October 16, 2003 American Folklife Center Announces Fall Concerts

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Martha Kennedy (202) (202) 707-9115

Native American music will be featured in the last of this fall’s American Folklife Center concert series, “Homegrown: The Music of America,” while Eastern European, Indian and Colombian ensembles from the metropolitan Washington area will take center stage for the Library of Congress Capital Roots series. All of these concerts are free of charge and open to the public.

The highlight of the fall season will be a special evening concert on Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. by folk icon Odetta, at which she will receive a Living Legend Award from the Library in recognition of her role as one of the most influential folk artists of the past 50 years.

The Capital Roots concerts will be held in Madison Hall, adjacent to the first floor lobby of the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue S.E., once a month from noon to 1 p.m., October through December. All concerts are on Thursdays. The closest Metrorail stops are Capitol South (blue and orange lines) and Union Station (red line). The final concert in the Homegrown series will feature Eskimo song and dance and take place on Nov. 12 in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E.

On Oct. 23 Capital Roots will feature world-renowned Balkan singer Tatiana Sarbinska accompanied by a group of outstanding musicians. Sarbinska has had a long and illustrious career and is regarded as one of the preeminent soloists of her generation. Born in the Bulgarian village of Rila, she was for many years the featured soloist of the internationally acclaimed Pirin Ensemble. She toured and recorded extensively with Pirin, earning national treasure status as the “voice of Bulgaria.” Her extensive repertoire includes music from all of Bulgaria’s varied cultural regions. Sarbinska currently lives in New Market, Md.

Chuna McIntyre, who was featured in the Storytelling Pavilion at the 2002 National Book Festival, will bring the Nunumpta Yup’ik (Eskimo) singers and dancers to present a program of stories, songs and dances from his native Alaska on Nov. 12. Born in the tiny village of Eek on the coast of the Bering Sea, McIntyre uses traditional stories learned from his grandmother to create contemporary stories, sounds and images of Yup'ik culture.

The Roy family ensemble, Ganga, will present the music of their native Bengal on

Nov. 20, reflecting the history and continuity of the myriad traditions that form the regional folk traditions of the Indian subcontinent. Ganga’s repertoire is drawn from the tea plantations in the foothills of the Himalayas and from the rivers of Bengal, which have been especially fertile ground for the songs sung by peasants and boatmen. Formed in 1984 and named for the Ganges River, Ganga has performed at festivals and concerts throughout the world.

On Dec. 11 Sensación Vallenata con Gustavo Nieto will bring to the Library the lively regional dance music of Colombia’s coastal region. “Vallenata,” a traditional acoustic form of dance music informed by local legend and enriched by multiethnic roots, has become one of Colombia’s most popular styles. Accordionist Gustavo Nieto, who grew up in Colombia with the older traditional style of “vallenato,” moved to the United States and lived in New York and Chicago before settling in the Washington area in the early 1990s and forming his own group.

Upcoming Events

  • Oct. 23:
    Tatiana Sarbinska, Bulgarian song and music, Madison Hall
  • Nov. 12:
    Chuna McIntyre, Yup’ik Eskimo song and dance, Coolidge Auditorium
  • Nov. 13:
    Odetta, 8 p.m., Coolidge Auditorium (no tickets required)
  • Nov. 20:
    Ganga, music from Bengal, Madison Hall
  • Dec. 10:
    Sensación Vallenata con Gustavo Nieto, Colombian music, Madison Hall

The American Folklife Center was created by Congress in 1976 and placed at the Library of Congress to “preserve and present American folklife” through programs of research, documentation, archival preservation, reference service, live performance, exhibition, public programs and training. The center includes the Archive of Folk Culture, which was established in the Library in 1928 and is now one of the largest collections of ethnographic material from the United States and around the world.


PR 03-159
ISSN 0731-3527