Music Beyond Borders – Past Years

Music Beyond Borders 2015

Despite hot and humid weather, threatening skies and fenced-off shady areas for all summer, over 1,700 people spent their lunchtimes on Morristown’s Green enjoying music and dance from the Middle East, the Caribbean, Ukraine and Korea.    

For the 6th consecutive year, Morris Arts continued its collaboration with the Mayo Performing Arts Center, programming four free, outdoor, world-music concerts during June, July and August 2015. All concerts ran from 12:30-1:30pm on the Morristown Green. (Rainsite: Morristown United Methodist Church on the Green, 50 Park Place).  This year’s schedule included:

The_Secret_TrioJune 23, 2015: The Secret Trio (Turkish, Middle Eastern, Macedonian and Armenian music)

L-R: The Secret Trio: Ara Dinkjian (oud), Ismail Lumanovski (clarinet) and Tamer Pinarbasi (kanun)

The Secret Trio’s three astounding musicians, Ara Dinkjian (oud), Ismail Lumanovski (clarinet) and Tamer Pinarbasi (kanun), create a new type of chamber music, combining new and interesting approaches to their instruments with a multiplicity of traditions. They perform a collection of original pieces and traditional melodies that fuse the microtonal modes and improvisation of the Middle East, dance beats of the Balkans, and elements of jazz, rock, classical and world music. The delicate harmonies, driving rhythms, rapid fire synchrony and intricate counterpoint developed by these musicians – with separate roots in Turkish, Armenian and Macedonian Roma music – are extraordinary.  By inventing new ways to play percussively on fundamentally melodic instruments, the ensemble never sounds like only three instruments. Award-winning as soloists as well as chamber musicians, Ismail, Ara and Tamer have performed internationally at such leading venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Kennedy Center, as well as in venues throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

Despite threatening weather, over 375 people attended the exquisite performance by The Secret Trio. Ara Dinkjian, master of the oud (an ancestor of the lute and guitar) provided fascinating background information about the various musical traditions and the instruments. Here are some videos and photos from the intriguing and virtuosic performance by Ismail Lumanovski on clarinet, Ara Dinkjian on oud and Tamer Pinarbasi on kanun.


Enjoy hearing the close ensemble work and musical “conversation” between kanun and clarinet HERE and to sample some of the unusual assymetrical meters, virtuoso clarinet playing and exceptional unison playing, click HERE.

Click HERE to see intricate finger work on the kanun and HERE for more of the unusual irregular meters of this music.

For a little taste of The Secret Trio’s version of gypsy soul  featured in Brahms’ iconic Hungarian Rhapsody #5, click HERE



Conroy Warren and PAtrick Gomes, photo by Kevin Coughlin SANY5340-1024x576

July 7, 2015: The Conroy Warren Duo: Caribbean Music “Pepper Pot”

L-R Conroy Warren; Patrick Gomes and Conroy Warren (photo by Kevin Coughlin,Editor,

 This talented duo from the island of Antigua has performed extensively throughout the Caribbean, the United States, Europe and Africa and includes Patrick Gomes (on steel pan) and Conroy Warren (on guitar and vocals). A graduate of the Berklee School of Music (Boston) who plays with the Melvin Dean Ensemble, Coastal Zone and Rhythm Nation, Conroy Warren teaches and conducts cultural workshops in the tristate area. On July 7,  he brings his unique “Music Pepper Pot,” featuring the rich sounds of calypso, reggae, samba, merengue and R&B. Get ready to limbo…the conga line forms on the right!

Over 500 people of all ages came out to enjoy some Caribbean music (and weather) on July 7th.

VIDEOS: The music got people dancing the Cha Cha (to “Guantanamera”) HERE and to “Hot Hot Hot” HERE….

Patrick Gomes’s jazz improvisations were soaring in his version of “Sonny” HERE and everyone enjoyed a taste of the Calypso classic, “Day-O” HERE

PHOTOS:  The fun was contagious and the smiles were abundant, as you can see from these photos:

Ukrainian dancers, Barynya-1






July 21, 2015:  Ukrainian dance and Music presented by the Russian group, Barynya

Far from being a monolithic culture, Ukraine has diverse regions, many with their own music, dialect, form of dress, and dance steps.  In modern times, Ukrainian folk dance reflects that diversity, incorporating influences from different regional traditions within Ukraine and from neighboring Poland, Romania and other nearby cultures. The stage costumes adopted by modern-day Ukrainian dance ensembles are based on traditional dress, but represent an idealized image of village life, with dancers identically dressed in vibrant colors untarnished by time or nature. The dance steps, costumes and music vary from dance to dance incorporate stylized elements influenced by modern choreography as well as by the various cultural traditions within the country.

Established in the year 1991, the Russian arts organization Barynya presents Ukrainian, Cossack, Jewish, Gypsy, and Russian traditional dancing, music, songs, and virtuoso performances on musical instruments including the balalaika, and garmoshka (folk button accordion). Barynya has performed at some of the most prestigious cultural venues in the United States, including Carnegie Hall in New York City, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, the Smithsonian Institute of America in Washington D.C., the United Nations in New York.

Globally recognized, Barynya has toured internationally and boasts an impressive client roster of world dignitaries, politicians, celebrities and organizations.

Members of the Barynya ensemble have performed at post-Grammy Award parties in New York and for private events hosted by Barbara Walters, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, and Tommy Hilfiger. Most recently, Mikhail Smirnov, the founder and Artistic Director of Barynya, was invited as one of the eight judges on NBC’s hit dance show, “Superstars of Dance.”

