World Voices

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World Voices is a vocal ensemble based in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, conducted by Dr. Karle Erickson, Artistic Director. The ensemble was founded in 1996 as "Karle Erickson’s Metropolitan Chorale",[1] but changed its name to World Voices within one season. At each of its concerts, World Voices focuses on the music of a particular culture or region of the world. Membership in the chorale has ranged from about 25 to 40 vocalists over its 13 years of existence.

The ensemble routinely collaborates with instrumentalists associated with the music from a specific culture. Among the artists World Voices has collaborated with are:[1]

  • Sowah Mensah, Master Drummer from Ghana
  • Gao Hong, Chinese pipa artist
  • Brent Michael Davids, composer and crystal flute player from the Mohican Nation
  • Reverend Tony Machado from Puerto Rico
  • Neil Newman, Cantor at Beth El Synagogue in Minneapolis
  • Hua Chen, erhu player
  • Lakota George Estes, flute player/maker from the Lakota Sioux Tribe
  • Nicolas Carter, Paraguayan harpist
  • Zeljko Pavlovic, violinist from Sarajevo
  • The University of Minnesota Steel Drum Ensemble

World Voices has commissioned several original works, including “Wo Ayi Me A Ma” by Sowah Mensah in March 2001, “Of This Turtle Isle” by Brent Michael Davids in 2002, “Si Ji” by Chinese composer Zhou Long in March 2005, and "Medicine Woman" by Janika Vandervelde in 2006 with Cochise Anderson playing Native American flutes and percussion.

World Voices has performed music from at least 62 countries in 35 different languages.[2] Seven CD’s of global music have been released: “Latino Groove”, “A Cultural Odyssey”, “A Global Palette”, “ Celebrating Global Cultures” and “Mosaic", "A World of Christmas", and "Hope for Our Time."[3]

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