In This Issue
Black Sea Festival
Josh Waletzky at Center for Jewish History
CTMD on Facebook & YouTube
Passages: Ortega, Coffarelli & Caba
Pachamama Wins Union Square Award
Korean Sanjo Festival
CTMD Staff in State-Wide Leadership Roles
Yiddish Song of the Week
CTMD's Benefit
Folklore Society Grad Student Conference
Other Happenings
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
October/November 2010
New York World Festival Recap:
Music Around the Black Sea

In September, CTMD and World Music Institute presented the fourth New York World Festival, this time featuring Music Around the Black Sea through a magical four-part series of programs.


 Some festival highlights included:

  • The North American debuts of two major ensembles from overseas - Ukraine's Tecsoi Banda and Romania's Mahala Rai Banda
  • An unprecedented concert of solo and duet performances of stringed instruments from the Black Sea region at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 
  • A multi-media lecture by musician/ethnographer Bob Cohen, who has researched the lost musical traditions of Romania for over two decades
  • Performances by two of the great reed players of Thrace - saxophonist Yuri Yunakov and clarinetist Selim Sessler 
  • The series finale - the Black Sea Roma Festival - at Central Park SummerStage drew a crowd of almost 5,000 people.     

We want to thank everyone who came to events, as well as our partners New York Gypsy Festival, Central Park SummerStage, CTMD's Ukrainian Wave Community Cultural Initiative, the Ukrainian East Village Restaurant, Lotus Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Center for Jewish History.

Josh Waletzky - Yiddish Songs for the 21st Century

On Monday, November 8th at 7:00PM, CTMD and the Center for Jewish History continue our An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture Series with a program exploring the music of leading contemporary  Yiddish songwriter Josh Waletzky. This special program will feature an interview of Waletzky by Itzik Gottesman, a folklorist and Associate Editor of the Yiddish Forverts newspaper, as well as a performance of new compositions as well as some of his "greatest hits" - a number of which are now part of the Yiddish song canon. 


Josh Waletzky grew up in a family that was deeply embedded in the secular Yiddish world of Camp Boiberik and the Sholem Aleichem folkshuln.  The program will trace Waletzky's influences and development as a songwriter and composer - from his days at Boiberik to his pioneering work in the early days of the klezmer revival of the 1970s and 80s, to his critically-acclaimed 2001 album Crossing the Shadows (Ariber di shotns), to his latest compositions.

Waletzky is also an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, whose vast catalogue includes the seminal documentaries about Jewish life in Europe, Image Before My Eyes and Partisans of Vilna (which was followed by a Grammy-nominated soundtrack), as well as the current film Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today. Waletzky additionally served as a consultant on the script and music for Barbra Streisand's film Yentl.  A reception will follow the program.

At the Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St., Manhattan. Admission: $15, $10 CJH and CTMD members. Reservations through Smart Tix or call 212-868-4444.

Follow us on Facebook and YouTube!CTMD logo

CTMD now has active presences on YouTube & Facebook. Our 

Facebook site provides an additional forum to learn about events and news on a daily basis, invite friends along to programs, and provide us with feedback. Additionally, CTMD is using its YouTube Channel, CTMDProgramsConcerts to present highlights of past events. Come join us online!

Passages: Eugenio Ortega, Giovanni Coffarelli & George Caba

We remember three amazing artists and dear friends who have recently passed away - Colombian vallenato musician Eugenio Ortega, Neapolitan singer Giovanni Coffarelli, and Banat Romanian violinist George Caba.


When CTEugenio OrtegaMD initiated our new Colombian Community Cultural Initiative in 2009, we fully expected that Eugenio Ortega, one of the U.S.'s top vallenato musicians, would play a large role in the initiative. Sadly, Ortega passed away in December of 2009. CTMD Program Director Gabrielle Hamilton provides a profile on the late leader of the Los Macondos ensemble - read it by clicking here.


Giovanni Coffarelli was a a leading advocate for the traditional music and dance of the Campania region of southern Italy. A master singer/performer in his own right, Coffarelli played a major role in reviving interest in Neapolitan music by creating classes for youth and organizing festivals. He was prominent in a series of Italian music tours of the U.S. that the Center produced in the mid-1980s with the help of Anna Lomax Wood, who provides a tribute to Coffarelli here.

