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Folk Arts in Education Showcase and Concert

April 28 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EDT

A composite showing NYF's logo, Local Learning's Logo, a photo of Zorkie Nelson and a Photo of Veena and Devesh Chandra.

Join us on Sunday April 28th for a concert of North Indian Classical Music and Ghanaian Drumming.

Over the past year teaching artists Veena Chandra, Devesh Chandra, and Zorkie Nelson have worked collaboratively with the Schenectady School District to bring folk music into the classroom. The program will include an interview with the artists as they detail best practices and reflections on their work, along with a concert by the Chandras and Zorkie Nelson.

Veena Chandra is an internationally renowned sitarist, composer, teacher and choreographer. She is the founder and director of the Dance and Music School of India in Latham, NY (celebrating 34 years) where she teaches Indian classical music. She has been a faculty member at Skidmore College since 1990, teaching sitar in the Music Department. Since, 2014 she is also the Artist Associate in Sitar at Williams College (MA). Born in Dehra Doon, the Valley of the Himalaya Mountain Range on November 30th, 1944, Veena was inspired to play music by her father. Devesh Chandra has been learning the Tabla since the age of 3. He has learned Northern Indian Classical Music by accompanying his mother, Veena Chandra. Devesh, the youngest of six children, grew up immersed in Indian music. His first spoken words were the syllables of tabla -Dha Dha Tita. Immersed in music at a young age, Devesh is fortunate to have grown up surrounded by iconic figures of Indian Music. A film maker as well as a musician, Devesh is on the music faculty of Williams College. You can read more about Veena and Devesh’s work in Schenectady here.

ZORKIE NELSON is a master percussionist, traditional flute player and vocalist specializing in the Ga cultural tradition. Born into a family of musicians in the West African city of Accra, Ghana, Zorkie has studied music since the age of seven. His accomplishments include performing as a part of Wynton Marsalis’ “Congo Square Tour” in 2006, and co-founding and conducting the Pan African Orchestra (PAO) in the 1990’s.

Joining Zorkie Nelson on the stage for April 28th will be the visiting leader of the Pan African Youth Orchestra for Ghana, Sweku Sekyema Kwakye, as well as several school-aged youth who have been learning the rhythms and melodies throughout this school year. Nelson and Kwakye will present the structure and music of the Pan African Youth Orchestra and its unique role in furthering youth development in Schenectady. The Capital District Pan African Youth Orchestra is currently seeking members to learn the various instruments, including flutes, percussion, and stringed instruments. If you are a Capital District youth who would like to become involved in this unique orchestra, please contact New York Folklore at info@nyfolklore.org or call 518-346-7008.

This event is part of New York Folklore’s Arts Education Roundtable for Folk and Traditional Artists. Hosted In collaboration with Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts Education. 

Funding is provided for these programs by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, the Schenectady School District, and The National Endowment for the Arts.



April 28
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm EDT
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Proctors GE Theater
105 Jay St
Schenectady, NY 12305 United States
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