Logan’s Colombian dance classes

Herald Intern

A University of Chicago professor teaching a class titled “Introduction to World Music” will open a workshop with two Colombian artists to the public Thursday. Participants will hear Colombian music, learn about the artists’ culture and dance together.

Julio Montano Montenegro and Martha Arboleda, who will lead the workshop, began their work on the Pacific coast of Colombia, where they were musicians and cultural activists. Now living in Chicago, they tour with their ensemble, “Ecos del Pacifico AfroColombia,” or EPA, which began in 2006.

“I have invited [the group]…to speak about their music and culture, perform songs and teach the audience how to dance,” said Rehanna Kheshgi, the instructor whose class sparked the workshop.

Montenegro and Arboleda have brought EPA to music institutions and community centers around Chicago and other cities, giving dance workshops and teaching about their music. The group performs several genres from the Afro-Colombian tradition, developed by enslaved Africans in Colombia, a country in the northwestern corner of South America. Instruments used in the tradition include drums, shakers, and the marimba.

Though the workshop is part of the University class, Kheshgi decided to open it to the general public, free of charge.

“The students taking my course will be present, but I’ve also opened the workshop up to the public so that Julio and Martha can get more exposure for their group,” Khesghi said.

The free workshop will take place at 3 p.m. this Thursday, Nov. 29, in the Performance Penthouse on the 9th floor of the Logan Center, 915 E. 60th St. For more information, call the Music Department at 773-702-8484. A reception will follow the event.