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35th Parallel Performing

Band Features Music from One Latitude around the Globe
Saturday, April 21, 2012 - Gates Community Center

35th ParallelThe band 35th Parallel features sounds from around the globe - but only one latitude. The 35th parallel covers parts of the Middle East, north India, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the United States. The band will be performing a concert at College of the Atlantic's Gates Community Center on Saturday, April 21 at 8 p.m. The concert is open to the public, a pre-Earth Day celebration.

This New England duo of Gabe Halberg and Mac Ritchey primarily perform on Indian tabla, a two-drum set of wood and metal bodies with goat skin tops that can be tuned, and the oud (or Arabic lute). Their signature MediterrAsian sound blends oud and tabla with a variety of other non-Western instruments. The music ranges from Indian ragas to Armenian folk music. It's not only uniqueness of sound that makes this band special. It's also their absolute musicality.

Halberg has been studying music for nearly two decades, including with two Indian tabla masters. He holds a degree in tabla composition from Goddard College. He is also self-taught on other percussion instruments including the tar, a tunable frame drum that originates from North Africa and the Middle East, and jaw harp. Ritchey is a string musician, focused on the oud, a six-course 11-stringed instrument, and especially Turkish and Armenian music traditions. He also plays Greek bouzouki and acoustic guitar.

According to the Times Argus of Vermont, the duo composes melodies based on the themes of the cultures of the 35th Parallel. "We don't claim to be doing a special representation of a traditional genre," Ritchey said to the paper. "We draw from those cultures and make our own music. Even though a lot of the songs are from that region, the songs seem to translate very well to people who are not students or general listeners of the music. Audiences relate well to the music."

35th Parallel will be at COA's Gates Community Center at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free. Donations will be accepted. For more information call 288-5015.

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning - human ecology - that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit

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