Arts Midwest World Fest Tour stopped by Dickinson State University Saturday night for a concert with a group out of Israel, and the event was about good music and breaking down cultural barriers.

Students and residents in the area had the opportunity to listen to the international group, Sofi and the Baladis, at Beck Auditorium for a one night concert event.

The band’s music is a mixture of “compelling” vocals and instrumental work that is Samaritan inspired, and student Rachael Klein is already a fan.

“The music is just different from anything I have ever heard before,” said Klein.

 DSU Assistant Music Professor, Jeremy Wohletz, said his students are fascinated by the group.

“All the music students have been talking about it. They have wanted to come to every opportunity they can to hear this,” said Woheltz.

 Woheltz said the band is sponsored by the non-profit group, Arts Midwest who has a two-year partnership with DSU to bring international artist to the area.

“It’s a great opportunity for the music students at Dickinson State and the community to hear a unique sound and music that normally don’t get to see,” said Wohletz.

Arts Midwest works with smaller communities who don’t get the exposure to diverse cultures the way big cities do, and Jonathan Dror who plays flute for the band, said the music helps break down cultural stereotypes.

“And bring a group like ours from the Middle East . . .  what we want to show is how diverse and what a rich culture comes from the Middle East,” said Jonathan Dror, Sofi and the Baladis.

During concerts, lead singer Sofi Tsedaka, offers commentary about her family’s struggles within the Jewish and Arab communities, which Klein found compelling.

“It is a view point I had really never heard before, so it was nice to hear that,” said Klein.

The band only played for one night, but they made a lasting impression on the Dickinson community.

Dickinson State University will host three more concerts from the international artist.
The next one is in the Spring with a group out of Japan.