Loyola Marymount University is hosting the World Festival of Sacred Music, beginning Thursday, September 18th.

Part of the 16-day, 1,000-artist musical event, “The Sounds of the Mediterranean and Beyond,” featuring the Stefani Valadez Ensemble, 1st West Ensemble and the Ava Nahas Percussion Trio, will be featured on Thursday.

The voice and lyrical guitar of Stefani Valadez will highlight an evening that will carry the audience on a musical journey through Spain, North Africa, Turkey and the Near East.

The ensemble comprises a number of the best players from Los Angeles’s world music scene. Joined by guest dancer Melanie Kareem, they will explore the roots of Sephardic music, associated with the Jews of medieval and Renaissance Spain, with some excursions into Sufi repertoire as well.

The 1st West Ensemble, led by Nyofu Tyson, master of the saz (a Turkish long-necked lute), and flamenco guitarist Bobby Sokolov, meld these traditions in a musical setting showcasing vocalist Cristobal Osorio of Seville, Spain.

Egyptian/Lebanese percussionist and singer Ava Nahas leads the Ava Nahas Percussion Trio, presenting an excerpt from the groups full-length program “Telos: Rhythms of Passage.”

Thursday’s event begins at 8 p.m. at Murphy Recital Hall, 1 LMU Drive.

Admission is $ 25.

Parking information and campus map, www.lmu.edu/maps/.

On Saturday September 20th, “Voices of the Way” features three performance works inspired by the writings of German poet, playwright and theater director Bertolt Brecht, ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tse, Indian Buddhist master Padmasabhava and Pope Gregory I.

“Voices” is an evening of multimedia performance works that honors Taoist, Buddhist and Christian texts.

These texts are the basis of collaboration among three Loyola Marymount University artists. Paul Humphreys is an American composer, ethnomusicologist and professor of music whose work is influenced by musical traditions from Native North America, Japan, China, West Africa, Eastern Europe and Indonesia.

Sri Susilowati is a Javanese-American choreographer and dance professor acclaimed for productions of traditional and contemporary dance, and Luis ProenÁa, film and television professor and documentary filmmaker, has produced award-winning work in Portuguese-speaking communities of Southern California, East Timor and his native Mozambique.

“Voices of the Way” will take place in Sacred Heart Chapel, 1 LMU Drive. Admission is $15, $10 for students and seniors.

For more information on each event, including locations, http://festivalofsacredmusic.org/calendar.html/.

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