Irish Mariachi, Slack Guitars Music Hall Architecture at Last Night's TEDxTEMPE

Irish Mariachi, Slack Guitars Music Hall Architecture at Last Night's TEDxTEMPE


TED is a small nonprofit, devoted to "ideas worth sharing.
The goal is to bring people together from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment and Design.

In 2009, the nonprofit gave communities the opportunity to organize, design and host their own TED-like event under the name TEDx ("x" meaning independently organized). Last night, TEDx hit Tempe.

Check out a rundown of the speakers at last night's event and details about the upcoming TEDxPhoenix in November ...

The night opened with Ethel, self-described as American's premier post-classical string quartet. They played March by Phil Kline, which sounded a lot like the opening scenes of the movie Psycho, and continued through songs that were much warmer, including covers of Imogen Heap. 

The second speaker/performer, Robert Mirabal, is a two-time Grammy winner, who played his Native American flute. Between songs, he spoke about the dwindling numbers of his tribe, the Taos Pueblo community in New Mexico, and their current struggles.

David Rife gave the only traditional TED talk -- typically very informational presentations with slide shows -- about sound and acoustics and the challenges of building modern-day music halls to preserve acoustic excellence.  

Then Jeff Peterson took the stage. Peterson's a slack key guitar player who grew up in Maui. The "slack" method was developed in the 1830s on the island of Hawaii. During that time, King Kamehameha III brought in Mexican and Spanish cowboys to teach the Hawaiians the art of ranching. Peterson's song evoked feelings of warm, tropical breezes and captured the aloha spirit. 

Rana Santacruz, a Grammy winning musician from Mexico City was the last performer. His music is best described as "Mexican bluegrass" or "Irish mariachi" (quite the combination) and he played the accordian as he sang.

A video from a 2008 TED Conference was then shown. Benjamin Zander, the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, spoke about classical music and how he defined success as the ability to awaken possibilities in others. 

The TEDxTempe evening ended with a collaboration from all of the presenting musicians and a standing ovation from a full house.

And if you missed TEDxTempe, don't worry. TEDxPhoenix is coming in November. While speakers have yet to be announced, more information can be found on the TEDxPhoenix website.

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