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Mar-04-2012 18:37printcomments

Samba Fogo & SambaDa to Headline 15th Anniversary World Beat Festival June 30 - July 1

Cultural Legacy Theme Featured Through Youth Performances.

Samba Fogo of Salt Lake City
Samba Fogo of Salt Lake City

(SALEM) - The Salem Multicultural Institute today announced that Samba Fogo of Salt Lake City will headline the 15th Anniversary World Beat Festival, which takes place June 30 – July 1.

Samba Fogo Dancer - World Beat Fest

Samba Fogo Music and Dance Company draws on Afro-Brazilian traditions and mythology and fuses Brazilian dance and fire dance. Their dances are all choreographed to live music to create a unique, dynamic, culturally rich performance style.

Samba Fogo will perform Saturday evening following headline band SambaDa of Santa Cruz, California.

The two groups will give the evening a carnaval feel, while the overall theme for the 15th anniversary weekend is “Celebrating our Cultural Legacy.”

This theme will unfold throughout the weekend in the form of a diverse lineup of youth cultural performances including the An Daire Irish Step Dancers from Albany, Oregon, the Teatro Bagong Silangan, Filipino youth dancers from Portland, and Bahuru Youth African Marimba band from Richmond, Washington, to name just a few.

The diversity of youth performances will range from Iranian youth musicians, to classical Indian dancers, to a Latin youth guitar performance.

Festival hours are Saturday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, July 1, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the Dragon Boat Races kicking off at 9:00 a.m. There is a $5 suggested donation at the gate.

VoVinam Lion Dancers - World Beat Fest

The World Beat Festival is a two-day international cultural event that gives visitors the opportunity to learn about different cultures by experiencing their music, dance, stories, art, and foods in an atmosphere of openness and appreciation for people of all ethnic backgrounds.

Mythobolus Mask Theater

More than 125 performances, demonstrations, and workshops take place throughout the weekend. In 2011, 65 countries and cultures were represented through the performances, demonstrations and exhibits at the festival.

The Festival engages cultural heritage groups from all over the Northwest and beyond.

It is organized in five World Villages representing different regions of the world and has nine performance venues, three parades, and Dragon Boat Races all day on Sunday.

Samba Fogo Music and Dance Company is a professional company that has operated in Salt Lake City since 1990, originally using the name “Samba Gringa.”

The company has both touring and local components that teach and facilitate Brazilian and Afro-Brazilian music and dance in numerous schools, programs, and universities in Utah and surrounding states.

SambaDa blends the roots of Afro-Brazilian song and dance with contemporary beats to create their own samba-reggae-funk sound with universal appeal.

The nine-member band, which includes Papiba Godinho and Dandha da Hora originally from Brazil, has toured throughout the U.S. including a 2007 performance at the 10th Anniversary World Beat Festival. They will perform music from their critically acclaimed CD “Gente!”

Samba Fogo and SambaDa’s high-energy performances will offer World Beat guests the chance to experience the deep-rooted culture, infectious enthusiasm, and celebratory spirit that makes Brazil famous.


15th Anniversary World Beat Festival Background

Samba Fogo Fire Dancer

One February evening in 1997, two moms with young daughters set out to form a positive response to incidents of racism and intolerance in Salem, Oregon. On rolls of poster paper stretched across a dining room wall, they mapped out a celebration of cultural diversity.

The World Beat Festival, celebrating its 15th anniversary this June 30-July 1 is a true story of community action. The Salem Multicultural Institute, the nonprofit that they formed to operate the festival, has since flourished. It operates programs all year long with a small staff and more than 400 volunteers.

The World Beat Festival is a two-day international cultural event that gives visitors the opportunity to learn about different cultures by experiencing their music, dance, stories, art, and foods in an atmosphere of openness and appreciation for people of all ethnic backgrounds. More than 125 performances, demonstrations, and workshops take place throughout the weekend.

The Festival engages cultural heritage groups from all over the Northwest and beyond. It is organized in five World Villages representing different regions of the world and has nine performance venues, three parades, and Dragon Boat Races all day on Sunday.

The first event of the summer, the Festival is an important Oregon tradition. More than sixty nations and cultures are represented at the festival through art, performances, international food, exhibits, lectures and demonstrations.

World Beat owes much of its success to the ongoing involvement of businesses and non-profit groups that bring volunteers in support of their exhibits and the festival as a whole.

Mythobolus Mask Theater

Parade of Nations World Beat fest

For example, Kaiser Permanente staff volunteer to run the Stepping Stage, and Wells Fargo provides operations volunteers for setup and throughout the weekend.

Other long-term partners include Salem Health (first aid) and Marion County Sheriff's office (setup and teardown).

The annual Dragon Boat Races are the successful result of collaboration with DragonSports USA of Portland.

The Festival is the flagship program of the Salem Multicultural Institute (SMI), and a premier regional event for Salem and Oregon.

Approximately 30,000 visitors attend the event each year.

In 2011, donations at the gate reached a new high of $34,800.

This generates financial support for community partners such as AC Gilbert’s Discovery Village and for SMI’s year-round programming.

The Festival has won several awards from the Oregon Festivals & Events Association: 2010 Best Music Program within a Festival, 2009 Best Performing Arts Festival, 2008 Best Festival, and 2006 & 2007 Best Cultural Festival.





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