Intercultural journeys presents Alex shaw

November 21, 2014 at International House Philadelphia, 7:30 pm

Philadelphia, PAIntercultural Journeys is pleased to announce the second concert of its 2014/15 Songs for Peace season with new Curator, percussionist, and vocalist Alex Shaw.  Stepping onto the other side of the stage, Alex will take on the role of performer in a special performance on November 21, 2014 at International House Philadelphia.  Alex specializes in the rich musical heritage of Afro-Brazilian culture. Director of renowned Brazilian ensemble Alô Brasil and long-time section leader in Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra, he has been performing and cultivating the region's Brazilian music scene for many years.  Alex will be joined by 10 musicians and artists in a unique concert that crosses cultures and disciplines.  This concert will present new work featuring Alex’s contemporary interpretation of traditional rhythms and songs of northeastern Brazil, accompanied by live visuals of vintage footage.  Special focus will be given to the musical tradition of Capoeira Angola, an ancient Afro-Brazilian martial art with an enduring legacy of social justice and cultural resistance. Opening remarks will be delivered by special guest and capoeira scholar, Dr. Kenneth Dossar.

Since joining Intercultural Journeys in September of this year, Alex has already entered several newly developing projects that combine his diverse musical experience to ultimately define his role as Curator. “I am honored by the opportunity to share my artistic voice as a musician, and thrilled to guide Intercultural Journeys in some intriguing new programmatic directions as I share my curatorial vision."

“In many ways, this concert is one of the most ambitious we have ever produced,” added IJ Managing Director, Lindsey Crane. “This is one of the largest ensembles we’ve ever had on stage, and the concert incorporates a number of distinct artistic disciplines.”

Alex will be joined onstage by an ensemble of acclaimed artists, including: Patricio Acevedo (guitar/cavaco), Luke Carlos O’Reilly (piano/keyboard), Mike Boone (bass), Jeremiah Shaw (cello), Tim Thompson (trumpet), Ernest Stuart (trombone), Alexa Barchini (vocals), Zé Mauricio (percussion), Fernando Saci (percussion), and Rucyl (audiovisuals).  Capoeira scholar Dr. Ken Dossar will start the concert with an introduction to the legacy and tradition of Capoeira Angola. This will be the first time many of these artists have worked together on a single stage.  Zé Mauricio and Fernando Saci are both native Brazilians, now living and working in New York. Jeremiah Shaw, in addition to being Alex’s brother, is a member of the Telegraph Quartet, the 2013 winner of the prestigious Fischoff Grand Prize (widely considered the highest honor a chamber quartet can receive). Patricio Acevedo, Luke Carlos O’Reilly, Mike Boone, Tim Thompson, Ernest Stuart, Alexa Barchini, and Rucyl are all local artists and regularly perform and work in the greater Philadelphia region, across the U.S. and internationally.

In addition to the 11-piece ensemble Alex has configured for the show, he will be joined by a group of fifth grade students from Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures (FACTS) Charter School in the Chinatown neighborhood of Philadelphia.  This special performance is the culmination of an eight-week teaching artist residency at FACTS, where Alex taught the entire fifth-grade student population.

During the residency, Alex worked with the students in both their social studies and gym class periods introducing to them the complex history, music, and movement tradition of Capoeira Angola.                                            

This concert is performed in recognition of Black Consciousness Day in Brazil (“Dia da Consciência Negra"), which is celebrated annually on November 20 to honor the death of Zumbi (1655-1695), legendary leader of the Quilombo of Palmares, the largest maroon society in colonial Brazil, and to acknowledge the contributions of the Black community to modern Brazilian society.

The performance will take place at 7:30pm on November 21 at the Ibrahim Theater in International House Philadelphia. Tickets are $15 for the general public.  Discounts are available for members of International House. Student tickets are $8 with a valid ID.  Tickets are sold through International House Philadelphia and may be purchased online at or by calling the International House Philadelphia box office at 215.387.5125, selecting menu option 2.

About Alex Shaw

Alex Shaw is a percussionist, vocalist, composer, and arts educator specializing in Brazilian music traditions.

