Nexus Brings World Music to WFU in Secrest Concert

From traditional African dance rhythms to 1920s xylophone ragtime music, the percussion quintet NEXUS will bring world music to Wake Forest University at 8 p.m Saturday, Feb. 28, in Wait Chapel.

During the Secrest Artists Series concert, the world-renowned ensemble will play Tibetan cymbals, tuned Swiss cowbells, a New Guinea war trumpet and more than 100 other instruments from around the world.

Formed in 1971 by Bob Becker, William Cahn, Robin Engelman, Russell Hartenberger, and John Wyre, NEXUS has developed a diverse repertoire featuring group improvisations as well as works composed by ensemble members and other contemporary composers. NEXUS, which means “connection,” is based in Toronto.

Their music is derived from West African, East Asian, Latin American, European and North American cultures.

Their appearances with major orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony have led to international acclaim. The group gained particular notice for performances of Toru Takemitsu’s “From me flows what you call Time,” composed for NEXUS and the Boston Symphony Orchestra and commissioned by Carnegie Hall. During the 1996-97 season, the group teamed up with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman.

The ensemble regularly participates in international festivals, among them the Tanglewood Music Festival and World Drum festivals in Vancouver, Brisbane and Calgary. In 1992, NEXUS was featured on CBS’ “Sunday Morning.”

The ensemble has produced more than a dozen compact discs. The newest include “Farewell to Philosophy,” “Music for Heaven and Earth” and “World Diary.”

NEXUS will offer a hands-on workshop on “West African Drumming” at 11 a.m. Feb. 28. Attendance is limited. To request an invitation to the workshop, call the Secrest office at (910) 758-5757.

Tickets for the concert are $17.50 for adults and $12.50 for non-Wake Forest students. Tickets are available from the University Theatre Box Office at (910) 758-5295. The box office is open noon-5:30 p.m. weekdays.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events