Have a hankering to head out at lunchtime and get your groove on? Look no further.
The Music Without Borders series, featuring the sounds of Colombia, India, China and the Balkans, returns to the Green on Wednesday, June 22 and runs every other Wednesday through Aug. 3.
The free concerts, organized by the and the and sponsored by Novartis, begin at noon and end at 1:30 pm.
Getting things off to a swinging start will be Chia's Dance Party, a New York City-based quintet/sextet. The band performs original material inspired by the Colombian rhythmic and melodic traditions, delivering a one-of-a-kind musical experience. Danceable grooves featuring saxophone, flute, tuba and percussion will have audiences feeling the rhythm.
This is the second year for the series, according to Ed Kirchdoerffer, general manager of Mayo Center. Last summer, two concerts were held at lunchtime on the Green and two were held after work in front of the theater.
"It went over very well, " Kirchdoerffer said. "Each event drew about 250 to 300 people. We decided to have them all at the Green this year because more people are circulating and for continuity."
In the event of rain, concerts will be held indoors at the , except on July 6, when the concert would be cancelled.
“We are thrilled to again offer free entertainment for everyone to enjoy in a way that celebrates the amazing cultural diversity of the area,” said Allison Larena, president and CEO of the Mayo Performing Arts Center.
Anne Aronovitch, executive director of the Arts Council of the Morris Area, said, “It is a thrill to collaborate on this special series and to see the smiles these concerts bring to the faces of our audiences. Music Without Borders is living proof of the adage: ‘music is a universal language.’”
Kirchdoerffer said the concerts, all upbeat and fun, are great for people of all ages. From seniors who want to bring a lawn chair and sit and enjoy the music to toddlers who want to run around in the grass, all can appreciate the live entertainment.
"These days not everyone can afford the price of a ticket to a live performance and this is our way to give something back to the community," said Kirchdoerffer.
Dr. Lynn L. Siebert, director of arts participation and communications at the Arts Council of the Morris Area, said she sits down with Aronovitch and Kirchdoerffer to discuss what countries the Mayo Performing Arts Outreach Committee wants to focus on for the summer's programs. From there, she researches different performance groups, which reflect those countries and which might be available to come to Morristown for the series.
Upcoming performances include: Chalgiya,Turkish for “orchestra, will play music from the Balkans—specifically Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, and Albania—on July 6. Music From China, a New York-based chamber trio, will perform on July 20, and closing the series on August 3 will be India: Sounds of the North, Bells of the South, which showcases a vocalist as well as dancers from the Shubanjali school.
For more information, visit see the Music Withour Borders page at MayoArts.org.