The threatening weather and heat index didn’t deter 313 hardy souls who thoroughly enjoyed a performance of Ukrainian dance and music featuring Ukrainian dancers Olga Chpitalnaia and Sergij Tsyghanok. Mikhail Smirnov accompanied the dancers on guitar and garmoshka (button accordion) and Elina Karokhina demonstrated her virtuosity on balalaika, ingeniously incorporating a mashup of music from multiple traditions, including Mozart’s fabled Turkish March, his Symphony in G minor, Brahm’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 5, Flight of the Bumblebee, Monti’s Csardas, Bizet’s Carmen, excerpts from Fiddler on the Roof, the classic Dark Eyes, Borodin’s string quartet used in Kismet and many other familiar works.

Click HERE to see Olga and Sergij dancing to a contemporary beat and getting the audience up and dancing or HERE giving a lesson in Urkainian dance steps.  The audience was clearly game to try!  And of course, there was some spectacular dancing in the closing Hopak HERE.  Joy and exuberance were the order of the day…and by the end, the sun even came out!

One can also see a nice sampler compiled by editor, Kevin Coughlin HERE.

Click HERE to see Elina in action with a bit of Hava nagila, a tongue twister performed by Mikhail, a touch of Paganini, the Flight of the Bumblebee, and Those were the days, my friend…or  HERE performing a balalaika transcription of  Csardas, the famous violin piece by V. Monti.








cropped KTDOC drum dance KTDOC Fan Dance





August 4, 2015: KTDOC – Korean Traditional Dance of Choomno0ri

Dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of Korean Traditional Dance and cultural traditions, KTDOC provides training in the many traditional dances of the Korean culture. Derived from long folk traditions, shamanistic practices, and Buddhism, these dances use movement and gesture to tell traditional tales about ordinary life, emotions of grief and joy, faith, the seasons, Korean traditions and symbolism and the beauties of nature. Some of the most popular include the Drum Dance, the Fan Dance, the Mask Dance, the Hourglass Drum Dance, Farmer’s Dance, and the Monk’s Dance. Today you will see a variety of dances including a performance of the distinctive Drum Dance in which the elegantly gowned dancers simultaneously beat various rhythms/patterns, synchronizing their graceful and stylized movements as they turn, bend, swirl and connect their drumsticks to the multiple drumheads. The Fan Dance – known as “san-jo,” a magnificently fragrant flower – expresses the elegance of a Korean woman, combining graceful choreography that emphasizes the flowerlike unfolding and folding of fans with delicate and intricate footwork.  The Mask Dance uses masks to portray the emotions of Korean villagers, ranging from anger and sadness, to joy and happiness. Multitalented KTDOC founder Eun-Hee Ahn choreographed these dances.

August 4: Korean Traditional Dance of Choomnoori (KTDOC)Preserving the rich heritage of traditional Korean dances, KTDOC performs a variety of dances such as the Drum Dance, the Fan Dance, the Mask Dance and others, showcasing the elegant costumes and distinctive, carefully synchronized, stylized gestures and movements which convey a wide range of emotions, relate tales of village life and depict the beauties of nature.

Over 465 people attended this final performance of the Music Beyond Borders series (including a large representation from our Asian community) and all were entranced by the beautiful dancing, the unique drumming and the exquisite costumes. The dancers included Allison Kim, Won Hiwon, Rachel E. Jang, Rachel E. Yoo, Rayna Kim, MinSuh Jang, Kaitlyn Chang, Hyemin Park, Hana Chung, Hyeon-Ju Lee, Macy Ruby Kim, and Jiwan Kim – under expert direction of the Founder and Director, Mrs. Eunhee  Ahn.


Click HERE to see the charming Puppet Dance performed by the youngest members of the troupe.

See the spectacular Fan Dance performed HERE – portraying the beauties of nature’s wind and waves.

For a glimpse of Korean traditional drum dancing, click  HERE and HERE.

Click HERE to see some of The Mask Dance, focusing on a wide range of emotions (and two masks!)

To see a solo dance portraying the grace and beauty of women, click HERE.

For a glimpse of a frame (shallow) drum dance solo, click HERE and to see a traditional hourglass drum dance complete with accompaniment by young drummers and Director Ahn, click HERE.

And to see the opening drumming sequence with stylized dance movements, click HERE.


Click HERE for coverage by Editor Kevin Coughlin, additional videos and some excellent photos by Katherine Boyle for 

Record Attendance at 2014 MUSIC BEYOND BORDERS

In its 5th year, this popular series of free, lunchtime performances by world music and dance groups, drew over 2,200 people to the Morristown Green to enjoy music and dance from South American, Africa, Eastern Europe and Ireland.  Morris Arts collaborated with the Mayo Performing Arts Center, and its rainsite provider, Morristown United Methodist Church) to offer performances on June 24, July 8 and 22nd and August 5th.  And, in keeping with NJ350, commemorating New Jersey’s 350th anniversary, all performers in this year’s Music Beyond Borders were based in New Jersey.

June 24, 2014: Eco Del Sur (Ancient and contemporary South American music)

Eco del Sur, which means “Echoes of the South,” was founded in 2000 and consists of South American artists from such countries as Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru who explore and perform ancient Andean music as well as contemporary music from different Latin American regions. Representing a diverse mixture of backgrounds and musical experiences, the ensemble members have each mastered several indigenous and contemporary instruments such as the pan-pipes and wooden flutes created by Pre-Colombian civilizations. Eco Del Sur also utilizes the string and percussion instruments introduced to Latin American by the Spanish and African heritage cultures. Eco Del Sur offers workshops, demonstrations and assemblies for different grade levels and has performed widely, at numerous public venues, folk festivals, universities and multicultural events throughout the United States.

