A band from Algeria is performing Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the University Auditorium for their first concert in Florida.
Student tickets for Ifrikya Spirit are $10, Elizabeth Auer, the assistant director for UF Performing Arts, wrote in an email. She said the department is hosting the group through Center Stage, a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The program creates a cultural dialogue with artists from other countries by bringing them for music tours in the U.S. and exposing them to a different audience, Auer said.
“I was actually part of the group who traveled to Algeria in April 2015 to meet, interview, and select artists to participate in the program,” Auer said.
When she visited Algeria and heard Ifrikya Spirit perform, the traditional diwan sounds and Algerian instruments created a modern jazz sound, she said, adding that the group’s passion came out in their performances.
Lisa Booth, of Lisa Booth Management Group, which represents Center Stage, said the group’s tour is the first time they will be in the U.S.
Booth said UF chose the band because of how they represent both traditional and contemporary forms of Algerian music.
“The school is so diverse, and there is always a good turn out when a Center Stage performance comes to Gainesville,” she said.