George Caba was a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based exponent of Banat Romanian fiddle tradition. Caba was a oft-featured performer at the Center's Folk Dance Friday programs as well as our Winter and Spring Folk Festivals in the 1970s and 1980s, and taught for many years at the East Coast Balkan Music and Dance camp. CTMD co-Founder and Board Member Martin Koenig shares his memories of Caba here.
Pachamama Peruvian Arts to Receive Prestigious Union Square Award
We were excited to learn that the Tides Foundation will be awarding a prestigious Union Square Award for excellence in grassroots PPA logocommunity organizing in the arts to Pachamama Peruvian Arts, a program providing intensive training in diverse Peruvian music and dance forms to ninety-five young students and now adults in Jackson Heights, Queens. Pachamama was founded through CTMD's Peruvian Community Cultural Initiative in 2003 and CTMD Program Director Gabrielle Hamilton assisted Pachamama Director Luz Pereira to incorporate the organization and secure 501(c)(3) status. Pachamama becomes the third organization created by CTMD to win a Union Square Award, following in the footsteps of the Mariachi Academy of New York and Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders.

Korean Sanjo Festival at CUNY Graduate Center

CTMD is pleased to be a media sponsor oSanjo Festival 2010f the 2010 New York Sanjo Festival and Symposium. This year, the festival is entitled "Korean Sanjo, Shamanism, and Ritual Traditions in Asia," and runs from Thursday, October 28 - Friday, October 29.


Sanjo's origin is in the music of the indigeneous Korean shaman culture, and by the 19th century it came to dominate Korean instrumental music. Sanjo adopted elements and stylistic features from the court and folk music traditions, and has come to reflect a "pan-musical" style that is quintessentially Korean. As solo instrumental music, sanjo offers many opportunities for dazzling virtuosic display in the course of its multi-movement form. The soloist interacts with rhythmic accompaniment given by the janggo, the traditional double-headed drum.


The program will include lectures and panels with prominent scholars as well as performances by a number of Korea's leading sanjo artists. At CUNY Graduate Center's Elebash Recital Hall, 365 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. For more information, click here.

CTMD Staff in State-Wide Leadership RolesNY Folklore Society
In addition to their work as Program Directors at CTMD, Gabrielle Hamilton and Eileen Condon, Ph.D., have been heavily involved in the New York State Folklore Society. Hamilton was recently elected President of the Society's Board of Directors, while Condon serves as the Editor of Voices, the Society's much-esteemed journal. Congratulations to both on their contributions to this immensely important institution.

Yiddish Song of the Week Blog 
WidmanThough only around since March 2010, the Yiddish Song of the Week blog has quickly become the internet's leading resource devoted to disseminating research and field recordings of rare repertoire and leading traditional folksingers. The Yiddish Song of the Week is an initiative of our An-sky Insititute for Jewish Culture, and is edited by Itzik Gottesman, Ph.D., a folklorist and writer who serves as Associate Editor at the Yiddish Forverts newspaper. We invite contributions from readers. You can visit the blog's website by clicking here.
Benefit - Thanks for Your Support!  
Reynaldo Labrada Barreto & Vanessa Ascanio perform with La Cumbiamba eNeYe
Thanks again to everyone who helped make our 2010 Benefit Event, "A Journey to South America" successful. The event was held on June 3rd at Pio Pio, a wonderful Peruvian restaurant in Hell's Kitchen. We were honored to honor some dear friends, Teresa Liszka, Co-founder of Art in General, Anna Lomax Wood, Executive Director for the Association of Cultural Equity, Ramon Ponce, Jr. and Ramon Ponce Sr., founders of the Mariachi Academy of NY, as well as City Council Member Rosie Mendez.

Ramon Ponce, Sr. &
Ramon Ponce, Jr.
We would like to thank everyone who made this benefit such a success, particularly our sponsors-- Legacy Sponsor Edmund Wood; Heritage Sponsors Richard Gilder and Lois Chiles, Teresa Liszka and Martin Weinstein, Kate Rinzler, and Cher Lewis; and Traditions Sponsors Martha Siegel, Linn Cary Mehta, Claudia Baez and Elizabeth Sweezy, and Susan Hinko and Carl Batlin. We're still gladly accepting donations, click here for more details.

