SDSU’s Musical Voyage

SDSU Explores International Cultures through Music.

Friday, September 22, 2023
Photo taken by Robin North
Photo taken by Robin North

In the heart of SDSU, a unique cultural experience awaits those who seek to explore the rich tapestry of global music traditions as the School of Music and  Dance presents the 2023 World Music Series. The series consists of captivating journeys that transport audiences to distant corners of the world through the power of music. 

Laurel Grinnell-Wilson, the Director of SDSU's Javanese Gamelan Ensemble and the driving force behind the series, allows us to see how each culture’s music is the key to understanding the culture as a whole.

Each week we journey around the world together experiencing the sounds of ten traditional music cultures and the only requirement is that students come with their senses wide open, ready to take in the sounds of the unique scales being used, the timbre of the instruments, and nuance of the overall presentation,” says Grinnell-Wilson. 

With her deep passion for world music, Laurel Grinnell-Wilson plays a pivotal role in curating the series. She also imparts her knowledge to students through the SDSU course M345: World Music in Contemporary Life.

Grinnell-Wilson explains to us the connection between her course and the concerts. “The concerts are chosen specifically to match the content they are presented on Canvas each week,” says Grinnell-Wilson, “... when the students are learning about music of Zimbabwe, we offer a concert that presents Zimbabwean music, including songs sung in Zimbabwean and using traditional instruments, like the mbira.”

The World Music Series, now in its latest season, promises a rich cultural experience. From the enchanting melodies of Southern India to the rhythmic beats of Ireland, each concert is a voyage to a faraway land. 

The World Music Series schedule is as follows:

  • Voices of the Balkans: Tzidia: October 02, 2023
  • Spanish Flamenco: La Chimi & Friends: October 09, 2023
  • Appalachian Music: Clinton Davis Trio: October 16, 2023
  • Sounds of Ireland: Fish Market Trio: October 30, 2023
  • Traditional Music of China: The Pacific Trio: November 06, 2023
  • Music and Dance of India: Miles Shrewsbery: November 20, 2023
  • SDSU Javanese Gamelan Ensemble: December 04, 2023

With ticket prices set at $15 for general admission and $10 for students, seniors, and military personnel, the World Music Series offers an affordable way to embark on a global musical journey. 

The public is warmly invited to attend the performances at Smith Recital Hall and immerse themselves in the diverse sounds that unite us all.

For concert descriptions, dates, and tickets, visit the SDSU Music Department's calendar at and secure your seat for this musical journey around the world.

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