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ECA international music program at the library
Friday, November 12, 2010

Paul and Carla Roberts will present a special program demonstrating musical instruments from around the world at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 16, at the Ruby Sisson Library.

The Roberts are co-founders of Elation Center for the Arts. Their program at the library is part of an ECA fund-raising campaign to send a banjo to Janna Kim in Uzbekistan. A 24-year-old professional singer, Kim is the only banjo player in Uzbekistan, a country in Central Asian. Kim taught herself how to play banjo over the Internet using a makeshift instrument. ECA is supporting her goal of bringing the happy sounds of the banjo to a part of the world that is relatively unfamiliar with American folk music.

Ironically, the lineage of the American banjo goes back to instruments that have been played in Kim’s part of the world since ancient times. The instrument in the photo, a sarod from India, is believed to have descended from the rubab from Central Asia. The sarod is known for its deep reverberant quality. The name “sarod” means “beautiful sound” in Persian.

The Roberts will demonstrate the sarod during the program, along with the Indian sitar, Chinese cheng, Turkish saz, Irish bodhran, Native American flute, Middle Eastern dumbek, Japanese shakuhachi, banjos, recorder flutes, mandolins and other instruments from their exotic collection.

Donations will support the ECA fund-raising campaign to purchase a banjo for a gifted musician half way around the world. “When you make something possible for other people, it feels good,” says Carla Roberts.

Come hear the Roberts’ global sounds and see their rare instruments – works of art unto themselves. Donations are tax-deductible. For more information, call 731-3117.