The CTMD will release one per week for 10 weeks beginning May 1, 2013. Rare video recently digitized from CTMD’s archive documents the artistry of a number of New York’s most important immigrant musicians and dancers spanning the past 45 years.
Most of the artists presented in this series are (or were) based in the New York metropolitan area. Sadly, a number of these masters are no longer around, and so the CTMD Archive provides vital, and sometimes singular, documentation of their artistry and traditions.
Treasures of the Archives Upcoming Releases:
Week 1 (May 1) – Periklis Halkias:
Periklis Halkias (1908- 2005) was an Epirotik Greek clarinetist originally from the mountainous region of Pogoni in northwestern Greece. He emigrated from Greece to Astoria, Queens in 1963. Halkias received a National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1985.
Week 2 (May 8) – Los Pleneros de la 21:
Los Pleneros de la 21 is a group that performs the Afro-Puerto Rican traditions of bomba and plena. The group features Juan Gutierrez, a recipient of a NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1996.
Week 3 (May 15) – Dave Tarras:
Dave Tarras (1897-1989) was a renowned Jewish klezmer clarinetist from the Ukrainian province of Podolia, and is generally considered to be the musician/composer most responsible for the creation of a uniquely American klezmer sound. He received a NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1984. CTMD’s Archive holds the only known concert footage of Tarras.
Week 4 (May 22) – The Women of Shashmaqam:
The Queens-based Ensemble Shashmaqam features a group of leading Bukharian Jewish performers from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. They perform a wide repertoire of the musical traditions of Central Asia. A singer with the ensemble, Fatima Kuinova, received a NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1992.
Week 5 (May 29) – Popovich Brothers:
The Popovich Brothers were a Serbian-American tamburitza band from South Chicago. The ensemble featured brothers Ted and Adam Popovich. Adam Popovich (1909-2001) was a recipient of a NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1982.
Week 6 (June 5) – Liz Carroll:
Liz Carroll is a master Irish fiddler from Chicago. She was featured in a 1980’s CTMD program that created Cherish The Ladies, an ensemble that has gone on to become international ambassadors for the participation of women in Irish music. Carroll received a NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1994, and was nominated for a Grammy in 2009.
Week 7 (June 12) – Banat Romanian Orchestra:
A Queens-based, multi-generational ensemble of musicians from the Banat, a historical region that stretches between the borderlands of Serbia and Romania.
Week 8 (June 19) – Keba Cissoko: Keba Cissoko (1962-2003) was a master of the kora (gourd harp), and major exponent of the jaliya (hereditary singers/bard) tradition from Guinea Bissau.
Week 9 (June 26) – Ilias Kementzides:
Ilias Kementzides (1926-2006) was a Pontic Greek lyra player. He received a NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1989.
Week 10 (July 3) – Festival Shqiptar (Albanian Festival):
CTMD worked with community leaders to organize the first Festival Shqiptar in 1991. The Festival, which still occurs annually at Lehman College in the Bronx, features performers of rural and urban Albanian music and dance.
More at www.ctmd.org/archives.htm