FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



OH MY GOURD!  IT’S A PARTY – KICKS OFF GOURD FAIR LA 2004 WEEKEND
AT THE ARBORETUM FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22, 6:30 PM—9:30PM




Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
301 North Baldwin Avenue Arcadia, CA 91007-2697
Contact: Cynthia Vargas
Tel: 626.821.3232 Fax: 626.445.1217
E-mail, <cynthia.vargas@arboretum.org>
Web site, <http://www.arboretum.org>  

Arcadia, California — On Friday evening, October 22, from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM, a “gourdeous” multicultural exhibition preview of a gourd art from around the world will take place at The Arboretum in Arcadia. In a collaborative partnership, the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the California Gourd Society bring this exclusive artist reception and exhibit preview event to the Southern California community.  

Some exhibition features are: African inspired sculptures by nationally renowned gourd artist Pat Boyd of Pasadena, CA, Rare Chinese Historical Gourds by China’s Huludao Gourd Society, Contemporary Chinese gourds by Zhang Guojun, Fertility goddess sculptures by the California Gourd Society, Native American inspired gourds by Robert Rivera, Peruvian gourd etchings by Julio Seguil Rios and Tito Medina.

The event is sure to be a festive environment for all, featuring musical performances by Rasheed Ali and Guillermo Martinez.  A special musical performance by China’s famous folk musician and artist Yan Fuxing “Blue Uncle” of Gourd Island City, China.  Strolling puppeteer Betty Finch will amuse guests, and a not-so-silent auction and food and drinks will complete the evening.

Tickets to this event preview are $50.00 per person and available for purchase at The Arboretum. We recommend that you reserve tickets before October 21st, however tickets will be available at the door. For more information or to order tickets, call Cynthia at 626-821-3232 or email <cynthia.vargas@arboretum.org>. Reservations will be held at the door. For groups of 10 or more, please call for a discounted rate. <http://www.arboretum.org> .

ABOUT YAN FUXING “BIRD UNCLE”:
Mr. Yan Fuxing is one of China’s most acclaimed folk musician and artist. Since his youth, he has performed songs on the finger whistle, and imitated the calls of birds. He is skilled in flute, cow horn flute, the xun (hollow wind instrument), the gourd zither and more than 40 Chinese musical instruments. Not only has he performed on the 3.6 meter long flute, but he can also play on the tiny 3 cm bone flute, the shortest in the world. He can converse with birds, and is thus dubbed Chinese Culture’s Remarkable Man; children refer to him as “Bird Uncle”, “Multi-skilled player of flutes”, “Bird king” and other flattering titles.

ABOUT RASHEED ALI:
Rasheed Ali is an international recording artist and Altadena, California  resident who’s newest CD: “Thunder in the Jungle” has been well received on local world music radio shows. Rasheed is also an accomplished instrument maker and educator. His African gourd instruments have been featured in museums and the book: “Hearts & Hands / Musical Instrument Makers In America”. For the past eight years, Rasheed has taught his “History of African Music” class through out the City of Los Angeles.  At elementary schools, museums, art centers, universities, correctional institutions, and workshops for teachers. Ali has received six cultural affairs grants and done over 60 artist residencies in Los Angeles County. In 2003, the Caribbean-born musician toured South Africa and Brazil to share his unique style of African-Caribbean music and conduct cultural workshops.

GENERAL INFORMATION
The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden is located at 301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia, CA, 91007.  Open daily from 9:00 am—5:00 pm. Members admitted free. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors (62 and over), $4 for students with ID, and $1.50 for children 5- 12.  Children under 5 admitted free. Parking is free.

The Arboretum is a 127-acre botanical garden, historical site, and wildlife haven jointly operated by the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation.  For more information, visit the website at <http://www.arboretum.org> or call 626-821-3232.



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