Spoken by some 50,000 residents of eastern Switzerland, Romansh is the country’s fourth official language. Singer Corin Curschellas has used Romansh, her native language, on her own records, Music Loves Me and Rappa nomada (both on the Swiss MGB label), and she’ll be singing the words of contemporary Romansh poets in the free mini festival “Voices of Romansh.” Curschellas is a remarkably adaptable young vocalist working on the fault line between traditionalism and Western popular music, with more than a slight interest in the cutting edge. Like the best of her pop-trad counterparts–Anabouboula (Greece), Marta Sebastyen (Hungary), Mouth Music (Scotland)–Curschellas juggles slick production and weathered material, looking for the perfect balance. She received her widest exposure thus far on world-music mogul David Byrne’s 1991 Luaka Bop release The Forest and unfortunately has worked with New Age harpist Andreas Vollenweider. She’s also the featured singer with the Swiss postmodern big band the Vienna Art Orchestra (she replaced Lauren Newton), and her choice of accomplices includes such first-rank vanguardists as flautist Robert Dick, the Balanescu String Quartet, keyboardist Django Bates, and Brazilian percussionist Ciro Baptista. On this tour she’s supported by the Recyclers (which, like Curschellas, is based in Paris), a trio led by spare, inventive British jazz percussionist Steve Arguelles (who recently made his Chicago debut with the ADD Trio at Lunar Cabaret) and rounded out by Frisell-esque guitarist Noel Akchote and pianist Benoit Delbecq, who often works on prepared piano as well. I saw the Recyclers at a festival last year–they alone should prove well worth seeing. Preceding the music will be a reading in English by Romansh author Flurin Spescha. Thursday, March 7, 8 PM, International House, University of Chicago, 1414 E. 59th; 753-2275. JOHN CORBETT

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.