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Concerts from the Library of Congress 2004-2005

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A series of free concerts presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division at the Library of Congress, in cooperation with the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and the Folklore Society of Greater Washington.

Image of Ramon TasatRAMÓN TASAT, Tenor & Guitar with STEVE BLOOM, Percussion EUGENIA SHIUK, Flute -- Hebrew and Ladino Music from the Balkans and North Africa
Wednesday, March 23 at Noon
Mary Pickford Theater (3rd Floor Madison Building)

Ladino is the language of the Sephardic people. A blend of Judeo-Spanish traditions, Ladino music has been part of the cultural life of many Sephardic Jews ever since they were exiled from Spain in 1492. The performance will include Ladino Purim songs. Celebrated in March, Purim is a joyous holiday, commemorating a time when Jews living in Persia were saved from extermination. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tasat learned Ladino, the language of the Sephardic people, at his grandmothers knee. Trained in five different countries, Ramón has studied at the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, the Manuel de Falla Conservatory of Music and the University of Texas at Austin, where he received a doctorate degree in voice performance. The event, which is sponsored jointly by the Librarys Hispanic Division, American Folklife Center and the Hebrew Language Table, is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required but seating is limited.

2005 "Homegrown" Concert Series

The Homegrown concert series presents the very best of traditional music and dance from a variety of folk cultures thriving in the United States. The concerts will be held once a month from April through December. All concerts are free of charge and will not require tickets for admission. Concerts will be presented from noon to 1 p.m in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The closest Metro stops are Capitol South (blue and orange lines) and Union Station (red line).

Image: Liz Carroll and John DoyleLIZ CARROLL with JOHN DOYLE -- Irish American fiddling
from Illinois

April 21, 2005 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium

Homegrown 2005Liz Carroll is universally recognized as one of the greatest Irish fiddlers playing today. Born in Chicago of Irish immigrant parents, Liz astounded the Irish music world in 1975 when she won the senior All-Ireland fiddling championship at the age of eighteen. In a genre noted for its virtuosic musicians, she is widely admired for her diverse repertoire, her dazzling original compositions and her unique and carefully crafted playing style. Liz has recorded numerous albums and performed all over the United States and Europe. In 1994 she was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for her contributions to traditional Irish music in America. John Doyle, originally from Dublin, spent several years with the group Solas, and is now one of the most sought-after accompanists in Irish music. Also an accomplished singer, Doyle currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Image: Chu Shan Chinese OperaCHU SHAN -- Chinese Opera Institute from Maryland
May 18, 2005 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium

Homegrown 2005The Chu Shan Chinese Opera Institute was founded in 1991 by Zhu Chu Shan, a Chinese opera director, and Judy Huang, an actress, to provide skilled leadership in directing, acting, teaching, and presenting Chinese opera in the Baltimore-Washington area. They have staged performances of all sizes, and have trained students of all ages, in both large and small groups, in the arts of Chinese opera. More than just a musical style, Chinese Opera is a performance system whose ancient origins have been tempered by five thousand years of development. The discipline demands several skills from performers. The basic elements are summed up by the phrase chang, zuo, nian, da --- singing, acting, reciting, and martial arts fighting. Actors' movements are guided by the predominant aesthetic principle of xieyi, or, literally, "freehand brushstroke," a metaphor borrowed from traditional Chinese painting that refers to the highly stylized, symbolic representation of action on the operatic stage.

Image: Margaret MacArthurMARGARET MacARTHUR -- Ballads and songs from Vermont
June 21, 2005 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium

Homegrown 2005Since settling in Vermont in 1948, Margaret MacArthur has traveled through the state and throughout northern New England, recording old songs that have been passed down through generations and giving them new life through her own performances. Margaret is a marvelous singer and a serious scholar and collector of the traditional songs of New England. She has been honored by both the state of Vermont and the New England Council on the Arts for her role in preserving the traditional arts of the region. Of a previous MacArthur appearance, Mike Joyce of the Washington Post said: "She's a champion of simpler times and rural places as well as a collector of heartfelt poems and curious tales...but whatever their source or subject matter, MacArthur imbued them with warmth and tunefulness."

