March 2008
In This Issue  

Quick Links  

Join our list  
Join our mailing list!


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.

CTMD's 40th Anniversary Celebration!
Thursday June 5th at the Hiro Ballroom
Joanie Madden

We're hoping you'll be able to join us on Thursday June 5th at the Hiro Ballroom as CTMD celebrates its 40th Birthday! We'll be holding a Benefit Dance Party from 9:00PM - 11:30PM featuring David Oquendo and Havana 3 (Cuban), DJ Rekha (Bhangra) and Merita Halili and the Raif Hyseni Orchestra (Albanian). The Dance Party follows a Benefit Dinner honoring CTMD board member Susan Hinko and Joanie Madden of the internationally acclaimed Irish-American ensemble Cherish The Ladies.

We hope you can come for the entire evening or at least just the Dance Party - but definitely come join friends old and new as we celebrate four decades of remarkable work by a uniquely New York organization!

Center for Traditional Music and Dance
Sharing Traditions for 40 Years
1968 - 2008

40th Anniversary Celebration
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Benefit Dinner: 6:00PM - 8:30PM
Dance Party: 9PM - 11:30PM

at the Hiro Ballroom at the Maritime Hotel
371 West 16th St at 9th Ave.
New York City

To reserve tickets for either the Dance Party or the entire evening (including Dance Party and Benefit Dinner), contact Tema Fishbein at 212-571-1555, ext. 22 or tfishbein@ctmd.org. Tickets for the Dance Party ($40) are also available at the door.

Martin Vejarano of La Cumbiamba eNeYé
Master Artist Profile
Kotchegna Dance Company

Over the past few years, La Cumbiamba eNeYé has consistently been one of the most sought-after ensembles on CTMD's Touring Artists roster. Those of you who attended our January Latin Fiesta! concert at El Museo del Barrio saw why. The group brings an unbelievable exuberance to their performance of a variety of traditional Colombian genres, including cumbia (mid-tempo songs and dances that are widespread throughout Latin America), puya (related to cumbia but slightly faster) and mapale' (very fast dances with clear African-based rhythms).

We're pleased in this month's CTMD Master Artist Profile to share the story of La Cumbiamba eNeYé's leader and gaita flute virtuoso, Martin Vejarano. Click the below link for CTMD Project Director Gabrielle Hamilton's profile of Martin:

CTMD Calendar
We hope to see you at some of these exciting presentations:
Dave Tarras CD

Thursday, May 29: Tantshoyz (Dance Party/Workshop) in collaboration with the JCC in Manhattan and Workmen's Circle. Led by master dance leader Deborah Strauss to the accompaniment of live klezmer music with Michael Winograd (clarinet) and Jeff Warschauer (guitar/cobza - Romanian lute). Dancers of all skill levels welcome. At the JCC in Manhattan (in the theater), 334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St. Admission $10, $8 for JCC and Workmen's Circle members. (7:00-10:00PM)

Friday, May 30: Badenya Festival 2008 featuring griot Foday Musa Suso. At the Gerald W. Lynch Theater (John Jay College), 899 10th Ave. (corner of 59th St.). Tickets are $30 in advance ($5 discount for two or more), $35 at the door. Proceeds support Badenya and Village Exchange International's work to create educational opportunities and social services for youth in West Africa. For more information go to the Badenya website. (7:00PM)

Thursday June 5: CTMD 40th Anniversary Celebration at the Hiro Ballroom (Maritime Hotel, 371 W 16th St. at 9th Ave.). For more information see above. (Benefit Dinner from 6:00PM - 8:30PM, Dance Party from 9:00PM-11:30PM)

Saturday June 7: CTMD Touring Artists Abdoulaye Diabate & Super Manden and Tokounou (featuring 2007 NEA National Heritage Award winner Sidiki Conde) perform at the Queens Library in Jamaica's African Festival. Admission free. For more information go to the Library website. (2:00PM - 4:30PM).

Saturday, June 14: Ukrainian Vechornytsi (Ukrainian village social dance), a program of CTMD's Ukrainian Wave Community Cultural Initiative. Join dance leader Tamara Chernyakhovska in learning Ukrainian folk dances. Music by Andriy Milavsky and Cheres at the Ukrainian East Village Restaurant, 140 Second Ave. between 8th and 9th Streets in Manhattan. (instruction 7:30-8:15PM, dance party 8:30- 11:00PM)

Wednesday, June 18: CTMD Touring Artists Merita Halili and the Raif Hyseni Orchestra perform Albanian music at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. For more information, go to the Kennedy Center website.

