Israeli music group to perform

November 1, 2018 GMT

STERLING – The Israeli musical group Sofi & the Baladis will perform at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at Sterling High School’s Centennial Auditorium, 1608 Fourth Ave.

Tickets cost $10 and will be available beginning Nov. 8 at centennialauditorium.org or at the box office, which is open from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday beginning Nov. 26.

The five-member ensemble, led by singer Sofi Tsedaka, features soulful and richly textured performances of an array of musical traditions that lie at the heart of Israel’s diverse and historic cultures.

The group’s multi-lingual concerts present new interpretations of songs from the ancient Samaritan community as well as compelling vocal and instrumental work from mid-20th century Arabic composers.

The commentary Sofi provides throughout the concert tells the moving and powerful story of the Samaritan Tsedaka family and their search for balance as they navigate the pathway between their Jewish and Arab identities.

Sofi & the Baladis is the third artist to perform in the 2017-19 Arts Midwest World Fest, which is a program of Minneapolis-based Arts Midwest, one of six regional arts organizations in the United States.

Through this 2-year partnership, Arts Midwest brings four international music ensembles to the Sauk Valley. Each ensemble spends a week in the area, sharing its unique culture and music through workshops in Sterling, Rock Falls, Dixon and Port Byron schools, in community locations, and through the concert.

The goal is to give smaller and mid-sized communities an opportunity to hear music, language, and culture that doesn’t come through often if at all.

The Academy previously hosted Manhu from China and the Unni Boksasp Ensemble from Norway. Ondekoza from Japan, featuring the powerful sounds and rhythms of taiko drumming so important in Japanese culture, will be the final concert in the tour cycle, in March.