August 28, 2012

Ninety Miles Project in concert Sept. 15

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Ninety Miles Project will perform in concert Saturday, Sept. 15, at 8 p.m. in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University.

The musicians — Stefon Harris, vibraphone; David Sanchez, saxophone; and Nicholas Payton, trumpet — also will participate in a pre-performance talk from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m. in the Weis Center Lobby. The performance is sponsored in part by Norman and Phyllis Rich.

Ninety miles is the distance between Miami and Havana, the closest points in the United States and Cuba. Recorded over the span of a week in Havana, this Cuban-American jazz project brought local Cuban musicians into the recording sessions to emphasize the musical, cultural and historical kinships between the two nations.

"Ninety Miles," the album resulting from those sessions, was released in June 2011 on Concord Records and was named to year-end lists of 2011 Best CDs by NPR, among others. The unique collection of songs reflect a popular view in Cuba — that music can heal, bring struggling communities together, and transcend the harsh realities of everyday life.

Kathryn Maguet, executive director of the Weis Center, says, "Stefon Harris is a prolific and always-evolving artist who flexes his collaborative muscles with sax sensation David Sanchez and trumpet master Nick Payton in this ambitious and rhythmically complex work.

"I had the opportunity to hear the piece in New York last winter and it's a musical home run! The blend of U.S. and Cuban jazz sets the stage for an incredibly rich and beautiful musical modern masterpiece," she said.

The New York Times says of Harris, "He swings; and when he plays, he makes you feel good." A four-time Grammy nominee, he has been honored as Best Vibist by Jazziz, Jazz Times, and Downbeat, and is a six-time Best Mallet winner by the Jazz Journalists Association. Heralded as "one of the most important young artists in jazz" (The Los Angeles Times) and a recipient of Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal Award, he has released six CDs for Blue Note Records.

Tickets for the Sept. 15 concert are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors 62 and over, and $10 for children 18 and under and are available at or by calling the box office at 570-577-1000.

The next event in the Weis Center series is a performance by the Papermoon Puppet Company from Indonesia on Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Harvey Powers Theatre in Coleman Hall. Papermoon Puppet Company, a new type of performance art that blends fine arts and theater into one show, will present a heartbreaking story called Mwathirika, which delves into one of the darker chapters in Indonesian history where many people were kidnapped and killed in 1965 for allegedly embracing communism. The performance is intended for mature audiences. Tickets for the Sept. 19 performance are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 62 and over, and $5 for children 18 and under and are available at or by calling the Box Office at 570-577-1000.

For more information about these events, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach coordinator, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at

For more information about future programming at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to or

Contact: Division of Communications

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