Thursday, June 19: CTMD Touring Artists Merita Halili and the Raif Hyseni Orchestra perform Albanian music at the Library of Congress's Coolidge Auditorium in Washington, D.C. No tickets are required. For more information, go to the Library of Congress website. (12 noon)

Friday, June 20: CTMD co-Founder and Artistic Director Ethel Raim will be in Washington D.C. to present a talk for the Library of Congress's Benjamin Botkin Lecture Series entitled "A Conversation in Fieldwork: The Balkans and the Urban Landscape of New York City," a program sponsored by the American Folklife Center and held in Whittall Pavilion. For more information, go to the Library of Congress website. (11:00AM)

Friday, June 20: Palomitay (Little Dove): Pachamama Peruvian Arts Student Presentation. Featuring students performing with faculty. At PS 212, 32-25 Street, Jackson Heights, Queens. Subway #7 to 82nd Street, (walk 3 blocks north). Bus: Q32 to 81st Street. For information: 212-571-1555 ext 27, gmhamilton@ctmd.org (7:30-10:00PM)

Badenya West African Festival Friday May 30
Featuring Foday Musa Suso
Vechornytsi musicians

Foday Musa Suso headlines the Saturday, May 30th Badenya Festival 2008 at Gerald W. Lynch Theatre (John Jay College, 899 10th Avenue, corner of 59th Street) at 7PM. Proceeds from the event will benefit the work of two non-profit organizations, Badenya and Village Exchange International (VEI) .

Badenya was founded as an independent non-profit organization from CTMD's Badenya West African Community Cultural Initiative which ran from 1997-2000. Badenya and Village Exchange International (VEI) are working in Sierra Leone and Ghana respectively to create new educational and social services for youth.

Foday Musa Suso, who recently appeared with Paul Simon at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, emerged from a traditional Jali family and training in Gambia and then moved to the University of Ghana where he worked with the composer and musicologist Nketia. In the 1980s, he moved to the U.S. and formed the popular ensemble Mandingo Griot Society, becoming one of the first to use the kora (African harp) as a popular dance music instrument. Mr. Suso composed and performed the 1984 Olympic theme song with Herbie Hancock. He continues to break new ground with his kora composing and has performed with Phillip Glass, Kronos Quartet, Pharaoh Sander, Ravi Shaker and Bill Laswell.

Appearing with Suso are the exciting jazz vocalist Lil Phillips as well as Badenya Band, a group of Jali musicians, poets and dancers and members of Badenya Inc., including Ibrahim Camara, Abdoulaye Diabate, Famoro Djorbate, Amina Heckstall, Dionne Kamara, Kewulay Kamara, Lansana Kouyate, Rene McLean, Misia Saran, Salieu Suso, and Mangue Sylla.

Badenya is an African arts-presenting organization currently participating in the construction of a community-inspired and supported secondary school in Dankawalie, a village of North Western Sierra Leone. It will be the only secondary school within a range of 20km. In Ghana, VEI supports the development of youth-friendly resource centres including counseling and referrals, outreach services, multimedia resources and youth activities in rural areas of the Volta Region. The goal of these organizations is to empower youth through the development of knowledge and information sharing, giving them the intellectual tools to better their situation and that of their community.

Tickets for Badenya Festival 2008 are $30 in advance, with a $5 discount for two or more, or $35 at the door. For more information go to the Badenya website.

Palomitay (Little Dove) Pachamama Concert Friday June 20
Update on the Peruvian Community Cultural Initiative

On April 19, 2008 Pachamama Peruvian Arts was pleased to collaborate with the Association of Peruvians at Cornell (APC) to perform at their Fiesta '08 at the Cornell University Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca. The Fiesta '08 opened Cornell's newest exhibition celebrating the recent donation of over 500 pre-Columbian Peruvian ceramics and art. The event featured Pachamama teaching artists with their performance groups: Alcatraz (Afro-Peruvian jazz); Peru Inca Folk (dances from the highlands), and Raices (instrumental Andean music). The three groups represent the diversity that is Peru and underscored the richness of Peruvian culture.

Fiesta '08 program was produced by Alisa Orahovac, a student at Cornell University and a Pachamama alumn. Alisa wrote this about her experience at Pachamama Peruvian Arts: "The dance classes at Pachamama are a part of my fondest memories and have helped me develop a deep pride for my Peruvian heritage. I not only learned a variety of songs and dances, but also about Peru's history and traditions. I still hold everything I learned from Pachamama in my heart and my hope now is to continue to showcase the richness of our culture, our country, and our people."

