The 2003-04 Bates College Concert Series concludes in January 2004 with a pair of high-powered, highly distinctive performances. Italian vocalist Roberta Gambarini, who placed third in the 1998 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition within weeks of her arrival in the United States, opens for Hargrove.The series presents Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove and his band at 8 p.m. A week later, the series ends its season with a program of classical Chinese music.

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The Bates concert marks his first visit to the United States. This instrument, dating back 2,500 years, resembles a zither, with more than 20 strings on an unfretted wooden body — yet unlike the zither, its player can obtain a haunting vocality by bending the pitch of the plucked strings.

A winner of numerous awards, Zhang has performed often as a soloist since 1989 and is known for her precise but bold interpretations of classical material.

The founding members of the collective — Questlove from The Roots, D'Angelo, James Poyser, and J Dilla — share the sign of Aquarius.

Questlove, D'Angelo, Poyser, and J Dilla came together after discovering they had a common interest for the unconventional — offbeat rhythms, irregular chords, and other traits often exhibited by the underground urban music scene.

In 1984, she took third place in a national jazz broadcast competition, which led to performances at festivals throughout Italy.

In 1998, Gambarini came to the United States on a scholarship from the New England Conservatory in Boston.

Organic soul, natural R&B, boho-rap--it's music that owes a debt to the old-school sounds of Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and George Clinton without expressly mimicking any of them.

It refreshes these traditions with cinematic production techniques gleaned from hip-hop and with attitude that is street- smart but above all highly individual, celebrating quirks instead of sanding them down for mass consumption.

In an interview for Spin magazine, Common discussed the production of those albums, stating "It was one of those time periods that you don't even realize when you're going through it that it's powerful".