Luther College Center Stage Series and Student Activities Council celebrate 40th anniversary of the Asian Students and Allies Association with live performances
DECORAH, IOWA—Luther College’s Center Stage Series and Student Activities Council will kick off a year-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Asian Students and Allies Association (ASAA) at Luther with performances by internationally-recognized musicians Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn and comedian Aiko Tanaka.
Center Stage Series: Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn
Musicians Wu Fei and Abigail Washburn blend Chinese folk songs with traditional Appalachian banjo music for Luther College’s Center Stage Series at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, in the Center for Faith and Life’s Main Hall.
Fei is a trained classical composer and a master of the guzheng, a 21-string traditional Chinese instrument that dates back 2,500 years. Her compositions combine Western classical styles with traditional Chinese music to create a unique and contemporary sound. Washburn is a Nashville-based musician, most widely known for her mastery of the clawhammer banjo. She won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Folk Album for her collaboration with her husband and fellow banjo player Béla Fleck with their self-titled album. This is Washburn’s second time at Luther following her 2012 solo performance for the Center Stage Series.
Fei and Washburn will perform music from their self-titled collaborative album that was released in 2020; the record combines Fei’s guzheng and Washburn’s banjo. Fei and Washburn’s collaboration “recasts ‘world music’ as music of our shared world, highlighting our shared humanity and the transformative power of song.” The album is available to purchase on Bandcamp or stream.
The Center Stage Dinner Series is also available before the show beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Peace Dining Hall on the second floor of the Dahl Centennial Union. Both dinner and show tickets are on sale through Luther’s Ticket Office in the Center for Faith and Life, online at tickets.luther.edu, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (563) 387-1357.
Comedian Aiko Tanaka
The comedian, actress and TV personality Aiko Tanaka will perform a comedy show at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at Marty’s in the basement of the Union. The event is open to the public, and general admission tickets are $5 at the door. The event is free for Luther students who have paid their student activities fee.
Born in Tokyo, Tanaka first appeared in the film “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” and was also featured in the Justin Lin-directed mockumentary “Finishing the Game” about Bruce Lee’s last film. Tanaka has also been featured on the The Jim Jeffries Show, The Howard Stern Show and Comedy Central Stand-Up Asia! Live.
History of the Asian Students and Allies Association
The ASAA was founded in February 1984 as the Asian Student Association as a way for Asian students, who, at the time, were largely Southeast Asian refugees and first-generation immigrants, to advocate and organize for themselves on Luther’s campus. They organized the first Ethnic Arts Festival, which began in 1984 and ended in 2020. In the early 2000s, the group added “allies” to their name in order to reach a wider audience on campus. More programming marking 40 years of ASAA on Luther’s campus will follow in February.
About Luther College
At Luther College in beautiful Decorah, Iowa, students explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Luther’s academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.