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Around The World Concert Series

 

Standing Rock Cultural Arts presents

The Around The World Music Series featuring

~~~Bandura: The Soul of Ukraine~~~


A solo recital by bandurist/vocalist Oleh Mahlay

-with a showing of the documentary film "Music of Survival: The Story of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus" by Orest Sushko

8:00 p.m., Saturday, January 13, 2018
North Water Street Gallery
300 N. Water Street, Suite H
Kent, Ohio

$10 suggested donation (or pay what you can)
preceded by 7:30 p.m. meet-and-greet featuring light food and drinks

The 60-string bandura, a zither-like instrument with a crystalline tone, has been called “The Soul of Ukraine.” Formerly played by itinerant blind bards called kobzari, who served as the conscience of their nation, the bandura and its tradition were nearly extinguished over the past century due to rigorous Soviet oppression and the disruption of the Second World War. Bandura performer/vocalist Oleh Mahlay, a proud inheritor of this tradition who serves as the artistic director and conductor of the North American-based Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus, will introduce listeners to this magical instrument and its compelling history.

As a special bonus, the evening will also include a showing of a documentary film entitled "Music of Survival: The Story of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus" (dir. Orest Sushko, 2014; 60 min.), which illustrates the bandurist as bard, as seer, as spiritual emissary for the soul of the Ukrainian people, then and now, in Ukraine and beyond. This film, which took 10 years to produce, was a labor of love for Sushko, a Hollywood re-recording mixer who has mixed seven films for director David Cronenberg, as well as films by Barry Sonnenfeld and Guillermo del Toro. It took three more years to be able to screen the documentary in Ukraine, as the filmmaker was determined to get it translated properly into Ukrainian; it was shown to wide acclaim in cities throughout Ukraine in the fall of 2017.

About the performer:

Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1969 to Ukrainian immigrants, Oleh Mahlay began to study the piano at the age of five. He studied violin, music theory and form at the Cleveland Music School Settlement where he received scholarships for his studies. Mahlay also studied piano with Dr. George Cherry of Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. His violin teachers included Elmer Seltzer of the Cleveland Orchestra and Jeannette Drinkold-Meyer, a student of renowned violinist Josef Gingold.

Beginning in his early teens, Mr. Mahlay earned outstanding marks at various competitions on both the violin and the piano. At the 1986 Baldwin Wallace Conservatory Summer Music Clinic in Berea, Ohio, he won the piano competition, performing Mozart's Piano Concerto in G Major, K. 453 with orchestra. He repeated this feat the next year in which he performed Beethoven's Piano Concert No. 1 in C Major. He also played in various youth orchestra at the Baldwin Wallace Preparatory Department, and in 1987 was honored as the Outstanding Preparatory Student of the Year. That same year he was also the piano soloist in Beethoven's Choral Fantasy with the Parma Symphony Orchestra. He was also a member of the first violin section of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra in its inaugural season.

Mahlay received a bachelor of arts in music history and literature from Case Western Reserve University. He studied voice and piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He served as the concertmaster of the University Circle Chamber Orchestra for four years. During his undergraduate studies, the university awarded him the Kennedy Prize for Creative Achievement in Music, and the Charles E. Clemens Prize for Talent and Accomplishment in Music. He is also a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda music honorary society at CIM. and CWRU. Mr. Mahlay was a magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate.

In 1988, Mr. Mahlay attended the Bolzano Institute of Music in Bolzano, Italy. There, he concentrated on piano chamber works and accompanying. The previous two years he participated in a choral conducting seminar in Edmonton, Canada. This workshop was run by Maestro Wolodymyr Kolesnyk, formerly of the Kyiv Opera and artistic director of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus for over a decade.

At the age of 16, Mr. Mahlay became the choir director of St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Parma, Ohio. This position was held for many years by the late Hryhory Kytasty - Ukrainian composer, bandura player, Artistic Director of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus, and musical mentor to Oleh Mahlay. This post gave Mahlay the opportunity at a very young age to explore and gain insights into the art of choral conducting and the mystical sounds of Slavic sacred music. Mr. Mahlay also has orchestral conducting experience, once serving as the assistant conductor for the Parma Symphony Orchestra.

Mahlay began his bandura studies at the age of 15. In 1988, he began his long association with the annual Kobzarska Sich Bandura Camp in Emlenton, Pennsylvania, where he has served as conductor, lecturer, and music director over the years. He became a member of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus in 1987.

Mahlay served as the ensemble's concertmaster from 1991 to 1992, became a member of the artistic council in 1992, and that same year was given the responsibilities of assistant conductor. He participated in the Chorus' two triumphant tours of Ukraine in 1991 and 1994, and had his premier as a conductor of the group in 1994.

