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BYU hosts the renowned genre-crossing musical group and their collaborator, one of the modern masters of the Native American flute.

Since their origin in 1998, ETHEL, a string quartet with a diverse musical and cultural repertoire, has been innovating the musical scene with experimental music and innovative performances. Now, audiences will have the opportunity to hear the group play with their Grammy Award-winning collaborator, Robert Mirabal.

This is not the first time Mirabal has collaborated with the group. The quartet has worked with the musician for around a decade and most recently collaborated on the 2016 album The River. “My relationship with ETHEL is family and it is forever,” Mirabal states in the official music video for “The River.”

As described by the performers, the album evokes “timeless Native American traditions through contemporary artistry” and also draws influence from diverse cultures from Morocco, Nigeria, Tibet, and the nation Georgia.

“‘The River’ as a body of music is like a self-portrait of the quartet with Robert Mirabal,” said Dorothy Lawson, ETHEL’s cellist. “You know, it’s kind of a musical selfie.”

ETHEL prides themselves on their live performances, which they describe as “provocative programs and mind-bending multimedia productions.” They currently run three different live shows, and will introduce BYU audiences to a performance based around “The River”. The Seattle Times described the shows as residing “somewhere beyond the intersection of ceremony and show biz, at a place where multicultural collaboration becomes sacred art.”

ETHEL and Robert Mirabal will perform at the de Jong Concert Hall at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket offices at the Marriott Center and the Harris Fine Arts Center, as well as on BYU Arts.


(Photo by Timothy E. Black)

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