2015 Global Roots Festival September 21 – 23 2015

The 2015 Global Roots Festival featured 숨[suːm], Maarja Nuut, La Chiva Gantiva, Ester Rada, Otava Yo and Hodan and Dalmar with Bob’s Band. The annual Global Roots Festival is The Cedar’s signature event. Each year, it reaches 3,000 audience members with performances, educational programs, and workshops featuring established and emerging international musicians. The only world music festival in the state, the festival attracts audiences of all ages and backgrounds from all over the region and speaks to the heart of our mission by presenting unique and innovative artistic voices from diverse cultures to further intercultural appreciation and understanding. Our daytime educational programs for K-12 students combine performance elements with discussion, Q&A, and instrument demonstrations that provide context and a deeper understanding of the artists’ work and culture and foster a lifelong appreciation for the arts. Since 2011, all festival events have been entirely free.


Monday, September 21, 2015


Public Performance: 7:30pm
숨[suːm] stands for breath, breathing and the space or pause between taking breaths. The duo was formed in 2007 by two Korean traditional musicians, Jiha Park, and Jungmin Seo. Their ambitious aim is to start a new era of Korean traditional music that sheds light on contemporary spirit by addressing in musical sense sentiments and lessons learned from living a modern life. Jiha Park admits, “I like Korean traditional music, but when I play it I feel a little weird because I don’t live in that time, a long time ago. I live now, in the 21st century, so I want to make my own music.” To reach that goal they experiment with melody and rhythm and adapt traditional instruments to their needs. Jiha Park plays Piri – a bamboo oboe, Yanggeum – a dulcimer, and Saenghwang – an impressive pipe organ played with the breath, while Jungmin Seo uses an unusual 25 string zither Gayageum.


Maarja NuutMaarja Nuut
Daytime Educational Program: 1pm
Public Performance: 7:30pm

Maarja Nuut is a fiddler and singer from Northern Estonia who is fascinated by the tunes of old village musicians and mind-boggling but at the same time structured patterns. The minimalistic sounds of the looper take the listeners on an imaginary journey over the constantly changing soundscapes which combine traditional dance tunes, songs and stories with live electronics.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015


la_chiva_gantiva_by_damien_gardLa Chiva Gantiva
Public Performance: 7:30pm
The story of LA CHIVA GANTIVA began in Brussels with a group of Colombian students who started to play percussion together, in order to feel closer to their homeland and its rich musical heritage. Pushed by a desire to assert their roots and reproduce Colombian rhythms of yesteryear, like less well-known rhythms such as the champeta, the chirimia and the mapalé, LA CHIVA GANTIVA uses traditional Caribbean instruments such as la tambora, el alegre, el llamador and maracones. LA CHIVA GANTIVA does not stop there, they also incorporate instruments like the bass guitar, the clarinet and the saxophone which reflect the diverse influences of the group: Colombian (with the likes of Toto la Momposina, Lucho Bermudez and Petrona Martinez), Latin (Fania All Stars, Irakere), African (Fela Kuti and Tony Allen), Jazz (Lionel Hampton), funk (the legendary James Brown) and rock (Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine). The various influences are also reflected in the composition of the group. Aside from the three Colombians, the other members are respectively French, Flemish, Walloon, and Vietnamese.


ESTER2Ester Rada
Daytime Educational Program: 1pm
Public Performance: 7:30pm

Ester Rada’s cross-cultural sound is a deep reflection of the Israeli born Ethiopian’s heritage. Growing up in a religious Jewish family in more than modest conditions in Israel, gave Rada the drive to change her way of life and fulfill her dream of creating music. Critics describe her genre mixing sound as “gracefully combining Ethio-Jazz, Urban-funk, Neo-Soul and R&B, with mixed undertones of black grooves”


WORKSHOP: “The Journey of Songwriting”
Internationally renowned educator, filmmaker, poet, and playwright Said Salah led a Somali poetry and songwriting workshop, helping to preserve this at-risk art form by giving young poets and students an opportunity to learn and practice these skills with historical context.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015


OTAVA YO_by_maxim_drozdovOtava Yo
Free Daytime Performance on The Cedar’s new public plaza: 1:00pm
Public Performance: 7:30pm

A group of professional folk musicians in St. Petersburg, Russia, spontaneously got together in 2005 and formed Otava Yo as a side project. They wanted to create new interpretations of Russian folk music, accessible to all audiences, and to revive old favorite Soviet tunes. After working on its “Russian beat” concept for three years the band released a new album, “Once Upon a Time.” Some call them “modern buffoons”, others describe the music as “communal flat groove”, and both are true. Otava Yo serves up its music in a vigorous manner with a good dose of humor, mixing up overdriven traditional Russian instruments with a stereotypical Russian look, which simultaneously frightens and attracts the tourists.


hodandalmarHodan and Dalmar with Bob’s Band
Evening Performance: 7:30pm at The Cedar Cultural Center
Hodan Abdirahman and Dalmar Yare are founding members of the foremost Somali hip hop group Waayaha Cusub and some of the most in-demand artists in the international Somali diaspora for their solo work and as members of the collective North America Superstars. In 2015, the singers worked with Augsburg Music Faculty Department Head Emeritus and Midnimo Music Director, Bob Stacke to form a full live band featuring alumni musicians from Augsburg College for a residency as part of The Cedar’s Midnimo program. The band has taken on a life of its own. Since February, the group has performed by invitation at established venues in Chicago and Mankato, as well as private Somali cultural events. They were even interviewed on Somali TV’s popular Liban Show at the end of 2015! Hodan and Dalmar with Bob’s Band is the first Minnesota-based group to be featured as part of the Global Roots Festival.



Thursday, September 24, 2015

WORKSHOP: “How to Build a Multi-Cultural Band”

Midnimo Music Director Bob Stacke, along with Hodan and Dalmar, led a workshop where musicians, instruments in tow, learned and practiced tools and techniques for sharing music across languages and cultures, from transcribing lead sheets to instructing by ear.