Washington University in St. Louis: Washington University partners with Sheldon for Whitaker World Music Series

Afrobeat, Spanish dance, Ukrainian multi-instrumentalists and contemporary Son jarocho and Afro-Mexican music. Next spring, Washington University in St. Louis’ Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity (CRE2) and its Department of Music in Arts & Sciences will partner with The Sheldon to present the fourth annual Whitaker World Music Series.


Featuring four concerts — as well as workshops, conversations and demonstrations on Washington University’s Danforth Campus— by world-renowned performing artists, the series aims to amplify dialogue around the power of the arts to shape and inform deeper understandings of race, culture and ethnicity.

“We are thrilled to be able to collaborate with the Department of Music and The Sheldon, linking our university community in new ways to one of St. Louis’ premier arts organizations,” said William Acree, interim co-director of CRE2. “Thanks to this partnership and CRE2’s Arts and Culture project, we can expand the impact these artists have in St. Louis as well as provide more access for our faculty and students to experiences where questions of race, ethnicity, and equity permeate music making.”


Flamenco Vivo will host a campus workshop and discussion on dance, music, ethnicity and other topics March 25, then perform at The Sheldon March 26. (Photo: Christophe Duggan, courtesy of the artists)
Concerts will begin Jan. 29 with Las Cafeteras, which filters folk, spoken word and traditional Mexican music and dance through the group’s roots in east Los Angeles. Events will continue March 26 with Flamenco Vivo, one of the nation’s premiere Spanish dance companies.

On April 13, the Whitaker World Music Series will welcome DakhaBrakha, which combines Ukrainian folk with traditional Indian, Arabic, African, Russian and Australian instrumentation. Concluding the series, June 17, will be Femi Kuti, leader of the acclaimed Afrobeat band Positive Force and son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti.


Femi Kuti will perform at The Sheldon June 17. (Photo courtesy of the artist)
Tickets and campus events

Tickets for the Whitaker World Music concerts are $15 for Washington University students and faculty and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 12, through TheSheldon.org and MetroTix outlets. All concerts will begin at 8 p.m.

Performers will be featured on the new podcast “Everywhere with CRE2.” Other campus highlights will include:

Jan. 28
Las Cafeteras
“A People’s History of Music in the United States”
1 p.m. Umrath Hall Lounge

March 25
Flamenco Vivo
“A Workshop & Conversation on Dance, Migration, Poetry, and Music-Making Across Ethnic Divides”
1 p.m. Umrath Hall Lounge

April 13
A Workshop with DahkaBrakha
Noon, Risa Commons

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