By Charles Gabriel

The College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s Speaker Series is thrilled to present “Sonic Joy: Music as Medicine with Shaw Pong Liu and Balla Kouyaté” on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. in Durgin Recital Hall. Recital credit is offered for music majors.

Violinist and erhu player Shaw Pong Liu and balafon virtuoso Balla Kouyaté grew up in very different parts of the world, but they find deep connection and healing through sound and listening. These two master musicians will perform traditional music, improvisations and original compositions with their instruments from Mali, China and Europe.

Shaw Pong Liu is a Chinese American violinist, erhu player and composer. As City of Boston Artist-in-Residence, she created Code Listen, a collaboration with relatives of homicide victims, Boston police officers and teen artists to share stories and create original music for healing and dialogue. Liu has also been recognized as a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow and received the Boston Celtics’ Heroes Among Us award.

Balla Kouyaté was born in Mali and raised in the Djeli tradition of history, storytelling and music. A master balafon player, his family proudly guards the first known balafon, which is more than 1,000 years old and considered a UNESCO Artifact of Oral and Intangible History. Kouyaté was awarded an NEA National Heritage Fellowship in 2019; his music has been featured on over 45 albums.

Thursday, Oct. 12
7-8 p.m.
Durgin Recital Hall, South Campus
Free and open to the public
Attend in person or watch the livestream.

This event is organized by the Department of Music and is co-sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Center for Asian American Studies.

For more information on the series, visit uml.edu/fahss-speaker-series.