The Makharasvhili Family

Over the centuries, family ensemble singing has played a significant role in keeping traditional Georgian polyphonic singing alive. And true to this preserving nature, the Makharashvili family continues this practice despite being relocated half way around the world, over 9000 km from the well springs of the tradition. While both Shalva Makharashvili and Andrea Kuzmich are both professional musicians (with over 50 years of experience between the 2 of them – you can read their individual bios below) the Makharashvili family unit started performing in private settings for marked family and calendric events. As the children aged and developed more skills and repertoire, the family found themselves in more performance opportunities, whether they be in cameo appearances on stages in Toronto (see the video below from 2010), NY and Georgia, or in more recent features such as Harbourfront’s Body Percussion Festival (see video below), Toronto’s Annual Black Out Party 2018, or Toronto’s First Georgian Cultural festival, Sept 30 2018.

Have a look at some videos over the years, on stage (at Small World Music and Harbourfront Centre), in Georgia (with Basiani Ensemble at a grape harvesting festival)  and in Tobermory. Also have a read to learn more about Shalva or Andrea’s professional work.

 

 

SHALVA MAKHARASHVILI, a Georgian native, has been performing the music of his homeland for over 35 years. Starting with the panduri (a 3-stringed indigenous lute) at the age of 4, his musical education included training in voice, tradition and classical choral repertoire, classical guitar, and traditional dance. As a young man he toured Georgia and the former Soviet Union in a number of choirs as featured soloist and instrumentalist (panduri and guitar player). Besides panduri, Shalva plays changi (harp), chonguri (a 4-stringed lute) and chiboni (bagpipes). Since his immigration to Toronto he has received a number of awards and featured on CBC radio. He also chants numerous times per week in services for the Georgian Orthodox Church. He maintains close ties with the traditional singing community in Georgia, where he is highly respected as a singer as well as for his work in disseminating Georgian

ANDREA KUZMICH is an award winning singer, a teacher, an ethnomusicologist and music facilitator. Her eclectic musical activities defy her conventional classical beginnings where by the age of 16 she was a cellist with the McMaster Symphony and had sung in four different Canadian Opera Company productions. Andrea has also: 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; taken a leading role in the practice of ridnyj holos (Ukrainian traditional singing) in Canada through Kosa Kolektiv and Kalendar (formerly KalynDar); become one of Canada’s foremost practitioners and academics of Georgian polyphony. Inspired by this diversity, she started MusiCamp in 2013, a Toronto studio that hosts workshops, kids camps and facilitates musical events. She can be heard on Veryan Weston’s “Make” (2017); Tanya Tagaq’s “Retribution” (2016); DoVira’s “DoVira” (2016); Kalendar’s “Sichen” (2016); ZARI’s “ZARI” (2008); Whitney’s Smith Big Steam Band’s “Swing’s Mistress” (1998); movie soundtrack “The Witch” (2015); documentary soundtrack “What is Love” (2016), among others.

 

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Poetics of Food and Song

A rare chance to experience Georgian cuisine and song…

    Friday October 19 2018 7 PM $80 Limited seating (max 15)
    RSVP for exact location (near Dufferin Grove Park)
    Concert includes a gourmet 5 course homemade Georgian meal (Georgian menu below) and 2 glasses of wine. Songs (by GABO’s TRIO and the MAKHARASHVILI FAMILY) and toasts interspersed through the evening. For more info or to reserve your spot, email MusiCampTO at Gmail.com or visit our contact page. Also visit our FB event page for occasional postings on the cuisine of Georgia.

Foodies and music lovers would be interested to know that on October 19th MusiCamp is hosting a fundraising concert that is also an exceptional dinner, featuring Georgian cuisine, “the best little-known cuisine in the world“. In the Post-Soviet states, Georgian food is loved for its elaborate blend of spices, walnuts, and fresh herbs and fruit that result in savoury stews, purees, sauces and salads. In Soviet times, it replaced the French haute-cuisine of the Tsarist era and grew in such popularity. But the only way to understand why this is, is to try it!

