June 2007
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We're pleased to present you with CTMD's Global Beat of the Boroughs eNewsletter featuring news from New York's traditional music scene, artist profiles and information on CTMD-related events. Each month we'll provide information on events around town and highlight the people working to preserve the rich cultural heritage of New York's immigrant communities.

Master Artist Profile
Xiao Xiannian: New Sounds for Chinese Strings

CTMD recently wrapped up a four-part Sizhu Silk and Bamboo Chinese Music Concert Series in partnership with the Rubin Museum of Art. There were a host of spellbinding performances by four of the leading Chinese music ensembles in the metropolitan area — Music From China, EastRiver Ensemble, Melody of Dragon and Min Xiao Phen and the Blue Pipa Trio, each providing a different take on the sizhu tradition (the term "sizhu" refers to the form of music created when silk strings and bamboo wind instruments are combined). This month's Master Artist Profile features the dazzling Xiao Xiannian of EastRiver Ensemble, a virtuoso of the Chinese hammered dulcimer (yangqin). Click below for an in-depth profile on Xiao.

Upcoming Events
We hope to see you at some of these exciting presentations:

Friday, June 22: Pachamama Peruvian Arts Student Presentation and Graduation with master traditional artists, in Peru Cultura Viva, a theatrical performance exploring the Incan conquest and the mestizo culture, at PS 212, 34-25 82nd Street, Jackson Heights, Queens. (7:30PM)

Friday, June 22: CTMD Touring Artist James Reams and the Barnstormers present an evening of bluegrass along with Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys for the American Express American Roots Series at Celebrate Brooklyn! in the Prospect Park bandshell. For more information see Celebrate Brooklyn! website

Sunday, June 24: CTMD Touring Artist Sachiyo Ito presents the 29th installment of her Salon Series featuring the expressive and distinct traditions of Okinawan dance and Japanese martial arts. The program will examine the relationship between Okinawan Dance, particularly the male dance, Otoko Odori, and martial arts with a focus on karate. Special guest Masahiko Honma, Chief Director of Karatedo Honma Dojo in New York. Refreshments are included in the $10 ticket price ($7 for students/seniors) at Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A West 13th Street between 5th & 6th Ave. (3:00-4:00PM). For information and tickets, call Sachiyo Ito and Company at 212-627-0265.

Saturday, June 30: Vechornytsi (Ukrainian village social dance), a program of CTMD's new Ukrainian Wave Community Cultural Initiative. Join dance leader Tamara Chernyakhovska in learning Ukrainian folk dances. Music by Andriy Milavsky and Cheres at Ukrainian East Village Restaurant, 140 Second Ave. between 8th and 9th Streets in Manhattan. (Instruction 7:30-8:15PM; Dance party 8:30-11PM).

Saturday, July 14: CTMD Touring Artists McCollough Sons of Thunder perform Shout Gospel live at Kingsborough College. For more information see College Calendar

Saturday, July 14: CTMD Touring Artists Viento de Agua perform Puerto Rican bomba and plena live at Kingsborough College. For more information see College Calendar

Thursday, August 9: CTMD Touring Artists Los Clarinetes Magicos present a free night of Dominican merengue music at the Harlem Meer Festival in Central Park. For more information see Harlem Meer Festival website

Sunday, August 12: Heritage Sunday at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors — The Power of Music: Songs of Love and Struggle An outdoor concert featuring Puerto Rican bomba and plena by Viento de Agua, West African jaliya with Abdoulaye Diabate and Super Manden, and urban Albanian folk songs by Merita Halili and the Raif Hyseni Orchestra on the plazas of Lincoln Center, West 65th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. Free. (4:00-7:00PM)

Sunday, September 16: New York World Festival — Music Around the Mediterranean A collaboration with World Music Institute and Central Park SummerStage featuring Moroccan Gnawan singer Hassan Hakmoun, legendary Greek Island singer Amalia Papastefanu, Greek clarinetist Lefteris Bournias, Pontic Greek lyra player Chris Tiktapanides, Dimonis de Catalunya from Mallorca, Spain and Orchestre de Tanger. Central Park SummerStage (1:30-7:00PM)

Thursday, September 20: CTMD Touring Artists Retumba present Caribbean music at University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire. For more information see University website

Friday, September 28: Launch of the fourth year of Pachamama Peruvian Arts featuring demonstrations of Peru's performing arts by master teachers at PS 212, Jackson Heights (7:00-10:00PM)

Sunday, September 30: Advanced master class in Yiddish dance begins in collaboration with the 92nd Street Y. Six three-hour sessions will be taught by Walter Zev Feldman on Sundays: September 30, October 21, November 18, January 20, February 17, March 30, April 27, and June 1.

