Robert Mirabal to perform at WCU Bardo Arts Center

by Oct 3, 2019A&E, Happenings


The Western Carolina University Bardo Arts Center is pleased to present, The River, on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. This piece is a dynamic collaboration between ETHEL, acclaimed adventurous string quartet and Robert Mirabal, Native American musician, instrument builder, and three-time GRAMMY® Award winner.

Continuing a deeply successful six-year collaboration inspired by ceremonies dedicated to the Sun, ETHEL and Robert Mirabal have created the next evolution of the cross-cultural concert experience. The inspiration this time is Water as the embodiment of Spirit, and its essential role in Life on Earth.  The audience is immersed in a flow of music, narrative, and ritual that evokes timeless Native American traditions through contemporary musical artistry. As delivered by these master performers, the effect is breathtaking, even ecstatic.

The program is an integral journey in instrumental virtuosity, song and storytelling, created uniquely for this event. In retreat together, at Mirabal’s home on the Taos Pueblo, each of the artists brought original musical or poetic works with special significance to the group. Influences were drawn in from Hawaii, Arizona, Mexico, Ecuador, Morocco, Nigeria, India, Mongolia, Tibet, Japan, and the country of Georgia.

The members of ETHEL with flutist Robert Mirabal in Granville, Ohio, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. From left are Ralph Farris, Mirabal, Kip Jones, Dorothy Lawson, and Corin Lee. (Photo by Timothy E. Black)

More about ETHEL

ETHEL is a string quartet featuring Ralph Farris (viola), Kip Jones (violin), Dorothy Lawson (cello), and Corin Lee (violin). Established in New York City in 1998, ETHEL quickly earned a reputation as one of America’s most adventurous string quartets. 20 years later, the band continues to set the standard for contemporary concert music.  Known for its enlivened playing, blending uptown, conservatory musicianship with downtown genre-crossing, ETHEL has been described as “indefatigable and eclectic” (The New York Times), “vital and brilliant” (The New Yorker), and “infectiously visceral” (Pitchfork). Since its inception, ETHEL has released nine feature recordings (one of them nominated for a Native American Music Award), performed as guests on 40+ albums, won a GRAMMY® with jazz legend Kurt Elling, and performed in 14 countries, 45 states, and 250 cities.

Robert Mirabal. Photo by Kate Russell

More about Robert Mirabal

Musician, writer, singer and storyteller, Robert Mirabal is Native America’s most dynamic and best-selling artist. In addition to the music and instruments he creates, he is also a celebrated painter, poet and playwright. He is the author of A Skeleton of a Bridge, a book of poetry, prose and short stories. Mr. Mirabal is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Award, three GRAMMY® awards and the New York Dance and Performer’s “Bessie” Award for composition.

Tickets for The River are $15 for adults, $10 for faculty/staff/seniors 65+, and $5 for students. Find tickets and further information at Tickets may also be reserved over the phone (828) 227-2479 or in person at the WCU Bardo Arts Center Box Office located at 199 Centennial Drive, Cullowhee, NC 28723. Box Office hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Thursday until 7 p.m. The box office and the WCU Fine Art Museum will also be open one hour prior to this performance.

– Western Carolina University release