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By Gabriel Escalera

The “Nebraska Crossroads Music Festival’ in Omaha Now

July 17th, 2023

Eric Higgins began funding the Lincoln Crossroads Music Festival after attending a similar event and playing with global musicians. Higgins is a professional double bass player, and has performed with an international ensemble where musicians come together and teach each other different styles.

Almost immediately, he began to think about having a similar event in Lincoln, where there are many local and established groups that include choirs, but also musicians from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Vietnam, and all over the world. The festival usually contained seven to nine days of music in different venues.

While many are excited about this year’s festival and the wide range of artists that it brings, there is something different this time. Olga Smola is a performer and professor of violin at UNO, participated at the festival as a guest artist. Now, as the Executive Director of the Festival, Smola says success and growth were expected. Also, this year the festival has been rebranded to Nebraska Crossroads Music Festival and expanded into Omaha.

The new Nebraska Crossroads Music Festival has a small different format now. More Musicians in fewer days, about 50 total groups in three days in two cities. With the new vision, Smola says that eventually, more cities in Nebraska will be added to the festival.

The music ranges from classical and folk, to jazz, and to indie electronic. The opening concert in Omaha is August 4 at the Gene Leahy Mall, called “Middle of Everywhere.” Some of the groups for that evening are Kusi Taki a traditional Peruvian ensemble and the ‘Authentic Light Orchestra’ an Armenian and Jazz-Folk Fusion.

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