Friday, October 7: Pachamama Peruvian Arts fall semester of classes in a variety of music and dance forms begin weekly at PS 212 (3:30-6:30PM)

Thursday, October 11: First monthly Tantshoyz (Dance House) in collaboration with the JCC in Manhattan & Workmen's Circle. Yiddish dance led by Zev Feldman with live klezmer music. Dancers of all skill levels welcome. At the JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street (7:00-10:00PM)

Thursday, November 1: Second monthly Tantshoyz (Dance House) in collaboration with the JCC in Manhattan & Workmen's Circle. Yiddish dance led by Zev Feldman with live klezmer music. Dancers of all skill levels welcome. At the JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street (7:00-10:00PM)

Thursday, December 6: Third monthly Tantshoyz (Dance House) in collaboration with the JCC in Manhattan & Workmen's Circle. Yiddish dance led by Zev Feldman with live klezmer music. Dancers of all skill levels welcome. At the JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street (7:00-10:00PM)

Sunday, December 9: Yiddish Dance Research Symposium A day-long session at New York University featuring leading researchers and practitioners of traditional Yiddish dance along with scholars of Yiddish culture and related dance genres to share fieldwork and prioritize future research. In the evening after the event, a participatory dance workshop will take place featuring leading dance teachers and a live klezmer band.

What's a Vechornytsi?
Carpathian Folk Dance on Second Avenue

CTMD will hold the second Vechornytsi (village social dance) as part of its new Ukrainian Wave Community Cultural Initiative at the Ukrainian East Village Restaurant (140 Second Ave. between 8th & 9th) on Saturday, June 30th. Instruction in Ukrainian social dances begins at 7:30PM until 8:15PM followed by a dance party from 8:30-11PM. Tamara Chernyakhovska is our fabulous dance instructor. For fifteen years she was a principal dancer with the G.G. Veriovka Ukrainian National Dance Company of Kiev, and prior to this performed with the State Folk Ensemble of Ukraine. She spent many years traveling to remote villages throughout Ukraine to collect dances. Despite such impressive credentials, we are amazed at how well Tamara works with dancers of all ages and skill levels (kids are welcome!) Andriy Milavsky and the Cheres Ensemble provide the music. And yes, the restaurant's varenyky (dumplings) are scrumptious!

As Tamara explains, the traditional vechornytsi was a wintertime village dance party. Unmarried girls would gather in the homes of older women to embroider blouses, skirts, and shawls — clothes to be used in the coming year. Then "the boys would always come to bother them," arriving at the door with musical instruments such as violins, flutes and tambourines. The boys would dance a men's dance then the girls would dance a women's dance and then the musicians would play a polka so the boys and girls could dance together. After the dancing, there would be food and a drink or two, and a bit of courting under the watchful eye of the mistress of the house.

Pachamama Update
News about CTMD's Peruvian Community Cultural Initiative

  • Pachamama Peruvian Arts (PPA) invites you to join us on Friday, June 22nd at 7:30pm at PS 212 for Queens for Peru Cultura Viva, a musical exploring the Incan conquest and mestizo culture. This concert will feature live music and dance by the students of Pachamama Peruvian Arts and their master instructors: Luz Pereira, Rosa Carhuallanqui, Marcos Napa, Jose Ruiz, Patricio Paucar and Andres Jimenez. Pachamama students have been studying zampoña (panpipe), the dances carnaval de Arequipa and shipiba, as well as advanced Afro-Peruvian percussion since February. The choir of Abya Yala will join Peru Cultura Viva to sing segments of the show in Quechua, the native language of Peru.
  • Portions of Pachamama's last presentation can be seen on Latinos en America, Channel 57, Queens. On June 12th at 7pm and June 14th at 3:30pm, Latinos en America will also feature an interview with our Pachamama Project Director Gabrielle Hamilton.
  • Meanwhile Pachamama parents continue to support the program, most recently with a pollada to benefit PPA. The pollada is a house party held as a fundraiser where traditional foods are sold. Held on May 5th, this event included an impromptu performance by Marcos Napa and his students that had everyone dancing!

