Despite the cold and wind of Thursday night, students found warmth and entertainment in Eisenhower Auditorium for globalFEST on the Road’s “Creole Carnival .” Three acts, each representing different countries and genres of music, came together and delivered an eclectic performance to a Penn State audience.
GlobalFEST on the Road is an extension of globalFEST, an annual festival held in New York City which brings together bands from around the world to celebrate diversity in culture and music. Several bands from globalFEST collectively tour 31 cities in 54 days throughout the United States, resulting in globalFEST on the road.
Describing music as a universal connector, Marketing and Communications Director of Penn State’s Center of the Performing Arts Laura Sullivan said the show allowed Penn State students the opportunity to “get that global experience right here in your own backyard.”
First to the stage was the “reigning queen of Haitian song,” Emeline Michel . Accompanied by three other musicians, Michel sang and danced about the stage, singing in a combination of English, French and Haitian Creole.
Having grown up in a devoted Baptist home and a country rich in musical tradition, Michel said she had “one foot in the glorious music of gospel and the other foot in the absolutely fascinating love story and tradition of [her] country.”
At one point during her set, Michel took a break from singing, setting her microphone down and dancing freely to the beat of the drummer’s solo. Her long, sparkling orange dress flowed with her as she twirled about the stage and flipped her hair.
Next to the stage was Jamaican-born Brushy One String , who famously plays his jazz-influenced reggae music using an acoustic guitar with only one string.
“We’re here for a Creole Carnival. You’re here to have fun,” One String said. “I hope I can do that for you.”
The third was Brazilian acoustic band Casuarina , who played Samba music and encouraged the crowd to sing, clap and dance along to the beat. Several audience members accepted the offer, emerging from their seats to dance in the aisles of the auditorium.
To close the show, all of the artists emerged to collectively perform the finale as the audience stood and danced along to the eclectic song.
Sullivan said the night’s music made it “difficult to sit still.”
“The music makes you just want to move,” Sullivan said. “You want to dance. You want to have a party.”