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Team Rootberry Open Free Series at Penn State York

Team Rootberry
9/12/2008 —

Sword swallowing while juggling saw blades and a flaming chainsaw are two reasons to head to Penn State York on Sept. 23 when Team Rootberry kicks off the 2008-09 Cultural and Performing Artists series at the campus.  The performance, at 7 p.m. in the campus’ Pullo Family Performing Arts Center (The Pullo Center), is free and open to the public.

Jonathan Root and Bill Berry, otherwise known as Team Rootberry, bring their internationally acclaimed juggling credentials to the stage at The Pullo Center for an evening of comedy and juggling that is exciting and family friendly.  Team Rootberry holds five international juggling championships and three world records.  They have performed on CNN, Speed Channel, Discovery, ESPN, and they will be right here in York.  Don’t expect to see ordinary juggling.  Visit www.rootberry.net for more information on this unique act.

The free series continues on Oct. 9 with Los Llaneros (Los Yah-NEH-ros), a South American music ensemble.  Los Llaneros specializes in the music of the Colombian/Venezuelan plains that surround the vast basin of the Orinoco River. The music of this geographically and culturally unique area evolved from the contact between nomadic Indians and Jesuit settlers 500 years ago.

Authentic “Llanero” music is rarely performed outside these savannas because of its difficult harp, cuatro, and percussion techniques, and hence it remains one of Latin America’s best kept secrets. Los Llaneros has won several awards at Latin American competitions, and René Devia, the ensemble’s harpist, is recognized as one of Colombia’s foremost specialists in Llanero music. Come celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Los Llaneros.  Visit www.losllaneros.com for more information on this exciting group.

An annual event in Penn State York’s free series, Barry Drake, rock historian, returns to campus on Oct. 23 for his multimedia presentation “60s Rock: When the Music Mattered.” Travel back to the 60s at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center.

The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Supremes, the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, and yes, even The Monkees, were the sounds filling the airwaves through those turbulent years.  The decade of the 60s was one of the most interesting periods in American history and through all of the good and bad times, it was the music that brought us together and sometimes tore us apart. The political turmoil, the social upheaval, the hippie movement, the Vietnam War and the generation gap were all reflected in the popular music of the day.  “60s Rock - When The Music Mattered” will celebrate, examine, clarify and put into perspective one of the most exciting decades in music history.   Visit www.barrydrake.com for more information on this program.

Come and celebrate Hilo-ween on Oct. 30 when the Penn State Glee Club Hi-Los and the Penn State Trombone Choir offer a "spooktacular" concert at 8 p.m. in The Pullo Center.  The groups will travel from the University Park campus of Penn State to share their music talents with selections that range from serious, spooky and mysterious to humorous.  This program will appeal to the entire family.

The powerful sound of the Japanese Taiko drums will fill The Pullo Center on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. when Taikoza, Japanese Drumming Ensemble, visits York.  The Taiko, a large barrel-like drum, can fill the air with the sounds of rolling thunder. Drawing from Japan's rich tradition of music and performance, Taikoza has created a new sound using a variety of traditional instruments. In addition to drums of assorted sizes, Taikoza performers also play the shakuhachi and the fue (both bamboo flutes) and the koto (a 13-string instrument).  Don’t miss this exciting presentation ( www.taikoza.com).

Preacher Moss  and the “End of Racism” comedy/lecture tour comes to The Pullo Center on Tuesday, Feb. 24 in celebration of African-American History Month. Preacher Moss will take to the stage to share his sincerity, intellect and comic ability in the 7:30 p.m. performance.

A writer for "The Damon Wayans Show" and "Saturday Night Live," his comedy stylings are distinguished for being sculpted out of the everyday relevance of life and the rare glimpses of truth we value as reality. He is intellectual yet humble.  “Speaking on Truth," Moss has been playing college students, faculty, and administrators all over the country. With his insight on "racial understanding vs. racial interaction," he has quickly become one of the funniest social commentator on the college scene today. (www.preachermoss.com )

Live music comes back to the series on March 5 at 7 p.m. when Zili Misik, an all female group brings their distinct sound to The Pullo Center.  Zili Misik has been bridging cultures, generations, and continents for seven years.  Zili retraces routes of forced exile and cultural resistance through diasporic rhythm and song.  Powerful Haitian, Brazilian and West African rhythms infuse Zili's original creations and traditional folk songs.  Reconnecting Haitian mizik rasin, Jamaican roots reggae, Afro-Brazilian samba, Afro-Cuban son, and African-American spirituals, blues, jazz and neo soul, Zili Misik honors its influences while creating a sound that is uniquely its own.

Zili takes its name from Haitian spiritual entity, "Ezili" who is envisaged as mother, lover, and warrior.  Zili's songs are sensual, political, self-reflective, positive, and invoke love.  Zili's lyrics glide seamlessly from English to Kreyòl to Portuguese to Spanish, spinning tales and visions of lives lived and yet to be. (www.zilimisik.com).

Get ready for the Irish folk-rock sounds when Ceann, an Irish Drinking Band, bring the luck of the Irish to The Pullo Center on Wednesday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m.  Ceann formed as an Irish Rock Band in Pittsburgh in 2005 with the release of their first album of all-original material "Almost Irish." Before that, Ceann was an acoustic trio that played Irish pub music across the northeast.

Ceann continues to mix fun Irish music with their popular originals. While some of Ceann's songs revolve around the culture of being Irish Americans many of Ceann's most popular songs have distinctively more contemporary themes. Their songs appeal far beyond the normal reach of Irish music and have given them access to unprecedented markets for an Irish band. As one of the only Irish bands to find success on commercial radio, Ceann's fan base has grown as quickly outside of Irish music circles as quickly as it's grown within them. Their cross market appeal has allowed them to be featured at Irish festivals and at non-Irish music festivals to equal success. Ceann has also become one of the most sought after college music acts in the country.  Everyone is Irish in March so don’t miss this performance. (www.ceannmusic.com)

Closing out the free series is the Penn State International Dance Ensemble (PSIDE) on Saturday, March 21 at 7 p.m.  This 38-member student-run performance group based in State College celebrates the diverse cultures of the world through song and dance.  Now in its 25th year, PSIDE is entirely under student leadership and is an official Penn State performance group.

The Cultural and Performing Artists Series is sponsored by Penn State York and the York Newspaper Company, with additional support from the Penn State York Student Government Association and the Student Activity Fee.  Admission to events is free, open to the public, and no ticket is required.  For information regarding ticketed performances at The Pullo Center, please  call 717-505-8900 or visit them on the Web at www.pullocenter.psu.edu.

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