Sept. 24: Mexican fiddling phenoms headline festival

By Gail Siegel, WSU Performing Arts

Humanitas-logo-webPULLMAN, Wash. – The fourth annual Humanitas Festival will be Sept. 20-24 on the Washington State University Pullman campus and in surrounding communities.

Headlining at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, are the award-winning Villalobos Brothers ( from Veracruz, Mexico, featuring virtuoso violinists and vocalists Ernesto, Alberto and Luis Villalobos. Presented by WSU Performing Arts, the high-octane concert will weave Mariachi traditions with jazz and classical harmonies.

Villalobos Brothers

Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (ages 60+) and free for students and youth.

Tickets are on sale through TicketsWest, including online at, by phone at 800-325-SEAT and at outlets including WSU’s Beasley Coliseum (open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday). Free student and youth tickets are available in advance only at Beasley Coliseum.

Born and raised in Xalapa, the Villalobos brothers spent their childhood listening to their grandmother, Cristina Vásquez, sing and play guitar and accordion after a day’s work. They took up the violin as children and soon learned to sing and play other instruments, including guitar and piano.

Award-winning music transcends borders

As one of today’s leading Mexican ensembles, the Villalobos Brothers use their violins and voices to redefine contemporary Mexican music. Their original compositions deliver a powerful message of love, brotherhood and social justice with musical brilliance, cadence and virtuosity. Artistic director and guitarist Humberto Flores, drummer Rose Avila and bassist Leo Sherman complete the lineup.

The group has delighted listeners from Latin America, India and Russia to Carnegie Hall and the Latin Grammy Awards. They were the Ultimate Champions of New York City’s 2013 Battle of the Boroughs, won the Vox-Pop Award at the 2013 Independent Music Awards for “El Pijul” (Best Song-World Beat category; see video at and were the first band from Mexico to be the featured guest artist at Amateur Night at the Apollo.

“With our music, we hope to transcend borders, ideological as well as cultural,” said Luis Villalobos. “In addition, we hope to open up a window that will allow us to share the sounds that give life to our creative universe.”

Some festival events are free

For a full festival schedule with times and locations, see The Humanitas Festival includes these free events:

All Week: International Education Week, with events and workshops raising awareness of education and careers abroad and WSU’s international population. Presented by the WSU International Students’ Council.

Sept. 21: Hungarian-born visual artist and folk dancer Ildikó Kalapács will present “Sketch Wednesday” at noon in the CUB art gallery, where her work will be displayed for the week. She will give the International Education Week keynote address at 5 p.m. in the CUB auditorium.

Sept. 21 and 24: “An Iliad,” a play by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare based on Homer’s “The Iliad,” will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 and 2 p.m. Sept. 24 in Wadleigh Theatre at Daggy Hall. This modern retelling of the Trojan War epic “brilliantly meshes past and present calamity, with touches of the most caustic dark humor suddenly shifting into unimaginable pathos,” notes the Chicago Sun-Times. Performed by David Harlan, directed by Benjamin Gonzales and presented by WSU Performing Arts (

Sept. 22: At 7 p.m. in the CUB auditorium, dancer Roja Kannan will perform in a classical style from southern India called Bharatanatyam to depict the journey of a soul in “Search for the Blue Lotus.” Presented by WSU Student Entertainment Board Arts.

Sept. 23: Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater will weave stories from movement and music of the African diaspora (including Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban cultures) with contemporary dance at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Theatre at Daggy Hall. Presented by Festival Dance & Performing Arts with support from Global Connections at WSU.

Sept. 24: Party and Art in the Park will begin at noon in Reaney Park, Pullman. Presented by the WSU International Students’ Council.

And Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater will offer dance workshops at Smith Gym Room 115 – capoeira at 10 a.m. and hip-hop at noon.


Gail Siegel, WSU Performing Arts, 509-335-8522,


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