the August 8th performance, the crowd was large and enthusiastic, bringing 428 people to the Green and spanning every age and ethnicity. 

Check HERE  and HERE for before and after performance coverage - with photos and videos by

Here are some PHOTOS from the performance:

And here are some VIDEOS  from their performance:

Click HERE and HERE to  hear and see Wang Junling performing the 1960 piece entitled Typhoon, a virtuoso solo for zheng (plucked zither).

HERE the trio performs Birds the Forest, uncannily mimicking the sounds of birds on the erhu (2 stringed Chinese fiddle played by Wang Guowei) and HERE they perform the traditional melody, Jasmine, utilized by Puccini in his opera, Turandot.  

Wang Guowei, master of the erhu, performs a solo HERE while Wang Junling demonstrates her skills on the zheng in this celebratory solo piece. 

Clearly influenced by the horse-centered culture of Mongolia, this piece is very pictorial in its depiction of  a Mongolian Horse Race (listen for the horses' neighing mimicked by the erhu).