Andrea Kuzmich, Camp Director and Instructor
Andrea Kuzmich is an award winning singer, a teacher, an ethnomusicologist, music facilitator and mother. 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 performed 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 Canada’s foremost practitioner and academic of Georgian polyphony and was a featured soloist in Darbazi, sings in the award winning ensemble ZARI as well as with her family, Ori Shalva, which was most recently featured in Toronto’s Body Percussion Festival 2017 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre Theatre. 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.
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 runs a blog on the music of the Caucasus kuzinthecaucasus.wordpress.com.
AnnA Melnikoff, West African Drum Instructor
Hannah Shira Naiman, Roots Music Instructor
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
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