TEDxSalem entertainment fuses yoga, Broadway, Latin jazz, and Middle-Eastern folk dancing

By Laura Fosmire, January 4, 2017

For those of you who have been to TED conferences in the past, you’ll know it’s more than just speakers (although they are certainly a highlight!). It’s a whole day of innovative thinking, engaging conversation, making new friends, stretching your brain, participation and entertainment. Beyond our roster of speakers, we have breakout sessions and performances lined up to really round out your day.

And if you’ve been to a TEDxSalem event before, you’ll know our entertainment always rocks.

This year is no different. We have Mikki Trowbridge teaching yoga; Ishtar Sumar with Iraqi folk dancing; Edna Vazquez performing folk, rock, pop and Mariachi music; and a surprise performance from the folks at Enlightened Theatrics!

Mikki Trowbridge

Mikki Trowbridge has been teaching a flowing, vinyasa style of yoga since 2010. She received her 200 hour YogaWorks certification in 2011 and also have completed certifications or advanced trainings with Strala, Yoga Medicine and Street Yoga. Her classes are anatomically informed and soulfully inspired and promise to be fun, flowing (often a little sweaty) and leave you feelin’ good. She aspires to infuse her passion for the practice, her love of music and genuine, life-inspired musings into each class.

Mikki teaches primarily in the Salem, Oregon area with studio classes at Indigo Wellness Center and private classes at Oregon State Hospital and at a variety of local businesses and organizations. In addition, she hosts regular Yoga + Beer events at local breweries around the state and offers StandUp Paddle Board Yoga classes in Pacific City.

Ishtar Sumar

Ishtar Sumar is an Iraqi folk dancer using movement to connect with culture. She is a dance and fitness instructor at Chemeketa Community College with experience in Middle Eastern dance, as well as jazz, hip-hop and modern dance plus health and fitness.

With certifications and degrees in history and sports fitness, Ishtar uses her dancing to teach movement and the history of Middle-Eastern folk dance. Ishtar is also the vice president of the Iraqi Culture and Arts Association in San Diego, as well as the chair of the Iraqi Journalist Union in America.

Edna Vazquez

Edna Vazquez is a Portland-based Latin American singer-songwriter who performs original compositions that pay homage to her international influences with a passion that comes through in every note of her music. She lifts the audience’s spirits during her cathartic live performances with a vocal range that allows her to transition seamlessly between folk, rock, pop and Mariachi, all while exploring jazz stylings. Edna’s songs are deeply rooted in universal human emotion and she has traveled far and wide spreading her message of light, love and cultural healing.

Born in the Mexican state of Colima but raised in Jalisco, Edna spent half of her life immersed in the culture and music of Mexico and Latin America, moving to the United States as a teenager. Her passion for music and performance was born from these bicultural roots and has led her on a path of self-discovery through song that has brought her success at each turn in the road. Whether sharing the stage with her musical influences or winning the first prize on Sabado Gigante with her rendition of Cucurrucucú Paloma, Edna’s spirit and powerful vocal performance have been the cornerstone of her career.

Enlightened Theatrics

Founded in 2013 by theatre professional Vincenzo Meduri, Enlightened Theatrics, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to further the cultural enrichment of Salem by providing professional musical theatre experiences and education for all.

A Salem native and graduate of Sprague High School, Vincenzo earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Elon University in 2011. Following graduation, he pursued his dreams in New York City discovering a love for directing and teaching, which inspired him to return to Salem to establish an organization for artists, students and dreamers dedicated to instilling hope, education and inspiration in generations to come.

Enlightened Theatrics brings the Broadway experience to Salem, while continuing to breathe new life into a rich, historical institution at the center of the city’s cultural, social and economic evolution.

In January 2015, the Meduri family acquired Salem’s Historic Grand Theatre. Constructed in 1900 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the theater has served as a staple of Salem cultural life for more than a century housing and hosting everything from performing arts to entertainment, retail, restaurants and more.

It’s not too late! Get your tickets for TEDxSalem IV

Tickets are on sale now for Salem’s annual TEDx event Saturday, January 7, 2017. Tickets are $50, $40 for a student. You can also buy tickets at the door! The all-day event includes talks, performances, refreshments, lunch and a swag bag. Follow us on Facebook for the most up-to-date news from our community, and check our website regularly for new information. You can also reach us at info@tedxsalem.us.