Here’s your chance to not only try it but to experience it in one of the most authentic performance opportunities of Georgian song – not on the concert stage but around a dinner table, sharing food, song and toasts!

It is known that Georgian food is best consumed with traditional Georgian song and wine! So what better way to experience the flavours than in this rare chance at this dinner-concert. And given that Georgia is also known as the cradle of wine (the oldest archeological finds of wine making are from Easter-Georgia), of course a few glasses of wine will accompany the dinner.

The Evening’s Menu is still being developed but it would look something like this:
  • Charkhlis Mkhali or Pkhali (beet or spinach puréed with walnuts and fresh herbs)
  • Kharcho (walnut-garlic infused beef stew),
  • Adjapsandali  (eggplant stew) and
  • Khachapuri (Georgia’s most famous cheese pie).
  • Salad Nigvitz (cucumber, tomatoes and red onions salad with walnut dressing – with an option to have the dressing on the side).
All will be served with fresh bread, mint-infused yogurt and walnut puree sauces. Desserts will also be served (yet to be decided, but don’t be surprised if there will be something featuring walnuts!).

 

For more info or to reserve your spot, email
MusiCampTO at Gmail.com or visit our contact page.

If you want to know a little more about Georgian food, consider The Washington Posts’ article “Is Georgian Food the Next Big Thing” or have a look at National Geographic’s Street Food Episode on Georgia.

GABO’s TRIO: heading back to Georgia

GABO’s TRIO is Gabriel Makharashvili, Andrea Kuzmich and Mario Morello. Formerly known as Trio From Canada, they first formed in 2016 to sing at the biennial Symposium on Traditional Polyphony in Georgia, Eurasia. They represented two polyphonic traditions that are practiced in Toronto: Georgian polyphony and Ukrainian ridnyj holos. Towards the end of their 2016 trip, after singing at many Georgian family tables, they started being called Gabo’s Trio. Andrea – an ethnomusicologist and performing musician – and her 10-year-old son, Gabriel, are both part of the Makharashvili family, a singing family that performs Georgian polyphony for private family and calendric events and cameo appearances on stages in Toronto, New York and Georgia. Mario, an ethnomusicologist, Balkan-singing specialist and student of Georgian polyphony, will join Andrea and Gabo to sing songs from the Makharashvili repertoire and elsewhere.

See GABO’s TRIO before they leave for Georgia!!

Sunday Sept 30 2018 3-5pm Mel Lastman Square Discover Geogia – Cradle of Wine
Friday Oct 19 2018 7pm Poetics of Food and Song
Thursday Oct 25 2018 6-9pm Drom Taberna

   
 
During our 2016 trip, we were honoured to be so well received in Georgia…
 
especially to be asked to sing live on Georgian TV…
 
and Georgian Radio.

 
The christening of the name GABO’s TRIO happened in the fall of 2016, towards the end of our trip, at this most hospitable home in celebration of the grape harvest.

REGISTRATION 2018

REGISTRATION FOR 2018 SUMMER CAMPS IS OPEN!

 

15% EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION before April 15

$25 DISCOUNT
for registering more than one child, for each additional week,* and for referrals.

 

SECURED ONLINE 2018 REGISTRATION

or

DOWNLOAD 2018 REGISTRATION FORM

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* additional-week discount override $25 sibling discount. In other words, sibling discounts only apply to the first week. For example, a family with 2 children may register both for the first week and $25 discount is applied to that week. If they both register for an additional week, then the $25 additional-week discount is applied to each child, for a total discount of $50.
note: camp weeks with guest artists require a minimum number of registrants for specialized programming. Please contact for more details.

6-week Georgian Singing Workshop

A 6 Week Workshop led by Shalva Makharashvili and Andrea Kuzmich
MONDAYS 7 – 9 PM April 9  – May 14 2018
at the MusiCamp studio
$250 for new participants; $200 for repeat students
More info or register by email through our contact page

Have a quick peek at workshop leader, Shalva, with his children singing with Basiani, one of Georgia’s acclaimed state folk ensembles. Have a listen to them here.