His six recordings with the UBC, "Ukrainian Steppe," "A Bandura Christmas," "Golden Echoes of Kyiv: The Divine Liturgy," "European Tour: Historic Live Recordings," "Bayda," and "1659" have earned artistic acclaim, and feature some of the conductor's own compositions and arrangements.

Mr. Mahlay is a practicing attorney in the Cleveland, Ohio region. He continues to teach voice and bandura, lectures frequently on various musical topics, and conducts workshops throughout North America and remains active in the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus sponsored Kobzarska Sich bandura and vocal camp held in August every year.

During his first tenure with the UBC from 1996-2008, Mahlay directed the ensemble in seven concert tours throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Ukraine. Collaborative efforts with the Vesnivka Women's Choir of Toronto and Metropolitan Opera Soloist Paul Plishka also highlighted Mahlay's first term in addition to many special performances including the Stratford Summer Music Festival (2004) and at the Baldwin Wallace College World Music Series (2007).

Maestro Mahlay returned to the UBC as Artistic Director and Conductor on August 1, 2012.

Oleh Mahlay websites:
http://bandura.org/ukrainian-bandurist-chorus-conductor/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleh_Mahlay

Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus websites:
http://bandura.org/
https://www.facebook.com/ukrainianbanduristchorus/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_Bandurist_Chorus

"Music of Survival" websites:
http://musicofsurvival.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Music-of-Survival-The-Story-of-the-Ukrainian-Bandurist-Chorus-101435586646240/



The North Water Street Gallery is conveniently located just a block north of the intersection of Main and Water Streets in Kent, Ohio, with free street parking on both sides of the street. Seating is limited, so arrive early for the best seats.

Established in 2015, the "Around the World" Music Series is a concert series presenting outstanding musicians from diverse cultures in an intimate setting.

Concerts are held approximately every other month in the new theater space of the North Water Street Gallery in downtown Kent, Ohio.

The series is an initiative of Standing Rock Cultural Arts, and is curated by ethnomusicologist David Badagnani. The series is made possible by the support of Drs. Terry E. and Sara Stone Miller and the Ohio Arts Council.


 

 

Standing Rock Cultural Arts'
"Around the World" Music Series presents

Bill Crouse: Songs, Drumming, and Dances of the Seneca Nation
with special guest dancer Ashlyn Crouse


8:00 p.m., Saturday, November 11, 2017

North Water Street Gallery
300 N. Water Street, Suite H
Kent, Ohio

$10 suggested donation (or pay what you can)
preceded by 7:30 p.m. meet-and-greet featuring light food and drinks

In collaboration with the Kent State University Native American Student Association (NASA), Standing Rock Cultural Arts' "Around the World" Music Series is proud to present Bill Crouse, a talented and engaging musician, storyteller, dancer, and visual artist of the Seneca Nation, the largest of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy.

For his performance, which is suitable for all ages, Crouse will share a selection of songs and dances from his Seneca heritage, accompanying himself on a traditional water drum, also explaining the historical and spiritual significance and use of music in his culture's traditional circle.

Joining the performance for several selections will be Crouse's daughter Ashlyn, who is a talented dancer. As a special bonus, Crouse will bring several of his paintings based on Seneca traditions to display.

About the artist:

Bill Crouse is an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians. He is a member of the Hawk Clan, and a Faith Keeper of the Coldspring Longhouse on the Allegany Territory in Cattaraugus County, western New York. Mr. Crouse was formerly employed as Coordinator for the Seneca Language Department on the Allegany Territory. He is also a freelance artist and curriculum developer, and leader of a Seneca dance group called the Allegany River Dancers. The Allegany River Dancers have traveled and performed extensively throughout the North America and Europe. Mr. Crouse has also served as a consultant for the American Indian Dance Theater, and was featured in the documentary "American Indian Dance Theatre: Dances For the New Generations," which aired on PBS' "Great Performances" in 1993. Although he is better known as a powwow MC and head singer of the Allegany River Indian Dancers, Crouse’s acrylic paintings, watercolors, and sketches show another side of his expression.

With a proud and rich history, the Seneca (who call themselves Onöndowága, meaning "Great Hill Place") were the largest of six Native American nations that comprised the Iroquois Confederacy, a democratic government predating the United States Constitution. At the time of formation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, they were the one of the league's original five nations living furthest west, and were thus referred to as the Keepers of the Western Door. Other nations called them Seneca after their principal village of Osininka. The Seneca Nation of Indians currently has a total enrolled population of nearly 8,000 citizens.

Bill Crouse website:
http://senecanation.com/artists/bill-crouse/


 

Standing Rock Cultural Arts'"Around the World" Music Series presents

15th annual Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration featuring