Pachamama Peruvian Arts also participated in a unique one day conference entitled "Voces de los Andes" at The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at New York University on May 16, 2008. The event focussed on immigration trends and patterns, cultural and political issues, and how teachers can work to validate their students' experiences and knowledge while helping them develop creative writing skills. Over 100 individuals, mostly teachers from public schools across New York State, participated.

On June 20, 2008, Pachamama Peruvian Arts invites you to Paomitay (Little Dove), a special year-end concert at PS 212, Queens, featuring the students performing zampońa, quena, charango, cajón, cajita, quijada, marinera Puneńa and pandilla, and Carapachos. Pachamama students will be supported by their master instructors: Rosa Carhuallanqui, Peter Apaza, Patricio Paucar and Marcos Napa. Graduating students will receive diplomas from their instructors. The evening will culminate with a ceremony recognizing the culmination of CTMD's five year collaboration with the Pachamama Organizing Committee and the launch of Pachamama Peruvian Arts as an independently operating non-profit organization. Past and present Pachamama teachers and Organizing Committee members will be recognized for their efforts in establishing this valuable program. This event will be free.

Tantshoyz Yiddish Dance Thursday May 29
at the JCC in Manhattan
Zhang student

CTMD is pleased to present the last Tantshoyz Yiddish Dance Party/Workshop of the season on Thursday, May 29, 7:00PM- 10:00PM in the beautiful auditorium of the JCC in Manhattan (334 Amsterdam Ave. @ 76th St.). Master dance leader Deborah Strauss will lead us through dances like bulgars, freylekhs, horas. Music will be provided by an all-star klezmer band featuring clarinetist Michael Winograd and guitarist/cobzar (cobza is a Romanian lute) Jeff Warschauer.

And just a reminder, CTMD and the new Yiddish Dance Action Network are seeking old family video footage of Yiddish dance-- should you happen to have film of Tante Gitl dancing a sher at your cousin's bat mitzvah please let us know!

The Tantshoyz program is co-presented by CTMD, the Workmen's Circle and the JCC in Manhattan. Admission is $10, $8 for Workmen's Circle and JCC members.

NYC Barn Dance Thursday June 12
Featuring Lou Maiuri with Rhys Jones and Christina Wheeler
Wendy McIsaacs

On Thursday, June 12, NYC Barn Dance will feature caller Lou Maiuri, founder and director of the West Virginia-based Appalachian Country Cloggers. Lou is known across the country for his abilities as a clogger, flatfooter, and old-time mountain style square dance caller. He is a 1998 inductee into America's Clogging Hall of Fame and a 1988 member of the All-American Clogging Team.

Lou is equally well known for his abilities as a teacher and has dedicated the past 25 years of his life to spreading Appalachian culture across the country. In May 2008, he will be honored by the State of West Virginia as the annual recipient of the Vandalia Award, the state's highest honor for those who have contributed to the preservation of the old- time mountain culture. Music will be supplied by Rhys Jones and Christina Wheeler who perform on fiddle, banjo, and guitar.

The evening starts at 6:30PM with an old-time jam session (bring your instruments); dancing goes from 8:00PM - 11:00PM. At Hungarian House, 213 E. 82nd St. (btwn. 2nd and 3rd). Admission is $15 (general) / $13 (students & seniors). Ages 18+ are welcome. For more information go to the NYC Barn Dance website.

Applied Ethnomusicology Conference On Line
Featuring CTMD's Tom van Buren

Video has recently been posted on the internet of a 2003 Brown University symposium entitled "Invested in Community: Applied Ethnomusicology and Advocacy." CTMD Archivist and Ethnomusicologist Tom van Buren, Ph.D. was a featured presenter at the conference alongside a number of applied ethnomusicology colleagues inside and outside the academy as well as community scholars. To view video and for more information about the program, click on the below link:

Remembering Robert Blumenthal
Founder of the Harlem Meer Performance Festival

We were very sad to hear that our friend Robert Blumenthal, founder of the Harlem Meer Performance Festival, died suddenly on Wednesday, May 7, 2008. In addition to serving as founder and artistic director of the HMPF, Rob was an accomplished musician, administrator and community organizer. He helped revitalize Central Park's northern-most point by bringing a diverse array of emerging and established artists to the Harlem Meer and by assembling an engaged community of both local residents and artists. Rob Blumenthal was memorialized recently at Saint Peter's Church to a community of over 400 family and friends.

