Posts filed under ‘Bulgarian music’
Join in the Celebration of Bulgaria’s Special Day with Fabulous Folk Song and Dance: May 13th, Sunday @ 5:00 p.m.
Participate with Boston’s Bulgarian-American community as they celebrate the 8th Bulgarian Cultural Festival in New England in recognition of their native homeland’s independence as well as the establishment of the Slavic alphabet. Presented by the Bulgarian-American Center (MADARA), this well-established popular event promises attendees an evening of colorful folk music and dance originating from a wide variety of local regions throughout Bulgaria. Featured performers will include the folk dancers of Ensemble “HORO” from Chicago, women’s chorus Divi Zheni, and men’s chorus Zornitsa. I know that I have posted about this event before, however, this year activities appear to have been expanded a bit to include native food and games, making it a more family friendly event. So, why not bring the kids along too! This long-running ethnically inspired event is sure to please crowd members of all ages.
About the Performers
Ensemble “HORO” (The Ensemble for Bulgarian Folk Dances) is comprised of 40 or so very passionate adults and teens dedicated to the promotion of their native culture’s performing arts here in the United States and beyond. Artistic directors Irena Gotcheva and Todor Gotchev, both formerly of the highly esteemed Bulgarian troupe Ensemble “Silven”, established this Chicago-based troupe in 2003, assuring that their repertoire would represent all of Bulgaria’s main cultural sects in authentic folk music and dance including, Severniashka, Trakiiska, Shopska, Dobrudjanska, Pirinska and Rodopska. In addition to frequent local appearances throughout the Chicago area, the ensemble has also performed in St. Louis, Toronto, and Montreal.
Divi Zheni (Wild Women) is an all-female chorus which performs a most authentic repertoire of Bulgarian folk songs either a capella or accompanied by ethnic instruments such as the tambura, dumbek, and tupan. Members of this group come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and range in age from young to old. Their repertoire includes both village and more popular dance songs which they perform at concerts, festivals and dance events. Founded in 2000, they not only appear locally, but nationally and overseas in Bulgaria as well.
Zornitsa, the male counterpart to Divi Zheni, was the first group of its kind to perform Bulgarian folk and popular songs. In addition to appearances at folk music events around the New England area, they have also performed in Bulgaria where they were aired on Bulgarian National television.
Tatiana Sarbinska, internationally renowned Bulgarian folk artist, is the artistic director of both Divi Zheni and Zornitsa. As a recipient of the prestigious honor of National Treasure status, compliments of the Bulgarian government, she is recognized as instrumental in the preservation of her country’s native music culture. Thus, it is under her tutelage that Divi Zheni and Zornitsa are able to perform so successfully in the true Bulgarian folk style. She has had and still enjoys an illustrious career as a vocalist and has recorded her own cds, Makedonsko Devojche and Katerino Mome. Since 1991, she has shared her numerous artistic talents in the United States through the direction of various ensembles, music events, and workshops.
When: May 13th, Sunday @ 5:00 p.m.
Doors open at 4:30
Where: ACAS Center (Woburn)
Tickets: $20.00 (Advanced purchase) / $25.00 (At the door) / $5.00 discount for students and seniors / Kids under 12 are free
Enjoy Two Great Balkan Music Events for the Price of One Each and Every Month!: Saturdays (8:00 – 11:00 p.m.)
This is one highly entertaining Balkan inspired event to be sure! Since 1997, the Zdravets folk ensemble has been faithfully providing the public with a dance party, concert, and social get together all in one, each and every month. Hit the dance floor, mix and mingle, or just sit back and chill out to the wonderful and intriguing sounds of purely authentic traditional music originating from Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonea, and their Balkan neighbors. Zdravets, who refer to themselves as “Boston’s friendly neighborhood Bulgarian band”, is well known for their ability to throw a good party with music that naturally lifts the attendees’ spirits, keeping one and all in a festive and fun-loving mood all evening long. The dancing is performed group-style so no partners necessary. In addition, I would point out this is a very laid back event, so dress comfortably and rest assured that dance steps will be less complex in nature and will be demonstrated for the sake of any beginners in the crowd. Dancers with all levels of experience are happily accommodated for!!! Now here’s the added bonus that comes with this particular event. During the rest periods, dancers will actually be treated to a mini concert, compliments of Zdravets of course! There will also be a refreshment table on the premises where you can meet your fellow party guests. Culinary donations made in honor of the party feast are welcomed.
