Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

‘Creole Carnival’ to get the party music started Feb. 25 at Eisenhower

Carnival comes to an end with Ash Wednesday, Feb. 10. But Globalfest on the Road’s concert version of the annual celebration—featuring musicians from Brazil, Haiti and Jamaica—will get the party going again at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

The “Creole Carnival” concert, presented by the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State, begins with the foundations of African music, adds a fusion of sounds from the Americas and wraps it in the pre-Lenten festival celebrated globally as a popular excuse to let loose.

The concert includes Brazilian samba band Casuarina, inspirational singer-songwriter Emeline Michel of Haiti and soulful blues singer-guitarist Brushy One String from Jamaica.  

Purchase tickets, which are $32 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student, and $22 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

“Creole Carnival” demonstrates how each country has its own fertile traditions of music, dancing and costumes. Globalfest’s artists explore, expand and upend notions of Carnival without losing sight of where magic and religious fervor intersect with soiree.

Casuarina, founded 15 years ago in the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Lapa, is one of Brazil’s most respected samba bands. The male quintet has taken its original “samba made in Brazil” songs to the United States and various countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Watch Casuarina perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Millennium Stage.

Singer-songwriter Michel, known as the “Queen of Haitian Song,” captivates audiences with her charisma and versatility. She has recorded and performed on stages throughout the Caribbean, Europe and the Americas for more than two decades. Beloved by Haitians for merging traditional rhythms with social and political content, Michel sings in both French and Haitian Creole. Her nine albums have brought her international fame.

See Michel sing “Mesi Lavi” (“Thanks to Life”).

Brushy One String, born Andrew Chin, is the son of Jamaican soul singer Freddie McKay and Beverly Foster, who sang backup with Tina Turner. The baritone singer mesmerizes listeners with a stripped-down style in which he accompanies himself with a well-worn, single-stringed acoustic guitar.

“Given his nickname, you might think that Brushy’s instrument is the most interesting thing about him,” wrote an NPR Music critic. “You’d be wrong; it’s the way that he shapes and bends his vocal lines that captures your attention.”

Watch Brushy perform his YouTube sensation “Chicken in the Corn.” http://bit.ly/18CtQg8

Read a Center for the Performing Arts feature article about Brushy.

During the last decade, Globalfest has grown from a New York City festival/showcase into a nonprofit service organization for curators, artists and the performing arts field. Globalfest on the Road takes creatively programmed artist lineups to venues throughout the United States.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist or artists, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the concert and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.