World Music Institute Announces the appointment of Executive Director Gaby Sappington

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Gaby Sappington

World Music Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Gaby Sappington as Executive Director. Gaby brings substantial experience in the corporate and non-profit sectors to her new role at the start of WMI’s upcoming 30th Anniversary Season.

While working in the international departments of leading record companies—BMG Entertainment and SONY Classical—Gaby marketed and promoted diverse artists including The Chieftains, Carlos Nunez, Murray Perahia, and Joshua Bell. Most recently, as an executive at Make-A-Wish—an organization that grants the wishes of children diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition—she spearheaded all marketing, communications and branding initiatives for the Metro New York and Western New York chapter.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to combine my passion for music and dance from around the world with my leadership experience in the non-profit and corporate world,” says Sappington. “I look forward to applying what I’ve learned towards increasing the visibility, funding and relevance of WMI in New York City’s diverse communities. The mission of WMI speaks to me on a deep, personal level and I gladly commit to driving the efforts to help foster a deeper understanding of communities around the globe, which I consider to be of great importance.”

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“Gaby Sappington’s appointment continues to usher in an exciting new era for World Music Institute,” says WMI Board Chair Paul Palmer. ”Our organization has a rich history in New York’s world music community. Gaby’s knowledge, immense passion, and compelling background will guide and shape a dynamic leadership team eager to innovate and build upon our past accomplishments.”

Gaby takes over from acting Executive Director Cynthia McVay, who returns to the Board of Directors after serving nine months in the position. Cynthia stepped into the role in October 2014.

“We are extremely grateful for Cynthia’s extensive contributions over the past nine months,” says Palmer. “She has proved instrumental in bringing to WMI a new vision, financial stability, a new programmatic approach, key partnerships that broaden WMI’s reach, and a first-rate team, including her successor.”

The new leadership team at WMI that Gaby joins includes Artistic Director Par Neiburger, who was appointed by McVay in November 2014 and is set to open his first full season of programming on September 15 with a four-night Lusophone Festival, featuring artists from Portuguese speaking nations around the world.

WMI has also hired a new marketing director, Leandro Herbstein, who has ten years of experience in marketing and publicity for Putumayo World Music and was raised in Buenos Aires. 

Last month The New York Times reported on World Music Institute’s new season, which sees the organization expanding its concert offerings and launching new partnerships with venues including BAM, 92nd Street Y, Storm King Art Center, Le Poisson Rouge, and Drom.

“The new team at World Music Institute and the 30th anniversary program they have put together are impressive, to say the least,” says Sappington. “Together we will use this milestone year to increase awareness of and access to the prolific and diverse artistic expressions of the different cultures represented in this city, acting as a well-informed home for all who are interested in learning more about world music and its vibrant community.”

ABOUT WMI

“a widely copied and influential force in New York cultural circles.”
— The New York Times

 
Founded in 1985 as a not-for-profit, World Music Institute has served as the leading presenter of world music and dance within the United States. For the past 30 years, WMI has built the most comprehensive concert series of diverse music and dance performances, presenting the finest in traditional and contemporary music and dance from around the world. WMI encourages cultural exchange between nations and ethnic groups and collaborates with community organizations and academic institutions in fostering greater understanding of the world’s cultural traditions. WMI works extensively with community groups and organizations including Indian, Iranian, Chinese, Korean, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Hungarian, Irish, and Central Asian. This has enabled WMI to be at the forefront of presenting the finest ensembles from these countries.
WMI curates a full season of concerts each year in New York City in venues throughout the city, including Carnegie Hall, The Apollo, BAM, 92Y, Symphony Space, Town Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Roulette, The Beacon Theatre, Skirball Performing Arts Center at NYU, New York City Center, Drom, Storm King Art Center, the Rose Theater (Jazz at Lincoln Center), and Le Poisson Rouge. It has presented more than 1,500 concerts and events featuring artists from more than 100 countries including Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.
In addition to its regular programming, WMI has brought many musical, dance and ritual traditions to the New York or U.S. stage for the first time, including Laotian sung poetry, folk music of Khorason and Bushehr (Iran), songs of the Yemenite Jews, Bardic divas of Central Asia, trance ceremonies from Morocco, music from Madagascar, and Theyyams (masked dances) of Kerala, South India.

