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IndyBuzz provides information about Central Indiana's most stimulating and thought provoking events -- discussions and conferences, art exhibitions, films, music performances. It tells you what's happening … explains why you should be part of what’s happening. More than an events calendar, though, IndyBuzz tries to make events more meaningful for participants by suggesting an article or two to read before the event, recommending books or websites that will be sources of further information after the event, and pointing out related events that are worth attending.

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February 17: Attend the premiere performance of "Dreaming of an Island"

The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra performance based on Afro-Cuban rhythms, composed by Neil Leonard

When: Saturday, February 17 5:30 PM

Where: Indiana History Center

Tickets: $20 for adults, $10 for students

This is the world premiere of Neil Leonard’s Dreaming of an Island and should not be missed. In keeping with their tradition of performing pieces that transcend the conventional orchestral repertoire, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra brings Neil Leonard’s innovative musical talents to Indianapolis. Dreaming of an Island “explores the island as a metaphor for introspection and as the territory of exiles and immigrants.”

Leonard, composer, saxophonist, and clarinetist, is known for merging technology with music. He leads a cyberjazz ensemble and teaches at the renowned Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he has received the award for ‘most valuable contribution to the Music Technology Division.’ Leonard is also no stranger to Indiana-- he has previously taught workshops at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, including the Second Inter-American Composition Workshop. His current effort reveals his collaboration with wife Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, the Cuban-born visual artist featured at the Indianapolis Museum of Art this spring. They have performed together on several occasions internationally and in the US and are founders and co-owners of the GASP gallery (Gallery Artists Studio Projects) in Boston.

This is a rare opportunity to be immersed in such music that has perhaps dually inspired the art of Campos-Pons and is derived from inspiration she has provided Leonard. Her exhibition, Maria Magdalena Campos- Pons: Everything is Separated by Water, plus two others, AfroCuba: Works on Paper, 1968-2003, and William Rasdell, opens February 25 at the IMA. There are plenty of other performing art events in Indianapolis surrounding these fascinating exhibitions. February 9 the IMA hosts "Nuestra Diaspora: One Beat, One Heart," a tribute to Caribbean dance deeply rooted in the African tradition. Campos-Pons herself performs at the IMA February 24. Check out the Urban Drum Ensemble at the IUPUI School of Music on April 26, when they perform selections with Afro-Cuban beats. See three films that inspired Campos-Pons for free April 28 at the IMA.

In addition to performances, art buffs and amateurs alike should know that there are also several upcoming Cuba-themed lectures planned at the IMA. February 25 (the same day as the opening of the three Cuba-themed exhibitions) Dr. Judith Bettelheim, curator of the Campos-Pons and AfroCuba exhibits discusses the context for the selected pieces at "AfroCuba Through the Artist's Lens." March 20, Krista A. Thompson of Northwestern University talks about the sea as a common metaphor in Caribbean art. Hear a rabbi, a psychologist and a poet discuss various themes present in the art of Campos-Pons April 26 at the IMA. Learn specifically about the recurring theme of Santeria in her art during a guided tour of the Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons: Everything is Separated by Water exhibition April 7 and May 17.

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