2023-2024 Series 4 - Ethnomusicology: Music Traditions From Around the World

February 22 to March 28, 2024

How does the traditional music of Asia, Central America or the Middle East compare to our own music traditions?  How does music shape history (and vice-versa), and bridge gaps between cultures? Can traditional music adapt to a changing world?

Travel around the musical globe with our six experts, who will not only talk informatively about global traditions, but illustrate with video clips and in some cases live performances.  Some speakers are academics, some have won or been nominated for Grammy’s and Juno’s, and all are practicing professionals immersed in their love of music. Sit back and enjoy this global voyage, and widen your musical understanding!

Series Coordinator:
Jim Martin


6 lectures, live at the Bayshore Centre and Online on Vimeo
Replays until April 28 on Vimeo

Would you risk your life for your music? Protest Songs from Around the World

  • Date: Thursday Feb. 22, 2024, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Location: Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound

    Global music journalist and Grammy-nominated producer Dan Rosenberg will draw from his experiences in more than 40 countries to show how musicians from diverse cultures use music to fight for social change, from the Arab Spring to the George Floyd protests. Examples will come from Dan's lifetime of work with music from Mali to Venezuela, to current projects dealing with the trauma suffered by Holocaust survivors and victims of the war in Ukraine, showing how song can heal and help transform societies.

    Lecturer - Daniel Rosenberg 

    Dan Rosenberg is a journalist and Grammy-nominated music producer based in Toronto. He has travelled to over 40 countries reporting on arts and culture, hosts the radio program Cafe International and is a producer for Afropop Worldwide.





    Traditional Music of Siberia and India

    • Date: Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Location: Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound
    In this lecture, we'll take a journey through two Asian musical traditions, including live performances of the musical styles by Jaron himself. We’ll begin with the traditional music of Mongolia and Tuva, the various styles of throat singing and instruments found there, notable artists from the tradition, as well as Jaron's experience as a musician touring and studying in the region. For the second portion of the session, we’ll look at South Indian classical Carnatic music, and the unique compositional forms, ragas, and rhythmic structures found in this music, as well as the violin's notable role in this tradition.


    Lecturer - Jaron Freeman-Fox



    Violinist Jaron Freeman-Fox trained as an apprentice under Oliver Schroer, and went on to study traditional music in South India, Norway, Mongolia, Tuva and Bulgaria. Jaron's band has won 3 Canadian Folk Music awards and toured extensively globally. Jaron has produced 12 albums, and played on over 50. In 2022 he appeared at Owen Sound's Sweetwater Festival.

    Virtual performance for Sweetwater, 2021


    Chasing the Tunes

    • Date: Thursday, March 7, 2024
    • Time: 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
    • Location: Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound

    Will Henry's interest in traditional fiddle music began in rural Manitoba, where he befriended, recorded and photographed the older generation of fiddlers in the Parkland Region. A Grey County resident and dance fiddler for more than 30 years, he has chased tunes around Ontario and Quebec, to Ireland and to Cuba, and encouraged others to pursue traditional music. Henry's lecture will focus on that pursuit and the changes he's seen in the trad music and dance community over more than 40 years. It includes an extensive photographic slide show, field recordings of the older musicians, stories from his book "Juggling the Notes", and live performances of traditional music.

    Lecturer - Will Henry

    Will Henry is a former print journalist and photographer. He plays and teaches traditional music for fiddle and banjo, is a songwriter and composer of fiddle music and as a member of Scatter The Cats has performed for dances, folk festivals, and community celebrations for more than 30 years. 

    Rrampt Interview

    Songversations with the Beloved

    • Date: Thursday, March 14, 2023
    • Time: 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
    • Location: Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound

    Roula will share with you some of her original Sufi-inspired poetry and song, along with a taste of the Arabic music and dance that has inspired her over the years. She will show footage of some multi-disciplinary shows combining music, movement and word. She will also share footage of her Juno-nominated project Nomadica and talk about her long-time collaboration with composer/trumpeter David Buchbinder through music and marriage - not only as an artistic process but as a profound heart-opening journey to create a sanctuary here where it is safe (and essential) for Palestinians and Jews to dare to love.

    Lecturer - Roula Said

    A Juno-nominated vocalist, poet, dancer and actor, Roula Said weaves song, poetry, movement and word to create passionate performances and soulful ceremonies. Her work is rooted in the Arab arts and open to the world. When she’s not performing or teaching, Roula officiates weddings and offers care at the end-of-life.



    Loud, Louder, and Loudest: Musical Change and Social Transformation in Panamanian Carnival Celebration

    • Date: Thursday, March 21, 2024
    • Time: 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
    • Location: Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound

    When the competing murgas of the town of Las Tablas, with their forty- plus horn players accompanied by a cadre of drummers, slowly exit the side streets of their respective neighbourhoods and make their way along the streets that encircle the town square, they do so with the aim of out- blowing and out-drumming each other to the point of total physical exhaustion.

    Drawing on ethnographic and archival research, this talk examines the fascinating case of how a ferocious 60-year rivalry between two bands not only produced what are arguably the loudest acoustic ensembles in Panama today, but in the process also transformed the nature of carnival participation throughout the country.

    Lecturer - Sean Bellaviti 

    Sean Bellaviti is a scholar, university lecturer, and musician. He has presented and written extensively on popular music, focusing on Panama, Venezuela, Cuba, and Latin American diasporic communities. As a musician, Bellaviti is in high demand as a salsa pianist, bandleader, and arranger.



    The Authentic Sound of Gospel Music

    • Date: Thursday, March 28, 2024
    • Time: 10:00 AM -12:00 PM
    • Location: Bayshore Community Centre, Owen Sound 

    Gospel music is a branch of the same tree that is rooted in Spirituals. Come and learn about the building blocks of Gospel music and how much fun singing gospel music can be! Join Karen Burke in a fast paced experiential session about this amazing music!

    Lecturer - Karen Burke

    Karen Burke, co-owner of Burke Music Inc., a Gospel music production and publishing company is also the Chair of the Music Department at York University, and Artistic Director of the Juno award-winning Toronto Mass Choir.

    In 2019, Burke was awarded the Harry Jerome Award in the Arts, Media and Entertainment.


    PowerUp Gospel & Toronto Mass Choir

    Karen featured as part of a CBC Ideas show about a Gospel course at U of T