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Lotus World Music and Arts Festival begins today. Here's what you need to know.


Jupiter & Okwess invite women up on stage to dance with them during the 2018 Lotus World Music & Arts Festival on Sept. 29 in the Alchemy/Old National Bank Tent. Jupiter & Okwess performed high-energy Congolese soukous. Andrew Williams

The 26th annual Lotus World Music & Arts Festival begins Thursday. Here's what you need to know about events going on throughout the weekend.

Thursday Sept. 26

Cicada Song: 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 p.m. at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures


The Dong (Kam) people of the mountainous areas of Southwestern China have used their music to transmit their history and culture across many generations. The presentation, organized by ethnomusicologist, Mu Qian, will feature traditional Dong songs performed by the Yandong Grand Singers. At the end, the singers will teach audience members how to sing songs by mimicking the flutter of cicada wings, also called the Cicada Song.

Lotus Kick-Off Concert: 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Tickets: $20 in advance or $25 at the door

The Lotus Fest will celebrate it’s 26th kick-off concert with the music and dance of Çudamani. Based out of the village of Pengosekan, Bali, the group performs with metal gongs, xylophones, metallophones, drums and bamboo flutes to put on an elaborate show that celebrates tales of gods and heroes from Balinese culture.

Lotus in the Meadow: 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in Dunn Meadow


Following the kick-off concert, walk down to Dunn Meadow where artists Rosegirl, Huckleberry Funk and featured band, 47Soul will be filling the air with the sounds of music from a variety of cultures. 47Soul is a Jordanian/Palestinian group that specializes in Shamstep, a Middle-Eastern genre of electronic dance music. The event will also include free hot air balloon rides and food trucks. 

Friday, Sept. 27

One for the Foxes: 7:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at First Christian Church

Members Dave Curley, Tadhg Ó and Joanna Hyde work to unite both Irish and American folk music by incorporating a multitude of instruments, such as guitar, banjo, mandolin, piano and fiddle. They hope to bring about a “conversation” to describe the relationship between Irish traditional music and American descendants.

Afrotronix, African Electronica: 9:00 p.m to 10:15 p.m. at Needmore Coffee Roasters/Hamilton Lugar School (6th Street)

Originally from Chad but now based in Montreal, Afrotronix creates his music with inspiration from Mandinka music of West Africa, Saharan Tuareg blues, Senegalese rumba, Chadian sai, dubstep, EDM and reggae. His signature look is all white clothing and a helmet replicating “a combination of Alien and Sonic The Hedgehog."

Kittel & Co: 10:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. at First Christian Church

Connecting multiple musical realms, this American group works to bring together classical and Americana, Celtic and Bluegrass and folk and jazz music. Jeremy Kittel composes the original music that draws from traditional roots from a multitude of musical styles and genres.

Saturday, Sept. 28

Irene Atienza and Douglas Lora: 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church

This “intimate, sophisticated and powerful” performance headed by Spanish vocalist Irene Atienza and Brazilian guitarist Douglas Lora combine the traditions of their own countries. Representing a multitude of classic Latin genres, some including boleros, tangos and sambas, the duo also brings a modern twist to their artistry.

Lula Wiles: 9:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church

This trio of Americans based out of rural Maine presents its art in a way that “explores cultural virtues, soothes aching wounds and envisions a better world."

Balla Kouyaté presents the Balan Fanga Project: 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater

This presentation highlights the West African balafon, a xylophone made from gourds and wood. The balafon used by Kouyaté is over 1,000 years old and is considered a UNESCO Artifact of Intangible History. His talent has been featured on over 45 recorded, some Grammy award winning, albums.

Sunday, Sept. 29

Festival Unwind Yoga: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center.

Sponsored by Samantha Eibling Yoga, this drop-in session will encourage participants of all skill levels to learn new yoga techniques. Instructors will be present to help demonstrate at these accessible spaces.

Songwriting Workshop with Sofía Viola & Dat Garcia: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Monroe County Public Library, Meeting Room 1C

FREE, but pre-registration required

This songwriting workshop led in English and Spanish will allow women and non-binary people of ages 12+ to be empowered by music. Instruments are not required but are welcomed.

Sunday Closing Concert: 3:00 p.m. Doors open at 2:30 the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

Admission: Commemorative 26th anniversary Lotus Festival pin

Following the tradition of each closing ceremony celebrating music based close to Bloomington, the concert will feature artists Steam Machine and Jayme Stone’s Folklife to pay tribute to Indiana musician Quinten “Lotus” Dickey. Attendees must purchase a festival pin to get into the show, available for purchase at the Buskirk-Chumley Box Office or at the Festival Store.

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