The Netherlands Carillon will provide the scenic backdrop for the first World Music Festival on Saturday, Sept. 2.
The free event, which runs from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Iwo Jima Grounds at Route 110 and Marshall Drive, marks the launch of Planet Arlington, a year-round program whose aim is to approach issues such as globalization and immigration from an arts and humanities standpoint.
Organized by Arlington County Cultural Affairs Division, Planet Arlington will feature a speaker series, other world music concerts, and a film series exploring current topics in globalization.
"We were looking for ways to contribute to discussions going on not only in Arlington, but around the world, on immigration and globalization," said Norma Kaplan of the Cultural Affairs Division. "We wanted to look at it positively, but also be provocative, using the arts and humanities to help us understand from a positive perspective all of these issues."
A remembrance event was held at the same venue in 2002, in honor of the victims of Sept. 11, and it was then that Arlington county officials, under the guidance of County Manager Ron Carlee, thought to put on a signature event in the prime location.
The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and U.S. Capitol will provide the spectacular backdrop for the main stage on which the groups perform.
THE WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL has been four years in the making, yet the lineup serves to affirm that it will certainly have been worth the wait. Hosted by Kojo Nnamdi of WAMU 88.5 FM, five different renowned world music groups will present their new take on traditional cultural sounds.
"It will be a fusion of different music styles that come together to create new sounds," Kaplan explained. "Frank London will be there, and joining him is a Brazilian drumming band-he’ll be combing the Jewish music tradition with Brazilian tradition to make very fascinating music."
In addition to Frank London’s Lezmer Brass All-Stars & Maracat NY, Oliver Mtukudzi, Eileen Ivers, Niyaz, and Los Mocosos will also perform.
THE FAMILY-FRIENDLY EVENT promises more than just eclectic music. In between the acts, there will be activities for children, including Japanese fan making and a mariachi band.
The Rosslyn Business Improvement District became one of the first sponsors of the concert. Kristin Adderson, communications director for the BID, said what made this signature event so appealing was its emphasis on the array of Arlington’s colorful neighborhoods and variety of ethnic backgrounds.
"We’re very proud to be part of the event. It shows how great Rosslyn is, as well as the diversity in Arlington," Adderson said.
The Cultural Affairs Division works with the Rosslyn Renaissance to put on summertime music concerts, and so when this event came about, it seemed like a perfect fit.
"Because it's in our backyard, it was just a natural connection," said Cecelia Cassidy, director of the Rosslyn Renaissance. "We hope people will have a magnificent time in a magnificent setting."