The Florida State University Center for Music of the Americas promotes the scholarship, performance, and dissemination of musics found in the American Hemisphere, from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic Circle. It facilitates initiatives within the College of Music, across the University, between FSU and our sister institution FAMU, and throughout the North Florida community through partnerships with a diversity of local artists, venues, and institutions.
Although the Center’s role within the College of Music is not confined to any specific area, its aims align closely with the primary objectives of the Musicology program, the cross-cultural Music Education curriculum, and the numerous performing ensembles active within the College. To this end, the Center curates and supports a number of initiatives that engage with the breadth and depth of global music traditions here in the American South and Caribbean and the people who practice them.
World Music First Thursdays Concert Series
During the academic year, the Center for Music of the Americas curates a monthly concert series at Midtown Tallahassee’s beloved live music venue, Blue Tavern. The series focuses on local and regional artists practicing musical traditions that are underrepresented in public performance spaces in North Florida, and aims to bring diverse audiences and musicians into creative dialogue through an intimate and inclusive concert experience.
The Fall 2023 season features:
- September 7: Brazilian ten-string guitar music with Caio de Souza
- September 28: Persian classical kamancheh music with Payam Yousefi
- November 2: Mariachi music with FSU’s own Grupo Classico
- December 7: Turkish sufi music with Latif Bolat
The Spring 2024 season schedule will be published soon. A highlight will be a special concert and workshops with three world-renowned musicians who will be visiting from Brazil for a residency as Housewright Eminent Scholars: accordionist Luizinho Calixto, seven-string guitarist Jorge Simas, and songwriter, guitarist, and ethnomusicologist Carlos Sandroni.
Past performers include Brian Zapeda (Seminole legends and songs), Cecilia Bohorquez (Andean songs in Spanish and Quechua), Welson Tremura and Randy Lee (Brazilian bossa nova), Randal Bays (Irish fiddle and guitar), Siempre Flamenco (flamenco music and dance), Rising Star Fife and Drum Band (Mississippi blues), Hog-eyed Man (Appalachian fiddle, mandolin, and mountain dulcimer), Vish Sheth and Friends (Hare Krishna kirtan music), Harmonic Motion (Middle Eastern music and dance), 5 Mile Brass (Second Line music from Mobile, AL), Raga Bhakti (Indian fusion), Lili Forbes (Caribbean popular songs), Tallahassee Hispanic Theatre, Haiqiong Deng (Chinese classical and contemporary music), and FSU’s African popular music ensemble (Afro-Nyota), Andean ensemble, and Brazilian ensemble (Grupo Jaraguá).
We are especially honored to have collaborated with the American Musicological Society’s Many Musics of America project, and are grateful for their generous support in presenting the events “Seminole Legends and Songs” with Brian Zepeda and “The Evolution of Fife and Drum Music” with Rising Star Fife and Drum Band.
More details about the venue and series are available here.
Florida Folklife Artist in Residence Program
Each Fall, the Center for Music of the Americas partners with the Florida Folklife Program to bring Florida performing artists for a residency in Tallahassee, organizing public school performances, workshops for college students, and a public concert at historic Mission San Luis near the FSU campus. This year, we are honored to welcome singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Lili Forbes for a program focusing on the musical traditions of her native St. Maarten and neighboring Caribbean islands. Her residency will culminate in a concert on Friday, October 13 at Mission San Luis.
Past Artists-in-Residence include Harmonic Motion (Middle Eastern music and dance featuring Florida Folk Heritage Award recipients Myriam Eli and Joe Zeytoonian), Taller Balancé (Puerto Rican bomba music and dance), Renesito Avich (Cuban popular music), and Plena Es (Puerto Rican folkloric music).
Center for Music of the Americas
College of Music
Florida State University
Tallahassee, Florida 32306-1180