EGGPLANT STEW: A Worldly Feast of Savoury Sounds…

A Worldly Feast of Savoury Sounds and Melodious Morcels.
8 PM Friday September 16
at CLAY & PAPER’s NEW STUDIO (on Dupont)

Eggplant Stew is a collaborative fundraising event featuring a feast of musical influences, with individual flavours from Georgia, Ukraine, Baghdad, Poland, Finland, Brittany, the Balkans and the Americas but also melding and fusing into melodious savoury morsels. And like a good stew, the event (and the events it is to fundraiser for) is hearty for the soul and nourishes our musical wellbeing. This event is to help raise funds for two members of Toronto’s traditional polyphonic singing community to perform, present papers and study at an international conference on traditional polyphony in Sakartvelo (otherwise known as the mountainous Georgia in the Caucasus).

THE LINE UP IN BRIEF (more details follow)

Mark & Marichka Marczyk of Lemon Bucket Orkestra!
Performing the soul-strenghtening polyphony from Urkaine.

ZARI (Shalva Makharashvili, Andrea Kuzmich and Reid Robins)
Stirring traditional vocal polyphony from the plains & mountains in the Caucasus.

DOULA (Maryem Hassan Tollar and Roula Said)
Ancient Arabic music with new world spirit.

Vlesie (Ewelina Ferenc, Cassie Norton and Matti Palonen)
Forest inspired European folk fusion.

Moskitto BAR (Ahmed Salah Moneka, Yura Rafalui& Tangi Ropars)
Music & improvisation inspired by the road form Baghdad to Brittany.

MEDEN GLAS – led by the esteemed Irene Markoff – will also perform!
Grassroots music from the Balkans and beyond.
BrouLALA – A cappella, improvising, roots-jazz fusion

Clay & Paper Theatre’s NEW STUDIO
1485 Dupont Street, just west of Dufferin
Suggested donation $20 (includes a beer or wine!)
Seating Limited – For more info or RSVP
Note Regarding Accessibility: the building’s elevator is not working and the studio is on the 2nd floor. We apologize in advance for this inconvenience.

The idea of Eggplant Stew comes from a Georgian dish called “adjapsandeli”. It’s can be compared to rataouille, though it has many versions. Adjapsandeli also references what seem to be hundreds of different flavourful salads Georgians make with eggplant – and sometimes the word is used colloquially to mean a mixing or a mishmash.


Mark and Marichka Marczykmark-marchyk
Mark and Marichka are lead members of Toronto’s famous and award-winning Lemon Bucket Orkestra and the authors/creators of the folk guerrilla opera Counting Sheep, which just returned from an exceptional run (winning multiple awards) at the Edinburgh festival in Scotland.

doulaDoula performs ancient Arabic music with a new world spirit. Multiple Juno-Award winning vocalist, Maryem Tollar, whose voice is heard on the theme music to “Little Mosque on the Prairie” and multi-instrumentalist and dancer, Roula Said, will take you on a journey into the heart of the Muwashah tradition, where devotional poetry is set to exquisite melodies and hypnotic rhythms. Doula also performs folk songs that are often performed alongside the Muwashahat.


At its core, ZARI is a trio of professional singer/instrumentalists who are profoundly moved by Georgian polyphony. Based in Toronto, ZARI formed in 2003 and has performed from the very eastern tip of Canada to the 2008 fall-out of Gori, the Georgian town that was the epicentre of Russian bombing in the summer of that year. Consistent over all this time, over the many miles travelled and the many venues played, is ZARI’s dedication to studying, understanding and feeling the music. To that end, when ZARI performs, they embrace the profundity of Georgia culture: its roots deeply embedded in ancient times, its strength and courage to survive, and its excessively generous and inspiring hospitality.
Official Website:
Soundcloud :

They are VLESIE, which in Polish means “in the woods”. And this is how they met – playing music in the woods. From the Canadian woods they want to take you on a musical journey to Eastern European villages, Southern European wineries and Northern European rivers, lakes and forests.


Composed of Ahmed Moneka from Baghdad, Iraq on drum and voice, Yura Rafaluik from Lviv, Ukraine on cimbalom, and Tangi Ropars from Brittany, France on bouton accordion, Moksitto Bar’s energized music and improvisations takes you on a voyage throuth Celtic, Middle Eastern, Balkan and Ukrainian soundscapes.


Composed of Irene Markoff (voice, accordion, tambura, and bağlama), Ekaterina Pyatkova (voice and hand drums), Nadia Younan (voice and alto saxophone), Mario Morello (voice and hand drums), and Jamieson Eakin (voice and guitar) Meden Glas studies and performs grassroots music from the Balkans (Bulgaria, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Greece, and Turkey) in addition to peripheral musical cultures (Italian, Russian, Kurdish, and Romani [gypsy]).

