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Rio Mira Ensemble Brings Music of Ecuador to Quick Center

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Ecuador’s Rio Mira Ensemble will perform at St. Bonaventure University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21. The program, titled “Marimba del Pacifico,” is the second concert in the 2018-2019 Friends of Good Music performance season.

The marimba music of South Pacific Colombia and Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador, traces back to communities formed by escaped enslaved Africans, or maroons, and indigenous peoples of the region. In 2015, marimba music was recognized as an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“In many ways, marimba music is the lifeblood of communities along the Colombian and Ecuadorian Pacific coast,” said Cristina Díaz-Carrera, curator of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, following Rio Mira’s recent performance there. “Even in the face of adversity, the music is a way for communities to come together and express their fears and hopes.”

In 2014, musicians Larri Preciado and Esteban Copete joined singer Karla Kanora to form the musical collaboration Rio Mira. The group, which takes its name from a river that runs from Ecuador into Colombia, is guided by the distinctive percussive tones of the marimba, a Chonta palm xylophone.

“There are new generations and new projects in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, making their music, reinterpreting it and taking this traditional music to make it more up to date,” said Ivis Flies, a producer who has worked with the group. “Of these projects, what stands out is Rio Mira.”

Said lead singer Kanora, “This is a good time for our culture to emerge and for that to happen through the music.”

This concert is part of the ensemble’s first tour in the U.S., which includes performances at the World Music Festival Chicago, Cedar Theatre in Minnesota, St. Mary’s University in Texas and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., among many others. While in Olean, the group will also perform for students from local school districts.

This visit is made possible through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Subscription tickets for the remainder of the Friends of Good Music season are still available. A basic subscription, which includes one ticket to each of six concerts, is $102 at full price and $84 for senior citizens and St. Bonaventure employees. An extended subscription, one ticket to seven concerts, is $112 at regular price, $92 for senior citizens and St. Bonaventure employees.

Single tickets are $20 at full price, $16 for senior citizens and St. Bonaventure employees, and $5 for students.

For subscriptions, single tickets and information, call The Quick Center at (716) 375-2494.

For each Friends of Good Music performance, The Quick Center will open its galleries one hour before the performance and keep them open throughout the intermission. Regular gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Museum admission is free and open to the public year round. For more information, visit www.sbu.edu/quickcenter.

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