Musicians from Ethiopia, Cuba, Hungary, Poland, Argentina, Czech Republic and Austria highlight the ninth annual Landfall Festival of World Music taking place at various Cedar Rapids venues Sept. 13 through 17. That’s 65 musicians hailing from more than a dozen countries.
Legion Arts, the nonprofit organization that runs the historic CSPS Hall in Cedar Rapids, presents Landfall each year. Venues this year include CSPS Hall, NewBo City Market , The Cedar Rapids Public Library and Opus Café. Admission is by donation at the door.
The festival began in 2008 partly as a respite for residents and volunteers impacted by the major flood of that summer. Now in its ninth year, the Landfall Festival is a chance for Iowa audiences to enjoy some of the international riches featured at major world music festivals in cities like Chicago and Milwaukee, but in a more intimate and accessible setting.
The festival will culminate in an afternoon of music at NewBo City Market on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Tue, Sep 13
Fémina (Argentina), 6:30 pm, Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 Fifth Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids
From Argentina, Fémina is a quickly-rising trio of Patagonian singer-songwriters. Their diverse, pan-Latin songs are characterized by show-stopping harmonies and a magical on-stage chemistry. The close harmonies of sisters Sofía Trucco, Clara Trucco and best friend Clara Miglioli play like sheet lightening over their smart combinations of funk, candombe, chacarera, flamenco, rumba, hip hop and reggae.
Söndörgö (Hungary), 8:00 pm, CSPS Hall, 1103 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids
The unique sound of Söndörgö is built around the tambura (a small string instrument reminiscent of the mandolin), along with wind instruments and accordion. Growing up amidst a strong Serbian culture in their small town near Budapest, the members of Söndörgő began playing together in high school and became devoted to southern Slavic music traditions, especially those found in Hungary’s Serbian and Croatian settlements that border the Danube. The group researches, arranges and performs in this little-known Balkan tradition deriving their repertoire from material gathered by Béla Bartók and Tihamér Vujicsics, as well as pieces learned directly from old masters.
Wed, Sep 14
Malina Brothers (Czech Republic), 1:00 pm, Lion Bridge Brewing Co, 59 16th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids
The Malina Brothers, an offshoot of CSPS favorite Druha Trava, is led by award-winning banjoist Lubos Malina. Joined by brothers Pavel and Pepa, their bluegrass covers of classic country tunes, along with original songs, represent a creative, exuberant fusion of Czech and American traditions.
Drum Circle & Workshop with Dohl Foundation leader Johnny Kalsi, 5:00 pm, NewBo City Market
Kalsi will lead a drum circle and workshop. Bring a drum or something to bang on! He will be teaching basic Dolh drum patterns and answer questions, then the group will perform at 8pm at CSPS Hall. Everyone welcome to this free event.
Lăutari (Poland), 6:30 pm, Opus Concert Café, 119 Third Ave SE, Cedar Rapids
Lautari describe themselves as an ethno-jazz chamber folk group. Based in Poznan, Poland, the ensemble adapts and energizes elements of many traditions of Central and Eastern Europe. They learned their repertoire from a combination of village musicians and works of 19th-century folklorist Oskar Kolberg. Lautari approaches folk music as an essential expression of Poland’s national culture and a fertile ground for avant-garde experimentation and improvisation. The group draws its name from the wandering Romainian musicians, or Gypsies, of the mid-1800s.
Fendika (Ethiopia), 6:30 pm, Cedar Rapids Public Library
The musicians and dancers of Fendika draw deeply from Ethiopia’s azmari music, a tradition developed by itinerant bards. The seven-member group includes two dancers, two singers and instrumentalists who play kebero drums, masenko (a one-stringed bowed fiddle), and krar (a five- or six-stringed lyre). Founder Melaku Belay is also virtuoso interpreter of eskista, the traditional trance dance known for athletic shoulder movements that presaged hip hop and breakdancing.
The Dhol Foundation (India), 8:00 pm, CSPS Hall
Based in London, but grounded in the Punjab, The Dhol Foundation delivers an irresistible wall of sound, blending red-hot bhangra beats with global rhythms and contemporary dance music. Johnny Kalsi is the band’s founder and a former member of groundbreaking world music acts Transglobal Underground and Afro Celt Sound System.
Thu, Sep 15
Malina Brothers (Czech Republic), 6:30 pm, Cedar Rapids Public Library
Germán López (Canary Islands), 6:30 pm, Opus Concert Café
Coming from Gran Canaria, a remote territory of Spain, Germán López is a master of the timple, a diminutive, five-stringed instrument intrinsic to the music of the Canary Islands. He will be joined onstage by the brilliant Spanish guitarist Antonio Toledo.
Lăutari (Poland), 8:00 pm, CSPS Hall
Fri, Sep 16
Adonis Puentes (Cuba), 6:00 pm, New Bo City Market, 1100 3rd St SE, Cedar Rapids
With a fresh, rich voice and a tight all-Cuban acoustic band, Adonis Puentes is earning a place in the list of great soneros – bandleader/singers whose vocal improvisations are the hallmarks of Cuban son. Layering traditional Cuban rhythms with deep bass lines, jazzy horn arrangements and his melodic guitar, Adonis Puentes creates shows that are dance extravaganzas . “… [A] world class band that delivers with great precision; witty, intelligent lyrics inspired by everyday life and by the greatest power of all: Love,” raved the Latin Jazz Network.
Sat, Sep 17
IMPORTANT UPDATE: To accommodate artists’ travel schedules, we’re making some changes to Landfall’s Sat line-up. This is what you can expect:
1:00 pm Johnny Lipford (Iowa) at NewBo City Market
2:45 pm Maya Kamaty (Reunion Island) at NewBo City Market
4:30 pm Federspiel (Austria) at NewBo City Market
6:15 pm Palenke Soultribe (Colombia) at CSPS Hall
Johnny Lipford (Iowa)
World flute music
Maya Kamaty (Reunion Island), 2:45 pm, New Bo City Market
Four-time winner of the Music of the Indian Ocean prize, singer Maya Kamaty blends island blues and halting ternary rhythm music. While her music is grounded in maloya, a music genre of Réunion usually sung in Réunion Creole and accompanied by percussion and a musical bow, she creates her own intimate folk style, blending in French chanson, Indian and African influences.
Federspiel (Austria), 1:00 pm, New Bo City Market
A seven-piece ensemble that redefines brass-band music, Austria’s Federspiel features seven young musicians reinterpreting the folk music of Austria and neighboring countries. The music has been described as playful, tender, touching and full of power.
Palenke Soultribe (Colombia), 4:30, New Bo City Market
Palenke Soultribe, a live electronic production collective, are taking electronic music to new heights by deconstructing Afro-Colombian rhythms and blending them with modern beats, catchy bass lines and synthesized arpeggios.
The schedule is subject to change. Concerts generally last 70 minutes. Additional concerts and pop-up events take place throughout the festival.
Landfall has received major support from the Iowa Arts Council, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation and Rockwell Collins. Additional support comes from the University of Iowa Community Credit Union, the City of Cedar Rapids Hotel-Motel Fund, the Austrian Cultural Forum NYC and the Polish Cultural Institute. Media sponsors include Hoopla, Little Village and City Revealed.