Music is a cross-cultural and artistic language which creates emotional and spiritual connections. 2017 WWD Music Festival’s theme is “Roots United”, featuring musicians from different continents to perform, share their passions with traditional wooden music instrument.

The idea behind this music festival is to bring different wooden instruments from around the world, not only to showcase representative music but also to explore their similarities and how they can all come together to create harmonies.

During March 21-24, and 26, musicians will be presenting eclectic music and introduce origin of their music instruments, along with cultural background to the public. The Music Concert on March 25 takes place at Terrace Theater, expecting musical talent, visually pleasing and entertaining for the audience.

With around 40 groups of local and foreign singers, dancers and musicians, 2017 WWD Music Festival aim to take the audience on a musical journey of culture, legend and heritage.


Participants (In the alphabetical order of the country and region represented)

David Hudson

David Hudson’s life reflects his love and belief in Aboriginal culture. He comes from the Ewamian (oo-rah-min)/Western Yalanji (people of the north east coast of Australia). He has travelled extensively throughout Australia and the World as a solo artist with Greek composer Yanni and world renowned dance troupe “Tjapukai”, which he co-founded. He promotes awareness of Aboriginal culture and tradition wherever he travels. His work is considered “contemporary” yet has a very definite traditional influence.



Les As du Bénin

Created in 1994, "Les As du Bénin" brought together young Beninese people who first designed the conservation and enhancement of the Beninese cultural heritage through music, songs, dances, theatre, stories, poems and ballets to theme. In the field of music, it consists of a group of singers that accompany traditional African percussionists playing various gongs, castanets, gourds, tam - ‐tams of any type and any size and flutes. Dances are running with virtuosity in a real gymnastics for dancers full control over their body expression.


Aziz Daouni

Native of Casablanca Aziz Daouni, a soul artist, forged a sensual and romantic musical style. The drunkenness of the notes transported him into a dream world where sentient souls find peace. The passion of reunion with the oud (lute) عود in 2002 gave rise to this verve where the poetry of words marries the melodious notes. He is also a radio host in Radio Center-Ville in Montreal, 102.3 Fm. He created the Duo d'orient, then Duoxas with the saxophiste Renaud Séguin. He was played in Arabic Festival, in Places des Arts in Montreal.



Neelamjit Dhillon

Neelamjit Dhillon is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist and composer based in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Vancouver Canada, Neelamjit is skilled in both North Indian classical and American jazz music. His music is a reflection of his own multifaceted identity, spirituality, and vision for promoting a more equitable and just society through shared experience and collective action. His primary instruments are the tabla, saxophone, and bansuri.



In Puruhua, the nearly forgotten language of pre-Incan Ecuador, Duchicela means “the mountain lion who led the people to their homeland”. Duchicela was founded in 1980 in Cacha, Ecuador and incorporated as a cultural organization to preserve and promote the music of the Andes Mountain region of South America. The group’s members are descendents of the indigenous peoples who have inhabited the area since pre-historic times. Duchicela’s repertoire is a delightful blend of both traditional Andean folk music and popular contemporary works played on traditional Andean instruments. The flutes in particular are the instruments that give Andean music its unique sound. They include the various pan flutes that are made from bamboo or wood in an assortment of sizes and scales; the rondadores, which are similar to pan flutes but use the pentatonic scale; and the quenas, pre-Columbian end-blown flutes made of reed that are played without a mouthpiece. Of special interest are the jacha toyos, pan flutes nearly four feet in length that produce exceptionally deep notes and require players with well-developed lungs. The string instruments include the guitar, the mandolin, and the charango, a small ten-stringed instrument that, until recently, was made with the shell of an armadillo. A variety of drums, rattles, rain-sticks, and bird whistles complete the ensemble.


