Baladino in Bemidji, MN

By Emily Anderson, Photos by Eric Young Smith

Bemidji, Minnesota is a small community with a huge interest in arts and culture, and Baladino enjoyed their weeklong residency there in mid-March. Each residency with Arts Midwest World Fest is a little different, reflecting each community’s unique culture and values. In Bemidji, the band fit right in and found lots of opportunities to share their passion with music lovers of all ages.

Thanks so much to the community sponsor, Headwaters School of Music and Arts, an organization that has served the community with high quality arts education for more than twenty years.

Yshai setting up his drum kit
Yshai Afterman sets up his drums in preparation for the first event of the week, a workshop at Bemidji High School.

Band members performing
Yael Badah, Yonnie Dror and Tomer Moked start the week on a high note at a workshop at Bemidji High School.

Woman takes a photo of Daniel with two fans
Janet Brademan, the Executive Director at Headwaters School of Music and the Arts, obliges some of Daniel Sapir’s new fans at Bemidji High School with a photo. As the community host for Arts Midwest World Fest, she has juggled many responsibilities to make these residencies successful.

Woman introduces the band to a crowd of young students who are seated on the floor
At Central Elementary School in Bemidji, Janet introduces Baladino to students. For many of these youngsters, it is their first time to learn about Israel and the folk music of the Mediterranean.

Yael performs for a crowd of students
Yael Badash’s energy is contagious, and audiences of all ages respond to her with enthusiasm. Students at Central Elementary follow her lead, as she claps to the rhythm of the music.

Young girl in traditional Native American dress
As in many of the Midwestern communities Baladino has visited during their tours with Arts Midwest World Fest, the residents are eager to share their cultural heritage with the band. This young Native American dancer performed a dance to welcome Baladino to Bemidji.

Students sitting in a circle around a large drum
Students demonstrated Native American drumming for Baladino at a workshop at Cass Lake-Bena High School.

Full band performing on stage
Baladino’s public concert at The Sanford Center in Bemidji was a lovely finale to their week of workshops and events in Bemidji. They always enjoy seeing some of their new friends from earlier in the week come back for the public concert, bringing friends, family, and neighbors along to enjoy this unforgettable ensemble.

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