by freddie sharmini
THE TENURE OF RETIRING FACULTY MEMBER ALFRED LADZEKPO HAS SPANNED CALARTS ’ ENTIRE LIVED HISTORY, FROM DAY ONE , AND THAT OF THE SIGNATURE WORLD MUSIC PERFORMANCE PROGRAM , A KEY SHAPER OF THE HERB ALPERT SCHOOL OF MUSIC ’ S IDENTITY— ITS DNA . “ I CAN ’ T IMAGINE CALARTS WITHOUT ALFRED ,” SAYS ONE COLLEAGUE . When Alfred K. Ladzekpo took the stage to close this year’s CalArts World Music and Dance Festival, the occasion was at once celebratory and bittersweet: The consummate artist of West African Anlo-Ewe music, song and dance was set to retire at the end of the semester after teaching at the Institute for 41 years. Here was the farewell concert appearance, at CalArts, by one of the icons of the storied World Music Performance Program.
The Institute’s World Music Performance Program in its earliest days. above: The brothers Ladzekpo, Alfred (right) and Kobla. right: Javenese court gamelan master K.P.H. Notoprojo, aka “Pak Chokro” (center), leads the first iteration of the CalArts Gamelan Kyai Doro Dasih (“The Honorable Dream Come True”).
photos from the calarts archive unless otherwise noted