The name Zdravets refers to a wild species of geranium which thrives year round on the mountain-sides of Bulgaria. To the native population, this bloom represents health and endurance. And appropriately so, such is the state of the band’s music which has itself been thriving for over 20 years! Much of their repertoire is representative of Bulgarian folk genres, which are characterized by their irregular rhythms, tightly spaced harmonic structures, and sonic intensity. The bands instrumental selections literally beckon one to get up and dance while the sharply vivid harmonies of the vocal numbers cannot help but grab ones attention. They take the authenticity of their traditional music very seriously as many of their interpretations are based on actual field recordings of native folk musicians. In addition, Zdravets performs for the most part on ethnic instruments including: kaval, gadulka, tambura, tapan, tarabuka, and gaida. Aside from regular local appearances throughout New England, this nine-member folk ensemble has appeared oversees in Bulgaria at such prestigious events as the National Folklore and Petrova Niva festivals and on native national television and radio as well. Their latest recording is entitled “Late Harvest“. Thanks to the enthusiastic and dedicated efforts of Zdravets, Bostonians can enjoy first-rate Balkan music and dance virtually every month of the year!
When: Saturdays (Monthly) (8:00 – 11:00 p.m.)
Where: Church of Our Savior (Arlington)
More Info: 617-964-2003 OR email@example.com
Get Set for an Evening of Premier Balkan Inspired World Fusion as Theodoshi Spassov’s North American Tour 2011 Comes to Boston: October 21st, Friday (7:30 – 9:00 p.m.)
(Doors open at 6:30)
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (Somerville)
Tickets: $20.00 (Online purchase highly recommended – $2.00 fee)
More Info: 617-776-2004 OR 617-800-9720
Usher in the Upcoming Holiday Season in Grand Slavic Fashion with Traditional Choral Music from Bulgaria: Compliments of Premier Vocal Ensembles Divi Zheni & Zornitsa: December 3rd, Friday @ 8:00 p.m. & December 5th, Sunday @ 1:00 p.m.
Every time that the holiday party season comes around, it gives us world music fans here in the US another chance to experience the Christmas and New Years festivities of other cultures. Of course, to me, the music is the best part, but then there’s the ethnic food, decorations, and other interesting native customs to explore. Coming up in the first week of December, there are two Bulgarian holiday dance parties happening in the Boston area. The first is one is actually part of FACONE’s (Folk Arts Center of New England) Friday night folk dance series. The live dance music at this event will be provided by two of Boston’s premier world music choral ensembles, both of which are under the direction of Tatiana Sarbinska, a world-class vocalist in her own right and a leading expert in the area of Bulgarian choral music. Divi Zheni is an all women’s group while Zornitsa is their male counterpart. Let Marcie Van Cleave and friends be your instructors as you learn a number of Bulgarian group-style folk dances, many of which can be easily followed simply by watching and copycatting! There is no previous dance experience expected of party guests and you don’t even need to bring a partner. More experienced dancers will be accommodated for as well, so come one, come all. And as I mentioned before, because this is a holiday party, there will also be ethnic food on hand for guests to sample and decorations to enjoy.
When: December 3rd, Friday @ 8:00 p.m.
Where: Park Avenue Congregational Church (Parish Hall) (Arlington)
Admission: $8.00 (General) / $6.00 (FAC members) / $5.oo (Students)
More Info: 781-438-4387 OR Facone.org
The second celebration is a benefit event for the Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church (Allston) and Divi Zheni, who will be performing, as well. It will be modeled after the traditional Bulgarian Sedenka. This is a Christmastime festivity originally held by farming communities after the crop season’s work was done. Party activities included crafting for personal enjoyment (i.e. carving, sewing, knitting, etc.), storytelling, singing of old familiar as well as newly composed songs, seasonal treats, and, of course, dancing. In like spirit, this year’s Boston celebration will include traditional singalongs, and group dancing, complete with instruction. Party guests are encouraged to bring along any personal crafting projects that they wish to work on in a group setting and, of course, ethnic food will be served for all to enjoy.