Trio From Canada…

attends the 8th International Symposium on Traditional Polyphony

MusiCamp director, Andrea Kuzmich, along with her son and friend, Mario Morello (fellow singer, ethnomusicologist and regular MusiCamp student of Georgian polyphony) are going to Georgia to take part in the 8th International Symposium on Traditional Polyphony.
Morello and Kuzmich are both presenting papers and all three will also be performing at a large international community of scholars and singers of traditional polyphony.

Kuzmich’s paper discusses the creation of “urban folk culture” in Toronto by Kosa Kolektiv’s use of traditional Ukrainian polyphony. Kuzmich has been an active member of Kosa Kolektiv symposium-2016community since 2013 and has even reported on their work, specifically their spring festival Haivky, in MusiCamp’s news posts. Morello’s paper discusses his research on the multi-part singing tradition of Salento, Italy.  To read up on both Kuzmich’s and Morello’s abstracts (p33 and 36 respectfully), follow the link to the symposium’s electronic booklet.


For those of you in Toronto, come and see them off at a special collaborativeeggplant-stew_colour_sml fundraising event called Eggplant Stew! They will make a few short and sweet cameo appearances amongst a smorgasbord of other excellent world-music musicians – on Friday September 16, 8pm at Clay & Paper Theatre‘s new studio!
Visit the Facebook event for more info.


Grateful to Summer 2016

MusiCamp had another wonderful summer of creative musical growth and fun!

It always goes by so quickly that sometimes I don’t get to properly express my gratitude for having the chance to work with such talented and sweet kids – here at our studio and at the festivals and on-site workshops we offered, like those at Union Station. And before Fall comes rolling in and the school year takes over our parental lives, I want to thank you all – campers, parents, volunteers, guest artists and wonderful inspiring music makers – and wish you a wonderful year ahead.
Keep and eye out for more MusiCamp events – our adult singing workshops will start in October – and we look forward to a new line up of all-day summer camps for 2017!


MusiCamp at Union Station

MusiCamp is so excited to be part of #UnionSummer and the revitalization project at Union Station. With performance in West African drumming and dance, Georgian song and dance, and Roots Music at the Sir John A. Macdonald Plaza in front of Union Station – the busiest, most important multi-modal transportation hub in Canada, serving nearly a quarter-million passengers daily! – MusiCamp is providing culturally diverse and interactive musical experiences to the gateway to Toronto, our wonderful city!


  • African Drumming and Dance Workshop, Sundays July 10 12 PM – 1 PM
  • Songs and Dances from Georgia on Sunday, July 17 12 PM -1 PM
  • African Drumming and Dance Workshop on Sundays Aug 7 12 PM – 1 PM
  • The Vocal Roots, Aug 14 12 PM – 1 PM
More info on each week can be read below. Looking forward to seeing you there.


West African Drumming and Dance Workshop
July 10 and Aug 17, 12 PM – 1 PM

The public joining in on MusiCamp's African Drum workshop at The Dundas West Festival 2016.

The public joining in on MusiCamp’s African Drum workshop at The Dundas West Festival 2016.

Don’t just sit and watch, join the inner drum and dance circle and experience the ancient, mesmerizing West African rhythms like you never have before! Led by Anna Melnikoff, one of Canada’s foremost experts in the West African Mande drumming tradition, and aided by members of Saboumando ( and MusiCamp, you will be sure to find the groove and develop a deeper connection to this tradition that has inspired so much music in the world today.


Georgian Song and Dance
Sunday July 17, 12 PM – 1 PM.

Georgian Dance

Members of Georgian Soul performing at Toronto Fashion Week

Be prepared for a transformatively visceral experience with songs and dance from Georgia, a small, mountainous country located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Known for its distinctive harmonies, this millennia-old musical tradition was recognized by UNESCO as an intangible masterpiece of humanity in 2001. Today we bring it to you through the award-winning trio ZARI (, members of the Makharashvili family, and a special guest from the dance troupe Georgian Soul. We’ll also give you a first-hand taste of this exceptional music, with opportunity for you to get up and sing and dance with us!


The Vocal Roots
Sunday August 14, 12 PM –  PM.

Broulala DayoDelight

BrouLaLa performing at Day of Delight

This performance features traditional and contemporary interpretations of Roots Music – from classic tunes on the “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack to newly written songs by local roots musicians and borrowings from world music. With a special emphasis on the voice, the performance features many a cappella arrangements, body percussion, child performers from MusiCamp and the jazz/roots vocal group BrouLaLa. We’ll also get you involved, with a chance to sing, snap, stomp and clap along!

MusiCamp at the Dundas West Festival 2016!