Image: D.W. GroetheD.W. GROETHE -- Cowboy songs and poetry from Montana
July 20, 2005 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium

Homegrown 2005D.W. Groethe is the genuine article, a working cowboy who writes and sings about the everyday life of a rancher on the northern Great Plains. The descendent of Norwegian immigrants who homesteaded in Williams County, North Dakota, Groethe has a deep respect for and knowledge of those who came before him, Native and immigrant alike. He draws on the long-standing and vigorous traditions of cowboy songs and poetry, which continue to thrive in the American west. Chris Billings, writing in the Billings Gazette, summed up Groethe's art succinctly: "When he sings, you hear bawling calves, smell the fire at branding time and shiver at the chill of a skin-stripping prairie wind. You ache at the contradiction of ranch life, starving to death to do the thing you love."

Image: Benton FlippenBENTON FLIPPEN and the SMOKEY VALLEY BOYS -- Old Time music from North Carolina
August 17, 2005 at Noon
Madison Hall

Homegrown 2005Benton Flippen, one of the icons of old-time fiddling in America, was born and raised in a musical family in Surry County, North Carolina. Born in 1920, Flippen comes from a generation of great players at the epicenter of Southern mountain music. Among his contemporaries were Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, Kyle Creed and Earnest East, musicians who have influenced countless students of Old Time music. Flippen has been similarly influential, and he received the 1990 North Carolina Folk Heritage Award for being the innovator of a distinctive style of old-time string music. He has served as a mentor for several wonderful musicians, notably NPR newscaster, music producer, and banjo player Paul Brown, who will be playing with Flippen at this concert. Benton Flippen is still an active musician, playing at fiddle contests and square dances throughout his home region. The Smokey Valley Boys consist of Paul Brown on banjo, Verlen Clifton on mandolin, and Frank Bodie on guitar.

Janette Carter with AutoharpCARTER FAMILY TRIBUTE -- Old Time Music from Virginia
NEA National Heritage Fellow Concert

September 20, 2005 at noon
Coolidge Auditorium

Homegrown 2005The Original Carter Family was the most influential group in early country music, recording dozens of hit songs between 1927 and 1941. Made up of A.P. Carter, his wife Sara Carter, and her cousin Maybelle Carter (who got the Carter surname by marrying A.P.’s brother Ezra), the group established many of the conventions of the genre, including styles of guitar playing and vocal harmony that remained standard for years. The Carters also collected and arranged many folk songs from both white and black traditions, bringing folk ballads, lyric songs and blues firmly into popular Country music.

This year, one of the recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship Award is country singer and autoharp player Janette Carter, one of A.P. and Sara’s daughters. Janette has labored for years to preserve the legacy of the Carter Family, and in 1979 founded the Hiltons, Virginia music venue The Carter Family Fold. In honor of Janette’s achievement as a performer and an organizer, the American Folklife Center will present a Carter Family Tribute Concert, featuring prominent country and old-time musicians, hosted by Joe Wilson, former director of the National Council for Traditional Arts.

Image: Negura PeruanaNEGURA PERUANA -- Afro Peruvian music and dance from Connecticut
October 12, 2005 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium

Homegrown 2005Negrura Peruana performs the music and dance of Peru's African and criollo population from the coastal region just to the south of Lima, the nation's capital. Group members emigrated from Lima to the Hartford area of Connecticut about ten years ago and formed Negrura Peruana in 2002. Group members learned their music, dances and songs in their neighborhoods in Peru, where music was an important part of celebrations, gatherings, and informal competitions. Since its founding Negrura Peruana has become a popular attraction at events held by the growing Peruvian community in Connecticut.

Image: Dinah Teh Navajo DancersDINEH TAH NAVAJO DANCERS
November 16, 2005
Coolidge Auditorium

Homegrown 2005Founded in 1993, the Dineh Tah Navajo Dancers promote the understanding of the rich cultural traditions of the Navajo "Dineh" people. Their performances include dances and songs such as the Corn Grinding Act, the Basket Dance, the Bow and Arrow Dance and the Social Song and Dance. The group is made up of young dancers from throughout the Four Corners region of the Southwest that comprises the Navajo nation. Cosponsored with the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian.

