About Us

The CU Society for World Music is the only Cambridge society involved in integrating folk music forms from all over the world. When formed in 2001, it consisted mostly of performers of South Asian folk music. Over the years, the focus has moved west-ward, incorporating musicians and influences from Spanish, Latin American folk traditions. As of 2006, it consists of flamenco dancers, Spanish guitarists, salsa dancers, folk singers and a tabla player. We meet regularly for jamming sessions and perform regularly at various events/colleges. If you play any instrument/sing/dance, and are happy to jam along with a bunch of musicians and singers(from about six countries now!) , this is your society.

Here is a quick profile of some of our current performers.

alec photoAlexander Rainey "I was taught flamenco guitar when still a teenager, with no previous knowledge of the instrument. I was stranded in Spain (for financial reasons - this was in Franco's time -) in Murcia. My teacher was a white-haired, brown-skinned Romany (Gypsy). I also received lessons from Pepe Escudero, in the Alicante area. And I have played eversince, mostly to myself and the four winds, but also in recitals in Dublin - university and city and an arts festival there -, to Aborigines in the Australian outback, for a dance troupe at the Melbourne Spoleto festival, for the Spanish dance school at the Royal Ballet, London and more recently in the Main Street Show in Livingston, Montana. So my style is resolutely ancient, though I'm an unreserved admirer of Vicente Amigo and Paco de Lucia, and of coursethe ancients, greats such as Ramon Montoya, Niño Ricardo, Manolo de Badajoz, and the singers el Niño de Almadén etc. etc. Flamenco is an eternal music, drawn from deep in the past, yet ever renewing itself."

aurora photoAurora Cruz-Cabeza was born in Jaén, Andalucía (Spain), a region surrounded by ancient and beautiful olive trees. Although at the early age of three she expressed her wish to become a singer, her musical education evolved mainly in classical spanish guitar. It was in her Erasmus year in Switzerland (as a chemistry student, 1999-2000), when Aurora and Ingrid found each other and started exploring new musical trails combining their voices and the guitar. After some years of separation, destiny brought them back together in Cambridge where their musical passion emerged as stronger as ever and they found "los flamenquitos". Although originally born in the 'mother' region of flamenco, Aurora's true passion for flamenco started in Cambridge thanks to Bhisma and Alec who helped her to pull out the true Spanish blood and passion to each single note in her music.

ingrid photoIngrid Socorro is about to submit her PhD thesis.In her other hat, she is the lead voice for the troupe.

ariane photoAriane de Hoog is at St. John's College and a third year Cambridge PhD student in the Department of Social and Political Sciences, studying the IT labour market sector. Born in Kenya, this German/Canadian girl has danced around the world. Besides being an avid ice hockey player and a violinist, Ariane's true passion has been dance since the age of three. Taking various courses she ended up in ballroom and latin dancing, and gravitated towards salsa in the past seven years due to its fiery nature and sensuality. Craig and Ariane have been dance partners for three years.

craig photoCraig has been dancing salsa for a few years and continues not to take it too seriously.

bhisma photoBhismadev Chakrabarti has been playing tabla for over fifteen years now.Originally trained in the classical version of the instrument in India, he discovered that his true calling lay in bringing folk traditions into his playing, influenced primarily by the music of the great Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He founded the society one lazy afternoon in 2001. Things have never been the same again.

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