Over 300 members of various cultural performing arts groups based in Nashville will hit the Ryman Auditorium stage for a three hour production later this month.
And John Lasiter, the communications director at Vanderbilt University’s Barnes & Noble, has been chosen to take on the ambitious event. Lasiter brings with him over fifteen years experience producing hundreds of live events, theatre and concerts, combined with a history of cultural arts advocacy.
The celebration concert — called World Music Night — is the love child of a long running partnership between Celebrate Nashville and Metro Human Relations Commission.
“We are thrilled to have John Lasiter producing our Celebrate Nashville World Music Night at the Ryman Auditorium on September 28th!” said festival CEO Cindy Politte.
The artist line-up includes Nashville’s Chinese Arts Alliance, Nashville In Harmony, Music City Soul, Aztec Dancers, Wu Fei and a very special collaboration between Hindi soloist Sharmistha Ganguly, members of The McGavock High choir and members of The Nashville Symphony.
"A dear friend of mine, and former coworker at Nashville CARES, Barbara Lartey, now works for the Metro Human Relations Commission," said Lasiter, "and she threw my name in the hat during the search. "I was hired three and a half weeks ago, and the show opens two weeks from today. But I love a good challenge and I can't think of a more important reason to be stressed to my very limit for five weeks. No one ever said arts advocacy was easy!"
The Nashville Cultural Festival, held annually in Centennial Park, has grown to be the nation’s largest festival of its kind. Despite severe thunderstorms and major rains, over 60,000 festival goers attended last year’s event. This year’s festival is expected to far exceed that number and has even added several events leading up to the festivals opening, including the 'Celebrate Nashville Week' concert at the Ryman Auditorium.
"We do see this [concert] as an annual event," said Lasiter, "and I think everyone involved sees the potential. The intent for future shows is to combine some of Nashville's biggest recording artists with a local cultural arts group and showcase those collaborations on stage. For example, Dolly Parton with Mexican Folklorica Dancers and a Mariachi band singing 'Coat of Many Colors.' That's just an example but it's the direction where we see this going."
World Music Night is Wednesday, September 28th, 7:30pm at The Ryman Auditorium. Tickets are $15.00 and are on sale now at Ryman.com. For more information see http://ryman.com/events/Celebrate_Nashville