IMG_1558Take part in a Georgian singing workshop and join the thousands of voices before you that have contributed to this millennia-old folk tradition. Georgia, is located in the mountainous region of the Caucasus, the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Its ancient singing tradition, known for its distinctive and haunting harmonies, was recognized by UNESCO as an intangible masterpiece of humanity in 2001. The 3-part form defies Western conventions and comes in a plethora of musical dialects, reflecting the diverse geographical and cultural makeup of the land.

 

Canada’s foremost experts in Georgian polyphony, Georgian-born singer/multi-instrumentalist Shalva Makharashvili and his Toronto-born partner, Andrea Kuzmich, will be leading the workshop. In this series, we’ll take a look a variety of regional styles and song-types (harvest/work/travel/table/love songs and chants). At the end of the 6 weeks we’ll have a little performance for friends and family… and a little toast – to keep it in the Georgian tradition…

To register for the workshop send us an email through the contact us page.

For some samples of Georgian songs have a listen to Shalva’s and Andrea’s trio soundcloud playlist or visit their website ZARI

 

2018 MusiCamp Themes & Fees

 

2018 DATES!
15% EARLY BIRD registration discount before April 15!
$25 discount for additional weeks, siblings and referrals!
No additional fees or taxes charged!

 

July 16-20 ~ COMPOSITION & SONG ~ $285  more info
Aug 13-17 ~ WEST AFRICAN DRUMMING (guest artist!) ~ $325  more info

 

  • Class sizes are small.
  • All-day (9am-4pm) programming with extended care available from 8am-6pm.
  • No formal training is required. No instrument required – just an enjoyment of music
  • Our intuitive approach to exploring sound, music, composition, the voice, and the weekly themes also functions as a great supplement to conventional music lessons
  • We also integrate crafts (instrument and mask making), backyard games, Pizza-making Wednesdays in Dufferin Grove park and other outdoor fun
  • Limited financial assistance is available on a per person basis. (Contact MusiCamp for more info)
  • 2018 Registration can be accessed here

 

visit our Flickr Gallery – click on the images below

MusiCamp at a glance

6-week Georgian Singing Workshop

A 6 Week Workshop led by Shalva Makharashvili and Andrea Kuzmich
TUESDAYS 7 – 9 PM Oct 24  – Nov 26 2017
at the MusiCamp studio
$250 for new participants; $200 for repeat students
More info or register by email through our contact page

The picture above is of workshop leader Shalva with his children singing with Basiani, one of Georgia’s acclaimed state folk ensembles. Have a listen to them here.

IMG_1558Take part in a Georgian singing workshop and join the thousands of voices before you that have contributed to this millennia-old folk tradition. Georgia, is located in the mountainous region of the Caucasus, the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Its ancient singing tradition, known for its distinctive and haunting harmonies, was recognized by UNESCO as an intangible masterpiece of humanity in 2001. The 3-part form defies Western conventions and comes in a plethora of musical dialects, reflecting the diverse geographical and cultural makeup of the land.

 

Canada’s foremost experts in Georgian polyphony, Georgian-born singer/multi-instrumentalist Shalva Makharashvili and his Toronto-born partner, Andrea Kuzmich, will be leading the workshop. In this series, we’ll take a look a variety of regional styles and song-types (harvest/work/travel/table/love songs and chants). At the end of the 6 weeks we’ll have a little performance for friends and family… and a little toast – to keep it in the Georgian tradition…

To register for the workshop send us an email through the contact us page.

For some samples of Georgian songs have a listen to Shalva’s and Andrea’s trio soundcloud playlist or visit their website ZARI

 

ICE CREAM! an original song by MusiCampers!

Our Composition and Song week is always so creative!!! And so productive!!!

What you’re hearing right now is an original song written by the MusiCamp campers from the Composition & Song week of 2013. We run a slew of creative song writing exercises throughout the week, some where the campers work independently on theirs songs, others where they work in groups. These exercises challenge the kids to think of how a pop song is made and the different components that make an effective song – the hook, the chorus, the intro, the verses, the ending, etc.

