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Artist Residencies

Maha-Laya: A Rhythmical Rhapsody

featuring T H Subash Chandran & Ganesh Kumar

“Maha-Laya: A Rhythmical Rhapsody” features two of the best known percussionists in Indian carnatic music, T H Subash Chandran and his former student Ganesh Kumar. Their five-piece ensemble will conclude a three day residency at the University of Michigan with a performance at Rackham Auditorium, which will also feature performers from the U-M Department of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation in a transcultural collaborative performance. 

Master percussionist Sri T H Subash Chandran, from Chennai, South India, is a multi percussionist, performing on Mridangam (Barrel Shaped Drum), Ghatam (Claypot), Kanjira (South Indian Frame Drum), Morsingh (Jaw Harp) and Konnakkol (Vocal Percussion). Subash was a faculty of the California Institute of the Arts from 1976-1977, and is the professor emeritus at the Sankara Institute of Percussive Arts and Music, New Jersey. Sri T H Subash Chandran has developed international repute through his spellbinding performances at the United Nations, across the US and Europe, and with philharmonics such including, NY Philharmonic, Norwegian Philharmonic, USSR Philharmonic and Oslo Philharmonic with renowned violinist Dr L Subramaniam. 

Ganesh Kumar, the “kanjira wizard,” is responsible for popularising this instrument in USA, Europe and other countries, through his virtuosic performances and dedication to education. He released the first ever instructional DVD for kanjira titled "The Art of Kanjira,” which is used by many frame drummers and percussionists all over the world get to know about this instrument and performing techniques. Ganesh Kumar is well adept at fostering cross-cultural collaborations, having performed globally with many Indian legends and jazz greats including Bela Fleck, Paul Horn, John Wubbenhorst, Max Roach, Victor Wooten, Fareed Haque and others. In 2000, he became the first south Indian percussionist to receive a Fulbright Fellowship award, given by the United States Department of State.

T H Subash Chandran and Ganesh Kumar will perform with S Hari Krishnan, keyboard; K Sivaraman, violin; and Rajaraman, thavil. The ensemble will be joined by members of the U-M Department of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation for several numbers, including Professors Ed Sarath, flugelhorn, and Michael Gould, percussion.

Academic Year 2015 - 2016

Fall 2015

Janusz Prusinowski Kompania “Wild Music from the Heart of Poland”
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Rackham Auditorium

The Janusz Prusinowski Kompania visited the University of Michigan for one week during November of 2015. The Janusz Prusinowski Kompania is comprised of seven musicians and dancers who specialize in Mazurka music and Polish folk dance. While in Ann Arbor the group promoted it’s new album, "Knee-deep in Heaven,” which was produced in 2014 and inspired after a year of international music exploration. While on campus, the group delivered a lecture, facilitated instrumental and dance workshops, and performed two concerts. The final concert was a CWPS Signature Event.

About the concert: Anyone who has ever been to a village wedding in Poland will remember the intensity of the music, singing and dancing. Swinging songs, melodies and rhythms, simple but sophisticated in its polyrhythms, become visible and clear through the steps and movements of the dancers. This "wild music" carries both the experience of something really ancient yet authentically rooted in the here and now. We would like to share the music we learned from our Village Masters that we love with all our hearts: mazureks, obereks, kujawiaks, wiwats and polonaises - played, sung and danced.

Wild Music from the Heart of Poland is part of the Campus Project organized by This residency was also co-sponsored by CPPS and the Department of Dance.

Academic Year 2014-2015

Winter 2015

Dobet Gnahoré
Friday, January 16, 2015
Michigan Theater, 603 E Liberty St

The Center for World Performance Studies presented a concert by Dobet Gnahoré, a singer, dancer and percussionist from the Ivory Coast for this year's CWPS Signature event. Dobet inherited the force of the “Bété“ tradition from her father, Boni Gnahoré, a master percussionist who plays with the Abidjan-based Ki-Yi Mbock Company, directed by Werewere Liking. In this artistic collective, Dobet learned music, dance, and theatre for several years. Eventually, she met French guitarist Colin Laroche de Féline, who went to the Ivory Coast to immerse himself in African melodies and rhythms. In 1999 and having spent some time in the well-known Tché Tché dance company, Dobet and Colin decided to form the duo, Ano Neko, which means “Let’s create together“ in Bété language. Dobet’s powerful and lovely voice, her charisma, and her energetic performances continue to captivate audiences all over the world.

Dobet also performed in a CWPS Signature event in the Winter of 2013.

Academic Year 2013-2014

 Fall 2013

Dr. Rajeeb Chakraborty and Pandit Samar Saha "An Evening of Hindustani Classical Music"
Monday, September 30, 2013
Stamps Auditorium, 1226 Murfin Ave.

An authentic Indian musical performance with sarod player Dr. Rajeeb Chakraborty and tabla player Pandit Samar Saha, two renowned visiting artists from Kolkata, India. 

