Let The River Flow

Robert Mirabal out on the Taos Pueblo

Beaches Fine Arts Series presents a cross-cultural concert

November 15, 4 p.m.

Beaches Fine Arts Series (BFAS) has received a New Music USA Project Grant to bring a unique cross-cultural music experience to our area. As one of 110 projects selected this year by New Music, BFAS will present The River with ETHEL and Native American flutist Robert Mirabal in a performance scheduled for mid-November. In an agreement with the National Park Service, The River will also be performed along the St. Johns River at the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, where local fourth-grade students will experience the show during historical field trips dedicated to the study of Native American culture. In the event that field trips are cancelled due to COVID-19 precautions, BFAS hopes to film the concert at the preserve and send the video to schools for viewing.

The River is an evolution of a six-year collaboration between renowned string quartet ETHEL and Mirabal, who until now have been performing ceremonial concerts dedicated to the sun. Turning to water for inspiration, The River immerses audiences in “a show of music, narrative, and ritual that evokes timeless Native American traditions through contemporary musical artistry,” according to BFAS. The result has been described by audiences and critics as breathtaking and ecstatic. Mirabal, a three-time Grammy Award winner, describes water as the embodiment of spirit, essential to life on Earth.

ETHEL has a reputation as one of America’s most adventurous string quartets. Established in New York City in 1998, the group has since released nine feature recordings, performed as guests on over forty albums, premiered 225 new works, won a Grammy Award with jazz legend Kurt Elling, and performed in 14 countries. The resident ensemble at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Balcony Bar, ETHEL is bound by a collaborative ethos that strives for a common creative expression forged in the celebration of community. Along with debuting modern works by a broad range of groundbreaking composers, the quartet creates tours that are rich with multimedia elements and that seek to provoke community engagement.

The New Music USA Project Grants are described by the organization as demonstrating the imaginative, diverse, and high-quality work that the group supports. New Music USA has distributed nearly $4 million in support of creative projects since its inception in 2013, highlighting a wide range of activities and events, with new music as a central element. This very special BFAS concert utilizes our region’s river and Timucuan heritage to elevate the listening experience for students and concert-goers alike. In keeping with the spirit of New Music grants program, The River represents the first collaboration between BFAS and the National Park Service, and promises to be educational and moving, just as the waters from which it draws inspiration.

November 15, 4 p.m., at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Jacksonville Beach. Visual artist Pablo Rivera’s work will be on display.

Visit www.beachesfinearts.org for updated information.

Author: Arbus

Share This Post On

Subscribe for the Weekly Buzz from Arbus Magazine

Join our email list! It's your spot for cultural to-do's around Northeast Florida.

You have Successfully Subscribed!