A performance by CTMD Touring Artists Abdoulaye Diabate and Super Manden, opened the 15th Annual Harlem Meer Performance Festival on Sunday, May 25th.

An obituary from the Daily News can be read by clicking on the below link:

Other Happenings...

For those of you looking for a Wednesday night picking session, the Baggot Inn bluegrass jam has recenlty moved to the Grizzly Pear at 107 McDougal Street between West 3rd Street and Bleeker in Manhattan. The session starts at 9PM.

On Friday, May 30 the near-monthly Balkan Cafe at Hungarian House, 213 E 82nd St. (between 3rd & 2nd Ave) presents Kadife, an ensemble that performs traditional music from southern Albania. For more information go to the Balkan Café website.

Also on May 30, Mehanata (a.k.a, the "Bulgarian Bar" 113 Ludlow Street, Manhattan) presents the "Grand Masters of Gypsy Music" featuring CTMD Touring Artist saxophonist and Bulgarian "wedding music" virtuoso Yuri Yunakov from 10PM-midnight. For more information go to Mehanata' s website.

On Saturday, May 31 at 2PM, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in Queens features Latif Bolat, one of the most distinguished Turkish musicians in the U.S., in a concert presented by Carnegie Hall's Neighborhood Concert Series. Bolat is a native of the Turkish Mediterranean town of Mersin. After receiving his degree in folklore and music at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey, he taught traditional music throughout the country. With a vast repertoire that includes songs in classical, folk and Sufi mystic music styles, he accompanies his singing on the baglama (long- necked lute), and various other traditional instruments from the Turkish folk music tradition. For more information go to the Carnegie Hall website.

On Saturday, June 7 at 8PM, our friends at World Music Institute present Berco do Samba de Sao Mateus at Symphony Space (Broadway at 95th St). An exhilarating program of samba vocals and dances will be performed by the dynamic 20-member Berco do Samba de Sao Mateus in its New York debut. The community-based group from Sao Mateus, the "cradle of samba" on the outskirts of Sao Paolo, has built a solid reputation for maintaining the roots of old-style sambas while creating new works. Its extensive repertoire includes dances based on lundu, jongo and candomble rituals, and songs dedicated to the orishas (African deities). Featured are vocalists, dancers, and musicians on six and seven-string guitars, saxophone, trombone and a battery of traditional percussion (pandeiro, atabaques, tan-tan, surdo, caixas, repique, berimbau). For more information, go to WMI's website.

On Saturday, June 14, at 7:30PM, Celebrate Brooklyn presents Miriam Makeba + Bakithi Kumalo at the Prospect Park Bandshell (Prospect Park West at 9th St, Brooklyn). South Africa's living legend of song, the artist for whom the term world music was invented, Miriam Makeba arrives for an historic celebration of Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday and one of just two American performances on her farewell tour. Bakithi Kumalo, among South Africa's greatest exports (his bass was the backbone of Paul Simon's Graceland), puts together an all-star collection of local ex-pats to start the party. For more information, go to the Celebrate Brooklyn website.

On Thursday evening, June 29 at 9PM, the lovely Park Slope venue Barbes (376 9th Street by 6th Ave., Brooklyn) presents CTMD Touring Artist Andy Statman. A truly extraordinary artist, Andy Statman began his career in the 70s as a virtuoso mandolinist who studied and performed with David Grisman, went on to study clarinet with the legendary Dave Tarras and became one of the main architects of a klezmer revival which started out 30 years ago and has since informed and influenced folk, Jazz and improvised music forms. Andy draws equally from Hassidic melodies, bluegrass and Albert Ayler-influenced free-improv. The result reads like a very personal search for the sacred based both on traditions and introspection. For more information, go to the Barbes website.

On Thursday, June 26, Celebrate Brooklyn presents the Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Dixie Hummingbirds at the Prospect Park Bandshell (Prospect Park West at 9th St, Brooklyn). The Chocolate Drops are a young and talented group digging the roots of African- American string band traditions, while the Dixie Hummingbirds are an influential American gospel music group, spanning more than 75 years from the jubilee quartet style of the 1920s, through the "hard gospel" quartet style of Gospel's golden age in the 1940s and 1950s, to the eclectic pop-tinged songs of the present era. For more information, go to the Celebrate Brooklyn website.

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, Executive Director
Center for Traditional Music and Dance

Phone: 212-571-1555
Fax: 212-571-9052
Email Marketing by