Global Connections

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FEATURED ARTIST | Joel Makeci & Family

Nakusalimia (Hello!) We thank God for this job. These songs are for a friend who is in need, sang and performed by my family. Too often in this day of age, we stop listening to our spirit. Through these harmonies and melodies, you can listen again to your spirit and reach closer to hear God. My name is Joel Makeci Ebuela of the Babembe tribe. I am from the Democratic Republic of Congo. As you may know, the terrible conflicts in my country have forced my family and I to relocate to the USA. I would like to say thank you to the kind people of the United States, of Montana, and especially of Missoula for helping my family on our difficult journey find a place and make us feel at home.




1:30 pm - Intro to African Dance

1:30 pm | Public House

Tarn Ream, accompanied by Unity Dance & Drum musicians, will teach an introductory African dance class for people of all ages, experiences, and abilities. The class will learn specific steps for traditional dance, and experience how the rhythm drives the movement. This is an energetic and fantastic family activity. Come try something new. Bring your kids, bring your grandparents, and bring the fun.

2:30 pm - Greek Folk Dance Class

2:30 pm | University Center Commons

Taught by Jerry Duke, Professor Emeritus, Dance Ethnology, San Fransisco State University. Participants will learn folk dances native to Greece accompanied by fascinating recorded music. This workshop is appropriate for beginner and intermediate level dancers.

3:30 pm - International Folk Dance Class

3:30 pm | University Center Ballroom

Mike and Susan Sweet will lead attendees through a selection of easy to learn folk dances originating in regions ranging from Europe to the Middle East and the Americas. Danced to engaging music, none of the dances will require partners and all of the dances are appropriate for all ages.

2:00 pm - Flamenco Montana

2:00 pm | UM Dennison Theater

Spanish regional dance, Sephardic song, and Flamenco embrace the range of the human spirit from the joy of love and life to the pain of despair and death, in passion born of Indian, Byzantine, Arabic, Jewish, and Andalusian cultures. Join us for our 20th anniversary of our First Night debut with performers from Flamenco Montana,
Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre, and Chutzpah.

5:00 pm - Soft Landing Missoula Showcase

5:00 – 7:30 pm | Public House

More than 65 million people worldwide have been uprooted from home by conflict and natural disaster. In response to the growing epidemic of displaced people, a group of concerned Missoulians came together to responsibly consider welcoming refugees in Missoula, Montana, and to be at least a small part of alleviating suffering for families in turmoil. Soft Landing Missoula is focused on building a sustainable effort to engage the community in helping refugees integrate and thrive well into the future.

For First Night Missoula, Soft Landing is showcasing some our most talented new neighbors as Joel Kambale, Joel Makeci, and their families present a joyous and uplifting performance of songs and dances.

6:30 pm - UM Recital Hall

6:30 pm | UM Recital Hall

The Celtic Dragon Pipe Band has been performing in Missoula for over 20 years. We are long time participants in First Night Missoula, Celtic Festival, and numerous other events. Joining us on stage are the Missoula Highland dancers, with performers ranging from elementary students to adults.

6:30 pm - Djebe Bara

6:30 pm | UM Dennison Theater

The Djebe Bara group, with Guinean artist Oumar Kelta, perform West African music in dance, drum, and song. We do rhythms on many different instruments with high energy dancing in beautiful costumes. Our show is dynamic, colorful, and fun for all.

All volunteers receive FREE admission to First Night.
Most shifts are only 2 hours.