'Dilplomats of Drum' reveal teh melting pot of arts and personalities that is Malaysia.

The first of of three groundbreaking Muslin artistic groups to appear at Georgia State University’s Rialto Center for the Arts is to perform in a free concert the evening of Thursday, Oct. 23.

“Diplomats of Drum” is composed of Malaysian street performers who climbed to the top of Malaysia’s popular music charts in 2011 and now perform regularly on the Asian festival circuit. 

Altimet, one of Southeast Asia’s better known rappers, is a member of the group, which is to be in Atlanta for a week to participate on educational worships and performances.

Peter Teo, a Malaysian actor, singer, songwriter, film composer and film maker, has become well known for his films of a non-partisan but reform-minded nature. He will be performing at the Rialto in January.

A Malaysian theater troupe that uses hand-crafted leather puppets to project shadows onto a screen, creating plays based on  Malaysian folk tales are to perform  Wayang Kulti: The Shadow Play of Kelantan at the Rialto in March.

In their performances, behind the screen a puppet master calls out in dozens of voices and leads a folk music ensemble that uses a variety of hand drums, gongs, cymbals and wind instruments.

These performances reveal the melting pot of cultures that make up Malaysia’s 13 states. They will be held as part of Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet, an international exchange program fostering cultural understanding through the arts.

Caravanserai seeks to create greater awareness between American and Muslim societies by showcasing the diversity of contemporary Muslim art and culture.

The concept of the historical caravanserai was inspired by the places where travelers exchanged stories, music, and culture after a long day’s journey across the desert. 

The Rialto is partnering with the Georgia Humanities Council and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s One Region to expand the programmatic reach into other commuities.

Collaborative organizations include: the Clarkston Community Center, Sautee Naccoochee Center, Newnan’s Carnegie Library, Georgia State’s Department of Communiciations and School of Music.

The program is supported by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art Building Bridges and Arts Midwest, a regional arts organization headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn.

The Rialto’s website may be found by clicking, here.