Founder Paul Livingstone likes to think of his Sangeet School of World Music & Dance as a microcosm of a microcosm, where Arabic, Persian, African, Indian, Brazilian and other musics can rub up against each other sans weaponry. He says folks wander into the spacious storefront, scan the strange instruments and artworks and hangings, tune in to the comfortable vibe, and want to hang around. Pretty soon theyre taking an appreciation or performance class from one of several instructors, bringing their kids for lessons in exotic drum-whomp, and attending the schools concert events, held throughout the city, which feature pro players from around the world jamming in expressions both traditional and syncretic. (The next ones in June at the nearby Judson Studios, a historic landmark that was one of the citys first stained-glass manufacturers.) If youve witnessed the passionate precision with which Livingstone attacks a sitar, you know this Beirut-born musician is no dilettante (masters degree from CalArts), and the schools instructors and concert performers can all say the same. Established five years ago, Sangeet is a nonprofit enterprise with a grassroots philosophy. Seems damn near un-American.
The Sangeet School of Music & Dance is located at 5241 York Blvd., Highland Park. For more information, call (323) 258-1424 or visit www.sangeetschool.org.