Free: Portal to a Global Community

Rogue World Music

501c3 Files as seen in The Ashland Sneak Preview

By: Adam and Sophia S.W. Bogle


When you think of world music, what comes to mind? Energetic African drumming? Sultry Latin dance music? Or maybe it’s Irish jigs and reels for you. No matter what tunes come to mind, I bet that it brings with it a certain feeling of inclusiveness. Isn’t is amazing that there are so many different cultures existing on this world and yet somehow every one of them loves music and dance?

Ok, stay with me, I am going to go esoteric for a minute. I think music is like a network of light that holds the world together. Each strand of light is a portal that transports us to another culture. I believe that traveling these portals strengthens the network of light. And…I’m back.

This esoteric vision actually has a foothold in my own reality. I am a member of the Rogue World Ensemble which is part of Rogue World Music (RWM). Our vision is building community and cultural awareness in the Rogue Valley through world music performance, education and participation. Full disclosure, I am also on the board for RWM. I joined the choir to rediscover my voice and I found community and connection in a deep way. (That’s me, Sophia. Adam loves listening to music.) So what does Rogue World Music do to build that network of inclusion? Here are just three of our awesome offerings.

One: We host world music dances several times a year. Ana Byers joined RWM in December last year as our Communications & Events Manager. She liked world music but had never been to one of these dances. This is what she had to say about it:

“Knowing nothing about Balkan dancing, I had no idea what to expect. It is completely different than any “couples” dancing I’ve experienced, because it isn’t for couples. My dance partners ended up being an entire room of people, all holding hands, winding through the room in circles, figure eights, spirals and more. Not knowing any of the steps, I thought I’d just watch, but ended up right in the middle of things. Learning these dances is fairly easy because the steps are so repetitive, but also because you have this group of people leading you from one movement to the next. At first I was bumping into people, stepping with the wrong foot, going right when the rest of the line was swaying left, but as each song continued, my feet started to feel connected to all the other feet, my movements to everyone else’s. I didn’t know many people in the room, but dancing with them, it didn’t feel that way. It was like we were all bits of a whole, dancing to the wild, hypnotic music. It is the first time I’ve ever been able to turn off the part of my brain that worries about the next step, and just be.”

Two: (This is the free portal part) We are co-sponsoring with the City of Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission the 3rd annual FREE World Music Festival at the bandshell in Lithia Park! There will be music, dance, food and fun for all. Saturday May 19th noon to 6 pm. Our tagline is: Where our community celebrates the world! Come and picnic on the grass and dance or just relax. Here is some of the lineup: Ballet Folklorico (which is traditional Mexican dance and music. Not ballerinas.) The Flat 5 Flim Flam, and Flamenco Pacifico!

Three: This fall, Rogue World Ensemble’s events will be focused on the Celtic/British Isles. My personal favorite! If you want to be a part of this next concert it isn’t too late. You can audition now. We are seeking folks who can move while carrying a tune, and while it helps, you don’t have to know how to read music. We are especially seeking new basses and tenors. Come on you singing men, we know you are out there!

On top of these we have community sings, an after school program for kids called Choristers, and much more. Rogue World Music is a physical expression of the values of inclusion, tolerance, and open-mindedness. If these things are important to you too please join us. Come to a concert, sing and dance with us or donate what you can to give these values a voice in our community. Learn more at: