Palaver Strings, a 13-piece orchestra, performs across Maine beginning Thursday. Photo courtesy of Palaver Strings

Portland-based Palaver Strings will perform its Welcome Home program in seven Maine communities from Thursday to Nov. 16. Welcome Home celebrates Maine’s immigrant communities with music and storytelling.

The tour is presented in partnership with the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center and Portland Ovations. The goal of the tour is to share experiences of new immigrant families, celebrate Maine’s cultural diversity and encourage audiences to reflect on their heritage and how to make Maine a welcoming and inclusive community, according to a press release from the group.

The tour will stop in mostly rural communities: 7 p.m. Thursday, Denmark Arts Center; 7 p.m. Friday, Crosby Center, Belfast; 7 p.m. Saturday, Criterion Theatre, Bar Harbor; 3 p.m. Sunday, Eastport Arts Center; 7 p.m. Nov. 14, Port City Music Hall, Portland; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15, Johnson Hall, Gardiner; 7 p.m. Nov. 16, Center Theatre, Dover-Foxcroft.

Palaver Strings is a 13-person string orchestra and nonprofit organization with a focus on community and creative programming. Through performance, educational workshops and community initiatives, Palaver performs throughout New England and beyond. Recent projects include songwriting workshops for new mothers and LGBTQ seniors. Palaver has recently launched the Palaver Music Center, a community music school in Portland.

Welcome Home tells the Maine immigrant and diaspora stories of Franco-American, Iraqi and Burundian immigrants. Each segment features storytelling and musical performances by guest artists, including original songs and music. Guest artists include Iraqi speaker and poet Kifah Abdulla and Iraqi oud player Jawad Nageeb, Burundian singer Maisha Mustafa, Guinean percussionist Namory Keita, Burundian speaker Alain Igiraneza, Franco-American author Rhea Coté Robbins, Franco-American musicians Alex Wilder and Jaige Trudell, and director Marty Pottenger.

“As we tour with this program around Maine, we will celebrate Maine’s cultural diversity, reflect on our own histories, and create space for dialogue between performers and listeners from different backgrounds,” said Maya French, Palaver’s managing director and co-artistic director, in the press release. “We believe deep listening and empathy for unfamiliar experiences is an important part of making Maine a welcoming and inclusive home for everyone.”

For tickets and more information, visit

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: