About Andrea

KuznKidz

Andrea Kuzmich is an award singer, a teacher, an ethnomusicologist (PhD candidate at York University), and mother of 2 boys (5 and 10 years). Her eclectic musical activities defy her conventional classical beginnings. Besides grade 8 piano RCM, choral singing, and performances in four different Canadian Opera Company productions and as a cellist with the McMaster Symphony by the age of 16, Andrea has: 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; and specializes in the haunting and ancient harmonies of Caucasus Georgia.

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.

MUSIC IN JUNE 2013

In case you want to meet Andrea in person and hear her in some of her eclectic musical projects, there are a number of opportunities – from Traditional Georgian polyphony, to solo jazz (voice and guitar), to more contemporary jazz-oriented improvisation. All events are free unless otherwise noted.

Thursday June 13 2:30 pm 2013 the Cake Walk Game at the  Dewson Festival SOLO GUITAR AND VOICE

It’s festival time at Dewson Public School and I’ll be providing the music for the Cake Walk game — Ooooo what fun! And such awesome cakes to be won.

Friday June 14 6pm 2013 Help Us Help the Children Fundraiser with KOSA KOLEKTIV $$$/person

The womens’ Kosa Kolektiv aims to revitalize and reinterpret the entire web of peasant folklore in an urban context. In this case, the Kosa Kolektiv and Lemon Bucket Orchestra are providing the traditional unamplified entertainment for a high brow fundraiser for HUHTC, A Project of Children of Chernobyl Canadian Fund. More info can be read here http://www.huhtc.ca/houseminglefundraiser.htm.

Saturday June 15 2013 11am-1pm Main Street Farmer’s Market SOLO GUITAR AND VOICE

Andrea Kuzmich performs solo voice and guitar. 132 Robinson Street (Markham Road, 2 lights north of Hwy 7 on Robinson street)

Sunday June 16 2-5 pm Day of Delight in Dufferin Grove Park with BROULALA

Produced by Clay and Paper Theatre, Day of Delight: A Toronto celebration of Love, Courtship and Desire is a inter-disciplinary mixed media event in Dufferin Grove park. Broulala, is an a cappella collective improvising ensemble that features 4-6 singers. At Day of Delight Broulala will metaphorically extend the roots of jazz and wander the parklands of Dufferin Grove to create intimate spaces of vocal improvisation based on reinterpretations of standard love songs.

Sunday June 23 3 pm Waterfront Festival at Ontario Square, Harbourfront Centre with DARBAZI

Darbazi is a 10-member chorus that sings the ancient and haunting harmonies of Caucasus Georgia http://www.Darbazi.com. For more information on the Waterfront Festival, visit  http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/summer/waterfrontfestival/

Tuesday June 25 3:30 – 7:30 pm CityPlace Farmer’s Market SOLO GUITAR AND VOICE

Andrea Kuzmich performs solo voice and guitar at Canoe Landing Park (N or Lakeshore, E of Bathurst) http://www.my-market.ca/cityplace.html.

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Mande Traditional Music

During the West African Drumming Week, we’ll be exploring the Mande musical tradition – more of which can be read (and seen in videos) just below this introductory section on the history of Mande drumming.

In 1235, the Mande warrior king named Sunjata Keita rose to power and united many kingdoms in West Africa to establish the Mande empire and what would be a 200-year golden age of peace and prosperity in the region.

Musicians at this time were more than just musicians. They were highly valued as negotiators, praise singers and historians. This history and its musical tradition lives on in a large part of west African countries, including Mali, Guinea, Gambia, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Guinea Bissau as well as parts of Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

sundiata king

By the way, the story of Sunjata Keita is incredible since he was born a cripple and was exiled from his home because of this. Yet, he not only overcame his disabilities but established the prosperous Mande empire. More youth-oriented information can be read here: http://www.africa-junior.com/en/youth/knowledges/sundiata-keita.html.

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How MusiCamp Will Explore Mande Music

Guest host AnnA Melnikoff , with her expertise in the Mande drumming tradition, will guide us through this week’s activities. She’ll be bringing her exquisite drums which include djembes and a set of 3 bass drums called dunun. Each dunun has its own pattern which overlap with one another to form a melody upon which djembes can solo. In this week, you’ll get a chance to learn the various dunun patterns, djembe accompaniment patterns as well as a group djembe solo.

Focusing on rhythms that accompany rights of passage, participants will also build masks and explore the meaning of the drums and the rhythms from the very ancient Mande tradition.

Check out the videos below to get a sense of what we’ll be playing in the West African Drumming Week!

 

An Idea of Mande Drumming in Videos

SOUNDS OF MANDE DRUMMING

The 3 drummers standing are playing the dunun – the smallest drum is called the kenkeni, the middle drum is called the sangban and the largest drum is the dundunba. The guys sitting are playing 2 different accompaniment patterns on djembes.

THE SOUND OF THE DJEMBE

This one the drum instructor is demonstrating the 3 different tones on the djembe – tone, slap and bass, or in French “ton,” “claque,” and “bas” . By the way, French is spoken in many West African countries.

THE SOUND OF THE DUNUN

This video starts with a pattern on the middle dunun drum known as the sangban. Then the kenkeni (the smallest drum) is introduced. Note it is the simplest of all the 3 drum patterns but has the most important role of keeping the beat steady. Finally the bass drum, the dundunba, is introduced.

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What are Circle Songs?

Rather then try to explain what are circle songs, have a look at this video “Bobby McFerrin Spontaneous Chorus.”

This performance is like a collection of  circle songs. Bobby McFerrin sings a little repeated melody (an ostinato) and hands it over to a group of singers. Then he creates another melody/ostinato and hands it to the next group of singers, and so on, all the while he may also be soloing (making up a melody) on top of the groove the singers are keeping. By the way, all the singers are most likely not a rehearsed chorus but just audience members who just volunteered to go up on stage.

The approach to circle songs at MusiCamp is not that much different than what you saw in the video. Of course, we won’t be on stage and we’ll start off with very simple melodic patterns and some rhythmic ones as well. And depending on the group, the circle songs can develop musically from there. The wonderful thing is you don’t need to be an amazing singer to create this collective, groovy fun music. Also, campers who wish to explore their soloing abilities will be given that opportunity. Whether they want to scat, howl , make rhythmic noises, or invent a language – the groove set up by the rest of the group gives them an opportunity to explore solo expression in a safe and supported environment. I’m really looking forward to this!

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The Studio

The camp is located in a newly renovated studio in a private home on a quiet cul-de-sac close to Dufferin Mall (Dufferin and Bloor, see the map to your right).

Below are Flickr galleries of the indoors and outdoors from our 2013 summer music camps.

MusiCamp Studio

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MusiCamp - the grapevines

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