Over 475 enthusiastic people enjoyed the performance and the chance to hear and see instruments from throughout South America. Here are some photos and videos from Eco Del Sur’s performance:


L-R: The full band of Eco Del Sur; engaged listeners, Eco Del Sur performing; a band’s view of the audience.

L-R: Jorge Gomez explains the construction of a South American “rainstick” to audience member;A flute made from a carved llama bone;  Jorge Gomez speaks with audience member from Peru; audience intently listening; .


L-R: Morristown United Methodist Church’s Music Minister June Van Thoen and Sexton Cesar Torres; small child tries out drum; Mary Louise and Bill Smith talk with band member Faustino Cupita; audience attracted people from all walks of life; Jorge Goemz with audience members after performance.

VIDEOS: Missed the concert? Check out some brief videos from the performance:

Watch Eco Del Sur perform a spirited version of Il Condor Passa (originally a Peruvian tune, best known in Paul Simon’s version “If I Could”) HERE and another lively piece  HERE.

Of course, the music demanded dancing and you can see how multiple generations responded  HERE  and HERE.

You can see additional photos and videos in the extensive press coverage: By Kevin Coughlin and Scott  Schlosser of  and a  front page cover story by William Westhoven in the June 25,2014 issue of The Daily Record.

Also check out some publicity done in advance about Eco Del Sur at

July 8: African Global Arts and Iwa L’ewa Heritage Dance Ensemble (African and Afro-Cuban Dance)

African Global Arts and Iwa L’ewa Heritage Dance Ensemble celebrate the African cultural legacy throughout the world, expanding it through dance and teachings and inspiring a new generation who will tell their stories. Under the direction of artist & teacher, Yewande Kelley-Johnson, the ensemble presents performancesworkshops for children, youth and adult students, and ceremonies based on African Global heritage, not just from countries like Guinea, Mali, or Senegal, but also from the United States, Trinidad, Haiti, Brazil, Cuba, Columbia and more. If you are interested in West African cultural presentations, enjoy the feel of Africa’s beat in Swing dance, savor Anansi stories from Trinidad, Cuba’s Orisha dance or the U.S. Kwanzaa tradition and love the sounds of African instrumentation such as the balophon, djembe orchestra, udushekere and conch shell, you will find much to savor with African Global Arts! Artistic Director and founder, Yewande Kelley-Johnson, has been designated a master teacher of traditional West African dance and is also a recipient of the Mid-Atlantic Artist as Catalyst grant as well as the Washington D.C. Folger’s Library Poetry award. 

On July 8, 2014, a record crowd of 574 people attended the performance by African Global Arts and Iwa L’ewa Heritage Dance Ensemble. The breeze and shade from the Green’s stately trees made the 92 degree heat much more bearable and seemed to have little effect on the highly energetic dancers, Gary King and Taliba KhiammaMti, who entranced the crowds.

Here are some photos from their performance on the Morristown Green:

L-R: African Global Arts dancers and percussionists including Damien Carpenter, Marsha Perry Starkes, Gary King, Taliba KhiammaMti (with infant) and Victor Marshall; Marsha Perry Starkes gives an impromptu drum lesson to eager young fans; entranced audience stays cool under the trees.


L-R: Marsha Perry Starkes demonstrates beaded gourd percussion to audience; Victor Marshall greets admiring fan after performance; dancer Gary King poses with young admirers.

VIDEOS: Of course, the videos capture the event better than any words:
Check out some of the high energy dancing from Iwa L’Ewa dancers Gary King and Taliba KhiammaMti HERE.

Dancer Gary King demonstrates “power moves” in his traditional dance HERE.

Dancer Taliba KhiammaMti showcases the dance to honor important personages HERE.

Dancer Gary King demonstrates fancy footwork in this solo HERE.

Finding the Afro-Cuban beat irresistible, Hector Francisco got up from his wheelchair to dance…others joined in the fun HERE.

Young and old join dancers Gary King and Taliba KhiammaMti in learning some dance steps HERE.

Percussionist and vocalist Marsha Perry Starkes provided an impromptu drum lesson to young fans HERE also provided coverage and additional video footage HERE.



July 22, 2014: The Klez Dispensers
Described as “juicy, fresh and daring,” the Klez Dispensers have been dishing up their signature state-of-the-art, swinging American-style klezmer since their college days. Audiences can’t get enough of their impeccable arrangements, inspiring improvisations and engaging repertoire from the early years of klezmer, as well as exciting original compositions. Each Dispenser is an accomplished musician contributing skill, personality and artistry to the group. The blend is tremendous! This eight piece ensemble, comprising clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, violin, piano, bass, drums and vocals, was formed in 1998 and performs widely throughout the year including at venues such as Grounds for Sculpture, Satalla, Makor and CBGBs in NY and London. In 2000, the ensemble recorded its first CD, Indispensable, followed by New Jersey Freylekhs in 2004. Its latest album, Say You’ll Understand, featuring Susan Watts on vocals, was released in 2008.

Over 500 people were on the Green on July 22nd, tapping their feet to the jazzy, irresistible rhythms of The Klez Dispensers whose combination of traditional, contemporary, jazz influenced and fusion klezmer kept everyone entranced and wanting more! The Dispensers included Alex Kontorovich, clarinet; Ben Holmes, trumpet; Audrey Betsy Welber, saxophone; Amy Zakar, violin; Susan Watts, vocals; Adrian Banner, piano; Heather Chriscaden Versace, bass; and David Licht, drums.


Here are some photos from  their performance:

L-R: The Klez Dispensers, with Alex Kontorovich, Heather Versace, Audrey Betsy Welber, Amy Zakar, Adrian Banner (holding Chiara), David Licht (seated in front); Susan Watts and Ben Holmes;  engaged audience; Vocalist Susan Watts and violinist Amy Zakar.

