Fête de la Musique – Celebrating World Music Day 2015

Not only is today, June 21, Father’s Day and the first day of summer, it’s also World Music Day 2015.

What is World Music Day, you ask? It’s a global celebration of the many indigenous forms of music that cultures have developed over the centuries. The annual event began in 1982 in France as Fête de la Musique and is now observed in more than 700 cities in 120 countries, including the United States.

World music incorporates the sounds of traditional societies, be they from Asia, Africa, South America, Australia or the rest of the planet. It involves plenty of blending with other styles, too, including pop and classical traditions.

Since opening, The Smith Center has been at the forefront of presenting world music in Las Vegas. In our first season, Celtic Woman brought the enchanting Gaelic sounds of Ireland alive in Reynolds Hall.

Other world music performers we have presented include Taj Mahal, the American treasure whose blues music is inflected with the ancient sounds of Africa. Mariza moved us with melancholic songs from the Portuguese fadotradition and Esteban’s six strings rang with Andalusian flair. Both Poncho Sanchez and Arturo Sandoval have brought Latin flavor to Symphony Park.

The Masters of Hawaiian Music filled Cabaret Jazz with entrancing Polynesian slack key guitar. Kodo resonated in Reynolds Hall with ancient Japanese drumming. And, just this weekend, the Assad Brothers returned for an engagement filled with beautiful Brazilian sounds.

With local temperatures headed above 100° Fahrenheit today, summer solstice Sunday is the perfect time to stream some world music on Spotify and cool off by a swimming pool. Just don’t forget to think about dad.

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