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Self-contained music ensemble tours in and performs on its own stage bus


September 16, 2002

WHAT: Born Free – USA Tour stop and performance
WHEN: 12 noon, (Monday) October 7
WHERE: North lawn of Gammage Auditorium, 100 S. Forest Ave., Tempe
TICKETS: Free, no admission charge and no tickets required
INFORMATION: 480-965-8863

How about taking in an outdoor noontime concert featuring an internationally diverse group of musicians? Stop by the main ASU campus in Tempe on Oct. 7 and enjoy.

The performers make up an unusually self-contained musical group, Luluk Purwanto & the Helsdingen Trio. The four performers make a stop at ASU during their ambitious Born Free – USA tour. The performance will be held (Monday) Oct. 7 at noon on the north lawn adjacent to Gammage Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
ASU is one of 40 U.S. universities that the Indonesian-Dutch-American, cross-cultural group plans to perform at. The ASU appearance is sponsored by the Herberger College of Fine Arts School of Music.

The group’s musical style is described as “jazz with improvised music influenced by individual cultural traditions.” Members of the ensemble include Luluk Purwanto on violin and voice, Rene van Helsdingen on piano, Essiet Okon Essiet on bass and Marcello Pellitteri on drums. The group’s latest CD, Born Free, is a mix of moods as styles influenced by each musician’s traditions and backgrounds. It’s available on the Munich Records label.

The musicians travel and perform in and on a stage bus that is as unique as their music. The bus is a special multifunctional vehicle for travel and performance that was designed by a Dutch artist. The musicians can unfold the bus into a full-equipped stage, including instruments and sound system, in just 30 minutes.

Luluk Purwanto was born and raised in Indonesia. She earned musical degrees from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Australia and from the Institute of Art in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Purwanto was first exposed to jazz playing in 1980 and started her career crisscrossing the world playing at festival, concert halls and jazz clubs. It was on one of her tours that she met future husband Rene van Helsdingen.

Rene van Helsdingen has recorded and produced for many different recording labels, including Virgin, Timeless and his own, Helsdingen Music and Munich Records in Wageningen, Holland. His piano work has been described as “articulate and engaging.”

Essiet Okon Essiet is a leading bassist who has played and recorded with a Who’s Who of jazz and progressive music musicians, including Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Kenny Garrett and Kevin Mahogany. He also leads his own group, IBO (Intercontinental Bush Orchestra), a Nigerian Jazz Project.

Italian born drummer Marcello Pellitteri has performed and recorded with New York Voices, Jon Hendricks, Woody Shaw, Winton Marsalis and Eddie Gomez. 

Media Contact:
Mary Brennan
480-965-3587
mary.brennan@asu.edu