The young campers also learn to identify chord structures in a very practical and accessible way. They even make instruments, like the diddley bow or the bucket bass, and are able to play the basic I IV V chord structure on the instrument!

By the way, ICE CREAM! was written as a collaborative exercise where all the campers contributed to the making of this song. And every year, in just one week’s time, these inspired youngsters write wonderful music! It is always such a blessing to work with these young creative minds!

This year Composition & Song week runs from July 24-28, 9am – 4pm. We still have spots! You can register here.

MusiCamp Stage at the Dundas West Festival 2017!

MUSIC FOR KIDS AND BY KIDS
ALL IN THE HEART OF THE KIDS ZONE

FREE AFRICAN DRUM WORKSHOP
MEET MUSICAMP INSTRUCTORS
LIVE MUSIC BY YOUNG LOCAL PERFORMERS

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 opportunities for our local and talented youth to showcase their art – plus we’re hosting another drum workshop. All starting at 11 am, at 1525 Dundas St West, just west of Dufferin.
The full line up of events can be found on our Facebook event page

WEST AFRICAN DRUMMING WORKSHOP 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm

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

This goes way beyond a drum circle! MusiCamp’s West African Drum instructor Anna Melnikoff will teach workshop participants patterns and licks on djembe and the interlocking patterns on the dunun – side-playing drums.

More info can be found on this post.

Check out MusiCamp’s stage at the 2016 and 2015 Dundas West festivals.

LIVE MUSIC BY LOCAL YOUNG PERFORMERS 11 am – 4:30 pm

From 11 am to 4:30 pm the stage will be filled with live music. This year we welcome back sweet songsters Tangled Chords (formerly known as The Moir and Tollar Girls, see video below), Rebekah Wise and Sofia Hong. The Makharashvili Family will show us what traditional Georgian folk music is like from the other side of the world and to do a total 180, we go the new pop group Girl Pow-r . We’ll have some dance from Eclective Collective and students from MusiCamp will feature some body percussion and blue grass tunes.

 
And towards the end of our programming, we look forward to the surprisingly well seasoned young rockers 321 Sleep, whose Soundcloud demo you can hear below. The new group Ape, all of whom are students from either Etobicoke School of the Arts or Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, will also be rocking it out.
 

MusiCamp and Other Activities


MusiCamp will have a tent, so please visit us – try our the home made bucket basses and diddley bows, ask questions about our teaching and camps or just come and say “Hi!” Also don’t forget, there will be lots of other activities and crafts offered by other local organizations and business to take part in all around our stage.

A REMINDER
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!

6-week Georgian Singing Workshop

A 6 Week Workshop led by Shalva Makharashvili and Andrea Kuzmich
TUESDAYS 7 – 9 PM April 25  – May 30 2017
at the MusiCamp studio
$250 for new participants; $200 for repeat students
More info or register by email through our contact page

The picture above is of workshop leader Shalva with his children singing with Basiani, one of Georgia’s acclaimed state folk ensembles. Have a listen to them here.

IMG_1558Take part in a Georgian singing workshop and join the thousands of voices before you that have contributed to this millennia-old folk tradition. Georgia, is located in the mountainous region of the Caucasus, the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Its ancient singing tradition, known for its distinctive and haunting harmonies, was recognized by UNESCO as an intangible masterpiece of humanity in 2001. The 3-part form defies Western conventions and comes in a plethora of musical dialects, reflecting the diverse geographical and cultural makeup of the land.

 

Canada’s foremost experts in Georgian polyphony, Georgian-born singer/multi-instrumentalist Shalva Makharashvili and Andrea Kuzmich, will be leading the workshop. In this series, we’ll take a look a variety of regional styles and song-types (work/travel/table/love songs and chants). At the end of the 6 weeks we’ll have a little performance for friends and family… and a little toast – to keep it in the Georgian tradition…

To register for the workshop send us an email through the contact us page.

For some samples of Georgian songs have a listen to Shalva’s and Andrea’s trio soundcloud playlist or visit their website ZARI