L-R: Chiara Banner responds to the music; view of the band; drummer David Licht talks with WWII veteran; Heather Versace and Alex Kontorovich speak with another klezmer clarinettist.

VIDEOS: If you missed seeing/hearing The Klez Dispensers,check out these videos:

Vocalist Susan Watts was ‘cooking’ with her performance of Oy Mama. You can hear her opening (with Amy Zakar on violin)  HERE, and once she got swinging,  HERE and HERE (Ella Fitzgerald singing in Yiddish?)

The Klez Dispensers demonstrated their tight ensemble work HERE and nice work by trumpeter Ben Holmes HERE.

Oh How We Danced On the Night We Were Wed, that famous waltz…was admirably performed HERE and vocalist Susan Watts shows her jazz chops with the Dispensers on two clips from her performance of Bei Mir Bist Du Schön HERE and HERE.

And enjoy the coverage provided in HERE.


August 5, 2014: Peter Smith School of Irish Dance
The Peter Smith School of Irish Dance has trained thousands of dancers in its 50-year history claiming several World, All-Ireland, and North American Championship titles. Several of the Peter Smith dancers have performed in Riverdance and Lord of the Dance and at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Town Hall Theatre (NY); NJPAC; PNC Arts Center; The Strand Theatre; Glasgow Royal Concert Hall; Ireland’s National Event Center. Classes are offered for beginner through championship levels throughout New Jersey. For information, call 973-978-8848 or visit

Robert Johnson, dance critic for the Star Ledger, included a wonderful article about the series and the Peter Smith dancers in the Friday, August 1, 2014 edition of  the Star-Ledger’s pullout entertainment section, The Ticket HERE.

Breaking prior attendance records, 623 people came to this closing performance in the Music Beyond Borders series. The young dancers of the Peter Smith School of Irish dance performed jigs, reels, and variety of other dances in both soft and hard shoes. Additionally, live musical performance by two singers, a keyboardist and a bagpiper completed the program.

Here are some photos from the performance

Peter Smith soloists showcasing their leaps and jumps.

Young women, young men and couples demonstrate a variety of steps and fancy footwork.   

The Peter Smith troupe with their banner and two teachers; audiences young and old gather to enjoy the performance.

VIDEOS: If you missed seeing the Peter Smith dancers in person you can watch some of their performance in the videos below:

Click HERE  and HERE to see young women soloists and the troupe demonstrating their “soft” shoe techniques.

Click HERE to see the senior young men demonstrate their soft shoe dancing.

Enjoy the “hard shoe” dancing, click HERE and HERE to see the school’s world competition level young women.

Click HERE to see the school’s top male dancers demonstrating their “hard shoe” techniques.

Competitive “hard shoe” dancing between the two top male dancers can be found HEREHERE and HERE.

And, to hear a taste of the bagpipe, enjoy this warmup by the school’s young bagpiper before the dancing began.

Additional coverage on the 2014 Music Beyond Borders series can be found at the following links:


The Mayo Performing Arts Center and Morris Arts present their fourth annual Music Beyond Borders free summer outdoor lunchtime concert series on the Morristown Green, featuring music and dance from West Africa, Japan, Argentina and the Australian outback. The series begins June 25 and runs every other Tuesday through August 6. Concerts start at 12:30 pm.  Each Music Beyond Borders program will feature a performance of world music and/or dance reflecting the diverse culture and population of the area. Brown bag a meal, stop by while walking your dog, or bring friends to experience a world music and dance celebration while getting to know your neighbors. The world is literally at your doorstep! (Our special thanks to Morristown United Methodist Church for graciously providing the rainsite for the series).

2013  Music Beyond Borders:

June 25: West African Dance, Drumming and Tap dancing by FÉRABA
West African drumming and dance meet tap dancing. This unique, award-winning multicultural and multiethnic performance group fuses the traditional sounds and movements of West Africa with the American artistic forms of tap dance and jazz in unique and exciting ways. With performances at Lincoln Center, Town Hall and throughout the world, Feraba explores the universal language of rhythm and its ability to promote tolerance and cultural understanding.


Undeterred by the heat and humidity, over 270 people  came to the Morristown Green to enjoy launch of the 2013 season of Music Beyond Borders – featuring Féraba, whose exciting West African dance, drumming and tap dancing enthralled young and old.

The program inspired wonderful audience interactions, complete with competitions between Tap dancer/Artistic Director Irene Koloseus and  djembe drummer Ibrahima Kolipe Camara, call and response singing with the audience and singers Ibrahima Kolipe Camara and Ismael Bonfils Kouyate, electrifying African dancing by Ismael, blinding footwork by tap dancer Irene, drumming contests between Ibrahima. Matthew and Ismael,  and audience participation in percussion rhythms, singing and African dancing! Everyone present was smiling, clapping, singing and moving to the music! Our thanks to the wonderful artists of Féraba for launching our Music Beyond Borders season with such flair!

Hot off the press: Photos from June 25th’s performance by Féraba:



L-R: Drummers Ibrahima Kolipe Camara and Matthew Hill; Entranced audience; Ibrahima coaching audience response.



L-R: Clapping along with the beat; Ibrahima sings  call and response with kids; the full Féraba ensemble.


L-R: West African rattles, textiles, drums, baskets for sale; McDonald grandchildren try out the drums; Ismael conducts responsive singing.

L-R: Ibrahima demonstrates the balaphon; Ibrahima and Ismael in drumming contest; Ismael singing.

It was a very hot and humid day but when you these performers in action, you’d never know it. Here are some VIDEOS from their performance:

To see Ismael’s virtuoso African dancing accompanied by Ibrahima’s drumming, click  HERE.