Devan Drone

Devan Drone is an Indian Classical Fusion Band, founded by Two Ace Musicians Violin Vasu and Flute Phani, the well-known Performers, Teachers and Researchers in the field of indian music. The band has enthralled audiences in many prestigious festivals in India and abroad, like Living Heritage Festival, International Film Festival, Thai Tourism Festival, Namaste France Festival, Sivam Annual Festival etc. The firing passion, extraordinary innovation and rock solid carnatic musical foundation under the tutelage of Legendary Indian Violinist Nadanidhi Dr. Annavarapu Ramaswamy of Violin Vasu and Flute Phani shaped in the forma a fusion impulse known as Devan Drone.



Ethno Folk Ensemble - Turan

The folklore-ethnographic ensemble “Turan” was organized at the initiative of its members - students of Kazakh National Consevatory named after Kurmangazy in 2008. The basis of the idea of “Turan” was the desire to recreate the sound of old archaic supplies, to find new ways, works and forms in the performance of moderns. Starting from 2008, they give concert tour in France, Israel, Turkey, Germany, South Korea, USA, etc. Members of group are Maksat Medeubek, Yerzhigit Aliyev, Serik Nurmoldaev, Abzal Arykbaev, Baurzhan Bekmuhanbetov, who play instruments like sybyzgy, shankobyz, sazsyrnai, sherter. Abzal Arykbaev also knows the oldest artificial traditional throat singing.


Nasser Makhoul & Antoine Dawlatli

Nasser Makhoul is a famous artist, leader of the Folkloric Touristic Lebanese group, musician, researcher, writer and a great inventor. For 40 years, he and his folkloric troupe represent the finest Lebanese culture and traditions in the world, through live folkloric shows. He completed 10 specialized courses in the Lebanese Cultural Heritage both in Lebanon and abroad.


Justin Vali & Tao Ravao duet

TAO RAVAO and JUSTIN VALI have been playing together for over 25 years. They share the same love for traditional strings instruments. They have performed in world music festivals in a lot of different countries. They have recorded altogether 12 CDs. Both of them are virtuosos on their own instruments, but also singers and composers. Justin Vali is a member of NY MALAGASY ORKESTRA. Tao Ravao produced 20 different artists for world music labels.


Martin Espino & Grupo Mexika

Martin Espino is of Yaqui (Sonora) and Tepehuano (Durango) indigenous Mexicano heritage. Since 1968 Martin, a "World Class Performer and Master Teaching Artist" has performed on stages all over the U.S.A. and Mexico and is one of the few "original revivalists" living in North America of the ancient musical instruments of Mexico. He is known by many as performing artist, researcher and a top notch educator of ALL ages, lecturer and instrument maker. Martin and his group Mexika has interest in this life came as a focus to preserve the legacy of Ancient Mexico, they play ALL the instruments of their ancestral heritage; own instruments, make their own instruments and native jewelry, has been at this since 1975. The art, work and life of Martin & Mexika is about preserving the ancient sounds, historical musical practices and making a positive impact.



Delehei is a Mongolian musician and pioneer of a natural singing and song writing style that focuses on using traditional Mongolian techniques. He is able to composite many instruments together to create his own unique style of music and play with loop-station, such as; Morinhuur, Tovtsuur, Amanhuur, Homhuur, Modentsoor, Bumber (Mongolian drum) and digital music. He has also mastered the rare technique of Mongolian Throat singing and Tuva Throat singing, which in itself is its own unique instrument. Delehei has introduced his new style of music to over 10 countries.


Tamir Hargana

Tamir Hargana is specialized in Mongolian throat singing, Khoomei, and the Horse head fiddle (Morin Khuur.) He has won many awards and prizes in throat singing competitions in Mongolia, Russia, Tuva, Xilingol, Manzhuur in Inner Mongolia and China. He has performed in many concerts, presentations, and workshops in the U.S., Mongolia, Russia, Taiwan and China. He was also featured in TV documentaries about throat singing. Tamir just received his Master's degree on World Music-Performance from Northern Illinois University.



