BODY PERCUSSION – BODY MUSIC – WORKSHOPS

About 4 years ago, MusiCamp’s director and founder, Andrea Kuzmich, started exploring ways to use body percussion in our kid’s summer camps. It not only functioned as a pedagogical tool to help with rhythm and arranging, but also heightened the excitement of any song – and really was inspired by Andrea’s interest to instantaneously make a party-like atmosphere through the body!

This past spring (June 2019) she was honoured to lead workshops on body percussion at the Ontario Womyn’s Drum Camp. In prep to do so, she started hosting informal body percussion sessions with adults at the MusiCamp studio.

With an interest to share and develop these skills more, Andrea will be hosting all-ages open workshops – dates at times still to be determined. If you’re interested, sign up below and we’ll keep you updated. And don’t forget to have a peek at our videos below.

Body Percussion Festival 2018

Body Percussion from our summer camps

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West African Drumming Camp

 
This week is all about the GROOVE! and making ancient West African Drumming fun, accessible and challenging, all at the same time.

  • NO DRUM NEEDED!
  • explore polyrhythms on djembes and dunun (a series of double headed drums played on their side)
  • build instruments (diddley bos or bucket basses) and explore aspects of rhythm and acoustics
  • sing songs and learn dances relevant to the rhythms
  • and tap into the ancient knowledge of the West African Mande musical tradition

This goes way beyond a drum circle! Campers will not only learn patterns on djembe and develop skills to solo but will also learn the interlocking patterns on the dunun – the soul of the West African Mande drumming tradition. These rhythms can be extremely challenging, even to pro drummers!

But with the guidance of guest instructor Anna Melnikoff, West African Drumming week at MusiCamp is set up to engage and teach the absolute inexperienced while at the same time provide on-going challenges for advanced drummers. And of course, at the end of the week, campers will perform for friends and family!

End of Week Performance 2013

Below is a slightly edited video is from our 2013 week-end performance of the children-composed rhythm “Timbaraba.”

NOTE: Because the speakers of computers and portable devices aren’t designed to capture the bass, to hear the dunun pattern you need to listen to this video with headphones or good speakers.

Although it is difficult to see, at the back left are 3 double headed drums known as dunun. The dunun play a complex interlocking rhythm upon which the djembes play another rhythm or solo.

Check out our MusiCamp Flickr Gallery for more pics of MusiCamp

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2019 MusiCamp Themes & Fees

2019 DATES!

15% EARLY BIRD registration discount before May 30!
$25 discount for additional weeks, siblings and referrals!
No additional fees or taxes charged!

July 15-19 ~ COMPOSITION & SONG ~ $285  more info

July 22-26 ~ WEST AFRICAN DRUMMING (guest artist!) ~ $350 … more info

  • Class sizes are small.
  • All-day (9am-4pm) programming with extended care available from 8:30am-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)
  • 2019 Registration can be accessed here
visit our Flickr Gallery – click on the images below

MusiCamp at a glance

Testimonials and Endorsements

SavvyMom.ca endorsed MusiCamp as one of Toronto’s Best!

In 2014 SavvyMom.ca listed MusiCamp as one of Toronto’s best Summer Day Camp! Click the image to visit their page.

Why weren’t there camps like this when we were kids? Located in a home studio close to Dufferin Grove Park, class sizes are small and no prior musical experience or skill is required. MusiCamp summer sessions include: The Blues, Singer-Songwriter, West African Drumming. Best For: Kids 8-14 who march to their own beat.

SavvyMomdotca Endorsment

Click the image to visit Savvymom.ca

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Testimonials from Parents

From Lesley, chlid attended Roots Music week 2014

My 9 year old tried banjo for the first time at MusiCamp. Almost a year later, he’s still playing! A small, friendly space where kids’ enthusiasm for music is nurtured. 

From Jason, child attended West African Drumming week 2013

Our daughter attended a drumming week two summers ago that she still talks about.  The experience gave her confidence, and exposure to music and stories she had never had before.  We were really impressed by the camp and the performance at the end of the week. Highly recommend.

