2007 Homegrown Concerts
Online Archive of Past Homegrown Concerts
All of the materials from the Homegrown Concert Series
are available to visitors in the Folklife Reading Room. Selected materials
online as digital versions are available.
December 12, 2007 at 12 noon
-- traditional string band music from West Virginia
the flyer essay
View the webcast Time 1:1:31
The West Virginia stringband, Gandydancer, performs
spirited old-time mountain music on a variety of stringed instruments.
Five musicians, from various counties in West Virginia, play driving
fiddle tunes and banjo pieces, and sing ballads, folksongs, and old-time
spirituals in four-part harmony. The band takes its name from nineteenth-century
railroad workers; much of their material emanates from that era. Ron
Mullennex, Dave Bing, Mark Payne, Jim Martin and Gerry Milnes represent
lifetimes of experience collecting and performing traditional music.
They pride themselves on bringing to life unusual, old, and rare selections
at their performances.
November 15, 2007 at 12 noon
Hoop Dances by Dallas Chief Eagle and Jasmine Pickner
(Rosebud and Crow Creek Sioux tribes of South Dakota)
the webcast Time 0:58:50
Two first place World Hoop Dance Champions have joined together to
model and dance a vision of male and female balance, harmony and respect
as traditionally practiced by their ancestors. Dallas Chief Eagle,
Rosebud Sioux tribal member, and Jasmine Pickner of the Crow Creek
Sioux tribe are both world-traveled hoop dancers. They share with audiences
an ancient hoop dance story outlining sacred hoop wisdom.
Chief Eagle is a member of the Rosebud Lakota (Sioux) Nation
and master of the Hoop Dance. For Dallas, the Hoop Dance is more
than a dance; it is a way of keeping Lakota traditions alive. The
ancient and honorable tradition of the Hoop Dance explains the Plains
Indian world view as the hoops intersect and grow into ever more
complex shapes, always and forever returning to the beginning. His
twenty-seven hoops represent the different colors and sizes of trees,
which, to Dallas, also represent the diversity of life. His ornate
dance regalia itself resembles a tree, with animals on its branches
- a porcupine roach and eagle feather on his head, fur on his legs
and dragonfly beadwork on his "trunk." As with the Lakota word can'
gleska which means both "spotted hoop" and "tree," the two come together
closely for Dallas, who demonstrates the power of this symbolism
in his intricate hoop dance.
Jasmine Pickner, a member of the Crow Creek Lakota
tribe, was encouraged to dance from an early age by her grandmother,
Theresa Red Bear. Red Bear brought her family to Mitchell's Corn Palace
during the 1950s and 60s to perform. At about age 7, Pickner began
hoop dancing, and has become a leading proponent of the form. She is
a member of the reigning World Champion hoop dancing team and the adopted
daughter of Dallas Chief Eagle. Pickner credits the dancers she saw
growing up with enhancing her interest in dancing, as well as the family
tradition. She is an accomplished performer, having spent the past
eight summers dancing each weekend at the Alex Johnson hotel in Rapid
October 17, 2007 at 12 noon
Ghent and Friends -- sacred lap steel guitar
Read the flyer
webcast Time 1:05:00
Aubrey Ghent has been playing guitar and sacred lap steel for over
thirty-eight years. The steel guitar was first introduced to the
House of God Church by Aubrey's uncle, Willie Eason, during the 1940s.
Willie taught Aubrey's father, Henry Nelson, who played for more
than 50 years in the church and around the United States. Aubrey
was greatly influenced by his uncle and father. He began learning
the instrument at age six and playing for church services at age
nine. He has continued his great family legacy of the lap steel style
for thirty-eight years and has been named the "Master Lap Steel Guitarist." Ghent
recorded on the Arhoolie roots label for six years and has several
recorded selections on each of the label's Sacred
Steel volumes. For more information, view the Aubrey Ghent website.
Wednesday, May 23 Coolidge Auditorium
Dáithí Sproule, singer
and guitarist & Robert
Watt, Highland bagpiper
the flyer essay
the webcast Time 0:55:30
Dáithí Sproule is
a guitarist and singer of traditional songs in English and Irish.
