Global Beat Festival in New York

Some of the biggest names in world music will converge in downtown Manhattan from all over the globe this June when the first-ever Global Beat Festival makes its debut at Brookfield Place Winter Garden. Playing the first night will be none other than French-produced artists Mélanie Pain (of Nouvelle Vague) and Mélissa Laveaux. Here are the details:

On four nights from June 13th to June 17th, the free festival presented by Arts Brookfield will bring together a stellar lineup of artists from disparate locales ranging from Paris and Kiev to Lahore and Tehran. Highlights include former Nouvelle Vague chanteuse Mélanie Pain in her New York City debut; Armenia’s Jivan Gasparyan, who will be appearing as part of the last tour of his seventy-year career; and DakhaBrakaa Kiev quartet that infuses Ukrainian folk music with global rhythms, with a dash of avant-garde theatricality.

Other celebrated acts on the roster include Haitian-Canadian singer-songwriter Mélissa Laveaux, Turkey’s The Secret Trio, Pakistan’s Poor Rich Boy, Iran’s Kayhan Kalhor, and Turkish electronic-music star Mercan Dede, whose concerts feature a female Whirling Dervish dancer.

“Brookfield Place has always been an international hub for commerce and culture, and the Global Beat Festival showcases our deep roots from all over the world,” said Debra Simon, Vice President and Artistic Director of Arts Brookfield. “We’re thrilled to offer our audiences a musical journey that will take them around the globe in four eclectic days of enthralling free concerts.”

The Global Beat Festival is presented by Arts Brookfield. The final evening is co-presented by Istanbulive VI, an all-day showcase of Turkish music. Launched in 2009, Istanbulive has brought some of the largest and most diverse gatherings of musicians from Turkey to American stages.

The full schedule for The Global Beat Festival is as follows: 

Friday, June 13

Mélissa Laveaux (Haitian-Canadian) – Paris-based, Haitian-Canadian singer-songwriter Mélissa Laveaux combines Haitian, indie-pop, soul, and blues infused songs with her distinct velvety voice and percussive fingerpicking guitar style and combines it with lush sonic textures, stunning rhythmic energy and sophisticated references to her Haitian roots.

Mélanie Pain (France) – The former lead singer for the indie-pop band Nouvelle Vague, Mélanie Pain delivers confessional folk-pop chansons in English and French with the coy, breathy vocals of an ingénue.

Saturday, June 14

Kayhan Kalhor (Iran) – Born in Tehran, Kayhan Kalhor is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso on the kamancheh, also known as the Persian spiked fiddle. He has toured the world as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de Lyon, and other ensembles, and has performed at Carnegie Hall and in Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.

Jivan Gasparyan (Armenia) – Appearing as part of the final tour of his seventy-year career, Jivan Gasparyan is considered the most accomplished and influential musician in the history of the duduk, a woodwind that is a symbol of Armenian national identity. He can be heard on the soundtracks to numerous major films, including GladiatorSyriana, and Blood Diamond.

Monday, June 16

Poor Rich Boy (Pakistan) – Discretely subversive, Poor Rich Boy, Pakistan’s underground indie-art rock phenomenon, conjures the strangeness of everyday life in a society where expressing one’s inner world can be both a cathartic and subtly rebellious act. Enigmatic and layered, the band’s striking vocals, atmospheric sounds, and occasional kazoo create a crystalline sound that suggests, but rarely reveals.

DakhaBrakha (Ukraine) – DakhaBrakha is a world-music quartet from Kiev, Ukraine. After experimenting with Ukrainian folk music, the band added rhythms of the surrounding world, creating an unexpected new sound. Their performances reflect their early foundations in avant-garde theatre.

Tuesday, June 17 (Co-presented by Istanbulive VI)

The Secret Trio (Turkey) – Not bound to a single tradition, The Secret Trio performs a collection of original pieces and traditional melodies that fuse the microtonal modes and improvisation of the Middle East, dance beats of the Balkans, and elements of jazz, rock, classical and world music.

Mercan Dede & Istanbul Tribe (Turkey) – Turkish-born producer, DJ, and musician Mercan Dede, also known as DJ Arkın Allen, combines digital, electronic sounds with hand-made, human ones, creating a universal language capable of uniting old and young, ancient and modern, East and West. He performs with his group Istanbul Tribe in shows that features a female Whirling Dervish dancer.