We are so so so excited to be part of the vibrant Dundas West community that puts on such an amazing festival. MusiCamp is curating the Kids Stage again, providing more workshops, hosting crafts by Kosa Kolektiv and this year we’ll be smack in the middle of the kids stage, located at 1525 Dundas St West, just west of Dufferin.

BODY PERCUSSION WORKSHOP 11:45 am – 12:30 pm

clap handsLed by MusiCamp Director Andrea Kuzmich and aided by young MusiCampers themselves, the event will demonstrate some pieces that use body percussion and then proceed to teach the audience short cells of body percussion that can be built upon each other and layered ontop of each to create some cool grooves.


This goes way beyond a drum circle! MusiCamp’s West African Drum instructor Anna Melnikoff will teach workshop participants patterns and licks on djembe (as seen briefly in the video to your left) and the interlocking patterns on the dunun – side-playing drums.
More info can be found on this post.


BrighidFry At DuWestFest

From 11 am to 4:30 pm the stage, when not presenting percussion workshops, will be filled with live music. This year we welcome back sweet songsters Brighid Fry, The Moir and Tollar Girls, and Rebekah Wise. MusiCampers will also be performing – a host of blue grass tunes and some African American work songs.

And we also have some new performers as well. We are very excited to welcome Young Voices Toronto (formerly the High Park Choir) to the stage YVTwith their Chamber Choir, many of whom live in or so close the Dundas West Community. Be prepared to be inspired by this choir of 8-11 youth, whose sweet voices and sensitive tuning perform music from around the world. We also have songsters Marlowe Dondertman, Lia Ashkenas, and the Rock Band Kingdom of the Birds joining the stage.


Kosa craftsMid day, the spirited Kosa Kolektiv will be hosting some folk crafts in the MusiCamp tent, located just next to the stage. They will be also promoting Folk Camp, an all-ages Folk camp in Grafton (on Lake Ontario) where a wide array of workshops will be available – from print, mask, and instrument making, to Georgian, Ukrainian and other forms of singing, to canning and medicinal herb foraging.


Don’t forget to bring sun screen, sun hats and water bottles! Also, the Kids Stage is located at 1525 Dundas St W, just West of Dufferin.  WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE!


FREE West African Drumming Workshop Jun 11 2:00 PM

West African Drumming Workshop open to kids and their parents!
June 11 2016 2:30pm-3:30pm at the KIDS’s STAGE, Dundas West Festival

MusiCamp is hosting a free hands-on drumming workshop at the Dundas West Festival this Saturday, June 11 2016. Taught by AnnA Melnikoff, one of Canada’s foremost experts in the Mande drumming tradition, a tradition which predates the division of West Africa into the current political regions and arguably represents the roots of African American music, including the Blues, Rock & Roll, R&B, Mowtown, Funk, Soul, and many forms of pop music.

This goes way beyond a drum circle! West African Drum instructor Anna Melnikoff will teach workshop participants patterns and licks on djembe (as seen briefly in the video to your left). But Anna will also demonstrate the interlocking patterns on the dunun – the soul of the West African Mande drumming tradition. These rhythms can be extremely challenging, even for pro drummers! And with Anna’s guidance, this workshop is set up to engage and teach the absolute inexperienced while at the same time provide on-going challenges for advanced drummers.


In this workshop kids will:

  • learn the difference between 3 basic slaps (slap, tone & bass) on the djembe
  • have a chance to practice these on the drum with a fun etude that develops these rudiments
  • have a chance to play the dunun
  • learn a basic accompaniment pattern
  • have a chance to solo
And we’ll even do some singing! Have listen to us at last year’s Dundas West Festival.


NOTE: To ensure a spot sign up earlier in the day at the MusiCamp booth located next to the stage, at 1525 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON, just East of Dufferin.


The video to your left is from MusiCamp’s West African Drumming week in 2013. (Note: If you want to hear the groovy bass you’ll have to use headphones.)

Mande drumming is based on three stand-up drums called the dunun that play three interlocking rhythms often thought of as the melody. The djembes play accompanying patterns on top of this and are also used for soloing. To learn more about the Mande drumming tradition follow this link or if you are interested in our West African Drumming summer camp click here.


Georgian Polyphony & Young Voices of Toronto

Sunday June 5 2016 3:30 PM
Jeanne Lamon Hall in Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church, Toronto
Colour Me Spring Concert
by Young Voices of Toronto featuring Georgian Polyphony.

For months now, MusiCamp has been workshopping Georgian Polyphony with one of Toronto’s best children’s choruses, Young Voices of Toronto (YVT). And on June 5, they team up with ZARI and the Makharashvili family to present a set of traditional Georgian polyphony.

YVT, formerly known as High Park Choirs, is the Children’s Choir-in-Residence at the University of Toronto. Under the artistic directorship of Zimfira Poloz, YVT is known for its professional, diverse and unique choral programs.

