International sound: See the world on Austin’s stage

Published 9:37 am Sunday, June 3, 2018

This summer, Austin residents can take a trip around the world without leaving their backyards.

The Historic Paramount Theatre is hosting another three-event season of free music in its World Music Series, featuring artists with international ties.

Thanks to a grant and partnership with Riverside Concerts in Rochester and the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council, the cost of the concerts are free, according to Kelsey Ritchie, Austin Area Arts operations manager.

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“We’re always trying to bring art experiences to people in Austin,” Ritchie said. “Not everyone is able to travel and the fact that we can bring (these groups) to our community and have a free concert engages people in the arts.”

The lineup for the World Music Series is as follows:

La Victoria (June 13)

Rooted in strong foundations of Mexican folk music with touches of contemporary life as women in Los Angeles, La Victoria created a unique blend that reflects their city.

The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. on June 13.

La Victoria was founded in 2015 by Mary Alfaro (guitar), Vaneza Calderón (guitarrón) and Rosalie Rodriguez (violin). The three actively performed in concerts, private engagements, television and more. Their debut album was released in 2017.

All three members have professional backgrounds in mariachi music, and seek to preserve the essence of this genre. They play songs that encompass their everyday lives, as well as folk standards that are traditional in mariachi.

This group’s passion for the spirit of mariachi takes audiences on a journey, using Mexican culture to inspire them and using core instruments of mariachi to achieve the sound and experience of modern California.

Alash, Aug. 8

Alash (Aug. 8)

Masters of Tuvan throat singing, Alash will bring a technique for singing multiple pitches at the same time to the stage at 7:30 p.m. on  Aug. 8.

Alash is committed to traditional Tuvan music and culture, while also subtly infusing songs with western elements, creating a blend of fresh and new, while staying true to their Tuvan musical heritage.

Tuva sits at the southern edge of Siberia, with Mongolia to its south. Tuva has been part of the Chinese and Mongolian empires over the centuries, sharing many cultural ties with Mongolia.

Throat singers can produce two or three, sometimes four pitches simultaneously, and the effect is often compared to a bagpipe. Throat singing in this instance, does not strain the singer’s throat.

The ancient tradition was developed by nomadic herdsmen of Central Asia, and has a close relationship with nature. Throat singing is most commonly performed by men and traditionally outdoors.

Ives Lambert Trio, Aug. 22

Yves Lambert Trio (Aug. 22)

This group ends the series with a performance at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 22. Yves Lambert Trio is made up with Tommy Gauthier, Olivier Rondeau, and of course, Yves Lambert. This group is considered among the most influential players of Quebec trad, or traditional Quebec folk music.

Appreciate the arts

If residents or visitors want something that allows them to see acts that may possibly never come again to the area, this summer would be an opportune time, according to Ritchie.

“We want them to appreciate art in this town, “ she said.  “It’s incredible when Austin comes to artistic talent. We definitely want to nurture the love Austin has for the arts. These are very different groups that will probably never come to Austin, Minnesota again. “

Hannah Yang can be reached at