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Volume 13 - Issue 8 - May 2008

Includes the 2008 Canary Pages

World Viewby Karen AgesI

World Viewby Karen AgesI begin with a personal favourite and recommended highlight thismonth: the Bulgarian women's chorus known as Le Mystere desVoix Buigares. Presented by Small World Music, they'll performMay 13 at St. Andrew's Church (across from Roy Thomson Hall).Known for a sometimes piercing vocal style and tight harmonies, thisgroup was preceeded by a similar one formed in 1951 by PhilipKoutev , who began his country's tradition of preserving rural folksongs and dances, often composing directly for the group. Drawingon many of the same ideas, the current ensemble was formed about ayear later, known as the Bulgarian State Radio and Television FemaleVocal Choir, specializing in the rich folk tradition of Bulgarianculture, with songs about courtship, marriage, and everyday villagelife. They came to prominence in North America and elsewhere inthe late 1980's, after the release of tworecordings (Le Mystere des voix bulgares,vol. 1 & 2), produced by Swissmusicologist Marcel Cellier, who drewon over twenty years of recording sessions.This soon lead to the ensemble'sfirst US tour, attracting sell-out crowds.For the past twenty years the group'sconductor has been Dora Hristova, whosays they've become like a family, followinga rigorous rehearsal and touringschedule. Membership is highly selective;apparently there's an 18-year waitinglist to join! This concert is part oftheir eighth North American tour.Small World Music's South Asian musicseries continues this month withconcerts May 4 to 29. Check our listingsfor locations, andwww.smallworldmusic.com for more details: May 4, BageshreeVase (North Indian music featuring sarod, tabla and Kathak dance);May 8, Tasa with Monsoon (Toronto Indo-jazz ensembles); May 9,Zakir Hussain's Masters of Percussion (North Indian drumming andinstrumental music); May 15, Abhijit Pohankar (Toronto debut ofIndian classical/pop-crossover musician); May 24, Gundecha Brothers(India's leading exponents of the ancient genre of Dhrupad singing);and May 29, Autorickshaw (Toronto lndo-Jazz ensemble, recentlynamed Grand Prize winner of John Lennon Songwriting competiton's"world" category, will be joined by Ben Grossman on electro-acoustichurdy gurdy! The program will include works by Lebaneseoud player/composer Rabih Abou-Khalil, and fiddler OliverSchroer). Autorickshaw will also perform with the Toronto MendelssohnYouth Choir on May 3.Soundstreams presents its second annual Cool Drummings InternationalPercussion Festival, May 18-24, and naturally there is a"world" component here. "Latin AmericanRhythms" is the title of the May 22 concert, featuring the Mexicanpercussion ensemble Tambuco, with master frame drummer GlenVelez, a long-time collaborator with composer Steve Reich. And onMay 24, "World Beats" features music from India, Africa, LatinAmerica and elsewhere, with the Evergreen Club ContemporaryGamelan joined by Sundanese gamelan player Nano Suratno, vocalistsMaryem Tollar, Suba Sankaran and Jennifer Moore, percussionistsBill Brennan, Sal Ferreras, and others. The festival also presentsa number of free "Community Artist Overture" events preceedingmain events . May 18 at 1 pm steel pan virtuoso Liam Teague performswith Afropan (Distillery District); May 21, 6:30 pm, the RagingAsian Women Taiko Drummers perform at Bloor & University,and May 22, 6:30 pm, Capoeira Camara, a Brazilian martial-artsstyle dance troup, performs at the same location.May is the month in which we feature our annual "Canary Pages"choir directory , and it's also the month in which many choirs holdtheir end-of-season concert. The Echo Women's Choir presents"Spring Blossoms" in honour of Mother's Day, May 11. The 70-member choir sings an eclectic array of repertoire from France, theBalkans, Cape Breton and Newfoundland, arrangements of traditionalIndian songs and a song in Mandarin. The Toronto Jewish FolkChoir holds its 82nd annual spring concert on June 1. The choir celebratesIsrael's 60th anniversary with Hebrew songs and one in Ladino,and the program's centrepiece is a Yiddish work, Oifn Fidl (Onthe Fiddle) by Vladimir Heifetz, based on an autobiographical shortstory by the great Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem. Vocal soloistson the program are Miriam Eskin, soprano; Artour Razgoev, tenor;David Weiss, baritone; and Herman Rombouts, bass. An instrumentalensemble of young musicians is also featured .Quebecois folk band Genticorum launches its third CD, La Bibournoise,with a tour of Ontario and Quebec . The three-member ensemble(which sounds like a much larger group!) will be at Toronto'sFlying Cloud Folk Club onMay 4. Just back from atour of Australia, the bandhas also played at folk festivalsin Scotland, Malaysia,Denmark, Estonia, Egyptand Israel. Band membersare Alexandre de Grosbois­Garand (wooden flute, fretlessbass, fiddle, vocals),Yann Falquet (guitar, jew'sharp, vocals), and PascalGemme (fiddle, feet, vocals).Toronto avant-guard klezmerband Klezfactor celebratesthe "e-Release" ofits second album, Klezmachine,with a concert May19 at the Rex Hotel. They' re asking fans to bring along a digitalmemory device of their choice (USB flash drive, SD card, MP3player etc.) for direct download of the album for from one of theband's computers (bonus features include a podcast on the making ofthe album and some additional live tracks). For more, you'll bemailed a copy of the CD when they're ready.Genticorum - rollicking20 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COMDance Notes in (very) brief: The CanAsian International DanceFestival takes place at Harbourfront's Enwave Theatre, May 1-3(live music featured; see our listings andwww.canasiandancefestival.com). And, Sampradaya Dance Creationspresents new works by Lata Pada and Mavin Khoo, May 30 &31 at Harbourfront's Premiere Dance Theatre (vocalist Maryem·-;:,t' .... ·,;,-" ~ ' '7~ I.I I, ... ~. ..•the ~£!!l!f! postViolins, violas, cellos, and bowsComplete line of strings and accessoriesExpert repairs and rehairsCanada's largest stock of string musicFast mail order service

