In an effort to extend a welcoming hand towards Buffalo, NY’s diverse west side community – largely made up of newly-arrived refugees and immigrants – Buffalo String Works launched an interdisciplinary arts series in 2018, The Bridge. Each performance presented by The Bridge honors Buffalo’s refugee and immigrant population through its programming with the intention of bridging gaps within the refugee community and between the community and Buffalo itself. The Bridge showcases high-level, professional performances from across the artistic disciplines, including music, dance, and visual art.

All performances are free, open to the public, and take place at various venues on Buffalo’s west side.

The Bridge is generously funded by The Cullen Foundation.


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Through Folk Music

Wednesday, November 20 @ 6:30pm @ D’Youville Academic Center (6th Floor)

In this concert Through Folk Music, Buffalo String Works presents music derived from deep, personal connections between composers and the folk music of their own cultures - from Italy and Ireland to Armenia, Nepal, Burma, and Hungary. The use of folk music as inspiration is a way for composers to form a bridge from themselves to their ancestry as well as from their cultures to new audiences. These musical bridges bring communities together, inspiring us individually and collectively, whether we are refugees, immigrants, or native Buffalonians.

Featured works include:

  • Bela Bartok, Roumanian Dances

  • Astor Piazzolla, Libertango and Oblivion

  • Mary Kouyoumdjian, Groung

  • Ottorino Respighi, Ancient Airs and Dances

  • Karen Song (trad. Burma)

  • Resham Firiri (trad. Nepal)

  • traditional Irish fiddle tunes.

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A Celebration of Music, Dance, and Photography

Thursday, April 4, 2019 @ 6pm @ Lafayette International High School

This installment of The Bridge featured artists from the refugee and immigrant community including:

  • Lafayette International Percussion and Dance Ensemble

  • Karen Society of Buffalo Dancers

  • Law Eh Soe, Burmese Photographer

  • DJ Kafar, Somali Bantu Artist

  • Arabic Music Performers (Anthony Barhoum, Leanne Darling, Brian Prunka, and Zafer Tawil)

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Between Two Worlds featuring Decoda

Saturday, February 10, 2018 @ 2pm @ First Presbyterian Church

The inaugural performance on The Bridge featured the internationally-acclaimed chamber collective, Decoda. According to their cellist, Caitlin Sullivan, their thoughtfully-designed program “explored each composer’s cultural background – their sense of homeland, folklore or traditional music – coupled with their personal, spiritual, or physical journey to a new place. It’s about traveling between worlds, and forging a connection between them.” Click here to learn more about Decoda’s 4-day residency in February 2018.

Featured works included:

  • Antonin Dvorak, Bagatelle

  • Béla Bartòk, Contrasts

  • Kinan Azmeh, The Fence, The Rooftop, and The Distant Sea

  • Paul Hindemith, Clarinet Quintet