ORANGE CITY – A world music ensemble from Israel will perform in Orange City and surrounding towns March 24-28, as part of a multi-city Midwest tour.

The five-member folk group, Baladino, takes its audience on a journey through music of the Mediterranean region – music carried to Israel by people from Spain, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Arabic countries. They will perform in Orange City on Friday, March 28 at 7:30pm at the Northwestern College Chapel, sponsored by the Orange City Arts Council.

Ensemble members include Tomer Moked, a brilliant string player and musical arranger, Yael Badash, who brings rich vocals to the mix, Yonnie Dror, providing color with a variety of wind instruments, Daniel Spier, with a solid foundation and hip sound on the string bass, and Yshai Afterman, who holds it all together on percussion with mesmerizing Mediterranean rhythm.

Baladino

The ensemble is part of a series of international music ensembles coming to Orange City, from Israel, Quebec, Brazil and China. In November, Le Vent du Nord was a huge success, said Janine Calsbeek of the Orange City Arts Council. “Great humor and great talent… people of all ages couldn’t stop talking about them! It will be the same with Baladino.”

“Baladino” is actually a combination of two words. “Baladi” is the name for the most popular rhythm pattern in Middle Eastern music, and the word also means “my land” in the Arabic language. Ladino” is the language primarily spoken among Sephardic Jews and the cultural inspiration for much of the group’s music.

Baladino’s music was born from Jews exiled from Spain and Portugal, traveling through the former Ottoman lands, Turkey, Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Morocco. The group brings together instruments and traditions from this wide span of cultures, updating them with their own youthful energy and contemporary backgrounds in jazz improvisation and electronica. Embracing the old and the new, members perform on instruments both ancient and modern, and have made names for themselves collectively and individually.

Tickets for the public concert on Friday, March 28 may be purchased at Orange City Arts Council, Dove Bookstore, Northwestern’s music department and at the door, at $10 adults and $7 students. Children age five and under are free.

Baladino will also do school programs and workshops, and, for the public, coffee house shows.  On Mon., March 24, Baladino will perform at Fruited Plain Cafe at 172 North Main in Sioux Center. On Wed., March 26, Baladino will perform at Old Factory Coffee Shop, 110 4th St. SW in Orange City. Both shows will begin at 7:30pm, with a $2 cover charge.

Through the Orange City Arts Council, Orange City was selected as the one city in Iowa to host the 2013-’15 Arts Midwest World Fest. Arts Midwest, based in Minneapolis, partners with program sponsors like The National Endowment for the Arts and 3M to cover a substantial portion of the cost so that communities like Orange City can enjoy this rich arts experience, said Calsbeek. “It’s a wonderful honor, which we didn’t fully realize until the residency in the fall with Le Vent du Nord.”

The concert is part of the Beyond Onstage series.

For more information, contact Calsbeek at 712-707-4885 or ocArts@orangecityiowa.com. To see Baladino,  and for the week’s schedule, see orangecityarts.net.