While Colombia is often synonymous with Cumbia, the music from the Pacific Coast, like that of Herencia de Timbiquí, remains largely unexplored. Herencia de Timbiquí works to preserve the ancestral roots of the marimba de chonta, and traditional instruments such as the bombo, cununos and the guasá and combines them with a powerful band, including energetic vocals, brass, keyboards, and guitar. The currulao ensemble features exceptional hand percussion on drums that resemble West African djembes, beautifully honoring traditional regional music styles. The Afro-descendant Herencia de Timbiquí caught the attention of USAID, and featured the group in a 2014 documentary highlighting not only what the artists represent to the Colombian music scene, but also the social challenges faced on the Colombian Pacific coast where the town of Timbiquí is located.
Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices, over the past two decades the Pacifica Quartet has gained international stature as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. The Pacifica tours extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, performing regularly in the world’s major concert halls. Named the quartet-in-residence at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in March 2012, the Pacifica was also the quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009 – 2012) – a position that had previously been held only by the Guarneri String Quartet – and received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance.
The evening will bring a variety of silent films from Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and The Great Train Robbery from the Thomas Edison laboratory -- considered to be the first Western on film. Soundtracks for the films are presented live on stage following the original scores and performed by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra is the world’s only year-round, professional ensemble re-creating “America’s Original Music” – the syncopated sounds of early musical theater, silent cinema, and vintage dance. The PRO came into being as the result of conductor/director Rick Benjamin’s 1985 discovery of thousands of turn-of-the-century orchestra scores once belonging to Victrola recording star Arthur Pryor. In 1988 the Orchestra made its formal debut at Alice Tully Hall – the first concert ever presented at Lincoln Center by such an ensemble.