Folklore Society Graduate Student Conference

CTMD is pleased to be a media sponsor of the New York Folklore Society's Graduate Student ConferenceNY Folklore Society, which will take place on Saturday, November 20. For over 65 years, the NYFS has held an annual conference, typically with guest speakers, such as master artists and academic scholars, who have addressed a particular theme. This year, in collaboration with NYU's Latino Studies and Latin American Studies Departments, we invite graduate students to present their work on Latino Folk Culture and Expressive Traditions. In this way, students will be given a platform at a local conference to share their work and connect with other young academics from around the state. The NYFS seeks to encourage young scholars to continue their studies and become active contributors to the fields of folklore, ethnomusicology, anthropology and more. Registration begins October 1, 2010. Cost: $15 for NYFS members and $20 for non-members. For more information, see the Society's website.

Other Happenings 
The students of CTMD's Mariachi Academy will perform alongside their instructors in the celebrated Mariachi Real de Mexico ensemble at a Day of the Dead program on Monday November 1st at the Union Settlement Auditorium and Gym at 237 East 104th Street in Manhattan. Bring photos, fruit, toys, etc. to help build the community altar. Admission is free. The program runs from 11:00AM - 8:30PM, with the music and dance program beginning at 7:00PM. For more information, go to the Union Settlement website.


Saxophonist/clarinetist Greg Wall is a leading musician on New York's Jewish Music scene; he also happens to have recently been installed as the Rabbi at the Sixth Street Synagogue in Manhattan. The synagogue has initiated a wonderful series featuring the metropolitan area's leading traditional and contemporary practitioners of Jewish music which is being curated by percussionist Aaron Alexander. For more information go to the synagogue's website.


On Thursday, October 28 at 7:00PM our friends at the Museum at Eldridge Street (12 Eldridge Street in Manhattan's Chinatown) feature legendary solo guitarist Gary Lucas as he brings the 1920 silent horror film The Golem to life at a screening with live musical accompaniment at the spirit-filled 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue. In this cult classic directed by Paul Wegener and Carl Boese and steeped in Jewish folklore, a Jewish Frankenstein roams the streets of 16th-century Prague. Kabbalist Rabbi Judah Lowe has created the Golem out of clay to protect the Jews from persecution. But like Mary Shelley's monster, things do not turn out as anticipated and the Rabbi's beautiful daughter is caught in the crosshairs. Tickets are $20 adults; $15 students/seniors. For more information, go to the Museum at Eldridge Street website.


On Saturday, November 6, Alwan For the Arts, 16 Beaver St, features a performance of Raqs Arabi with Karim Nagi and the Arab Dance Seminar at 9:30 pm.  Karim Nagi is a native Egyptian drummer, DJ, and folk dancer. He is the creator of Turbo Tabla, and has released two internationally distributed CDs of this unique brand of Arab House/Electronica using acoustic instruments. Karim has authored instructional DVDs for the tabla/doumbek and riqq tambourine, as well as two rhythm compilation CDs. He is also well versed in the ultra-traditional styles of music and dance as the leader of the Sharq Arabic Music Ensemble, and the Arab Dance Seminar. Karim performs and teaches tahteeb cane dance, dabka line dance, and zikr Sufi dance. The concert features Rachid Halihal - Oud and Vocals, Amel Tafsout - North African Dance, Nourhan Sharif - Egyptian Dance, Sami Abu Shumays - Violin and Rababa, Taoufiq Ben Amor - Percussion and Vocals and Kay Hardy Campbell - Arabian Gulf Folklore. For more information, go to Alwan's website.


On Saturday, November 13, "The Music Room" @ St John's Lutheran Church, 81 Christopher Street (7 Avenue South) presents sitarist Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan at  8 pm. Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan is one of the finest sitar players alive today. His dazzling virtuosity and innovative genius have earned him a legacy as a giant of the sitar. Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan learned his craft from his father, Ustad Aziz Khan, and enjoys an impeccable pedigree. He is a seventh generation heir to the sitar's first family, the Etawah Gharana. Ustadji's global reputation as an awe inspiring performer is complemented by another rare gift - his ability to spread his music as a dedicated and loving guru. Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan sums up his mastery of this most intricate art form with a profoundly simple philosophy: "Music is my life". For more information, click here.


eNewsletter Editor
Pete Rushefsky
Executive Director
Center for Traditional Music and Dance
32 Broadway, Suite 1314
New York, NY 10025
phone: 212-571-1555, ext. 36
fax: 212-571-9052