Old Grey Goose band members, center, inspire dancers from a local performing troupe at the International Music Festival in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Old Grey Goose will bring a bit of Turkmenistan to Lewiston

LEWISTON – The itinerant Maine folk quartet Old Grey Goose International will present a musical travelogue titled “On the Road to Turkmenistan” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 21, in Callahan Hall at the Lewiston Public Library.

Open to the public free of charge, the multimedia presentation documents the group’s recent tour of Turkmenistan, combining live music with video footage of the musicians’ journey through this colorful Asian country and their heart-warming interactions with the people they encountered.

During the course of the tour, sponsored by the U.S. State Department, the band performed classic American folk music – both songs and jigs-and-reels instrumental numbers – for audiences at orphanages, universities and public concert halls throughout the country. Some of their most memorable appearances were at the International Music Festival in Ashgabat, where they had the opportunity to meet and share tunes with folk musicians and dancers from numerous other countries. The Turkmenistan Ministry of Culture also arranged for the band to conduct workshops with students at several music schools.

Band member Doug Protsik, who edited the video for “On the Road to Turkmenistan,” describes the program as entertaining, educational and “truly inspirational for those interested in experiencing the positive power of multicultural exchange.”

Protsik, who plays fiddle, accordion and piano, is joined in the quartet by Jeff McKeen on accordion, guitar and bones; Eric Rolfson on guitar, mandolin and harmonica; and John Gawler on banjo and guitar.

The Old Grey Goose troubadours have undertaken 10 international tours in the last five years, visiting a total of 10 different countries in Central Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, plus Cuba.

The Lewiston Public Library hosted the quartet’s “On the Road to Tajikistan” program in December 2005 as part of the grand opening activities for the library’s new cultural center.

The library is at 200 Lisbon St. For more information, call 513-3050.

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