~~~Mariachi Santa Cecilia~~~
8:00 p.m., Saturday, October 28, 2017


North Water Street Gallery
300 N. Water Street, Suite H
Kent, Ohio

$10 suggested donation (or pay what you can)
preceded by 7:30 p.m. meet-and-greet featuring light food and drinks

Named after the patron saint of musicians, Northeast Ohio's premier mariachi band will make their Kent debut with a performance of traditional and modern songs of Mexico, using trumpet, vihuela, guitarrón, accordion, and vocals. The band's performance is presented in conjunction with Standing Rock Cultural Arts' 15th annual Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) art exhibition, and the 25th anniversary of the North Water Street Gallery. Traditional Mexican foods (including tacos provided by Taco Tonto's) will be available for a nominal charge.

The art exhibition will feature paintings, prints, collage, puppets, masks, and photographs by Vince Packard, David Jerome Bragg, Nikki Puccini, Emma Anderson, Elizabeth Lax, Chelsea Blackerby, Joshua Bentley, Trey Berry, and more.

The evening's festivities will begin at 7 p.m. and end at 10 p.m., with the band's performance taking place from 8 p.m. until approximately 9 p.m., concluding at about 8:45 p.m. with a parade down North Water Street to the Kent Gazebo.

Mariachi Santa Cecilia Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/mariachi.santacecilia.1

The North Water Street Gallery is conveniently located just a block north of the intersection of Main and Water Streets in Kent, Ohio, with free street parking on both sides of the street. Seating is limited, so arrive early for the best seats.


 

