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May 8, 2007

"From Ear to Ear" concert explores the origins of African American music

Colonial Williamsburg’s guests can explore the roots of 18th-century African American music during the concert, “From Ear to Ear.” The concert will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 26 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 23 in the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, as well as at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, July 25 and Aug. 15 at the Kimball Theatre, which is located in Merchants Square.

Featuring traditional African instruments and glorious vocals, the concert brings the audience on a musical journey from Africa to the Caribbean and on to America. Guests will be provided instruments to join in rhythmic ensemble. As guests learn to play and experience the music they will discover how African music was reshaped and transformed into a distinctly soulful African American musical sound.

A separate $12 ticket is required for admission. Advance tickets for performances are available by calling toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or by visiting any Colonial Williamsburg ticket outlet.

Guests who want to take the experience home can purchase the “From Ear to Ear: The Passage of African Music Through American Slavery” CD. A booklet included with the CD contains background information and a brief history for each of the 23 musical cuts. The CD also has interactive “extras” that can be accessed on the computer, allowing the user to virtually “play” an instrument called a balafon, and contains background essays, song lyrics, a short video, historical images and background information on the performers. The CD is available at the WILLIAMSBURG Booksellers® at the Visitor Center, the Craft House and Everything Williamsburg in Merchants Square, the Museum Store at The Museums of Colonial Williamsburg or by calling 1-800-HISTORY.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121