To see African dancing by Ismael and Irene – in unison, click HERE.

To see the rhythm competition between Ibrahima’s drumming and Irene’s tap dancing, click HERE.

Click HERE to see how those compelling West African rhythms of Ibrahima’s drumming affect even the youngest in the audience.

Click HERE to see how whole audience got involved with the joy of singing and dancing responsively.


July 9: Japanese taiko drumming, folk dance and flute music by TAIKOZA

Roughly translated, taiko means big drums – and that’s exactly what the group Taikoza brought to the Morristown Green on July 9, 2013 – big drums (some weighing 150 lbs.!), powerful rhythms and electrifying, heart pounding energy that draws from Japan’s rich musical traditions. Led by Marco Lienhard, this internationally acclaimed, NYC-based ensemble has performed at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Symphony Space and Lincoln Center as well as to sold-out houses in Russia, Japan and Europe.

Breaking prior attendance records for Music Beyond Borders, over 375 people came out to hear the powerful, mesmerizing rhythms of the large taiko drums and to enjoy the melodies of  the fue and shakuhachi flutes. The ensemble also performed on a variety of drums and and entranced the audience of young and old with Japanese folk dances and comedic mime performed by Chikako Saito. The children especially enjoyed dancing, cymbal playing and trying their hands at the big drums.

Want more? On September 15, 2013 at 7pm, a larger contingent from Taikoza will be performing with Ichiro Jishoya, a guest from Japan, at Symphony Space in NYC. Tickets are available at www.symphonyspace.orgTaikoza also has a new CD at and




L-R: An enthralled audience; Drummers Marguerite Bunyan and Marco Lienhard; Drummers Marco Lienhard and Chikako Saito.



L-R: Young girl tries her hand at taiko drumming; Mime encourages child to approach drums; Marco Lienhard plays fue flute.



L-R: Chikako Saito twirls parasol as part of rain dance; The Taikoza trio in action with Marco Lienhard, Chikako Saito and Marguerite Bunyan.

To see Chikako Saito perform the rain dance, click here.

To see the Taikoza trio drumming with flagged drumsticks, click here. 

Watch Chikako Saito perform dual parasol dance here.

For calendar and class information, visit

Click here for pre-event coverage on

Click here for coverage of the event in the Star Ledger.

With a style that’s high speed, musically precise, and exploding with energy, incredibly fast foot work and jaw-dropping lifts, skilled Argentine dancers, led by Daniel Herrera, showcased the dynamic, sensual and unique styles of tango.  The Argentine tango, developed in the late 19thc. working class neighborhoods of Argentina’s Buenos Aires and continuously evolving today, is a dance of passion and intensity which has inspired works by composers such as Astor Piazzolla and been featured prominently in films such as Scent of a Woman and True Lies.

Over 400 people were on the Morristown Green on July 13rd to experience the allure, passion and intensity of Argentine Tango dancing. This was the third of four performance of four in the 2013 Music Beyond Borders series, a collaboration between Morris Arts and the Mayo Performing Arts Center.

In 2009, Paula Ortiz and Julian Castro founded a dance company which now includes 10 professional and experienced ballroom & Latin dancers from New Jersey. Led by Daniel Herrera, the performers engaged and involved the audience fully…it seemed as though everyone was dancing!!

Call 1-855-NJDANCE (653-2623) for more information.

Here are some photos of  the dancers and audience participating:




To see videos and read the Star Ledger coverage of the Argentine Tango performance, click HERE 

To see video, photos and read coverage of the event in, click HERE

or to just view the video from, click HERE

August 6: Music of the Australian Aborigine didgeridoo with THE DIDGE PROJECT

Get set for some good vibrations – Australian style. The Didge Project is where world rhythms and tribal beats meet modern jazz and hip-hop. More than a band, The Didge Project is a collective of musicians who believe in the power of sound and who promote awareness of the didgeridoo through performances and workshops.

At the final 2013 Music Beyond Borders performance, nearly 480 people gathered on the Morristown Green to enjoy a performance by The Didge Project, which featured the unique blend of the didgeridoo, an Australian aboriginal drone pipe used for ritual and ceremony, with improvisations on the contemporary flute.  Performers A.J.Block (on didgeridoo) and Tyler Sussman (on flute), founders of  the Didge Project, have developed partnerships with schools, businesses, festivals, and event producers, spreading the reach of the didgeridoo through accessible performances and learn-to-play-didgeridoo workshops in over one hundred venues such as parks, subways, yoga events to university master classes and meditations.

(Photo: Tyler Sussman on saxophone and A J Block on didgeridoo).


Tyler Sussman and AJ Block perform on flute and didgeridoo.

Members of Didge Project are also performing musicians involved with multiple projects, most notably, DRONESPHERE, a collaboration that blends many musical styles with the didgeridoo. In 2012, Didge Project opened for Deepak Chopra in New Jersey and performed at TEDxBrooklyn. Constantly evolving, Didge Project is more than music. It is a global didgeridoo community, a lifestyle and a movement. Through its emphasis on breath control and connection to vibration, the didgeridoo has led Didge Project to a collective vision of a more harmonious world guided by a greater sensitivity to the vibrations we create. They believe that the sounds of the didgeridoo facilitate meditation, creativity and healing.


Audiences rapt with attention….

Visit for more information.

If you missed the performance, check out the coverage and video on by clicking  HERE.

See additional photos and coverage from The Star Ledger HERE

Music Beyond Borders is sponsored by Novartis.


2012 Music Beyond Borders featured four free world music concerts scheduled on the following dates: Tuesdays, June 26, July 10, July 24 and August 7 at 12:00 noon-1:00 pm on the Morristown Green.