When: December 5th, Sunday @ 1:00 p.m.
Where: Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church (Allston)
Street parking available for free
Tickets: $20.00 (General) / $10.00 (Students) / $5.00 (Children 12 & under)
Purchase At the door OR At the church bookstore on Sunday’s (11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
So, start the holidays off right in grant multi-cultural fashion and experience a little of Bulgaria in the true spirit of the season!
Travel the World with Jamey Haddad & Friends: Presenting Folk and Contemporary Music of Palestine, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Jews: November 3rd, Wednesday (8:00 p.m – 12:00 a.m.)
Jamey Haddad‘s “East-West Storytellers” are a group of select accomplished musicians who have come together in a special collaborative effort to share some of their favorite world music with the rest of us lucky listeners. Enjoy an evening of fine folk and contemporary ethnic music from Palestine, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Jews. Members of this special quintet, who are originally from Palestine, Israel, and the United States, will be presenting some of their very own original compositions as a part of the evening’s program. Joining Haddad on drums will be, Itamar Borochov on trumpet, Ali Amar on qanun, Nadav Remez on guitar, and Noam Wiesenberg on bass.
As the leader of this special musical collaboration, world renown percussionist Jamey Haddad brings plenty of professional expertise to the table. He is a specialist in jazz, and world and contemporary music who is known for his musical versatility. Because he has performed so many diverse styles of music over the years, he has developed an uncanny ability adapt his playing style with respect to numerous different genres and thus is a popular choice for membership in collaborative artistic projects the world over. He is currently an associate professor at the Berklee College of Music, New England and Oberlin Conservatories, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2007, he was honored in Modern Drummer magazine as one of the 4 best ethnic music percussionists in the world. In addition to his 9-year membership with Paul Simon’s band, he also enjoys regular playing engagements and/or touring opportunities with Simon & Garfunkel, Yo Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, the Paul Winter Consort, Esperanza Spalding, Betty Buckley, Nguyen Lee, Brazil’s Assad Brothers, and many other of the world’s most prominent artists. Check out the rest of the details of this fabulous career on his website … And then, come on over to the Beehive in Boston’s South end and see what this special world music collaborative performance is all about.
When: November 3rd, Wednesday (8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)
Where: The Beehive (South End)
Admission: No cover charge listed
More Info: 617-423-0069
BG Focus is the online newsletter of the Bulgarian Cultural Center (Madara). Subscribe to it and you will receive updates on Bulgarian and other Balkan cultural events taking place in the Boston area delivered right to your inbox. Some of the listings are solely in Bulgarian, but most of them are either in English or include a translation, thankfully for a lot of us. Photo albums of past events are also included in the main publication, as well as other news of interest to the Bulgarian-American community. If you have further questions on any of their postings you can email the center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BAC-Madara is intent upon keeping the Bulgarian cultural presence alive and well in the Boston area and throughout Massachusetts. They, themselves, host some really spectacular performances that are rarely or have never before been seen in this country. (see my previous posts 4/2/09 and 5/3/09) I went to the performance of the Bulgarian National Folklore Ensemble and was blown away!
Last Minute Heads Up!!! – Join Bulgarian Folk Music Virtuosos Tatiana Sarbinska, Theodosii Spassov, and the Theodosii Spassov Folk Project Band in Concert (May 3rd – Sunday at 6:00 p.m.)
This concert is the finale to a series of grand events that make up the 7th annual Bulgarian Cultural Festival in New England (March 29 – May 3rd). This year’s landmark festivities commemorate 100 years of Bulgarian independence. I had the wonderful fortune of attending the performance of the Bulgarian folk dance ensemble Bulgare (see previous post – 4/2/09) and they were fantastic! I fully expect that this concert will be of equal caliber. I also want to mention here the folk duo who will open the concert, Vessela and Valeri = Goli.
When: May 3rd – Sunday @ 6:00 p.m.
Where: Springstep (Directions)
Tickets: $25.00 (students and seniors/65 & up), $30.00 (adults – in advance), $35.00 (adults – at the door), $15.00 (children under 16), Free (children under 5)
Online Ticket Purchases & Additional Concert Info.:
(Bulgarian-American Center MADARA)