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Wednesday, Jun 2 1999
Crosspulse, an internationally acclaimed vocal and percussion performance troupe, combines global rhythms into a one-of-a-kind music and movement spectacle. Though the collective has called San Francisco home since 1992, founder and artistic director Keith Terry has spent much of the past two decades touring the group throughout the U.S., Central America, and Indonesia. Mixing elements of Afro-Cuban clave with Balinese gamelan or West African stomps, Crosspulse blends cultural traditions, but without subverting cultural distinctions. That's a fine line they're treading, but they do so with such exuberance, respect, and evident mastery of the percussive arts that even purists would have a hard time pointing out any impropriety in their mission.

The ensemble's success can be attributed mainly to its core members (Terry, Tacuma King, Kelly Orphan, Edgardo Cambón, Jackeline Rago), who have each extensively studied African and Latin American grooves. The band also frequently welcomes outside singers and percussionists into the fold, including lovely vocalist/guitarist Claudia Gómez, a cappella sensation Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, and the renowned Gamelan Sekar Jaya. Under Terry's leadership, found objects and so-called body music are also integrated into the mix: Crosspulse's stage show includes congas, djembes, maracas, and other familiar ethnic beat-makers, as well as musical bubble wrap, hedge clippers, and slapped torsos. Crosspulse's definition of world music clearly knows no borders.

-- Sam Prestianni

Crosspulse performs on Wednesday, June 2, at 8 p.m. at the Freight & Salvage, 1111 Addison, Berkeley. Tickets are $14.50; call (510) 548-1761.

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Sam Prestianni


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