Adinkra is a West African, Ghanaian Fusion band based in Los Angeles, California. Formed by Nani Agbeli in 2017, Adinkra is busy writing and recording new music based on the combination of traditional Ghanaian rhythms and melodies with western instruments and songwriting. Members include Nani Agbeli, Ruth Odukoya, Alex Hamberger, Julian Karahalios, Michael Ohlinger, Ben Zurier, Bradley Butterworth, Thomas Mims and Chris Prophet.



Alex Wand

Alex Wand is an LA-based, Grammy Award-winning performer/composer interested in: storytelling, alternate tuning systems, film scoring, and folk music. He has performed at venues and festivals from California to Tibet. Alex performs as a solo artist and in Three Thirds, Desert Magic, and Partch. Originally from Detroit, he studied music composition at the University of Michigan and at CalArts with composers Bright Sheng, Michael Fink, Ulrich Krieger, and Wolfgang von Schweinitz.


Anadis Music

Christopher Garcia is a critically acclaimed musician/drummer/percussionist who has made his career by putting himself into musical situations that are consistently musically challenging, intriguing and diverse whether playing drumset and/or hand percussion. Jie Ma explores the possibilities of blending traditional pipa technique with Western music and sounds from all over the world and culture. John Stephens is a sitar player who performs and teaches North Indian classical music.



Brandon Seabrook

Described by Spin Magazine as “An apocalyptic, supersonic general of the banjo and guitar…” Brandon Seabrook has made a name for himself in the New York avant-garde music scene as an explosive guitar and banjo performer, relentlessly committed to immediacy and precision. Brandon is an accomplished solo artist, named Best Guitarist in New York City by the Village Voice 2012.



Dhara is a world music fusion band based in Los Angeles. The multi-faceted group features Vineet Vyas (Canada), Rajib Karmakar (India), James Waterman (U.S.) and Amir Oosman (Pakistan). Each member has studied in the traditions of North/South Indian music, West African rhythms, Persian music, Latin percussion and more. Dhara seamlessly fuses these backgrounds and idioms with rock, jazz, and hip-hop to bring audiences a performance unlike any they have ever experienced.



Eyvind Kang & Jessika Kenney

Eyvind Kang & Jessika Kenney are musicians who have established themselves as powerful voices working at a unique intersection of contemporary composition, improvisation, and Asian traditional music forms. Their ongoing collaboration has been described in the New York Times as “work of delicate beauty” and “serious, refined music.”



FunCoffin is an avant-chamber-funk band formed in Provo, UT. At this performance, FunCoffin will feature Christian Asplund, Logan Hone, Stuart Wheeler, Jesse Quebbeman-Turley, and special guest Melissa Heath.


Hands On’Semble

Hands On’Semble is a contemporary percussion ensemble devoted to the art of hand drumming. Born out of the Percussion and World Music programs at CalArts at that time, Hands On’Semble has come to define the state of world percussion on the West Coast. Percussionists and critics worldwide have praised their recorded work (five albums to date), as being some of the most important and interesting of it’s kind.


Heather Lockie and Laura Steenberge

Heather Lockie is a performer, composer and visual artist based in Los Angeles. She plays viola, teaches piano/violin/viola, and works with a child orchestra in Pasadena. Lockie has performed with and toured nationally and internationally with a wide range of artists. A multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and public speaker, Laura Steenberge uses voice, contrabass, viola da gamba, objects, images and movement to create works that intersect mythology and imaginary music with science and the physical shape of sound.


House of Many Windows

Miroslav Tadić and Yvette Holzwarth play together as House of Many Windows. Their music is a celebration of very human elements in music – honoring intuitive intelligence and spirit as well as a tactile playfulness. With fingers on strings pulling resonance from wooden bodies, this is a cozy dialogue – a wordless conversation using the language of expressive inflections, dynamics, and rhythms. Using Balkan music as the framework for most pieces, each musician supplements improvisation drawn from their own rich histories of listening and playing music from many different worlds – providing windows into classical music, Arabic, Flamenco, Brazilian, sonic experimentation, and a door into their unique musical playground.


