Our Team

 

Andrea Kuzmich, Camp Director and Instructor

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Andrea Kuzmich is an award winning singer, a teacher, an ethnomusicologist (PhD candidate at York University), and a mother of 2 boys (7 and 13 years). Her eclectic musical activities defy her conventional classical beginnings. Besides grade 8 RCM piano, a cellist with the McMaster Symphony, choral singing, and performances in four different Canadian Opera Company productions by the age of 16, 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 KalynDar; become Canada’s foremost practitioner and academic of Georgian polyphony. 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.

Andrea has a trio called ZARI https://zaritrio.wordpress.com/ and runs a blog on the music of the Caucasus https://kuzinthecaucasus.wordpress.com/.

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AnnA Melnikoff, West African Drum Instructor

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.

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Hannah Shira Naiman, Roots Music Instructor

Hannah Shira Naiman

Hannah Shira Naiman grew up just north of Toronto- a few thousand miles away from the hills of Appalachia- and yet her family home was always full of the sounds from that land. Raised by a banjo plucking Pa, and a children’s musician/dance caller/fiddling Ma, her home was a hub for American roots music in the cold heart of a Canadian metropolis. Hannah performs her original banjo driven songs internationally, and is backed by a stand-up traditional stringband. In addition to her career as a songwriter, Hannah is a traditional dance and music leader based in Toronto, Ontario. A fiddler, banjoist, guitar player, dancer and singer- Hannah has taught the gamut to all ages. Although she was trained classically in her youth, Hannah’s teaching method is to organically and joyfully immerse in the music. www.hannahshiranaiman.com.

 

Shalva Makharashvili, Georgian Polyphonic Singing Instructor

Shalva

ShalvaMakharashvili, a Georgian native, has been performing the music of his homeland for over 30 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 is a past musical directed for Darbazi (www.darbazi.org) and continues to perform in and lead Zari (www.myspace.com/triozari). 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 folk songs.

 

Rosalyn Dennette, Former Roots Music Instructor

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Rosalyn Dennett is a violinist & singer/songwriter, mostly in that order. She plays as a solo performer and a side player, as well as being a member of the all-female Roots quartet Oh My Darling, and duo Dennett & de Groot with banjoist Allison de Groot. She has been nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award for Best Roots Album “Oh My Darling” and “Sweet Nostalgia” and has released 3 highly acclaimed full length albums that have all reached the top of the Roots/Folk charts across Canada and Europe. As a teacher, her philosophy is rooted in the folk tradition. She is a strong believer in passing on music as an aural tradition, and tend to focus on developing students abilities to learn by ear, but also understand the practicality of learning to read standard sheet music. http://www.rosalyndennett.com/
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