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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MusiCamp Stage at the Dundas West Festival 2018!

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 stage in the Kids Zone again, providing more opportunities for our local and talented youth to showcase their art – plus we’re hosting a drum workshop. All starting at 11 am, at 1496 Dundas St West, just west of Dufferin.
The full line up of events can be found on our Facebook event page

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, Rebekah Wise, Sofia Kay and Gabo. Joining us for the first time is Emma Campbell. While Will Smythe is no stranger to the MusiCamp stage, he’ll be joining us in a whole new context – this year he’s not playing drums in a rock band but playing solo ‘cello! – his instrument of major at the Etobicoke School of the Arts.


 

But rock’n’roller Charley Lukashevsky (formerly of 321 Sleep) will be back with a new band, the Patti King. We’ll also have 2 dance performances by the Eclective Collective and mom-daughter indigenous interdisciplinary urban duo The Graces, who will also lead a dance workshop! And of course students from MusiCamp will feature some body percussion,  blue grass tunes and original compositions – some of which will call on audience participation!

 

 

WEST AFRICAN DRUMMING WORKSHOP 2:25 pm to 3:25 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 2017, 2016 and 2015 Dundas West festivals.

 

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 1496 Dundas St W, just West of Dufferin.  WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE!

FREE West African Drumming Workshop Jun 2 2018 at 2:10 PM

West African Drumming Workshop open to kids and their parents!

NEW TIME: June 2 2018 2:10 pmto 3:10 pm at the MusiCamp YOUTH STAGE at the Dundas West Festival, 1525 Dundas St West, just west of Dufferin

MusiCamp is hosting a free hands-on drumming workshop at the Dundas West Festival this Saturday, June 2 2018. Taught by AnnA Melnikoff, one of Canada’s foremost experts in the Mande drumming tradition, a tradition which predates the division of West Africa into the current political regions and arguably represents the roots of African American music, including the Blues, Rock & Roll, R&B, Mowtown, Funk, Soul, and many forms of pop music.

This goes way beyond a drum circle!West African Drum instructor Anna Melnikoff will teach workshop participants patterns and licks on djembe (as seen briefly in the video to your left). But Anna will also demonstrate the interlocking patterns on the dunun – the soul of the West African Mande drumming tradition. These rhythms can be extremely challenging, even for pro drummers! And with Anna’s guidance, this workshop is set up to engage and teach the absolute inexperienced while at the same time provide on-going challenges for advanced drummers.

In this workshop kids (& parents) will:

  • learn the difference between 3 basic slaps (slap, tone & bass) on the djembe
  • have a chance to practice these on the drum with a fun etude that develops these rudiments
  • have a chance to play the dunun
  • learn a basic accompaniment pattern
  • have a chance to solo
And we’ll even do some singing! Have listen to us at the 2015 Dundas West Festival.

The video to your left is from MusiCamp’s Summer Camps. the West African Drumming week. (Note: If you want to hear the groovy bass you’ll have to use headphones.)

Mande drumming is based on three stand-up drums called the dunun that play three interlocking rhythms often thought of as the melody. The djembes play accompanying patterns on top of this and are also used for soloing. To learn more about the Mande drumming tradition follow this link or if you are interested in our West African Drumming summer camp click here.

A Fun Singing Adventure at Harbourfront May 19 2pm

Join MusiCamp’s director, Andrea Kuzmich, for a fun, interactive, kid-friendly, family-inclusive event at Harbourfront this Saturday May 19 2-3:30 pm. FREE!

First we’ll do some singing. Then, following the lead of indigenous artist Tamara Podemski, we’ll weave the songs into theatrical story. Find out more about Why We Are Here as part of the Junior Festival at Harbourfront.

Dundas West Festival 2017 in Review

It’s time to start thinking of summer and I’m remembering the great time we had at the Dundas West Fest last year! The 2017 line up can be viewed here. And mark the date: this year’s festival will be Saturday June 2!

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