Standing Rock Cultural Arts'
"Around the World" Music Series presents

~~~Baba David Coleman and friends~~~
(music, songs, and stories by one of the pioneers of African and Afro-Caribbean
drumming in the U.S.)

8:00 p.m., Saturday, October 14, 2017
North Water Street Gallery
300 N. Water Street, Suite H
Kent, Ohio

$10 suggested donation (or pay what you can)
preceded by 7:30 p.m. meet-and-greet featuring light food and drinks

Master drummer, instrument builder, and teacher Baba David Coleman lived in Kent for many years and has been a mentor to generations of students, providing training, encouragement, and wisdom. Supported by members of his Iroko Drum and Dance Society, this engaging performer's presentation will include songs, stories, and drumming from Africa and the African diaspora, using djembe, congas, ashiko, shekere, and bells. The performance will also include a demonstration of the batá, a set of three "talking drums" originating among the Yoruba people of Nigeria, whose intricate cross rhythms are used to commune with divinities known as orishas.

An in-depth profile of Coleman will be featured in the Fall 2017 issue of "Around Kent" magazine.

Baba David Coleman Facebook pages:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Baba-David-Coleman/136390656394070
https://www.facebook.com/david.coleman.3388
https://www.facebook.com/baba.coleman

 


 

 

Standing Rock Cultural Arts'
"Around the World" Music Series presents

"AppalAsia"
-Mimi Jong, erhu, zhonghu, and vocals;
-Jeff Berman, lap dulcimer;
-Susan Powers, banjo and vocals

8:00 p.m., Saturday, September 23, 2017
North Water Street Gallery
300 N. Water Street, Suite H
Kent, Ohio

$10 suggested donation (or pay what you can)
preceded by 7:30 p.m. meet-and-greet featuring light food and drinks

AppalAsia was formed in 2009 by Mimi Jong, Jeff Berman, and Susan Powers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Together they have created an evocative and ambitious performance language for erhu (and zhonghu), lap dulcimer, banjo, and vocals that combines the influence of their folk roots with original composition and inspired improvisation.

The individual members of Appalasia each have extensive histories of collaboration, performing, and recording with artists including Andy Statman, Tony Trischka, Pasang Dolma, Alash, Susan McKeown, Karen Han, Robert Een, Min Xiao Fen, Samir Chatterjee, Linda Thompson, Osei Korankye, Devilish Merry, Arthur Russell, and Huang Xiang, to name just a few.

About the artists:

MIMI JONG (erhu, zhonghu, and vocals) has a diverse musical background acquired from growing up in Indonesia, being educated in Germany, and immigrating to the United States. Since the age of eleven she has been performing on the erhu, a traditional Chinese bowed instrument with two strings, also playing the instrument's cousins the zhonghu and gaohu. By moving beyond tradition and embracing the erhu's versatility, Mimi has performed with jazz, folk, and classical musicians, conducted educational workshops, and performed at music festivals.

With the mission of nurturing cross-cultural connections through art, Mimi has co-founded multiple projects. Partnering with artists from China, Mimi was able to introduce traditional Chinese dance and music to schools in the Western Pennsylvania region. Along with Appalasia, she was a featured presenter and performer at the Festival of Woman Composers conference at Indiana University Pennsylvania. Mimi has also been a returning faculty member of Hundington County Art Council's Folk College. With the group Silk Sound, Mimi has collaborated with various jazz musicians and tabla master Samir Chatterjee to develop a new voice from ancient and contemporary Asian melodies. Demonstrating her open mind and musical flexibility, Mimi collaborated with Persian santur master Dr. Dariush Saghafi and tombak master Mahmoud Tehrani, creating hauntingly beautiful music that transcends cultures and genres. Bringing erhu to modern movement, Mimi’s cross-disciplinary involvements include collaboration with the Mary Miller Dance Company and artist Jennifer Myers' theatrical productions, creating ground-breaking cinematic performances.

Mimi was a 2014 recipient of a "Master Artists and Tradition Bearers Award" from the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area. In addition, she serves as the music program director for the Silk Screen Arts and Cultural Organization and is the board President and founding member of HarmoniZing, where her contributions include recruiting renowned artists for local concerts and residencies and providing a platform to encourage diversity in Pittsburgh’s music scene. In 2017 she participated in the 2017 Silkroad Global Musician Workshop at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where she had an opportunity to perform in an ensemble directed by pipa master Wu Man.

JEFF BERMAN (lap dulcimer) is a multi-instrumentalist, improvising artist, and composer whose work reflects his global musical vision. A native of New York City who now lives in Pittsburgh, he has developed a genre-extending concept on mountain dulcimer, vibraphone, and percussion, that has allowed him to collaborate across stylistic boundaries with a diverse group of artists from across the globe. Josef Woodward has described his music as “a worldly folk-jazz”, and the Los Angeles Times wrote “Berman bends a chord or strums his Appalachian dulcimer…to stunning effect”. Jazziz has written “...hypnotic vibes work...Berman not only plays vibes, he sounds like he created the instrument,” and music journalist Bill Milkowski has called Jeff’s writing “...hauntingly beautiful...”