Internship/Volunteer Opportunities
We Want You!

CTMD is always looking for volunteers to help with a range of activities. From helping us keep up our membership database, cataloguing our archival photographs & recordings, promoting our Touring Artists to major concert venues nationally, and of course staffing events, volunteers provide important support to CTMD's programs. For more information about volunteer/internship opportunities, visit our website or contact Jodi Hewat at 212-571-1555, ext. 21.

In Memoriam... Remembering Morley Leyton

We were sad to hear of the passage of Morley Leyton. Morley led the Janosik Polish Dance Ensemble, and taught Polish dance at a number of the Center's programs over the years. Our sympathies go to his family and friends.

Welcoming Ballet Fiesta Mexicana
New CTMD Touring Artists

We are pleased to welcome Ballet Fiesta Mexicana to the CTMD Touring Artists program. The Touring Artists program markets and books a diverse roster of leading NYC-based traditional ensembles to major performance venues around the country. Ballet Fiesta Mexicana recently performed at the American Folk Art Museum in conjunction with their exhibition of Mexican visual artist Martin Ramirez. Ballet Fiesta presented an exciting evening of folkloric music and dance from the diverse Mexican regions of Jalisco, Veracruz and Chiapas. Founded by company director Yloy Ybarra, Ballet Fiesta Mexicana explores the cultural traditions of Mexico through festive dance, live mariachi music and stunning costumes. For more information about Ballet Fiesta Mexicana and other Touring Artists, please click below:

Other happenings...

CTMD Touring Artist and master Bulgarian saxophonist Yuri Yunakov plays Friday nights at Mehanata (aka the Bulgarian Bar) with Albanian keyboardist Alfred Popaj. Music starts about 10PM. For more information, see Mehanata's website.

Maria Sonevytsky, a member of CTMD's Ukrainian Wave Community Cultural Initiative Organizing Committee, is working with Barbès' Olivier Conan to curate the Accordionology festival at Barbès in Brooklyn from Friday, June 15 to Sunday, June 17. Some of our favorite squeezebox-playing friends are featured including Peter Stan, Ivan Milev, Ismail Butera and Art Bailey. For more information, visit the Barbès website.

Avantango with our friend, bassist Pablo Aslan, performs at El Museo del Barrio as part of Carnegie Hall's Neighborhood Concert Series on Thursday, June 14th at 7PM. For more information, see theCarnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series website.

The Brooklyn Arts Council presents Folk Feet — Circle 'Round Brooklyn on Sunday, June 17 3- 5PM at Ft. Greene Park near the Monument. Program features workshops and performances of a variety of dance forms — African-American Juba, Hawaiian Hula, Hatian Rara, Brazilian Capoeira and Korean Drumming and Dance. For more information, visit the Brooklyn Arts Council website.

The Eldridge Street Project presents New York Banjo Fest — a whirlwind tour of banjo history in New York City from 1840 to today — Wednesday June 20th at 7PM with ethnomusicologist and musician Henry Sapoznik. Leading banjo practitioners Marty Cutler, Donald Meade, Dan Peck and George Wunderlich will perform minstrel, country, Irish and other banjo traditions. For more information, visit Eldridge Street Project.

Founded in 1968, the Center for Traditional Music and Dance is one of the nation’s premier arts organizations dedicated to preserving and presenting the performing arts traditions of New York’s ethnic and immigrant communities through research-based educational programming, public performance and community partnerships. For more information visit us at www.ctmd.org

With kind regards,

Pete Rushefsky
Center for Traditional Music and Dance

Phone: 212-571-1555
Fax: 212-571-9052
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