Doors at 6:30 pm; Show at 7:00 pm
Tickets are $15 / $10 Students
Ashkenaz was founded on Balkan and Eastern European dancing, which is still a mainstay, but tonight’s concert showcases vocal music from farther east, with two ensembles specializing in Armenian and Georgian traditions, both formed by members of the Kitka Eastern European women’s choir: Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir and Sayat Nvaq Ensemble.
Sayat Nvaq Ensemble delves into the rich traditions of eastern Armenian music. The group draws its inspiration equally from the two main pillars of Armenian secular music: the classical, troubadour poet traditions of the Ashougs and Gousans such as Sayat Nova, Ashot, Djivani and Sheram; as well as the popular, regional village music found throughout the countryside. The Ensemble is Shea A.J. Comfort (duduk, shvi and ploul), Leslie Bonnett ( voice and violin), Briget Boyle (harmonium and voice), Haig Kassabian (dhol) and Khatchadour Khatchadourian (voice and duduk).
Under the direction of Kitka singer Kristine Barrett, Oakland’s Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir is a volunteer mixed vocal arts project dedicated to the performance of traditional polyphonic music and ritual song from the Republic of Georgia, the Caucasus, and Lazona. Designated by UNESCO as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity, Georgian polyphony stands among some of the oldest and most beautiful song repertoires in the world. Sung in three distinct and overlapping parts, Georgian music necessitates singing with others. Temple of Light’s mission is “to be a light in dark places, igniting the best in our humanity through Georgian song.”