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Folk Dance Center Event

San Diego Folk Dance Center

The Center for World Music would like to alert our audience to the programs of the Folk Dance Center, a San Diego institution with which we’ve had a long relationship. In more cases than not, traditional music and dance forms are inseparable. The missions of our two organizations thus overlap to a great extent. We encourage you to check out their website, especially their monthly newsletters.

We will be promoting special programs of the Folk Dance Center via our Facebook page and other social media. We invite you to stop by their studio on 30th Street for one of their frequent folk dance sessions. Also, be alert for their many fine events and classes! See their current newsletter for details.

The Folk Dance Center (FDC) is a non-profit organization of amateur dancers with a common interest in folk dances from around the world. The FDC seeks to increase understanding of world folk dance and to preserve this rich resource for future generations. Membership is open to all.

Folk Dance Center Logo
Folk Dance Center
Dancing Unlimited
4569 30th Street
San Diego, CA 92116
Message phone: 619-281-5656
www.folkdancecenter.org

 

Dr. Timothy Rice

Timothy Rice Honored for Career Devoted to Bulgarian Music and Dance

The Center for World Music congratulates board member Dr. Timothy Rice, who was awarded an honorary doctorate from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, the oldest and most prestigious university in Bulgaria. The award recognized Dr. Rice’s decades of study of Bulgarian traditional music, song, and dance, and his efforts to bring it to a wider audience. “Dr. Rice is an esteemed ethnomusicologist,” said Rick Speer, who first reported this news on the East European Folklife Center message board, “and a fine musician himself!”  The ceremony included a lecture by Dr. Rice on “Four Paradigms for Ethnographic Research on the Bulgarian Musical Experience.”

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Rice commented:

I do not have the words to express my sincere gratitude for this incredible honor. It is very personal and emotional for me because of my long love of Bulgarian culture and music. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
See photos of the event on the Sofia University website.

A long-time member of the Department of Ethnomusicology at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Dr. Rice has published numerous articles and books in his field. Among these contributions are his books May it Fill Your Soul: Experiencing Bulgarian Music (Chicago, 1994) and Bulgarian Music: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture (Oxford, 2003).

We at the Center for World Music are proud to have Dr. Rice as a member of our Board of Directors.

For further information on Tim’s career, please see:

Central Europe Review article and interview | YouTube video Music Educator Profile: UCLA Professor of Ethnomusicology Timothy Rice | Radio Bulgaria story An American in Love with Bulgarian Folklore

Marie Hayes

Marie Hayes Sings Traditional Music from the Balkans and Beyond

The Center for World Music would like to welcome Marie Hayes to our family of outstanding teaching artists in residence, joining our World Music in the Schools program.

Marie Hayes has been singing Balkan harmony music ever since she attended a Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble concert in Oakland in 1990. There were ten woman on the stage, elbows linked in a semi-circle, singing the most captivating music she had ever heard. She was also struck by the rich, refined choral style of Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, whose music initially amazed her. Ultimately, it was this exciting and expressive nature of the “village voice” sound that drew her in.

It wasn’t long before she found friends in San Diego who wanted to join her. Their quartet, Harmonija, whose motto was “Harmony Music from the Balkans and Beyond,” entertained people for the next decade. They performed at coffee houses and parties, and gave many concerts for San Diego Folk Heritage, often teaching workshops at that organization’s annual music festival. Marie performed for ten years singing and playing percussion with Eastern Exposure, a Balkan dance band that played live music for folk dancers all over Southern California. She has recently formed a new a cappella vocal group, Trio Zheni, with singers Mary Ann Downs and Stacey Barnett.

As a teacher of Balkan singing, Marie’s main goal is to help students learn to listen to each other and work together to produce a sound they can be really proud of—and feel the thrill of hitting a perfect chord that makes the whole room ring.

Marie takes workshops and private lessons regularly from world-renowned singing teachers sponsored by the Eastern European Folklife Center. These include Bulgarians Donka Koleva, Tatiana Sarbinska, and Iliana Božanova, UCLA Balkan Choir Director Tsvetanka Varimezova (and her daughter Tanya), Bosnian Mirjana Lausevič, and Macedonian Esma Redžepova. She has also studied with American master teachers such as Mary Sherhart and Michelle Simon for Balkan singing, Canadian Brenna MacCrimmon for Turkish singing, Christos Govetas for Greek singing, and Polly Tapia Ferber for doumbek (drum) and frame drum. Because Balkan rhythms are varied and sometimes quite complicated, she finds that a knowledge of drumming is essential.

Marie has a degree in sociolinguistics from UCSD, where she also studied music. She has taught English as a Second Language at Miramar College, been a tutor for the Laubach Literacy program, and spent seven happy years as a teacher at Mission Bay Montessori Academy, where she loved teaching music and movement to the preschoolers in her class.

Photograph by Steve Gould

The Art of Peace Banner

The Art of Peace Conference and Performances at USD

The Art of Peace, a major, multi-day symposium exploring the use of the arts in peacebuilding, will take place at the University of San Diego November 11-14, 2015, under the auspices of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. The symposium will feature local, national and international playwrights, filmmakers, poets, musicians, visual artists, and academics who are mobilizing the creative power of the arts to break the cycle of conflict.