Jeff has performed internationally both as a solo artist and as a member of various ensembles. Some of the artists he has performed, recorded, and toured with include Andy Statman, Tony Trischka, Robert Een, Susan Mckeown, Lindsey Horner, Osei Koranke, Paul Bley, Linda Thompson, and choreographers Yin Mei and Gia Cacalano to name just a few. He has three recordings on the Palmetto Records label featuring his own compositions, and his music has been used for performance, dance, theater, and film, including the Academy Award-nominated documentary "In Our Water."

Jeff is rostered with the Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts as a Teaching Artist and has conducted residencies and professional development sessions across the Western Pennsylvania region. These experiences have ranged from creating world rhythm ensembles with elementary school students, Aesthetic Education workshops with middle school students, lecture/demonstrations on cross-cultural collaboration with college students, and workshops in improvisation for arts educators.

SUSAN POWERS (banjo and vocals) grew up just outside Pittsburgh in a family with deep roots in the musical landscape of Western Pennsylvania. She has been singing and playing banjo since high school. Both of her parents were sacred singers, and both her grandfather and her great grandfather were fiddle players who performed for local square dances in the Appalachian "old time" tradition. Powers is a founding member of the group Devilish Merry, where she pioneered the use of the five-string banjo in Celtic music. The group has released three recordings featuring her playing, singing and song writing. Powers has adapted her unique ‘claw hammer’ style to blues, rock and pop music, and is acknowledged as a songwriter whose personal imagery evokes the Pennsylvania landscape. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has written “...the primary element that makes Devilish Merry unusual is the prominent banjo by Ms. Powers... her polyrhythmic...clawhammer style [explores] inside the rhythm... an Afro-blues style applied to Celtic music...”. The Pittsburgh City Paper has written, “[her songs]... convey a sense of drama... her approach to the banjo - a bluesy variation on claw hammer plucking - makes her an original.”

Her music has been used in modern and traditional dance, performance, theater, and film, including the Smithsonian exhibit “Lewis and Clark: Clash of Empires,” Roger Sayre's documentary about “outsider” folk-artist Howard Finster, and Jerry Starr's stage play “Buried: The Sago Mine Disaster.”

Powers has extended her educational outreach to “Beyond Appalachia,” a workshop and residency/performance experience that highlights the influence of Appalachian music, from its roots in the British Isles and Africa to its branches in country, bluegrass, blues, jazz, and rock music. She conducts lectures and demonstrations in schools and universities on the aesthetics of cross-cultural collaboration and creativity, and she was a featured presenter and performer at the last Festival of Women Composers conference at Indiana University Pennsylvania.

AppalAsia website:
http://appalasia.com/

AppalAsia Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/AppalAsia-303865849315/

AppalAsia CDs:
https://store.cdbaby.com/Artist/AppalAsia

 


 

Standing Rock Cultural Arts is pleased to announce the third season (2017-2018) of its "Around the World" Music Series, which will once again feature an array of outstanding performers from a wide variety of cultures. All performances take place at the North Water Street Gallery (located at 300 North Water Street, Suite H in downtown Kent, Ohio) and start at 8 p.m., preceded by 7:30 p.m. meet-and-greet featuring refreshments.

Saturday, September 23, 2017 - AppalAsia (Pittsburgh-based trio merging the musical traditions of China and the Appalachian Mountains, using erhu, lap dulcimer, and banjo)
Saturday, October 14, 2017 - Baba David Coleman and friends (music, songs, and stories by one of the pioneers of African and Afro-Caribbean drumming in the U.S.)
Saturday, October 28, 2017 - 15th annual Día de Muertos celebration featuring Mariachi Santa Cecilia (4-piece mariachi band performing traditional and popular music of Mexico)
Saturday, November 11, 2017 - Bill Crouse (songs, drumming, dances, and stories of the Seneca Nation, the largest of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois Confederacy)
Saturday, January 13, 2018 - Oleh Mahlay (songs and history of the 60-string bandura, a zither-like instrument that has been called "The Soul of Ukraine")
Saturday, June 23, 2018 - Samuel Salsbury (Indian classical music performed on the rich-toned sarangi, a bowed instrument with 39 strings, with tabla accompaniment)

The North Water Street Gallery is conveniently located just a block north of the intersection of Main and Water Streets in Kent, Ohio, with free street parking on both sides of the street. Seating is limited, so arrive early for the best seats.

Established in 2015, the "Around the World" Music Series is a concert series presenting outstanding musicians from diverse cultures in an intimate setting.

Concerts are held approximately every other month in the new theater space of the North Water Street Gallery in downtown Kent, Ohio.

The series is an initiative of Standing Rock Cultural Arts, and is curated by ethnomusicologist David Badagnani.

Standing Rock Cultural Arts is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are invite and welcome sponsors to help cover expenses for our art and educational activities. Donations are tax deductible.

Checks payable to:

SRCA
300 N. Water St., Suite H
Kent, OH 44240

 

 

 

 




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