Alex is a section leader of Philadelphia's award-winning Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra and Director of the renowned Brazilian ensemble, Alô Brasil.  In 2010, he joined the music faculty at the University of the Arts as a senior lecturer.  Alex has been awarded several competitive artist grants to support his music research and study in Brazil, including Arts International’s Artist Exploration Fund (2004) and the Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts (2007).  In 2012 he was honored with an Emerging Legacy Award at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Symposium for Social Justice at the University of Pennsylvania.

Alex currently serves as member of the Board of Directors of LiveConnections and is a lead facilitator for their music education programming.  Since 2008, LiveConnections has created innovative, boundary-crossing music programming and education using the venue of its partner, World Cafe Live, in West Philadelphia. As a freelance arts educator since 2001, Alex regularly teaches, lectures, and performs throughout greater Philadelphia, Delaware, and New Jersey and has worked at several universities as a dance accompanist. 

Alex earned his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 2000.  He and his family live in the East Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia.

About FACTS Charter School

The Folk Arts - Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS) is a community oriented public K-8 charter school located in Chinatown North.  FACTS is the first publicly funded school in the Chinatown neighborhood.

FACTS’ mission is to provide children with an education which has high academic standards, is truly community-based, incorporates and respects the lives of students and their families, engages students in understanding their own cultures and communities, and engages students in understanding their role as active participants in working for a just society.

FACTS Charter School offers a curriculum that builds strong academic skills and emphasizes folk-arts, languages, and histories of many cultures. Our students develop the skills they need to succeed and to help change the world. All students at FACTS have the opportunity to study with master folk-artist, like an African storyteller or Tibetan sand artist.

Folk-arts provide students with an opportunity to learn about their own culture as well as the culture of their neighbors. By the time they graduate, all FACTS students will have confidence and respect for themselves as well as their neighbors and be ready to participate in our democracy as engaged and responsible people. FACTS serves over 400 students from a cross section of Philadelphia neighborhoods.

It was founded in 2005 by a group of education and civil rights activist and community members devoted to providing an excellent and accessible education to families in Philadelphia.

About Intercultural Journeys

Intercultural Journeys seeks to promote understanding in pursuit of peace amongst people of diverse faiths and cultures through dialogue and the presentation of world-class performances in music, dance, the spoken word, and other art forms. We believe that performances, done for the purpose of bringing people together that might otherwise be in conflict, give us the opportunity to play a small part in contributing to world peace.

We fulfill our mission by transforming the traditional concert series into a new model that pairs performances featuring world-class artists with a special engagement project that takes those same artists into a specific and often underserved community.  We believe that education is the cornerstone of our mission. Our educational residency program, Dialogues in Music, is aimed at promoting tolerance, respect, and mutual cultural understanding in the city’s youth.

Intercultural Journeys was first founded in 2002 by Philadelphia Orchestra cellist Udi Bar-David, philanthropist Carole Haas Gravagno, Majid Alsayegh, and Sheldon L. Thompson. Together they saw the role that music could

play in beginning a dialogue between people that might not otherwise speak to each other.  Since then, Intercultural Journeys has held over 160 concerts, partnering with a diverse roster of both local and international artists, in the Greater Philadelphia area, across the United States, and abroad, in countries such as China, Spain, Italy, and Israel. 

Fact Sheet

Intercultural Journeys presents Alex Shaw, with special presentation by FACTS Charter School                                               

November 21, 2014, 7:30pm


Vocals/Percussion: Alex Shaw

Guitar/Cavaco: Patricio Acevedo

Piano/ Keyboard: Luke Carlos O’Reilly

Bass: Mike Boone

Cello: Jeremiah Shaw

Trumpet: Tim Thompson

Trombone: Ernest Stuart

Vocals: Alex Barchini

Percussion: Zé Mauricio

Percussion: Fernando Saci

Audiovisuals: Rucyl


All tickets $15 General Admission/ $10 International House Philadelphia members/ $8 Students


International House Philadelphia’s Ibrahim Theater

3701 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Public Contact Information:

Online Sales:

Phone: 215. 387. 5125 (menu option 2)

Contact: Patrick DiGiacomo, Box Office Supervisor and Membership Manager, 215. 387. 2235 or