The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center will host its first “adapted in-person” concert at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. with a concert by Issam Rafea and Gao Hong.

The duo combines Syrian oud master Issam Rafea with Chinese pipa master Gao Hong - unlikely partners due to the dramatic differences in their musical traditions, the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center says in a news release. The performance includes live improvisations blending Chinese and Arabic techniques.

Songlines called their collaboration “consistently engaging, deeply contemplative, and culturally resonant.” Since the pair never discuss what they will play in advance, no two performances are ever the same. Each concert is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and audiences witness singular creations that come to life before their very eyes and ears - but are never to be repeated.

The Cultural Center has adapted its programming because of COVID-19 to help keep the community safe by focusing on three types of events: virtual, outdoor, and adapted in-person. This concert will be the first adapted in-person concert as the temperatures outside drop and outdoor options become limited. A virtual option will be available on the Regional Cultural Center's Facebook page.

Tickets will be sold in groups to accommodate the largest number of people safely. Purchase tables for two, three, or four people each, with drinks and snacks included, or a limited number of single tickets may be purchased. To buy tickets, call 218-385-3339 or visit

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COVID safety guidelines will be observed at this event, including spacing, masks, plexiglass screens, sanitizer, and limited attendees. Those who are not well, are asked not to attend.

Those with questions, contact the Regional Cultural Center at 218-385-3339.