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.

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

 

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

 

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

 

6-week Georgian Singing Workshop

A 6 Week Workshop led by Shalva Makharashvili and Andrea Kuzmich
THURSDAYS 7 – 9 PM Feb 9  – March 16 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

 

EGGPLANT STEW: A Worldly Feast of Savoury Sounds…

EGGPLANT STEW:
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.

AND JUST ANNOUNCED!!!
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

LOCATION
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 MusiCampTO@gmail.com
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.

THE PERFORMERS:

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.

DOULA
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.

ZARI

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: https://zaritrio.com/
Soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/singinkuz/sets/zari

VLESIEvlesie
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.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vlesieband/
Clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R4NkzqFjJY

MOSKITTO BAR

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.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/moskittobar/

MEDEN GLAS

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]).
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/medenglas

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.