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

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THE GEORGIANS ARE COMING!

Don’t miss this very rare & exceptional opportunity to witness a millenia-old singing tradition from one of the world’s smallest & oldest surviving cultures.

People who are in the know are super excited. This sort of visit by 6 Georgians singers from the Didgori Folk Ensemble has never happened before in Canada. According to the long-time World Music Columnist for The Wholenote magazine, Andrew Timar,

It will be a huge moment for Georgian music in Canada, an opportunity that happens perhaps once in a lifetime (Andrew Timar, The Wholenote).

Didgori’s tour starts in Edmonton as part of a classical choral music festival and makes its way eastward. Thanks to co-presenters MusiCamp, Clay & Paper Theatre and Folk Camp Canada, Didgori will have their featured concert in Toronto on June 7 2019, 8 pm at Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity St Paul’s Centre (427 Bloor St West). If you’re in Kingston, you also have the opportunity to see them on June 10 12:15 pm, as part of the Choir Festival Series at St George’s Cathedral (270 King St E).

JUST AS IT IS OLD, IT IS HARD TO DEFINE…

No, we are not talking about Georgia in the states. We are talking about the country that is situated in the Caucasian mountains, that borders the Black Sea and shares borders with Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. It is situated on the cusp of Asia and Europe, and it’s likeness to either is often debated.

Interestingly, there are no migratory myths for the Georgians (whose population is approximately 3.7 million). They are indigenous to the Caucasus. They call themselves Kartveli and their land Sakartvelo. Compared to neighbouring countries (and perhaps due to its mountainous terrain) Georgia is known to have 17 distinct sub-ethnic groups, each boasting its own musical dialect. (More academic info on Georgian Polyphony can be found here.)

Perhaps this is why Georgian traditional music is also hard to define. It is certainly vocal heavy but it seems to meld together all sorts of appealing sonic qualities that makes it amenable to fit into festivals featuring a variety of styles – from classical and early music to middle eastern, to folk, world music and even improvised and contemporary new music! Truth is, the best way to understand the various appeal and the uniqueness of the music is to experience it live, so check out their tour info (Didgori in Canada, Didgori in Toronto) and see if they are performing near you! (You can also follow that link for some sound bites and videos of the ensemble.)

A CHANCE TO SING WITH THEM …

To further the exceptional nature of their visit, they are also hosting workshops where you have the chance to join in on the thousands of voices before you that have contributed to this millennia-old folk tradition. In Toronto, they are hosting 2 workshops:

  • Saturday June 8 5-7 pm at St Vladimir Institute ( 620 Spadina Ave, just S of Harbord)
  • Sunday June 9 11-4pm at MusiCamp Studio (11 Cobourg Ave, near Dufferin Mall)

But there are also workshops being held in Edmonton, Winnipeg and parts of Quebec. For more info, please visit the Didgori in Canada page. And don’t forget to tell everyone:

“THE GEORGIANS ARE COMING”

#TheGeorgiansAreComing

#DidgoriFolkinCanada

 

GABO’s TRIO

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.

UPDATE: Since returning from Georgia in the fall of 2018, GABO’sTRIO released a small EP. Check it out:

 
They also have another video from live TV and other moments in pictures we hope to share soon!
 

   
 
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.


 
 

Past Shows of GABO’s TRIO in Toronto 2018!!

Sunday Sept 30 2018 3-5pm Mel Lastman Square Discover Geogia – Cradle of Wine
Sunday Oct 14 2018 2-9pm 8th Annual Ossington Village Alleyway Party
Friday Oct 19 2018 7pm Poetics of Food and Song
Thursday Oct 25 2018 6-9pm Drom Taberna

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.

A FOLK OPERA

ZEMLYA / EARTH:  A Ukrainian Folk Opera 
May 17 8pm $30
St. Vladimir Institute (620 Spadina Ave)

 

ZEMLYA / EART : A Ukrainian Folk Opera

ZEMLYA / EARTH is an innovative interdisciplinary original work that features a contemporary context for the powerful and ancient women’s singing tradition of the Ukraine, a polyphonic tradition that has too often been overlooked – by Western academia and the rest of the world.

Growing up with Ukrainian grandparents, I often heard and sang Sovietized arrangements of folk songs. I always thought they were beautiful but, like most of the world, never thought much of the singing tradition. I only discovered how intense and varied their polyphonic tradition was about four years ago. The remarkable thing is that most people – even musicologists and ethnomusicologists – have no idea about this ancient and powerful tradition. So it gives me great pride to be a part of an innovative approach to presenting the music: a folk opera!

This project was initiated by KALENDAR, a performance singing group that grew out of the Kosa Kolektiv urban folk movement. With grants from the Ontario Arts Council, the Shevchenko Foundation, and the Ukrainian Credit Union, we were able to commission the expertise of ethnomusicologist/musician Marichka Marczyk – who is not only the co-created of the award winning Counting Sheep but has also spent over 15 years collecting songs in the fields of Ukraine and has an incredible ability to teach and share the essence of these songs with us. 

The show will premiere with only a single performance scheduled at St. Vladimir Institute on May 18, 2017. It is my hope that Zemlya‘s presentation of the ancient powerful women’s musical tradition (which involves choreographed movement, traditional dance, and background video) will reveal an ageless purpose of the music and viscerally remind us of the universal relationship humans have with the earth and each other.

For more information visit www.Kalendar.ca or visit KALENDAR’s FB event page.
Tickets can be purchased online from http://zemlya.brownpapertickets.com/
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