2019 World Music and Dance Festival

2024 World Music and Dance Festival at CalArts

FREE Concerts of Music from around the World

April 26-28, 2024

From Friday, April 26th, through Sunday, April 28, 2024, the CalArts World Music Festival brings traditions from around the globe to Southern California. During one amazing weekend, audiences will experience a variety of world-class musicians, at The Wild Beast stage on the campus of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia.

A long standing tradition that spans across decades, this one-of-a-kind annual festival has brought celebrated international artists to perform with CalArts’ renowned World Music Program faculty and students.  

Presented by The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts, the 2024 festival features music from Iran, Bali, Indonesia, India, Ghana, West Africa, and Japan, as well as cross-cultural fusion from much of the rest of the world. Join our community and come enjoy what is home for so many, the 2024 World Music Festival!

Concerts at the Wild Beast will be live streamed via the CalArts Music YouTube Channel.

2024 Festival Schedule

Friday, April 26 - Wild Beast
7:30 pm Tabla Ensemble
8:05 pm North Indian Ensemble
8:50 pm Balinese Gamelan Music & Dance

Saturday, April 27 - Wild Beast
5:00 pm Persia Electric Ensemble
7:00 pm North Indian Faculty Ensemble
8:45 pm Latin Caribbean Collective

Sunday, April 28 - Wild Beast
5:00 pm Japanese Ensemble
6:00 pm African Ensemble (Lund Dance Theater)
7:30 pm World Percussion Ensemble
8:50 pm Guest Artist: Extra Ancestral

All programming is subject to change. This program listing will be updated as performing ensembles are confirmed.


African Music and Dance Ensemble The CalArts African Ensemble will be bringing you some traditional sights and sounds from the country of Ghana, West Africa. The students of this ensemble will perform music and dance from the Ewe people of Southeastern Ghana and Togo, the Fon of Benin, and the Dagomba of Northern Ghana. Each regional style of music uses different instruments indigenous to where they originate, while also being accompanied by equally unique styles of dance, movement and song.

Balinese Gamelan (Music and Dance) Directed by master-artist teacher I Nyoman Wenten and Nanik Wenten, gamelan Burat Wangi ("Fragrant Offering") brings the music and dance of Bali to the greater Los Angeles region. This year celebrates the 75th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between the U.S and Indonesia. Burat Wangi invites the audience to experience and be a part of the deep, rich, and highly communal nature of Balinese gamelan.

Extra Ancestral (Guest Artists) Extra Ancestral brings together the fusion of different cultural manifestations of the African Diaspora. Narrated through powerful dancing, Extra Ancestral in depth performances unifies music, dance and visual arts. Historically, music & dance have been considered the oldest form of medicine and Extra Ancestral seeks to combine that tradition of healing through their performances that incorporate such genres as Afrobeat, Reggae, Jazz, Salsa and other traditional African forms.

Japanese Ensemble The Japanese Ensemble is a group of Calarts students, alumni, and community members performing using traditional Japanese instruments such as the Kato, Shamisen, and Shakuhachi. The ensemble is made up of experienced players as well as complete beginners, all taught and led by Kozue Matsumoto. The program comprises a selection of traditional folk songs such as the famous 'Sakura,' sankyoku-style music, and contemporary music including a J-Pop song.

Latin Caribbean Collective is dedicated to celebrating the musics of the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. The collective is composed of members from Tambora Desafinada and Plenazo Tribe. The performance will feature a variety of musical traditions including contemporary merengue and bachata from both past and present, sacred batá drumming of the Afro-Cuban Lucumí ceremonies, and folkloric plena, the musical newspaper of the Boricua people. In the spirit of preservation and innovation, the collective showcases diverse musicianship through paying respect to tradition while incorporating fusion, improvisation, and original compositions. We hope our sounds compel you to dance and sing, meditate and reflect, empower one another and celebrate folklore.

North Indian Faculty Ensemble  Experience the magic of the delicate and melodious Indian Classical Music Raga. Exfoliating moods and rhythms presented by highly acclaimed Santoor Maestro Pt. Madan Oak, accompanied on tabla by world renowned Padmashri Pt. Swapan Chaudhuri, who is a longtime faculty member at CalArts.

Persia Electric Ensemble Reflecting on the intersection between ancient and new forms, the ensemble will perform works from Persian repertory: Saghi Nameh and Sufi Nameh, alongside the newest analog drum machines, controllers and digital software; reflecting on electronic genres and sampling that mangle, de-construct, and splice back together a new music yet to be defined.

Tabla Ensemble Under the direction of Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri and co-taught by Randy Gloss, the CalArts Tabla Ensemble (comprised of students, alumni, and faculty) draws from the vast repertoire of North Indian tabla to present both traditional and contemporary material arranged specifically for the ensemble.

World Percussion Ensemble The CalArts World Percussion Ensemble is an ongoing experimental forum for bringing together the percussion, drumming and world music traditions at CalArts. The ensemble bridges cultures and musical ideas, creating entirely new works for percussion consisting of both highly fixed compositions and extended improvisations. The World Percussion Ensemble was conceived in the early days of the institute by founding faculty and percussion vanguard, the late John Bergamo. It remains a vital and integral platform for percussionists and world music students to explore the possibilities within the world of drumming. The World Percussion Ensemble is led by CalArts faculty Randy Gloss.

CalArts Concert Tips

  • Admission and parking are free at the World Music and Dance Festival.
  • The festival is a family-friendly event appropriate for all ages.
  • Bench-seating is limited at the Wild Beast and available on a first-come, first- served basis. CalArts encourages you to bring your own low lawn chairs and blankets.
  • Picnics welcome: The lawn outside of The Wild Beast Music Pavilion is a perfect place for a picnic. Please leave the alcohol at home, however; open containers are not allowed on the CalArts campus.
  • The CalArts campus is located in Valencia, Calif., approximately 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.

Directions and Visit Information 

The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts

School of Music