"Northern Lights" by Louis Vega Treviño

Musical Bridges' Art Gallery hosted its third opening of the season on Saturday, June 18, 2016. The opening celebrated “Northern Lights,” by artist Louis Vega Treviño.

A constant flow of over 60 guests moved throughout the gallery; enjoying art, wine, hors d'oeuvres, and live jazz by Aaron Prado and Zlatan Redzic.   

Musical Bridges' would like to give a special thanks to MBAW Gallerist Julya Jara for all of her hard work coordinating the opening.
The exhibit at the Musical Bridges' Art Gallery will be available for viewing through August 12th. To schedule a visit, please call (210) 464-1534.

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Kids to Concerts: Syria

Musical Bridges Around the World is proud to report its tenth successful segment of Kids to Concerts during the 18th season! Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and percussionist Shane Shanahan visited 5 San Antonio schools on May 12-13, 2016: East Terrell Hills, Las Lomas, Roan Forest, Stone Oak, and Canyon Ridge.


MBAW’s interactive and exciting program incorporated TEKS and STEM curriculum-teaching Syrian culture and geography through music.  About 2,500 children learned about rhythm & sound, history, ethnic instruments & arabic language during the 40 minute program.


Teachers and students praised the interactive program. One teacher at East Terrell Hills Elementary said, "Our kids LOVED the concert! They were so excited to tell me all the things they learned; and I was so excited to know that they remembered specific details of the performance. I will spread the word enthusiastically to other music specialists! Thanks again for this fantastic opportunity for our students – one live concert is worth far more than the best dvd!”


Musical Bridges would like to thank Councilman Alan E. Warrick II and Councilman Joe Krier for generously sponsoring these concerts.  For details on how to bring the Kids to Concerts program to your school please call Diana Tatu (210) 900-3081 or email diana.mbaw@gmail.com.

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Fundraising Efforts for San Antonio’s Sister City of Kumamoto, Japan Kicked-Off During City Council

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From City of San Antonio Economic Development Department, May 12, 2016

During City Council today, 17 community partners successfully kicked-off fundraising efforts to help San Antonio’s sister city of Kumamoto, Japan. Kumamoto was recently hit by multiple devastating earthquakes that led to incredible infrastructure damage and the loss of 49 lives with thousands injured. This natural disaster led to the community coming together to raise funds to help San Antonio’s sister city in its time of need.

“It is heartbreaking what happened to Kumamoto,” said Mayor Ivy R. Taylor. “But the warm and passionate response from many of our community partners who want to help our sister city is a testament to the bond that has united our two cities for almost 30 years."

District 6 Councilman Ray Lopez who used a point of personal privilege to announce the fundraising efforts said: “I have led multiple economic development trade missions to Japan and the culture there is one that stands close with family, which is similar to the culture we have in San Antonio. As a sister city to Kumamoto, we are family, and as such, I hope that our citizens will consider giving to this cause.”

Led by the Japan-America Society of San Antonio (JASSA), funds will be used to help 1) the victims and survivors of the earthquake, 2) rebuild Kumamoto’s infrastructure and 3) help rebuild the Kumamoto Castle, a landmark that has relevance to our sister city akin to the Alamo in San Antonio.

"In the wake of the earthquake disaster in and around Kumamoto City, San Antonio organizations, such as JASSA, are rallying to raise funds to help provide relief to the citizens of Kumamoto and to help reconstruct and rebuild damaged areas,” said JASSA President Martha Fabrique. “JASSA is happy to help lead the fundraising efforts; any donation provided by San Antonians means so much to help support our Japanese sister city."

On behalf of Bexar County, Judge Nelson Wolff provided words of support to the cause: "Bexar County has a deep relationship with Japan. We are appreciative of the corporate and social investments they have made in San Antonio, but the fact is these investments would have never happened without our Sister City, Kumamoto. The Commissioners Court stands ready to partner with JASSA and do our part to support all those affected."

The first major contributor to this effort was also announced; Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc. (TMMTX), which donated $25,000 to the cause.

“As a proud member of the San Antonio community, Toyota is committed to the people of Kumamoto. It is important that we show our sister city love and support from their San Antonio family as they rebuild,” said TMMTX Vice President of Administration David Crouch.

Other community partners that are helping with these fundraising efforts include: the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, Musical Bridges Around the World, the Alamo Asian American Chamber of Commerce (AAACC), the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the University of the Incarnate Word, the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, the San Antonio Botanical Garden, the San Antonio River Authority, the East Asia Institute - University of Texas at San Antonio, the Bexar County Medical Society, the Naoko Shirane Memorial, the San Antonio Japanese Companies Association, Japanese Supplementary School of San Antonio, Our Lady of the Lake University and URBAN-15.

Secretary Henry Cisneros who signed the sister city agreement with Kumamoto in 1987 as San Antonio Mayor expressed his support: "Our Sister City with Kumamoto was the first step in a long-term international strategy. Given the continuing blessings this relationship has bestowed upon our community, we wholeheartedly support the Kumamoto Earthquake Relief Fund recalling the words of Kumamoto Mayor Tajiri, ‘When you drink the water, remember who dug the well.’ "

To donate to this effort, visit JASSA’s website at www.jas-sa.org.

Kids to Concerts: India

Musical Bridges Around the World is proud to report its ninth successful segment of Kids to Concerts during the 18th season! This segment brought us to Huebner Elementary school on April 26, 2016.

Guest artists included: pianist Anil Srinivasan and Carnatic vocalist Sikkil "Charan" Gurucharan. MBAW's interactive and exciting program incorporated TEKS and STEM curriculum-teaching the culture and geography of India through music.