Tollar and flutist Catherine Potterfeatured); www .sampradaya.ca.A few non-concert notes: Musician/TVcomposer Donald Quanlaunches a new multi-culturalmusical instrument store! Musideumwill be housed at 40 lRichmond, and public openingcelebrations will include performancesand workshops allday May 25 and May 31. Also,the Ontario Council of FolkFestivals is accepting applicationsfor conference showcaseperformances. The deadline isMay 9, and the OCFF Conferencewill be held October 23-26in Ottawa. Applications areavailable at www.ocff.ca/awardsshowcasing.htm orwww .sonicbids.com. Phone: 613-560-5997 or 866-292-6233. And,Arabic music specialist andscholar George Sawa has producedhis first CD, titled The Artof the Early Egyptian Qanun. "Itfeatures an antique qanun (Egyptianpsaltery) from 1905 andtraditional percussion instruments",says Dr. Sawa. "Thepieces on the CD include l 7thcentury Ottoman court music,Egyptian sacred Sufi dances, andEgyptian dance and instrumentalpieces from the early 20th century."Congratulations Dr. Sawa!Karen Ages is an oboist who hasalso been a member of severalworld music ensembles.She can be reached atworldmusic@thewholenote. cornBLUEBRIDGEFESTIVAL6,7,8 June 20083 Days 20 EventsMusic, Poetry & SongSutton, Lake Simcoe,Ontariot~ ~www.bluebridgefestival.comTelephone 289.470.1099Presented by Ardeleana MusicBrenda Muller, Artiste DirectorTOWN OF @GEORGINA•·;. \. ' 'tLES MYSTERE DES VOIX BULGARESLegendary Vocal EnsembleTuesday, May 13, 8:00St. Andrew's Church, 73 Simcoe St.Tic~ets: in advance;it www. c;m;illworlrlm1 rc.ir mm& Soundscapes, 572 College St.These 24 groundbreaking womenopened tlie world's ears with ahypnoticchant that circled the globe.YOSHIDA BROTHERSShamisen SuperstarsSunday. May 25. 8:00Enwave Theatre231 Qµeens Qµay W.Tickets: advance@'116973-'1000A revolutionary reinvention of theancient three-stringed instrument,full of modern, fiery passion.small worldpmsonts,·, WWW.SMALLWORLD MUSIC.COM ·,.~ omARIOARTSCOUtlCIL)I-\ CONSEIL DES ARTS DE L'ONTARIOm~bim\i. tomA;.;toShareRontC;ir~by;·:e Hour corntorontoa rtsbou nci Ismallworld~-~MAY 1 - )UNE 7 2008WWW. THEWHOLENOTE. COM 21

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