ZARI is a trio that exclusively sings Georgian polyphony and features MusiCamp director Andrea Kuzmich. The Markharashvili Family is Andrea Kuzmich’s family singing Georgian songs. You can hear them singing with Basiani, one of Georgia’s acclaimed state folk ensembles here.


Doors Open at 3 pm.

Show starts at 3:30 pm and runs approximately 2 hours

$25 adults, $15 youth and seniors, children 5 and under free

Tickets can be purchased here



Haivky: Kosa Kolektiv’s Spring Festival Revives More than Tradition…

Kosa’s Festival Revives the True Meaning of a Festival.

Preamble: this post is part of a larger discussion on the traditional uses of art to empower, foster community, and resolve conflict – a driving force to MusiCamp’s programming. Also note that while this post is from 2015, the date, location and egg-decorating workshops listed at the bottom of the page are updated for 2016


When one mentions “festival” in this part of the world, people immediately think of it in commercial terms – big stages, sound systems, visiting artists, official schedules, ticket sales, wrist bands, CDs and many other forms of merchandising – from specialty foods to cultural wares. But this is not the sort of festival Kosa Kolektiv will be bringing to Trinity Bellwoods Park this Sunday. There will be no stage. No sound systems. No vendors trying to sell you food. No money will ever cross hands. In contrast, this is a true community celebration to welcome Spring back to Toronto!

Haivky is a traditional Ukrainian community celebration of renewal that occurs in the days after Easter. Kosa Kolektiv, the host organizer for this event, is comprised of a group of young women of Ukrainian heritage who are determined to make folk forms relevant to our contemporary urban existence. And true to their word, this event, while based on a Ukrainian peasant tradition, has been re-learned and revitalized for not just a pan-Slavic experience but for a multi-cultural Toronto experience. Ancient songs from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Bulgaria and Georgia will be calling forth spring. Rituals of washing away the crustiness of winter and children’s weaving dances and games played under the open sky will welcome the onset of longer days, the warmth of the sun, and regeneration that’s on the way. And adults will be entertained with fiddlers, a bassist, accordion and woodwind players from the Lemon Bucket Orkestra and Balfolk Toronto, who will be leading village-styled dancing from France, Briton and other parts of Western Europe and America.

Best of all, the festival will offer a pure acoustic experience, free of electronic mediation or amplification. This in itself should be celebrated as it is a rarity in our age of connectivity! It is this sense of community building through artistic forms, especially music, that I admire. This, in part, is the motivating force of my own professional and personal development, including MusiCamp. I’ll be at the festivities with my children, singing songs and dancing, and I encourage you all to come too, to experience the collective magic of song and dance in the beautiful outdoors of Trinity Bellwoods park, smack in the middle of Downtown Toronto. But be warned, no vendors will be there! This is a true festival– a community celebration – so come prepared with your own picnic basket and blanket to join in on and extend the fun!

Haivky 2013 3

Haivky is on Sunday, May 1, 2016
3:00 – 6:00 pm at Trinity Bellwoods Park
790 Queen St W Toronto, ON

Visit Kosa Kolektiv Hailky for more information.

In lead up to the festival Kosa Kolektiv also runs traditional easter egg decorating workshops.

Guest Host AnnA Melnikoff

Anna Melnikoff is a gifted teacher and perpetually grateful student of traditional Mande music from West Africa who has been performing and teaching in the GTA for 15 years. She has studied with many master drummers and visits West Africa as often as possible. Currently she teaches djembe at York University, and is also the founder of an all-female performing ensemble, Moussoufolila. She is also a certified teacher of transformational healing and meditation with the Training in Power Academy.


AnnA with fellow djembefola Salimata Diabate

About Andrea


Andrea Kuzmich is an award singer, a teacher, an ethnomusicologist (PhD candidate at York University), and mother of 2 boys (5 and 10 years). Her eclectic musical activities defy her conventional classical beginnings. Besides grade 8 piano RCM, choral singing, and performances in four different Canadian Opera Company productions and as a cellist with the McMaster Symphony by the age of 16, Andrea has: sung in a Congolese Gospel Choir; studied Balkan folk music, South Indian singing and drumming, and West African drumming; performed in Big Bands, small jazz combos, as well as contemporary new music ensembles; and specializes in the haunting and ancient harmonies of Caucasus Georgia.

Her PhD in ethnomusicology bridges all this diversity into a cohesive cross-cultural understanding of how musical practice is essential for spiritual, social, and personal well being. Andrea extends this understanding practically in MusiCamp where campers get a chance to explore the wonders and ecstatic moments of music through fun and interactive activities that overcome inhibition and intuitively develop a host of cognitive and social skills associated with music making.