Small World - Big Ears: John Hughes & Klezwoods

August 28, 2017 7PM
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$15 / 0

Welcome to our new series, Small World - Big Ears!  As technology continues to advance and make our world seemingly smaller and smaller, there are also many ways in which we seem to be drawn futher apart and more isolated from one another than ever before. The idea behind Passim's new monthly music series "Small World - Big Ears" is to bring together musicians who play in a wide variety of musical traditions from around the globe to share their music and culture with the Passim community. We hope that as we are able to broaden our abilities to listen, we'll find common ground within the language we all speak, the langauge of the heart: music.  We hope you will come out and be part of these shows on the last Monday of each month in a great listening room.


John Hughes is an innovative composer, kora player, percussionist and vocalist whose style ranges from elegant and stately West African classical harp music to jazzy, hypnotic grooves that cross cultural boundaries and fuse disparate influences.  Playing ancient traditional instruments not often heard in the United States, many of which he builds himself, John takes his audience on an intimate tour of universally musical expressions of joy and hope, at once soothing and up-lifting.

John has studied the music song and dance of West Africa for over 24 years, training with numerous master drummers and dancers from Guinea and Mali, including Mamady Keita, Famoudou Konate, Sekou Sylla, and Youssouf Koumbassa.  

John has taught sculpture, drawing and design in numerous universities, colleges and high schools including The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Skidmore College.  He has been teaching drumming classes, private lessons, and workshops across the United States and Canada for the past 20 years, working at places like Omega Institute, Kripalu Yoga Center, Dance New England and a host of schools and universities.  He maintains weekly classes at The Putney School, Landmark College, and in his studio in Brattleboro, Vermont, where he also builds sculpture and musical instruments. 

John performs regularly as a solo musician and in various duo and trio configurations that include cellist, Stephen Katz, wind players Erik Lawrence and Charlie Tokarz and  percussionist Todd Roach.


Klezwoods is a wild amalgam of strings, horns, and percussion that melds the spirit of Jewish, Eastern European, Arabic, and North African music traditions with modern grooves, improvisation, and melodic interplay. The ensemble serves as a truly modern American melting pot of musical cultures, as each world renowned performer brings a unique voice and musical background to the mix. The formidable range of the band members and tightly arranged melodies only add to the audience's experience of Klezwoods' music: wildly exuberant Balkan wedding parties, somber clarinet melodies, stately Ottoman-inspired themes, upbeat klezmer dances, and barn burning, funky North African beats. All are presented in a dynamic manner that is unique to Klezwoods, while embracing and paying deep respect to all of these cultural and musical influences. Simply put, "it's a party you won't want to miss out on." (

Joe Kessler - violin

Sam Dechenne - trumpet

Michael McLaughlin - accordion

Tev Stevig - guitar


Please note that the seating chart has recently been updated, so be sure you are purchasing the seats you want.  If you do not purchase all seats at your table, other patrons may be seated with you.  Your ticket reserves you a place at the table you select but not a specific location at that table.  There is no food or beverage minimum.  All tickets are non-refundable.

$15 / 0
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