About 1,000 children learned about rythm & sound, history, and ethnic instruments during the 40 minute program. They were singing and swaying the whole time!

MBAW would like to thank the Texas Commission on the Arts and District 9 Councilman Joe Krier for sponsoring this program at Huebner Elementary.

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Kids to Concerts: Japan

Musical Bridges Around the World is proud to report its eighth successful segment of Kids to Concerts during the 18th season! This segment brought us to five more San Antonio Elementary schools on April 11-12, 2016: Woodstone, Andrew Briscoe, Collins Garden, Neal and Eleanor Kolitz Hebrew Language Academy.

Guest artists included: Japanese Koto and Shamisen player Sumie Kaneko, who has been recognized as a pioneer of uniquely chromatic instrumentation; Kaoru Watanabe, a New York based composer and musician who specializes in the Japanese shinobue flutes and taiko drums; and Taiko artist Kenny Endo. The trio are deeply rooted in Japanese tradition and are virtuosos in Western classical, jazz and world music. The program included selections of traditional Japanese music and it’s modern journey around the world.

Teachers and students praised the interactive program. One teacher at Woodstone Elementary said, “I wanted to tell you personally how much our students enjoyed the wonderful performance this morning. My students have been anticipating the arrival of your performers for the past week. They were delighted and in awe as they listened to the beautiful music of Japan this morning. Thank you and your benefactors for providing this program that allowed my students the opportunity they had this morning. Music is truly a universal language and thank you again for sharing this wonderful gift with my students. The concert is not something they will soon forget.” 

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MBAW would like to thank all of its generous sponsors for this program including: San Antonio City Council Project Funds, The Brown Foundation, Inc., HEB, Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation, Rackspace, San Antonio Area Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.


For details on how to bring the Kids to Concerts program to your school please contact Diana Tatu by clicking HERE.

MBAW's Journey to Japan

In the spirit of San Antonio's 300th birthday in 2018, Musical Bridges' Artistic Director Anya Grokhovski traveled all the way to Japan in search for guest artists.  The purpose for the two week trip was to get aquainted with Japanese culture and score some new and fabulous talent for the International Music Festival in 2018.

The centerpiece of the trip was Anya's meeting with city officials of Kumamoto - sister city of San Antonio to discuss possible artistic collaborations. Anya met with Japanese musicians everywhere she went and for the grand finale of her trip spent an unforgettable five hours in Tokyo's Kabuki Theater. We are expecting new Japanese-inspired programming to enlighten San Antonio soon!

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Kids to Concerts: Russia & Ukraine

Musical Bridges Around the World is proud to report its seventh successful segment of Kids to Concerts during the 18th season at no charge to the schools visited! On March 23-24, 2016 the Flying Balalaika Brothers visited six San Antonio Elementary schools: Larkspur, Kriewald Road, Regency Place, Young Men’s Leadership Academy, Bowden and Riverside Park.

MBAW's interactive and exciting program incorporated TEKS and STEM curriculum-teaching the culture and geography of Russia & Ukraine through music.  About 5,000 children learned about rhythm & sound, dance, history, ethnic instruments and Russian language during the 40 minute program.

Each program included an interactive dance where the entire school participated and counted in Russian! Each program concluded with a Q & A with the students. This was a fantastic opportunity for the students to interact with the artists and ask questions. The Q & A really showed how much this program impacts the minds of these students, they were so interested to learn about new cultures.

District 2 Councilman Allan E. Warrick II sponsored and attended the performance at Young Men's Leadership Academy. After the performance he asked the students if they think other schools should also have the opportunity to experience this program and they said "YES!"

One teacher from Regency Place Elementary said, “I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the presentation of the Flying Balalaika Brothers. I have to admit in all the years I have been here at Regency (nearly 30) this was the most informative presentation about country, culture and the manner of which other children enjoy listening to music.  This was a WOW moment: real live EDUCATION.”

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MBAW would like to thank all of its generous sponsors for this program including: San Antonio City Council Project Funds, the Texas Commission on the Arts, The Brown Foundation, Inc., HEB, Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation, Rackspace, San Antonio Area Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For details on how to bring the Kids to Concerts program to your school please contact Diana Tatu by clicking HERE.

Flying Balalaika Brothers Visit Alicia Trevino López One-Stop Center

Well Med 1Musical Bridges Around the World provided another free 40 minute concert of its retirement community outreach program, Golden Age to the Alicia Trevino López Senior One-Stop Center on March 24, 2016.

Russian Folk Group the Flying Balalaika Brothers brought their uplifting performance to the center and the residents were invigorated! Before the first song was over, the space in front of the musicians was filled with residents dancing along with the music. It didn't stop there…the space was filled with dancers during the entire 40 minute performance. Many residents asked for MBAW’s contact information to put themselves on the wait list for future offerings.

A special thanks to WellMed Charitable Foundation for inviting us to one of their beautiful senior centers! 

The original Flying Balalaika Brothers were formed in Los Angeles in 1995 by Zhenya Kolykhanov (a.k.a. Z Rock), the former lead guitarist of the Russian surf/rockabilly group Red Elvises. The group started as a street band and later transformed into the group Red Elvises; which had a large history of performing for clubs, motion pictures, and tv shows in California. After Zhenya set up shop in Austin, TX, he reestablished The Flying Balalaika Brothers. The band represents a blend of traditional world music and original musical pieces. The group has found a home in the musically rich culture in Austin, TX.