He was born and raised in Derry City in the north of Ireland and
moved to Dublin in 1968 to attend university. In the late sixties
and early seventies, through his work with the group Skara Brae,
he was one of first guitarists to develop DADGAD tuning for Irish
music. From 1974 to 1978 Dáithí played most nights
of the week in sessions and clubs in Dublin, frequenting the Four
Seasons in Capel Street and performing with many great musicians,
such as John and James Kelly, Sean Casey, Pádraig Mac Mathúna,
Dáithí Connaughton, Paddy O'Brien and Catherine McEvoy.
In 1978 Dáithí left his editing job in Dublin to
play and record in the U.S. with Paddy O'Brien and James Kelly.
A second album followed a year or two later, by which time Dáithí had
settled in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. Here there was a thriving music
and dance scene,and Dáithí played with the Northern
Star Céilí Band, Miltown na nGael and Peat Moss and
the Turf Briquettes. The 1980's also brought recordings
with Tommy Peoples, Séamus and Mánus McGuire, Peter
Ostroushko and Sean O'Driscoll. It was at this time that two longer-term
partnerships also originated. One was the group Trian,
with Liz Carroll and Billy McComiskey. The other was a friendship
with Frankie Kennedy and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, which
led to a long involvement with the band Altan.
Dáithí has toured all over the world with Altan,
including appearances at the Albert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and
the Sydney Opera House. In addition to his performing life Dáithí is
a composer of tunes, many of which have been recorded, and a writer
of academic articles on early Irish poetry, legend and history
and of short stories in the Irish language. He has taught courses
on Old Irish, Celtic culture and Irish traditional music at University
College, Dublin, the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul and
the University of Minnesota. In recent years Dáithí has
toured and recorded with Randal Bays and with the trio, Fingal,
which includes Randal and James Keane. For more information, see the Dáithí Sproule website.
in 1978, Robert Watt was brought up in the small
town of Maghera, Co. Derry at the foot of the Sperrin Mountains.
With a keen ear for pipes from a very young age, he was first introduced
to the instrument in the winter of 1985 in his local pipe band,
Tamlaght O'Crilly. It was here that he took his first instruction
from Pipe Major David Taylor and former Pipe Major of the band,
John Crockett. Both of them were strict and disciplined instructors.
It is no doubt this discipline that accounts for the precision
and finger dexterity in Robert's playing. In 1998 he took an interest
in solo piping and had the good fortune of meeting current mentor,
Pipe Major Norman Dodds, another highly respected teacher and prolific
prize winner from the 1960s through the 1980s. This was Roberts
first introduction to Piobaireachd (the classical music
of the bagpipe), and in a short time his name was appearing regularly
in prize lists at home and in Scotland. In 2000 he competed for
the Silver Medal prize at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban and
at the Northern Meeting in Inverness. He surprised many by winning
this prestigious medal on his first attempt at Inverness and subsequently
took the runner up spot at Oban,again making history as the first
person in Ireland to win the Silver Medal. On the strength of these
triumphs he gained access to compete for the much coveted Highland
Society of London's Gold Medal. The contest, limited to 30 competitors,
is both recognized by the piping world as being the top prize and
also every piper's dream. Robert achieved a very creditable third
place in the Gold Medal competition at Oban in 2003.
April 25, 2007 at 12noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building
The Sama Ensemble -- Traditional Iranian music and dance
webcast Time 0:55:30
The Sama Ensemble, founded by Ali Analouei, was formed in 1998 from
students of the Center for Classical Persian Music (CPCM). The Ensemble (whose name references the best known of the ritual dances
of the Sufis, characterized by whirling) has performed under the auspices
of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the National Geographic
Society, several Universities, and venues such as the Kennedy Center
for the Performing Arts, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Since its founding,
the Ensemble has attracted professional performers, including Naser Khorasani,
a renowned musician and Daf player, who joined Dr. Analouei as co-director
of the Sama Ensemble in 2005. This event was jointly sponsored with the Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division.
Ali Reza Analouei (Ensemble
Master Tombak) was
born in Esfahan, Iran. His grandfather, Naser Ali was a renowned Master
of Sufism. Inspired by this example, Dr. Analouei has undertaken
the lifetime quest to amplify and apply the concepts of Sufism, Erfaan,
and music within his playing, his teaching, and his personal development.