WORLD MUSIC INSTITUTE
Upcoming Events

Tickets for all World Music Institute events are available for purchase online at www.worldmusicinstitute.org, or by calling 1-888-596-1027

SEPTEMBER

Lusophone Festival

Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

Os Mutantes 

Le Poisson Rouge
$30 in advance / $35 at the door

Lusophone Festival

Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

Lula Pena 

Drom
$25 in advance / $30 at the door

Lusophone Festival

Thursday, September 17, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

Ana Carolina
with Fantcha

The Town Hall
$75, $70, $65, $55

Lusophone Festival

Friday, September 18, 2015, 10:00 p.m.

Ricardo Lemvo & Makina Loca
with Isabel Novella

Drom
$30

Masters of African Music

Friday, September 25, 2015, 7:30 p.m.

Orlando Julius & The Afro Soundz
with Underground System

Le Poisson Rouge
$20 in advance /$25 at the door

Masters of Indian Music

Sunday, September 27, 2015, 2:00 p.m.

Anindo Chatterjee
with Anubrata Chatterjee and Sanatan Goswami

Storm King Art Center
Free with Museum Admission
 

OCTOBER

Masters of African Music

Thursday, October 1, 2015, 7:00 p.m.

Kassé Mady Diabaté featuring Ballaké Sissoko 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
$35
 

NOVEMBER

Masters of Cuban Music

Thursday, November 3, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

Friday, November 4, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

Orquestra Buena Vista Social Club 

Beacon Theatre
$95, $65, $49.50

Masters of Cuban Music

Thursday, November 10, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

Chucho Valdes: Irakere 40 

The Town Hall

$75, $70, $65, $55

Global Local

Friday, November 20, 2015, 9:00 p.m.

Awesome Tapes From Africa (DJ Set) 

BAMcafé
Free

Global Local

Saturday, November 21, 2015, 9:00 p.m.

Gato Loco

BAMcafé
Free
 

DECEMBER

Masters of Cuban Music

Friday, December 2, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

Arturo Sandoval 

92nd Street Y
$65, $55, $45, $25

Masters of Indian Music

Thursday, February 5, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

L. Subramaniam 

92nd Street Y
$55,$45, $35, $25
 

FEBRUARY

 

Masters of African Music

Friday, February 19, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo 

Town Hall
$65, $55, $50, $45
 

MARCH

Festival Ay! Mas Flamenco

Thursday, March 3, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

La Otra Orilla 

Symphony Space
$65, $55, $45

Festival Ay! Mas Flamenco

Friday, March 4, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Joaquin Grilo: Dedicated to Paco De Lucia 

Symphony Space
$65, $55, $45

Festival Ay! Mas Flamenco

Saturday, March 5, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

La Lupi 

Symphony Space
$65, $55, $45

Festival Ay! Mas Flamenco

Sunday March 6, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Tablao Sevilla 

Meridian 23

VIP Closing Gala Event $95

Saturday, March 26, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Africa Now at the Apollo
with Bombino, Mokoomba, Alsarah and The Nubatones, Jojo Abot

Apollo Theater
$30-$65
 

APRIL

Masters of Indian Music

Saturday, April 2, 2016, 3:00 p.m.

Amjad Ali Khan & Sons 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
$35

Dancing The Gods

Saturday, April 23, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Mythili Prakash
“JWALA :The Flame”

Symphony Space
$40, $35

Dancing The Gods

Sunday, April 24, 2016, 7:00 p.m.

Sanjukta Wagh
“Rage and Beyond: Irawati’s Gandhari”

Symphony Space
$40, $35
 

MAY

 

Counterpoint

Friday, May 13, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Uakti performs Aguas Da Amazonia
with special guest Philip Glass

92nd Street Y

$75, $65, $55, $25                         
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