The concert was co-sponsored by the School of Music, Theatre and Dance; Patient and Family Support Services at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center; Center for South Asian Studies; Medical Arts Program at the U-M Medical School; King Chavez Parks Visiting Professors Program; and the Office of the Senior Vice Provost. 

Watch the video HERE. 


Winter 2014

Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay "An Evening of Hindustani Classical Music"
Thursday, February 13, 2014
UMMA, 525 South State St. 

The Center for World Performance Studies presented a concert of Hindustani classical music with Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay, an internationally recognized sitar player known for his exceptional spontaneity in musical expressions. As a top-grade artist of All India Radio, Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay is frequently featured in national TV and radio channels in India and other countries. Sanjoy is also the Ustad Alauddin Khan Professor of Instrumental Music at the Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata, India, and is involved in a number of national and international research projects. 

The concert was part of the LSA Theme Semester, India in the World, and was co-sponsored by UMMA. 

Academic Year 2012-2013

Fall 2012

Grupo Tucandira
Monday, October 8, 2012
Michigan League Ballroom

Columbian vocalists and musicians Nadith Johana Senejoa Cristancho, Rosny Portaccio Fontalvo, Arecio Manjarres Garcia, Yudi Helena Pardo Santamaria, and Yesid Castro Triana comprise the group Grupo Tucandíra, directed by Arecio Manjarres García. On October 8, 2012, they performed music from the Llano region of the Meta province of Columbia. The group performed on a variety of instruments, including the harp specific to the Llano region; the cuatro, a small four-string guitar; the pentola, a five-string guitar; the transversal flute; and percussion instruments such as the maracas.  

The concert was sponsored by CWPS and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.


Winter 2013

Dobet Gnahore and Acoustic Africa: music and dance, Ivory Coast

Dobet Gnahoré and Acoustic Africa is a unique, one-of-a-kind music group that introduced music and dance from Francophone Africa to the University of Michigan. While in Ann Arbor, they performed the largest event ever organized by CWPS at Hill Auditorium; “Dobet Gnahoré & Acoustic Africa in collaboration with the UMMA Exhibition El-Anatsui: When I Last wrote to you about Africa.” This group also participated in class presentations including Race and Identity in Music by Professor Naomi Andre from the Residential College, African Musics and Culture and Arts in Cultural Contexts by Professor Kwasi Ampene and Naomi Andre, and Introduction to African Studies by Professor Omalade Adunbi, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. They also held a roundtable discussion titled, “Music and the Experience of Female Performance” with Professor Frieda Ekotto from the Humanities Institute. They also participated in a Balofone Workshop at the School of Music with Professor Jonathan Ovalle.

CWPS and UMMA were co-sponsors.

Dates: 2/18/13 – 2/21/13

Dobet GnahoréWebsite

Academic Year 2011-2012

Winter 2012

Vusi Mahlasela: Singer-songwriter, South Africa

Vusi Mahlasela is a singer-songwriter and poet-activist. While at the University of Michigan, he visited many classes including a combined class: "Performing Arts and Power in Africa" taught by Professor Kwasi Ampene and "Arts in Cultural Contexts" taught  by Professor Naomi Andre, "Introduction to African Studies" taught by Professor Omolade Adunbi, Social Science Seminar on South Africa by Professor Adam Ashforth, and "Introduction to World Music" taught by Professor Meilu Ho. Additional events included film Screening of the “Amandla” documentary with DAAS in the Lemuel Johnson Center.

CWPS and DAAS were co-sponsors.

Dates: 1/10/12 – 1/14/12

Rony Barrak and The Fontomfrom Drum and Dance Ensemble: Percussion and dance, Lebanon and Ghana

Rony Barrak is a Lebanese percussionist best known for his mastery of the darbuka, a goblet-shaped hand drum. He is also a composer and producer who has a leading presence in collaborations in jazz, funk, percussion and classical, as well as Arabic and Latin musical styles. The Fontomfrom Drum & Dance Ensemble are master drummers and dancers and former members of the National Dance Company based at the Center for National Culture in Kumasi, Ghana. While at the University of Michigan, they participated in classes including Performing Arts and Power in Africa by Professor Kwasi Ampene, Africanist Dance History class by Professor Robin Wilson, Introduction to African Studies Class by Professor Adunbi Omolade, Introduction to World Music class by Professor Meilu Ho, a Percussion Studies Master class, and a Dance Class by Professor Biza Sompa. Additionally, they performed a concert at U of M hospital and Carpenter Middle School. Their culminating signature event was a public performance in collaboration with the Creative Arts Orchestra and Percussion Studies Master Class in Palmer Commons.

Co-sponsors were: CWPS, Africanist Dance Traditions (Department of Dance) and Percussion Studies (School of Music, Theater and Dance)

Dates: Residency 3/25/12 – 3/31/12; Concert on March 31, 2012