About the Grant

$25,000 to support Songs of Stateless Peoples (MAP 2006) a program of old and new music inspired by Eastern European Jewish and Romani (“Gypsy”) traditions by Kitka, Michael Alpert, Rumen Sali Shopov and Dan Cantrell.

About the Project

In Songs of Stateless Peoples Kitka’s eight female vocalists will work closely with composer/performer Dan Cantrell; Yiddish vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and cultural historian Michael Alpert; and Balkan-Romani multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and arranger Rumen Sali Shopov to co-create an evening of new interpretations of Eastern European Jewish and Romani (“Gypsy”) folk songs. The entire second half of this program will be devoted to a new composition by Dan Cantrell, co-commissioned by the Jewish Music Festival and Kitka. Cantrell’s work will take its inspiration from the commonalities, contrasts, and intersections between these two ethnic groups’ musics, folklores, and tumultuous histories. Joining the principal collaborating artists for these performances will be a quartet of ethnic multi-instrumentalists (including Dushan Ristic, a California-based Serbian Rom violinist and vocalist from the popular European Romani band Kal) as well as costume, sound, and light designers. Movement will also be incorporated into the production as both Michael Alpert and Rumen Sali Shopov are highly respected dancers and dance teachers who are capable of communicating the inseparable connection between music and movement in their respective cultures.

Songs of Stateless Peoples will premiere with two performances at the March 2007 22nd Annual Jewish Music Festival in Berkeley. A variety of participatory community outreach activities will precede premiere performances. Subsequent performances will take place at two major annual events benefiting Voice of Roma’s humanitarian aid programs: An International Romani Day Celebration in San Francisco in April 2007 and the Herdeljezi Romani Festival in Sebastopol in May 2007.

Related Websites
Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble (Photo by Sherry Rayn Barnett)
Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble (Photo by Sherry Rayn Barnett)


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