STORIES & MUSIC FROM AROUND THE GLOBE
Classical crossover duo, baritone Jean Bernard Cerin and pianist Veena K. Kulkarni-Rankin, fuse classical and world music with storytelling into transformative concert experiences. With Indian-Filipino-American and Haitian backgrounds, Veena and Jean Bernard synthesize a broad cultural heritage with their western classical training to explore music and stories from all around the globe. Kuwento Mizik has performed at the Detroit Institute of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. They've curated programs for the Casement Fund and engaged audiences of all ages throughout the Midwest.
Greatly inspired by the traditional Haitian kont, a folk tale with a sung chorus, Kuwento Mizik has composed several original adaptations of stories from Haiti, the Philippines and the United States. In 2021 they premiered “Sylvie and the Water Tree” based on the African American folk tune “Bring me a Little Water Sylvie.” In 2018, they composed “Allah’s Favorite Butterfly” based on a Muslim folk tale from the Philippines. In 2019, they ventured from the kont format to compose a work for 2 narrators and piano called “The Eye of the Poppy” based on a poem of the same name by the Indian poet, Zilka Joseph.
This season, Kuwento Mizik releases its freshman album, “Lua Nova”, a program of folk songs and ballads from Brazil, Haiti, the Philippines, India, Iran and the United States. Most of the tracks on this album are original arrangements that we’ve made over the last 7 seasons performing across the United States.