Island Arts

Gamelan Sekar Jaya, a 65-member orchestra,  called “the finest Balinese gamelan ensemble outside of Indonesia” by Indonesia’s Tempo Magazine, will perform at Rhythmix Cultural Works Saturday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. Since 1979, Gamelan Sekar Jaya has presented more than 400 concerts throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Indonesia. The group’s success arises from its devotion to traditional repertoire and its passion for innovation having composed more than 60 major new works for Gamelan and dance. 

The Grand Master Fiddler Youth Champion (GMFC) for 2019 is Miles Quale of Alameda, who had placed second the past two years.

“I was pretty excited that I won,” he said. “It’s always fun to compete and play with some of the best fiddlers in the nation.”

The 15-year-old began playing at age three. He won by playing “Bitter Creek,” “Wyatt’s Waltz” and “I Don’t Love Nobody.”

Miles and his brother Teo received a special treat of playing at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday as a guest of Opry star Connie Smith.

The Alameda Island Poets will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with readings from featured poets: Ivan Argüelles, Naomi Quiñonez and Hector Zamudio. The poets’ monthly reading takes place Wednesday, Sept. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru St. 

Accordion festival an international experience that makes one value home

Mid-August and it’s time to hit the road. Fifty-some miles north of Alameda is our destination, the 29th annual Cotati Accordion Festival. We’ve been there before but it was several years ago and we had forgotten some of the details, so with a bit of denial we took off around 10 a.m. Saturday morning. Google Maps said the traffic was light and the trip should take about an hour and five minutes. So much for Google Maps.

Many people have heard of the “bluebird of happiness,” a phrase that has roots stretching back thousands of years in multiple cultures including: Native American, Chinese, French and German. Stories and legends associate bluebirds with hope, springtime and home. 

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