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From Julie, child attended Roots Week 2014 and Composition & Song Week 2014

Great camp! Awesome music, lots of attention – my daughter loved it!

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From Liz, child attended West African Drumming week 2013

MusiCamp was an amazing experience for my son Cyrus. Not only did he learn from the fabulous instructors in the West African Drumming week, but the experience gave him the confidence to perform a drumming/vocal solo in front of his entire school. He loved all the activities especially the instrument making and the musical walks to Dufferin Grove Park. The week culminated in a glorious recital under the grapevines. I was immensely proud of what these young musicians had accomplished in only one week! Bravo MusiCamp!

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From Orsolya, children attended Roots Music week 2014

Lily and Oliver just finished a week of Music Camp. They loved the experience and they actually learned so much in such a short time!

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From Diana, children attended Blues week 2013 and 2014

My two boys attended the Blues week last year and the year before and it was amazing experience for them.
I am very glad that I will have the opportunity to bring my children again and they are very happy to go! Andrea is a very professional singer and a dedicated teacher! We were very surprised that in such a short time the kids have learned so many songs. In the end of week they performed together (in multi-part harmonies!) and they sounded beautiful.
I am highly recommending this camp!

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Front Page Headline: WE GOT THE BEAT, 

Bloor West Villager Aug 2013

Reminiscing the Dundas West Fest…

It’s time to start thinking of summer and I’m remembering the great time we had at the Dundas West Fest last couple of years!
(If interested you can view the 2018 line up or 2017 line up. The 2019 lineup will be updated soon!)

LOOKING FOR PERFORMERS:  know of any talented youth in the Dundas West neighbourhood? Have them fill out our CALL TO PERFORM!

And mark the date for this year’s festival SATURDAY JUN 8 2019

We’re super excited with MusiCamp’s stage, the talented youth that will perform, the FREE West African Drumming Workshop 1:25-2:30 and the FREE Community Dance workshops series culminating in a workshop-performance demonstration at 12pm!

 

 

 

 

Didgori in Canada

The Georgians are coming!
It is a very rare opportunity that 6 members of Didgori will be touring Canada from late May to mid June 2019. The last and only time a choir from Georgia was touring Canada was in the 1970s. This time, Didgori will not just be performing but also hosting singing workshops, with stops in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and other parts or Eastern Canada. Scroll down to view their Canadian tour schedule to date.
 
The award winning Didgori ensemble has been performing internationally since 2004 and has toured Russia, Turkey, UK, France, Switzerland, Israel, Poland, Uzbekistan, the Czech Republic and Latvia. Declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001, the millennial old Georgian polyphonic singing tradition, with its close harmonies and untempered scales, is often described as transformatively visceral. It features 3-part singing in a variety of styles, from hauntingly melismatic lyrical genres to exploding counterpoint.

 

Have a listen to a sampler track compiled from Didgori’s most recent CD Singing as a Lifestyle


 

As can be heard from the variety of songs in the above sampler, Didgori are masters of a variety of Georgian musical styles, the wide variety of which reflects the diverse and complex landscape that has housed the Georgian people for thousands of years. Didgori is dedicated to the traditions of their ancestors through mastery and popularization of Georgian polyphonic folk songs and chants, and to the hope that their efforts will inspire future generations. The name, Didgori, honours a historical battle in 1121 that helped reunite Georgia and ushered in a period of growth in arts and culture.
Watch them perform (and even dance!) an Abkhaz round dance in the video above or listen to a performance of a chant in the audio player below.

 

Current Listing of Performances and Workshops

Ori Shalva & co. (aka the Makharashvili 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 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.

By the way, Shalva is a traditional Georgian name and is the name of two of the members of the ensemble. Ori means 2 – which is why we call the group Ori Shalva & co.

Another side note: an off-shoot of Ori-Shalva is Gabo’s Trio.

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 was a soloist in and used to lead the community choir Darbazi and sings with his professional trio ZARI as well as numerous ad hoc groups within the Georgian community. 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; sings in the professional Georgian trio ZARI and was also a lead soloist in the community choir DARBAZI. 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.