The Cape Symphony will present a familiar Western view of African music alongside that of African and African-American artists in “Passport to Africa” this Saturday and Sunday, at the Barnstable Performing Arts Center.
The concert will feature South African cellist Abel Selaocoe and Ghanaian American pianist William Chapman Nyaho.
Mr. Nyaho will perform “Africa” by Camille Saint-Saëns, written while the classical French composer was in Egypt and based on North African folk music, while Mr. Selaocoe will be featured in the world premiere of “20th Meridian,” referring to the central longitude which runs through several African countries.
Mr. Selaocoe has long explored the capacity of the cello across multiple genres, from collaborating with beatboxers and world musicians to giving concerto performances and solo classical recitals. While continuing his musical studies in the UK, Mr. Selaocoe became involved in Multi-Story Orchestra, an ensemble of young professional musicians who share a commitment to widening accessibility to classical music. Multi-Story performs in parking garages around the UK attracting huge, diverse audiences.
In addition to being a pianist, Mr. Nyaho is a scholar of African and African Diaspora composers. “Africa” will be his take on a classical Western interpretation of African music.
“Passport to Africa” will also highlight local artists’ interpretations of Africa.
In honor of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Reverend Joan M. Martin, Ph.D., pastor at Christian Union Church in North Truro, and Dr. Johann Buis of Wheaton College will lend their voices in a powerful presentation where Mr. Buis will read text written by Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment, and Ms. Martin will read Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
Concert times are 7:30 PM on Saturday and 3 PM on Sunday. To purchase tickets, visit capesymphony.org or call the box office at 508-362-1111.
The Barnstable Performing Arts Center is at 744 West Main Street in Hyannis.