He has always been inspired by, and closely followed the work and style
of Iran's late Master of Tombak, Jahangeer Malek. Over the past two
decades Dr. Analouei has played internationally in many concerts and
ensembles, including various radio and television shows. He is the
founder of the Sama Ensemble, and is currently a member of several
important music groups based in the Mid-Atlantic U.S. At the age of
ten he began playing Tombak, earning him a prize from Tehran high schools,
and then became a member of the Kakh-e Javanaan (youth club) Ensemble.
A member of the American Psychological Association, Naser
Khorasani (daf) is a Psychologist specializing in music
therapy and meditation. He was born in Tabriz, Iran in 1971. He is
a highly respected Master of Persian Classical Music Theory and Practice,
and especially of the Daf, which is the musical instrument most
used in Persian spiritual practices, as well as the Tanboor.
Other members of the ensemble include: Souri Shirzadi, Giti
Abrishami, Hasti Esmaeli, Nazanin Zolriasatein, Audrey Elizabeth, Haydeh
Eradat, Puneh Susan Hosseini , Neda Hosseini, Behnaz Bibizadeh, Steve
Bloom, and Faribandeh Fayzmehr.
21, 2007 at Noon (Special Event for Women's History
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building
Flory Jagoda and Friends
-- Traditional Sephardic music from the former Yugoslavia and the world
the flyer essay
View the webcast Time 0:52:21
Related content: Read the blog, "Homegrown Plus: Flory Jagoda," bringing together three concerts and an oral history with embedded video in Folklife Today.
Jagoda grew up in the Sephardic tradition in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in a musical
family of which she is the sole survivor. A performer for much of her
life, she is intent on preserving and passing on the traditions of her
heritage so that they may not be lost and tragically forgotten. She has
performed throughout the United States and abroad as a soloist and with
her family, and she has also inspired, taught, and performed with most
of the other groups in the U.S. who perform Sephardic songs. Her four
recorded albums, Kantikas
di mi Nona, Memories of Sarajevo, La Nona Kanta,
and Arvoliko (released in 2006), along with her live performances,
are acts of cultural preservation and salvage in the face of repeated
destruction. Flory's repertoire is vast, encompassing Sephardic
songs, songs in Serbo-Croatian from the former Yugoslavia, Italian folk
songs, and her own compositions, many of which have become widely known.
Her many honors for cultural preservation include a National Heritage
Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002.
Howard Bass has performed throughout the United States
as a soloist and has been a guest accompanist with vocal and instrumental
ensembles throughout the Washington area and beyond. A founding member
of La Rondinella, with whom he made three recordings for the Dorian label,
he has also performed and recorded with HESPERUS, the Smithsonian Chamber
Players, the Folger Consort, the Baltimore Consort, and the Choral Arts
Society of Washington, among others.
Susan Gaeta is a vocalist and guitarist
born in Hartford, Connecticut. For eight years she performed jazz and
American folk music as a soloist in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she
also studied and performed Argentine folk music accompanied by classical
guitarist Oscar Casares. Susan recently completed an apprenticeship with Flory
Jagoda. Susan performs nationally as a soloist, as a member the
Sephardic group, Colors of the Flame, and as a guest accompanist for
2007 at Noon (Special Event for African-American History
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building
Read the flyer essay
the webcast Time 01:02:58
Springing from a group that sang Christmas
carols in the Washington area in 1990, Reverb has become one
of the area's outstanding gospel groups. Two-time winners of the
Washington Area Music Association's Wammie Award as the best gospel/inspirational
harmony group, Reverb has performed along the East Coast and
has toured East and Southern Africa, the Persian Gulf and the Caribbean.
They have been featured on C-SPAN, BET, Fox Morning News, the WUSA Morning
Show and other television programs. The group is also known for singing
the National Anthem for the Washington Nationals baseball team at RFK
Stadium, the WNBA Washington Mystics at the Verizon Center, and the NFL
Philadelphia Eagles at Veterans Stadium. In 2004, they released "The
Mission Statement," a CD which Washington Post music critic Mike Joyce
describes as "winning mixture of vocal dexterity, impressive craftsmanship
and heartfelt emotion."