JUNE 26: MEXICAN MUSIC: Mariachi Citlalli
Nearly 250 people attended the June 26th kickoff featuring Mariachi Citlalli. It was a glorious day – cool and sunny – and everyone was having a good time!

For a brief video of the band performing, click HERE.  Click HERE for additional coverage by Kevin Coughlin and staff of (more videos and photos) and HERE for coverage (with photos and video) by

Here are some other scenes:

L-R: Talking with new fans; dancing to the music; a question for the band;  the band poses with the Music Without Borders Banner (l-r: Bernardo Ponce, Nick Navarrete, Jerry Navarrete and Francisco Navarrete); young fan models a sombrero.

 JULY 10: BRAZILIAN MUSIC: Mauricio de Souza and Bossa Brasil

On July 10, 2012, over 300 people attended the program of Brazilian music by Mauricio de Souza and Bossa Brasil®. The weather was glorious…sunny, not too hot and with a slight breeze. The group’s performers featured Mauricio de Souza on drums, Gary Mazzaroppi (formerly bassist with Les Paul) on bass, Juilliard grad Sharel Cassity on sax and Alan Chaubert, miraculously, on trumpet and keyboard, simultaneously!

L-R: Crowds enjoy Bossa Brasil®; Mauricio de Souza and Bossa Brasil® performing (Mauricio de Souza on drums, Gary Mazzaroppi on bass, Sharel Cassity on sax and Alan Chaubert on keyboard and trumpet); more crowds throughout the park enjoying the music.

To hear the group playing Brazilian jazz,  click HERE   and to hear Alan Chaubert working his trumpet and keyboard magic, click HERE.

JULY 24: NATIVE AMERICAN MUSIC AND DANCE: Redhawk Native American Arts Council Dance Troupe
On July 24, nearly 300 people attended (including nearly 100 children) the performance by the Redhawk Native American Arts Council Dance  Troupe which performed a wide variety of “first nation” dances, including the Smoke Dance, The Grass Dance, the Iroquois Robin Dance, the Jingle Dress Dance, the Shawl Dance and the intricate and extraordinary Hoop Dance. Cliff Matias (Kichwa, Taino) explained the intricacies and symbolism of the dances, serving and singer and drummer in addition to masterfully dancing the Hoop Dance. He was joined by dancers Malia Mahi (Native Hawaiaan, Taino), Lucero Cavelight (Navajo, Aztec) and Robert White Magpie (Lakota).  The many children were eager participants in the dancing and Leslie Bensley of the Morris County Tourism Bureau played the part of a maiden to be wooed by a young warrior’s flute music and dancing.


L-R: Children participating in the Buffalo dance;  Luvero Cavelight performing the Shawl Dance and Robert White Magpie with his warrior’s flute to woo his ladylove.

L-R: The Troupe- Lucero Cavelight, Cliff Matias, Robert White Magpie and Malia Mahi; Cliff Matias dances the intricate Hoop Dance; Malia Mahi performing the Jingle Dress Dance

For a brief video of Robert White Magpie performing the Grass Dance, click HERE

For a brief video of children performing the Iroquois Robin Dance, click HERE

For a brief video of Cliff Mattias performing part of the Hoop Dance, click HERE

for a brief video of Lucero Cavelight performing part of the Shawl Dance, click HERE

AUGUST 7: BARYNYA: Russian Music and Dance
On August 7th, 2012, Music Without Borders had a record crowd of 436 people (150 of them kids) + all those enjoying the performance from their seats at cafes and restaurants around the Green. Perfect weather – warm and dry greeted the Barynya trio who brought a wide variety of Russian music and dance to Morristown, showcasing Cossack, Russian folk, Russian Jewish and gypsy traditions in the music, costuming and dancing. Mikhail Smirnov, the artistic director of the troupe, sang and accompanied the others on garmoshka (Russian accordian) and guitar, while Elina Karokhina demostrated her virtuosity on the balalaika and Valentina Kvasova brought energy and grace to her marvelous folk dancing and singing.

L-R:  Dancer/singer Valentina Kvasova with balalaika virtuoso, Elina Karokhina; Valentina Kvasova performs Russian gypsy dance; Mikhail Smirnov on garmoshka with Elina Karokhina holding balalaika.

L-R: Enthusiastic crowds clapped along; Valentina Kvasova performs Russian gypsy dance; more enthusiastic crowds.

For a brief video of Valentina Kvasova performing a dance from Siberia, click  HERE .

For a brief video of Valentina Kvasova performing part of the Russian Jewish wedding dance, Mazal Tov, click HERE.

For a brief video of Valentina Kvasova performing  part of Dve Gitary (Two Guitars), a gypsy folk song and dance, click HERE.

For a brief video of Elina Karokhina demonstrating her virtuosic balalaika skills in a solo entitled Birch Tree, click HERE.

For a brief video of Valentina Kvasova performing a Russian maiden’s dance, click HERE.

For a brief video of  Valentina Kvasova performing the traditional Russian folk dance, Kalinka, click HERE.

Additional Background on Music/Dance  from Mexico, Brazil, Native America and Russia
The Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morris Arts and the United Methodist Church present their third annual Music Without Borders free summer outdoor lunchtime concert series on the Morristown Green. The series begins June 26 and runs every other Tuesday through August 7. Concerts run from 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm. Rainsite is the Morristown United Methodist Church (50 S. Park Place on the Green).

