San Francisco (California), USA – The Fall Season of the San Francisco World Music Festival 2006
will celebrate its Seventh Anniversary
September 24 – October 7, 2006.
For the past five years of the festival, the San Francisco World Music Festival
has commissioned musicians and artists from different countries to collaborate
together to create a new evening-length performance as the centerpiece premiere
of the festival. The commissioned centerpiece of 2006, premiering at the Fort
Mason Cowell Theater, is “Voices of Kurdistan”, a new collaborative work in
three parts, combining traditional and newly composed Kurdish music, poetry, and
dance by Kurdish artists from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.
Although the Kurds have existed for thousands of years with a unique cultural
identity, they have no country. Today, there are more than 35 million Kurdish
people in the world—geographically, politically, culturally, and artistically
divided between the four countries of Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey. They
continually search for unity in their sense of community and cultural identity.
“Voices of Kurdistan” will bring together artists from each of these regions for
the first time. They will explore their common threads of Kurdish ethnic
identity and ancestry through the singing of Kurdish poems and folk tales in
several Kurdish dialects and through new music based on Kurdish melodies, which
have regional variations.
On Friday, September 29th at 8 PM, at Cowell Theater, Voices of Kurdistan (PART
I), featuring Aynur and her ensemble, is the first of three focused on the
Kurdish musicians from Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. This evening will focus on
the Kurdish music from Turkey, featuring the music of rising superstar, Aynur,
with her ensemble. Making her US Debut, Aynur will sing in Kurmanchi, the
largest Kurdish dialect and in her regional dialect. Her ensemble includes
musicians from Turkey performing the blur (wooden flute), daf (frame drum),
tembur (lute), and viola.
On Saturday, September 30th at 8 PM, at Cowell Theater, Voices of Kurdistan
(PART II) will focus on the Kurdish musicians from Iran, Iraq, and Syria,
featuring the vocal and tanbur music of master Ali Akbar Moradi, coming to the
San Francisco Bay Area from his Kurdish city of Kermanshah, Iran; Bay Area female vocalist Rojan; vocalist Mico
Kendes from Syria making his US debut; and percussionists
Husseim Zawahy from Iraq and Kourosh Moradi from Iran. They will be joined by
Ulas Ozdemir, renowned Alevi musician from Turkey, also making his US debut. A
pre-performance, lecture-demonstration will be presented in the theater by Ulas Ozdemir. Participants will learn about the Alevi Sufi Philosophy, listen to his
music, and have an opportunity to learn about the Anatolian Alevi saz tradition.
On Sunday, October 1st at 7 PM, at Cowell Theater, Voices of Kurdistan (PART
III) will feature Aynur and all the musicians from all four regions of Kurdistan
together on stage. A pre-performance lecture will be presented in the theater by
Kurdish educator, Rashid Karadaghi. Participants will learn about the culture,
history, and politics of the Kurdish people.
On Monday, October 2nd at 8 PM, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Film
Screening Room, is a film screening: “AnTEAcipation”, directed by Ilkay Nisanci.
This film depicts the role of tea growing on the culture of the Laz people in
the N.E. Black Sea region of Turkey. Beginning with the lush green fields of
Artvin/ Arhavi where the tea is grown, to sipping the tea from the cup, the film
takes us on a journey to reveal what tea growing brought to the Laz people and
what it took away from them. Through gorgeous images, songs and interviews with
family members and villagers who work the fields, the story unfolds in a gradual
and personal way. Prior to the film at 7 PM, Program Director of the festival,
Kutay Derin Kugay, will host a lecture-discussion about the culture and
traditions of the Laz People and an update about the Yayla Festival.
Continuing with its efforts to introduce cultures, music and artists to the larger
community we will include several community events… On Sunday, September 24th at
2 PM (1:30 PM Lecture), at the Asian Art Museum, Bay Area ensemble TABLA RASA
performs with ALICE FONG YU PERCUSSION TROUPE, Chinese percussion elementary
school students from the Alice Fong Yu Alternative School. This is the
culminating performance of a Residency Program where percussionist Jim Santi
Owen taught the students Indian rhythms on Chinese percussion instruments.
On Monday, September 25th at 2 PM, we present a LIGHTHOUSE FOR THE BLIND &
VISUALLY IMPAIRED COMMUNITY CONCERT, featuring Bay Area local Kurdish musician
Ozden Oztoprak, performing a free concert for the Bay Area blind community and
From October 4th – 6th, at the My Opera Institute in Chinatown, SF, we present
THE ART OF CANTONESE OPERA. This series of lecture-demonstrations will culminate
in a recital of a famous Cantonese opera scene, performed by some of the Bay
Area’s most talented singers and musicians. Specific dates and times of each
Cantonese Opera focused event include: On October 4th at 7 PM a Lecture on
HISTORY, MUSIC THEORY, & STORYLINES; On October 5th at 2 PM a
Lecture-Demonstration on MAKE-UP & COSTUMES; On October 6th at 8 PM (6 PM
Dinner) an OPERA RECITAL & DINNER experience; & On October 7th at 2 PM a
CANTONESE OPERA WORKSHOP.
FORT MASON CENTER, San Francisco
Box Office: 415 345-7575
YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS
701 Mission St @ 3rd, San Francisco
Information: 415 978-2787
ASIAN ART MUSEUM
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco
Information: 415 581-3500
MY OPERA INSTITUTE
138 Waverly Place, 3rd Floor, San Francisco
Information: 415 608-0750
LightHouse for the Blind
and Visually Impaired
214 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
Information: 415 431-1481 (TTY: 415 431-4572)
Author: World Music Central News Department
World music news from the editors at World Music Central