Image: Birmingham SunlightsBIRMINGHAM SUNLIGHTS -- African American Gospel
quartet from Alabama

December 7, 2005
Coolidge Auditorium

Homegrown 2005The dynamic Birmingham Sunlights are dedicated to carrying on the art of unaccompanied gospel harmony singing that has an especially brilliant heritage in their home place Jefferson County, Alabama. Formed in 1979 by music director James Alex Taylor, the quartet originally included James' brothers Steve and Barry, and Ricky Speights and Wayne Williams; Williams has since been replaced by Bill Graves. Upon becoming aware of the rich Jefferson County gospel quartet tradition they sought training from a senior quartet, the Sterling Jubilees, to learn songs traditional to the area. For over twenty years since then, the Sunlights have carried their joyful message all over the United States and the world. They have appeared at numerous festivals across the nation, performed in France as ambassadors of Alabama traditional culture, toured five countries in Africa and performed extensively in the Caribbean and Australia under the auspices of the United States Department of Information and the United States State Department.

Homegrown concerts are produced by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in cooperation with the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.

2004 Concerts

Image of Anjani AmbegaokarNEA National Heritage Fellow
ANJANI AMBEGAOKAR -- North Indian Kathak Dance

Tuesday, September 28, 2004 at noon
Coolidge Auditorium

Anjani Ambegaokar -- 2004 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship awardee -- will perform North Indian Kathak dance. Ambegaokar came to the United States in 1967 from her native India and has since become the most well known dancer, choreographer, and educator of Kathak in the nation. Kathak, a popular but very complex form of North Indian dance with a 4,000-year history, tells stories of ancient mythology incorporating fast tempo barefoot rhythms with ankle bells and distinctive, graceful hand gestures and facial expressions.

Image of Nadeem DlaikanNADEEM DLAIKAN -- Arabic Music
Wednesday, October 20, 2004 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium

Homegrown LogoNadim Dlaikan, maker and virtuoso player of the nay, a single-reed wind instrument, is a highly respected member of the dynamic music community of Arab Detroit, the largest Arab American community in the United States. Nadim was born in the village of Alai in Lebanon and began to play the nay at an early age. He went on to study under master musicians at the Lebanese Conservatory and moved to Beirut, where he became a member of Lebanon’s best-known folk troupe, traveling throughout the Middle East. He moved to the Detroit area in 1970 and became a leader in the Arabic musical community, playing with musicians from throughout the Middle East. His four-piece ensemble will be playing with him in Washington. In 2002 Nadim Dlaikan received a National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium

Homegrown LogoThe American Indian Music and Dance Troupe is directed by Tom Mauchahty - Ware, a Kiowa whose family has presented the traditions of the Plains peoples since the 1930s. Tom’s great uncle, noted artist Stephen Mopope, appeared at the Second National Folk Festival in 1935, his father performed at festivals during the 1940s, and Tom began performing at National Festivals in the 1960s. Tom Ware, a noted flute player, brings a troupe from the Kiowa and Comanche nations, who will be performing the Eagle, Hoop, Fancy, and Grass dances, among others. This program is cosponsored by the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution.

Wednesday, December 8, 2004 at Noon
Coolidge Auditorium

Homegrown LogoJerry Grcevich is a master player, composer, and arranger of tambura music, the intricate and virtuosic string-ensemble music of Eastern Europe, notably Croatia and Serbia. For over thirty years he has been a mainstay of tamburitza music in the United States, mastering all of the string instruments, and recording over twenty records, tapes, and CDs. He frequently travels to Croatia to play and gather new material. Grcevich, like his father, from whom he learned, has been elected to the Tamburitza Hall of Fame.


  HOME  |  Season-at-a-Glance  |  2004 Concerts  |  2005 Concerts  |  Jazz & Soul Film Series  |  Folklife Concerts
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