JUNE 26: Mariachi Citlalli (Mexican Music)

Described by the NY Times as “four young musicians, decked out in elegant black uniforms, with fancy buttonwork typical of roving Mexican troubadours,” this highly talented mariachi band performs a wide range of Mexican music from traditional to contemporary. Founded in 2000, the group’s four members perform on trumpet, vihuela (5 string guitar-like instrument), guitarron (large guitar), and keyboard/accordion.  Mariachi Citlalli has performed on national media with such celebrities as Rosie O’Donnell, Sally Jessie Raphael, President Bush (Sr.), former Mexican President Ernesto Cedillo, former leader of the Dominican Republic Pena Gomez, Donald Trump, Mariah Carey, and  Conan O’Brien, among others. They have also performed at such leading venues as Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, the Sullivan Theater (David Letterman’s studios), Shea Stadium, the Plaza Hotel, the Waldorf Astoria, the United Nations and a vast list of caterers and clubs all over New York. For more information on the group, visit


JULY 10: Mauricio de Souza with Bossa Brasil® (Brazilian music)

Maurício de Souza and Bossa Brasil®, with their unique, exciting, and sophisticated arrangements, cover a wide array of Brazilian jazz standards including the music of Tom Jobim and Hermeto Pascoal, and Egberto Gismonti, among others. Their 2010 album, Here.There, has received widespread critical acclaim – featured on WBGO, and voted the #1 jazz album by WWPV FM. On Jazz Week for three weeks, it was also reviewed by Jazz Times Magazine, All About Jazz NY, Jazz Inside Magazine, and All About Jazz (online). Additionally, the album is in Pandora’s music library and was voted among the top 30 jazz albums by Music Choice.  For more details and information, visit


JULY 24: Red Hawk Native American Arts Council Dance Troupe (Native American music and dance)


The Redhawk Dance Troupe features Native American performing artists who educate and delight audiences by interpreting and presenting social, traditional, and contemporary dances. Since 1993, the Redhawk Native American Arts Council’s performing artists have been sharing Native American dance, music, art and history with audiences around the world. With live singing and drumming, they present traditional and social dances along with articulate verbal interpretation in high energy, exciting performances, combining traditions from various nations to help audiences understand the differences among Native American nations. Redhawk also hosts four of the largest Native American Pow Wows in New York and New Jersey. Visitors enjoy Native food, music, dance, crafts, art and traditions at these annual events which include over 1,000 Native American artists, performers, and educators from across the Americas, provide opportunities for cross-cultural interaction, and help to insure the survival of Native American traditions. The Troupe has performed for the President of the United States and at such venues as NY’s Woodstock Festival, the renowned Apollo Theatre, and Dance Theater of Harlem. They have also appeared such TV shows as Good Day New York and Regis & Kathy Lee, among others. For more information, visit

AUGUST 7: Barynya (Russian Music and Dance)


 Established in 1991, Barynya is considered the premier Russian folk ensemble outside of Russia. It presents Russian, Cossack, Ukrainian, Russian Jewish, and Roma Gypsy traditional dancing, music, songs, and virtuoso performances on instruments including the balalaika, domra and garmoshka (Russian folk button accordion). Barynya has performed at such top venues as Carnegie Hall, the National Constitution Center (Philadelphia), the Smithsonian Institute (DC), the United Nations, and the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC. With an impressive client roster of dignitaries, politicians, celebrities and organizations from around the world, Barynya performed at the 2008 Gala after former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev received the Liberty Medal from then-President George H.W. Bush and Barynya’s members have performed at private celebrity parties, hosted by the likes of Barbara Walters, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, and Tommy Hilfiger. Most recently, in recognition of his work as founder/artistic director of Baryna, Mikhail Smirnov was invited to serve as a judge on NBC’s hit dance show, Superstars of Dance. Participants in this international competition – hosted by Michael Flatley (“Lord of the Dance”) and Susie Castillo, a former Miss USA – Barynya dancers were pictured on the TV GUIDE website during the competition in which they performed their acrobatic Cossack dance. For more information, visit


2011 Music Beyond Borders

The Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morris Arts and the United Methodist Church present their second annual Music Without Borders free summer outdoor lunchtime concert series on the Morristown Green. The series begins June 22 and runs every other Wednesday through August 3. Concerts run from 12 pm – 1:30 pm. Music Without Borders series is sponsored by Novartis.

Wednesdays, June 22, July 6, July 20 and August 3 at 12 pm
on the Morristown GreenFeaturing music from India, China, Colombia and the Balkans

Each Music Without Borders concert will feature a performance of world music reflecting the diverse culture and population of the area. Brown bag a meal, stop by while walking your dog and experience a world music celebration while getting to know your neighbors. (In case of rain, concerts will be held indoors at the Morristown United Methodist Church except for July 6th when the concert will be cancelled in the event of rain).

Chia's Dance Party Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 12 pm  

CHIA’S DANCE PARTY (Colombian music)-WED., JUNE 22, 2011 AT 12 PM
Inspired by Colombian rhythmic and melodic traditions, Chia’s Dance Party delivers a unique musical experience of infectious Latino danceable grooves.CHIA’s Dance Party is a New York City-based Quartet/Quintet. The band delivers a unique musical experience where infectious danceable grooves mix harmoniously with extensive compositional and improvisational work. The band performs original material inspired by the Colombian rhythmic and melodic traditions, yet explores different genres and compositional approaches. CHIA’s Dance Party has a distinct sound as a result of the diverse background of its musicians. Ben Stapp, an exceptional tuba player brings his vast experience in experimental, classical and rock music. Alex Terrier on soprano saxophone delivers the best, virtuosic sounds of modern jazz, and Justin Wood on alto sax and flute adds adventurous and fearless contemporary sounds and concepts. All of these qualities are catalyzed by musical director, Martín Vejarano on Drums. ENJOY!!!








Check out the June 23nd video by and the June 22nd video by MorristownPatch for a glimpse of the performance by Chia’s Dance Party…including dancing in the street!

