Art All Around Us

Ruby City and Marfa arts organization dazzle downtown San Antonio with free music event

Ruby City and Marfa arts organization dazzle downtown with music event

Les Filles de Illighadad
Les Filles de Illighadad will perform at the free event. Les Filles de Illighadad/Facebook

Ruby City has already made a splash on the international art scene, but for its upcoming collaboration, it's sticking a bit closer to home. On Monday, February 24, the San Antonio modern art space announced it's partnering with Ballroom Marfa, a nonprofit arts organization based in West Texas, for the fourth iteration of Music in the Park

On Thursday, April 30, the two organizations will host an evening of free live music and performance in Ruby City's Sculpture Garden. In addition to Ballroom Marfa, KRTU Trinity University 91.7 FM also serves as co-host for the annual event.   

Billed as "an evening of sound performances," Music in the Park will feature Les Filles de Illighadad, an all-female Taureg guitar group from a secluded commune in central Niger, at the edge of the Sahara. (The Taureg people, according to Agence France-Presse, account for about 2 million nomadic people who live across the Sahara Desert, including in the North African countries of Mali, Niger, Libya, Algeria, and Chad.)

The musicians, who come from a secluded commune in Niger, play two different kinds of Taureg music: dreamy acoustic guitar sessions and hypnotic call-and-response music traditionally played during celebrations. Making it extra special, notes a release, "Fatou Seidi Ghali, the lead vocalist of Les Filles, is one of the only female Tuareg guitarists in Niger."

Also performing that evening is Book of Sound (SHAPESHIFT ONE), a new project commissioned by Ballroom Marfa from Marfa-based multidisciplinary artist and composer Rob Mazurek. Billed as a "galactic space opera," Mazurek has asked longtime collaborator Damon Locks of Black Monument Ensemble and interdisciplinary artist, performer, and composer Lisa E. Harris to help perform the piece. 

Music in the Park takes place at Ruby City and is free and open to the public. Doors open at 7 pm and the event runs until 10 pm.