ETHEL and Robert Mirabal, Native American musician, instrument builder, and three-time GRAMMY® Award winner, present the next evolution of the cross-cultural concert experience. Their inspiration is Water as the embodiment of Spirit, and its essential role in Life on Earth. The audience is immersed in a flow of music, narrative, and ritual that evokes timeless Native American traditions through contemporary musical artistry.
As delivered by these master performers, the effect is breathtaking, even ecstatic.
The program is an integral journey in instrumental virtuosity, song and storytelling, created uniquely for this event.
From An Kha Na to Peace Calls, through rushing rapids and still, sacred spaces, ETHEL and Robert Mirabal evoke the magic and majesty of The River which connects us all. In retreat together, at Mirabal’s home on the Taos Pueblo, each of the artists brought original musical or poetic works with special significance to the group.
As the Pueblo River rushed past the door, storms came and went, and coyotes howled in the night, the pieces grew in scope and depth, each player contributing layers and insights. Influences were drawn in from Hawaii, Arizona, Mexico, Ecuador, Morocco, Nigeria, India, Mongolia, Tibet, Japan, and the country of Georgia. In sum, the sound is dazzling, and the spirit full of generosity, love, and gratitude. Every audience will find their hearts healed and their hope raised.
Musician, writer, singer and storyteller, Robert Mirabal is Native America’s most dynamic and best-selling artist. In addition to the music and instruments he creates, he is also a celebrated painter, poet and playwright. He is the author of A Skeleton of a Bridge, a book of poetry, prose and short stories. Mr. Mirabal is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Award, three GRAMMY® awards and the New York Dance and Performer’s “Bessie” Award for composition.
Established in New York City in 1998, ETHEL quickly earned a reputation as one of America’s most adventurous string quartets. 20 years later, the band continues to set the standard for contemporary concert music. Known for its enlivened playing, blending uptown, conservatory musicianship with downtown genre-crossing, ETHEL has been described as “indefatigable and eclectic” (The New York Times), “vital and brilliant” (The New Yorker), and “infectiously visceral” (Pitchfork). Since its inception, ETHEL has released nine feature recordings (one of them nominated for a Native American Music Award), performed as guests on 40+ albums, won a GRAMMY® with jazz legend Kurt Elling, and performed in 14 countries, 45 states, and 250 cities.
This engagement is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from Iowa Arts Council and the Crane Group. Additional support from the Western Arts Alliance Advancing Indigenous Performance Touring Fund, made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, Andres W. Mellon Foundation, and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.