Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vieux Fark Toure and Munnelly courtesy of Legion Arts

We spent last night in Greensquare Park listening to Vieux Fark Toure of Niafunke in Northern Mali. CSPS (legion arts) of the recently flooded Oak Hill neighborhood is offering soggy Cedar Rapids our first annual Landfall Festival of World Music.

Colin and I put three of our children, a bag full of picnic food (BLT'S!), a couple of blankets and 3/4 of a big bottle of red wine in the car Monday night to check out Munnelly, an Irish folk band. Legion Arts snagged them on their way to a gig in New York. I couldn't help but wonder if Munnelly was wondering where in the world they were. Cedar Rapidians aren't as expressive as the Irish according to the accordian player who begged the audience (in a thick irish accent) to GET UP AND DANCE. Luckily, the children did so with great passion and energy. I discovered that it is impossible to feel sad, unlucky, down in the dumps, or grouchy while a chubby irish man plays the accordian like his life depends on it. We had such a perfectly lovely time that I promised we'd return Tuesday night.

So last night at about 6:45 as I sat on our blanket eating pita and hummus and watching the kids wiggle and stomp to a drum beat from the other side of the equator, I fully expected a baby elephant to wander into the park. There's something about being enveloped in sounds coming from unfamiliar instruments that can make one feel like they are not quite at home. The kids didn't seem to mind. In fact, we listened to Vieux Farka Toure in the car on the way home and I agreed to some after-school dancing for Victoria when she gets off the bus today. With the moon roof wide open, we drove home more slowly than usual while Zoe hollered above the drums, "da stars mama! yook at da stars!" I am currently on a quest to find those ankle things with bells for the girls. That's going to be a good time.

Check out the website at for a sample of what was going on last night in the park.

One of the guys that runs CSPS opened with this comment, "I have been asked if Cedar Rapids really wants a World Music Festival and I answer, of course they do! They just don't know they want it yet!"

Amen to that.

I didn't know I wanted Irish Folk Music and an African Dance Beat in the park this week. But I really really did.

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be nice...