Great Performances at Mason

Small Island Big Song

Center for the Arts, Concert Hall, Fairfax Campus


Mason Artist-in-Residence

Right before Earth Day, join Small Island Big Song for a moving concert experience combining music, spoken word, and stunning projections to showcase unique oceanic grooves and soulful island ballads, while shining a light on the devastating effects of climate crisis on our world’s ocean.

Framed against panoramic visuals, more than 100 indigenous artists are represented to highlight a shared seafaring ancestry with interconnected musical traditions. These unique lineages mixed with their diverse contemporary styles—roots-reggae, beats, grunge, folk and spoken-word—establish a contemporary musical dialogue between cultures as far afield as Madagascar, Aotearoa, Taiwan, Mauritius, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, and Rapa Nui. Billboard describes Small Island Big Song as “one coherent jaw-dropping piece that is likely the first time these traditional instruments have been mixed together... The result is breathtaking.”

Small Island Big Song is the brainchild of Australian filmmaker and music producer Tim Cole and Taiwanese theater producer BaoBao Chen, who traveled to 16 island nations over four years to capture unique sounds and cinematic sights while working with over a hundred local artists, elders, community groups, and grassroots musicians. As a Mason Artist-in-Residence, Small Island Big Song will also work with the community through classes and workshops during the week surrounding the performance, to build personal connections and inspire the participants to take action for the one ISLAND we all share.

This performance is appropriate for all ages.

Tickets: $48, $41, $29; half-price for youth through Grade 12

Run Time: 90 minutes, plus intermission

The program for this performance will be available the week of the event. View digital program.

A pre-performance discussion will take place in Monson Grand Tier, which is located on the third level of the Center for the Arts Lobby, 45 minutes prior to curtain.

A limited quantity of free student tickets will be available for each event. Learn more.

This engagement of Small Island Big Song is made possible through the ArtsCONNECT program of Mid Atlantic Arts with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Mason Artist-in-Residence program is supported in part by the Wendy Frieman and David Johnson Fund.

The Small Island Big Song residency is also supported in part by Eloise Stinger.