Jacob Rosenzweig

Jacob Rosenzweig is a bassist/composer/improviser based in Los Angeles. He performs in numerous rock, jazz, folk, chamber, experimental, and improvised musical capacities. As a solo performer Jacob has developed a unique playing style and repertoire for upright bass, favoring the idiosyncratic and little known sounds of his instrument. Jacob majored in Jazz performance at the University of Utah, and continued his studies at the California Institute of the Arts. Since then he has become an active member of the Los Angeles music scene.

Jerron Paxton

Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton has been nominated for an inaugural International Folk Music Award in the category of Artist of the Year. This young musician sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones (percussion). Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling.


Kidi Band

Kidi Band plays grooves to make you dance and melodies to make you sing. Polyrhythms, tight harmonies, African-influenced and spiced to perfection. Members of Kidi Band include Steven Van Betten, Cari Stevens, Linnea Sablosky and Cooper Wolken.



Ancient poetry, mythology and village dances are all part of ensemble Lāčkāja’s reptertoire, which features folk music from the Baltics with particular emphasis on traditional Latvian songs. Paul Berkolds accordion, vocals; Drew Corey, vocals; Ingrida Jennings, vocals, violin, kokle; Erik Jerumanis, percussion; Justin Scheid, recorder, flute, bagpipes; Katriana Zommers, vocals, guitar


Lian Ensemble

Based in Los Angeles, The Lian Ensemble is a group of virtuoso performers and composers. Their powerful compositions fuse the Mystical Persian musical heritage with the contemporary sensibilities of Contemporary Jazz. Combining a unique musical vision with dauntless dedication to experimentation, they create a synthesis of mystical world music composed of traditional and folk melodies and instruments. Members include Pirayeh Pourafar, Houman Pourmehdi and Aaron Chavez.


Logan Clark

The UCLA World Musical Instrument Collection display was curated by Logan Elizabeth Clark, Ph.D. Dr. Clark researches Mayan marimba music and has taught Musics of the World at Mount Saint Mary's University. She worked with various UCLA music ensemble leaders and the World Instrument Collection staff to create a display of instruments from around the world that exemplify extraordinary woodworking skill and ingenuity.


Logan Hone & Boxy Music

Logan Hone & Boxy Music is a one time bash and trash kinetic singsong band featuring Logan Hone, Brandon Seabrook, and friends.


Los Angeles Recorder Orchestra

The Los Angeles Recorder Orchestra is one of a growing number of recorder orchestras that have sprung up in Europe and around the United States in recent years. It was founded in the summer of 2004, and is made up of thirty recorder players from all around Southern California. The group plays compositions ranging from the Renaissance period to the 20th century, arranged for sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, bass, great bass, contrabass, sub great bass and subcontrabass recorders.


Masanga Marimba

Masanga Marimba plays traditional and popular music from Africa and Latin America. The instruments used in this ensemble consist of 7 Zimbabwean marimbas of various sizes along with vocals, drums, percussion, saxophone and trumpet. The group is founded in 2000 and led by Dr. Ric Alviso, a Cal State Northridge ethnomusicologist, professor of World Music, and the director of the CSUN African Music Ensemble. Their music is upbeat, danceable, and family-oriented.


Mexcla Music

With years of critically acclaimed international performances between them, Christopher Garcia and Dr. Jerónimo Rajchenberg founded Mexcla Music in 2014 to investigate the possibilities of new compositions for traditional, globally-sourced instruments; each brings his unique cultural voice, musical vernacular, rhythm, and color to their multifaceted music. Since its inception, the duo has received acclaim in the United States and in Europe. They have been heard playing classical music, original compositions, improvisations, and traditional music in a wide variety of concert settings.