Chalgiya -Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 12 pm

CHALGIYA (Balkan music) – WED., JULY 6, 2011 AT 12 PM
Chalgiya plays music from the Balkans – specifically Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, and Albania.  This classic trio instrumentation of clarinet or saxophone, accordion, and traditional drums (tapan or darabouka) brings both the spirit of village dances and the flavor of urban cafe music.  Chalgiya means “orchestra” in Turkish, and refers to the urban songs and sounds found in Balkan cafes and nightclubs in much of the 20th century.  The trio is comprised of musicians at the heart of the booming Balkan scene in NYC: Greg Squared (Ansambl Mastika, Veveritse Brass Band) on woodwinds, Matthew Fass (Raya Brass Band) on accordion, and Matt Moran (Slavic Soul Party!) on percussion.








Missed the concert? See YouTube video of dancing on the Green to Chalgiya.Check out coverage by and MorristownPATCH as well.

Music From China - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 12 pm

This trio from the NY-based ensemble Music from China, showcases Wang Guowei, renowned master of the erhu (a 2-string fiddle with snakeskin resonator), who will be performing with Wang Junling on zheng (21 string zither with movable bridges) and Susan Cheng on the yangqin (hammered dulcimer). Music from China was founded in 1984 by Director Susan Cheng and is under the artistic direction of Wang Guowei. What began as a mission to introduce audiences ot the best of Chinese musical cultural evolved into an affinity for the eclectic that embraces both traditional and new music. In fact, members of this ensemble have performed widely, including with major symphony orchestras, chamber groups and with such jazz greats as Ornette Coleman and Anthony Braxton. Today, they will present a hauntingly lovely program featuring classical and folk arrangements that evoke the sonorities of age-old musical traditions and interpret the music of








Music From China trio with Wang Guowei on erhu (2 string fiddle), Susan Cheng on yangqin (hammered dulcimer) and Wang Junlin on zheng (21 string zither).

Interested crowds gather to see the yangqin and zheng closeup…

Click HERE and HERE  to see videos of the  Zheng played by Wan Junlin.  Click HERE to see video of Wang Guowei on the erhu (2 string fiddle) and Susan Cheng on yangqin (hammered dulcimer).

Music: Known for its intricacy, richness and variety, Indian music matches every occasion, reason and season. This presentation celebrates the onset of “SAAWAN”, the rainy season, which brings joy and relief after a harsh summer and hence is eagerly awaited and celebrated with music and dance. Showcasing India’s classical, devotional and folk genres, these compositions describe the beautiful mood created by the dark clouds, cool breezes and gentle showers and the atmosphere of joy and festivity felt by one and all. The program features Ms. Astha Shukla a vocalist specializing in Hindustani Classical, semi- classical and light music. Ms. Shukla is an active concert artist and the founder of the SwarVeena School of Music in New Jersey.

Dance: Shubanjali’s award-winning artistic director and founder of both the dance school and company of the same name, Suba Ramesh Parmar, has been honored by the government of India, Union County and the State of NJ for her outstanding contributions to the art of Indian classical and folk dance. At Music Without Borders, she will showcase the intricate traditions of temple dancers of India, accompanied by Ms. Madhumita Parmar and a team of dancers from Shubanjali.   Highlights of the program will be a breathtaking Cosmic Dance of Lord Shiva, Tales of Krishna, a devotional Meera Bhajana, Tillana and the spectacular Peacock Dance.









L-R: Astha Shukla (vocalist), Madhumita Parmar (Dancer), Suba Parmar (dancer, vocalist); children talking with Madhumita Parmar.









Madhumita Parmar dancing; enthusiastic crowds enjoying performance.


Click HERE  and  HERE to see Shubanjali dancer, Madhumita Parmar, performing classical Indian dances.

Check out  the June 19th, 2011  Daily Record and June 21st. 2011 Morristown PATCH feature articles on the series.


2010 Music Beyond Borders

On June 15, the public enjoyed hearing West African music with the Fula Flute Trio, performing on balafon (African xylophone), kora and tambin (African flute). The group performed a special preview concert when Carnegie Hall’s new Zankel Hall opened in 2003 and has continued to earn critical acclaim for its outstanding work.






L-R: Yacouba Sissoko, kora player with interested audience member; the Fula Tlute Trio- Yacouba Sissoko on kora, Sylvain Leroux on tambin (W. African flute) and Famoro Dioubate on balafon (W. African xylophone)
Click here to see video.








R: The Conroy Warren Duo – with Patrick Gomes on steel pan and Conroy Warren on Guitar.
Click HERE and HERE to see the videos taken by Kevin Coughlin of

On July 13, Latin dancing erupted spontaneously in the lobby of the Community Theatre, thanks to the compelling rhythms of Los Ciegos Del Barrio, a multi-genre Latin band featuring keyboard, Latin percussion and voice.  The Blind Boys of the Neighborhood  (the band members are all legally blind) performed Merengue, Bachata, Salsa, Cumbia, Reggaeton and Rock in both English and Spanish. They have enjoyed major hits, and were featured on  Sound in Sight Volume 1,  a compilation sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind which features different blind artists from around the USA.









L-R: Little Daniel and Gabriel Bajusz enjoying the music; Los Ciegos Del Barrio in performance.

 Click on Dancing to Los Ciegos Del Barrio to see video of the audience dancing to the Latin beat! Also click HERE to see a video taken by Kevin Coughlin of 


Closing out the series on July 27, the public thrilled to the powerful, athletic taiko drumming, the piercing sounds of the fue flute and the antics of the mime/dancer of Taikoza, a Japanese music ensemble which has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Symphony Space and Lincoln Center as well as sold-out houses in Russia and Europe.




Click here  and HERE  to see video of Taikoza in action.