For details, download the conference poster. Most of the symposium’s events are free, but registration is required.

One event that might be of special interest to world music lovers is the performance of Saffron Caravan on Wednesday, November 11, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Saffron Caravan

Saffron Caravan features Lebanese-Brazilian Badi Assad, vocal and guitar, Moroccan Aaron Bensoussan, vocal and oud, and Arab-Israeli Haytham Safia, oud, joined by Bosnian Tony Pesikan, guest percussionist. They’ll take the audience on an inspiring musical journey from the Balkans through the Middle East and North Africa to Brazil, tracing the cultural crossroads of sevdah, an emotionally charged folk music originating in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The concert includes an original composition, specifically for Saffron Caravan, by Nigel Osborne, composer, global human rights activist and emeritus professor of music at the University of Edinburgh.

Tickets for this concert are available here.  There’s also a nice poster for this concert.

Playing 'Til Your Soul Drops Out

Music of Macedonia Showcases Rare Folk Traditions

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings recently released a new CD of field recordings collected in 1968 and 1973 by noted music and dance ethnographer, Martin Koenig.  Martin is a long-time friend of the Center for World Music and also serves on our Advisory Board.

A sonic time capsule of this region of Southeastern Europe, these recordings are from a significant period in Macedonian traditional music, made just prior to the popularization of modernized or newly composed folk music. The only known recordings of these skilled traditional musicians, the seventeen tracks and detailed fieldwork travelogue included on Playing ’Til Your Soul Comes Out! document popular and historically significant urban and rural traditions ignored by state radio and folkloric productions.

Read the full article and listen to sample tracks on the Smithsonian Folkway website.

Bulgarian Dance

The Beauty of Bulgarian Folk Dances

An article in an online fashion journal from Bulgaria, with eleven nice videos of Bulgarian folk dance and—most interesting—captions indicating the complex rhythms of each dance.

Bulgarian folklore dances are unique with their asymmetrical meters, combining “quick” and “slow” beats. . . . These dance rhythms may not agree with the rhythms and meters performed by the musicians.

Read more and view the videos at BGFashion.net.  Can you count the beats?

Balkan Music and Dance Workshop

Balkan Music and Dance Workshops this Summer

The East European Folklife Center is sponsoring two Balkan music and dance workshops this summer, one in Mendicino Woodlands, CA (June 27-July 4) and one in Iroquois Springs, NY (August 8-15).

Since 1977 the West Coast edition of the EEFC’s Balkan Music & Dance Workshop has been gathering amidst the towering redwoods of the Northern California coast. Each year we welcome new friends along with old, as musicians and dancers and those who love them come together with our extraordinary teaching staff for a memorable week.

Family-friendly; children welcome. Highly recommended!

See the EEFC’s website for details.

UT Folk Dancers

Waiting for San Diego’s Folk Dance Revival

Union Tribune San Diego, April 12, 2015

Coverage of a Center for World Music Concert Series event, the International Folk Dance Clubs of Balboa Park’s Springfest 2015.

On a wood-floored ballroom in Balboa Park, a smattering of international folk dance enthusiasts paced their way Sunday through provincial traditions from Quebec, Scandinavia, Scotland, Romania and Greece.

“What makes it fun are the mix of rhythms,” said Diane Baker, a retired physical education teacher who traveled from Newport Beach to participate at the festival. “And you learn about the villages where it originated.”

Read the full article at www.utsandiego.com.

Varimezova Family

Living Masters of Bulgarian Folk Music in LA, April 18, 2015

The Artatani World Series continues Saturday, April 18 with a not-to-be missed performance of the Varimezov family, together with Moira Smiley and VOCO. Probably a good idea to get tickets in advance!

Szvetanka and Ivan Varimezov are recognized around the world as living masters of Bulgarian Folk music. They tour extensively and teach across Europe and America, so much so that singer Moira Smiley calls them the “Pied Pipers of Bulgarian music.” Known for their powerful polyphonic vocals they are also masters of doumbek, tupan, bagpipe and accordion. In a rare family appearance, daughters Radka and Tanya add their own vocal and instrumental genius.

Check details at festivalofsacredmusic.org.

Balkan Echoes

Balkan Echoes: Voices, Images, and Recordings from Bulgaria and Macedonia

Martin Koenig, a good friend of the CWM, has spearheaded an extraordinary project to document disappearing music and dance cultures of the Balkans. His efforts are coming to fruition in the form of recordings (in partnership with Smithsonian Folkways), a book, and exquisite fine-art photographs.  Very much worth the attention of lovers of traditional performing arts . . .

After my first visit, I felt an urgency to preserve the music and dance traditions that were disappearing throughout the country. I was driven by the goal of documenting and recording the traditional music and dance of each place I visited, by permanently memorializing them on 16 mm film stock and audiotape.

Browse to Balkan Echoes.com for a look at the photos and book.

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