Monkey Grinder Organ DUET

Monkey Grinder Organ DUET appears in Christmas Victorian event as well as with the Rheinlanders German Band at Oktoberfest events. It has also appeared as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in a special concert at Disney Hall honoring the composer Gustav Mahler.


The Pashan Trio is a unique instrumental ensemble featuring Yvette Holzwarth (Violin), Patrick Behnke (Viola), and Kozue Matsumoto (Koto: Japanese zither). Hailing from Northern California, Michigan, and the Tohoku region of Japan, the three began playing together while attending the Performer-Composer MFA program at CalArts. The Pashan Trio primarily performs new music by contemporary composers and is notable for their superb sensitivity and experimental approaches to their instruments.


Primero Sueño

Named after the famous poem by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Primero Sueño is an ensemble fusing diverse folk grooves with lush harmonies and strings. Their music is inspired by resilience, dreams, and nature, with an underlying vision of music’s ability to empower.



Raffi Joe Wartanian

Raffi Joe Wartanian is a multiplatform storyteller passionate about social justice, creativity, and innovative institutions. During a Fulbright research fellowship in Armenia, he began his study of the oud with the late Mihran Demirchyan before continuing under oud master Ara Dinkjian in NYC. Wartanian has performed around the U.S. and abroad and is currently working on a series of oud-guitar arrangements and fingerstyle guitar compositions.


Rheinlanders Alphorn Ensemble

The Alphorn ensemble are members of the RHEINLANDERS GERMAN BAND. They present an exciting part of our Oktoberfest shows at the LA County Fairgrounds (FAIRPLEX) in Pomon.


Sanggar Tujunga

Sanggar Tujunga is a community gamelan group located in Tujunga. The sanggar opened in 2014 to share and spread excitement for playing Balinese gamelan music. Members come from all different backgrounds ranging from college students, community members, musicians, and other professionals. Gamelan instruments of Sanggar Tujunga have been collected over time to make a set of instruments accommodating 15 players.


Silk & Bamboo Project

The Silk & Bamboo Project is a Los Angeles-based group that began at California Institute of the Arts, where a strong community of traditional world music ensembles meets a community of adventure and experimentation. The group blends the two worlds by performing traditional Chinese music of the silk road along with exciting new original music. The ensemble is known for putting on highly entertaining performances that will captivate any listener. Members include Kerri Shak, Charlotte D’Evelyn, Logan Hone, Julian Karahalios and Jim Jeffrey.

Southern California Early Music Consort

The Southern California Early Music Consort has appeared as the QUEEN'S BAND at the Northern and Southern California Renaissance Pleasure FAIRES for 45 years. Besides many live events, this group also has provided music for films (THE HUNTCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, The MARY ROSE, etc.) as well as appearing (and playing) for several other films (ROBIN HOOD MEN IN TIGHTS). The group has also appeared in several television shows: GILMORE GIRLS, HOUSE, etc.


Tales from the Silk Road

Renowned taiko and flute performer, George Tetsuo Abe was born at Manzanar concentration camp in California. George is fascinated with music of his culture. Christopher Garcia continues to be in demand with a career making music on either drumset, indigenous percussion of Mexico, percussion of North and South India, avant garde percussion in creative improvised music ZAPPA music and/or western classical percussion in an eclectic variety of musical settings. Their performance is featured with Maceo Hernandez, who has been performing and teaching Taiko for 30 years.



Volta Drum Dance

Volta Drum Dance is a LA-based group dedicated to performing traditional Ghanaian music which combines the powers of drumming, dancing, and singing to connect communities and tell the stories of important cultural people and events to new generations. Volta draws on the extensive cultural knowledge of artistic director Nani Agbeli, who continues to share his heritage across the US and beyond to achieve faithful performances with accurate costumes traditional instruments. Members of this elite group are made up of California Institute of the Arts alumni and select other artists.