Program - Classics - University of California, Santa Barbara


Program - Classics - University of California, Santa Barbara
Through the generosity of the Argyropoulos Endowment for Hellenic Studies
Original Compositions & Traditional Music from Greece & Beyond
Friday, October 19, 2012, 8 PM
University of California at Santa Barbara, Multi-Cultural Center
I. Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble
Kelly Atkins, Caitlin Tabancay Austin, Shira Cion, Janet Kutulas, Elizabeth Setzer,
Michele Simon, Lily Storm, and Corinne Sykes
Greek Folk Songs from Thrace, Epirus, Macedonia, Asia Minor,
Cappadocia, and the Greek Islands
II. Labyrinth-Teslim
Ross Daly, Kelly Thoma, Kaila Flexer, Gari Hegedus, and Miles Jay
Original Compositions and Traditional Music from Greece and Beyond
III. Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble, Labyrinth, and Teslim
Songs from Kalymnos, Macedonia, and Thrace
Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble
Kitka is an American women’s vocal arts ensemble inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe.
The Oakland, CA-based octet has earned international recognition for its distinctive sound, a sound which explores a vast
palette of ancient yet contemporary-sounding vocal effects. Kitka’s commitment to presenting traditional song as a living and
evolving expressive art form has led to adventurous collaborations with some of the world’s most exciting indigenous musicians
and contemporary composers ranging from Le Myst̀̀ere des Voix Bulgares to Meredith Monk.
Currently celebrating its 32nd season, Kitka began as a grassroots group of amateur singers from diverse ethnic and musical
backgrounds who shared a passion for the stunning dissonances, asymmetric rhythms, intricate ornamentation, and resonant
strength of traditional Eastern European women’s vocal music. Since its informal beginnings, the group has evolved into an
award-winning touring ensemble known for its artistry, versatility, and mastery of the demanding techniques of regional vocal
styling, as well as for its innovative explorations in new music for women’s voices. Past engagement with Greek vocal traditions
include collaborations with the Greek-American bands Ziyiá and Pangéo, and performances as the Greek Chorus and Trojan
Slave Women in the American Conservatory Theater’s acclaimed productions of Euripides’ Hecuba starring Olympia Dukakis
and featuring original music by David Lang (winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Music). (
Ross Daly
Although of Irish descent, Ross Daly defies ethnic classification. From a very early age, Daly discovered that music was, in
his own words, “the language of my dialogue with that which I perceive to be sacred.” This dialogue eventually led him to studies and collaborations with many master artists representing an astonishing variety of musical traditions. With mentors ranging
from Greek, Kurdish and Afghan folk players to international musical icons like Ravi Shankar, Daly has cultivated a refined
and prolific artistic voice, informed and inspired by the musical languages of the world. Widely traveled, Daly has been based
on the island of Crete for decades. Universally recognized as one of the foremost experts on the island’s rich musical traditions,
he established the Labyrinth Musical Workshop in the town of Houdetsi. The Labyrinth Musical Workshop is a unique educational institution and ethnic instrument museum staffed by international master musicians and dedicated to the study of the
world’s modal music traditions.
To date Ross Daly has released more than thirty five albums of his original music as well as of his own arrangements of traditional melodies that he collected during his travels. In the summer of 2004 Daly was the artistic director of the cultural
program of the Olympic Games for the Olympic city of Heraklion on the island of Crete, titled “Crete, Music Crossroads.”
He organized and artistically supervised 15 concerts with the participation of 300 renowned musicians from all over the world
including: JordiSavall, Eduardo Niebla, Huun Huur Tu, Habil Aliev, Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan, Mohammad Rahim Khushnawaz, Trio Chemirani, and Adel Selameh among many others. (
Kelly Thoma
Born in Pireaus, Kelly Thoma has been studying the lyra with Ross Daly since 1995. Since 1998, she has toured with Daly
and various configurations of his Labyrinth group, participating in concerts in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the USA. As a core
member of Labyrinth, she has taken part in many projects with musicians representing different traditions from around the
globe. Kelly also performs with the string quartet TOKSO. Anamkhara, her first album featuring her original compositions,
was released in 2009 by Seitron Music. (
A freely moving, lush meeting of musical minds, this duo unites violinist Kaila Flexer with multi-instrumentalist Gari
Hegedus (oud, saz, lauoto). Together, they explore a shared fascination and deep resonance with the sounds and musical
forms of the Eastern Mediterranean. Both Flexer and Hegedus are composers who are inspired by the fertile sounds of Greek,
Turkish, and Sephardic traditions. (
As a composer, Flexer’s work reflects her deep respect for folk music, while showcasing her ability to create new and expansive
musical landscapes. As a producer, Flexer founded Klezmer Mania!, a much-loved annual Bay Area Jewish music event for over
10 years (1989-2002). Her most recent annual Jewish music event is Pomegranates & Figs: A Feast of Jewish Music. She has
been at the helm of bands such as Third Ear, Next Village, and Kaila Flexer’s Fieldharmonik. (
In addition to playing in Teslim, Hegedus is sought-after for his very personal and heartfelt approach to music. In addition to
performing with world music groups Janam, The Helladelics, Eliahu and the Qadim Ensemble, Hamed Nikpay, and numerous
other Bay Area Balkan ensembles, he is a luthier and spends many hours making instruments, repairing old sazes and ouds he
finds, coaxing out the true voice of these treasures. Gari has studied with oud master Naseer Shamma. He has toured with the
Mevlevi Dervish (Sufi) Order of America and continues to participate in Turkish ceremonial and devotional gatherings around
the country. (
Miles Jay
Miles Jay is an internationally active contrabassist, multi-instrumentalist and composer. From his roots in Jazz and Classical music, Miles has devoted himself to the Music of the Eastern Mediterranean, having based himself out of Cairo and Beirut
the last 6 years to work as a musician and develop his sound. Inspired to expand the musical role of the bass in Near Eastern
music, Miles has invented and hand built his own unique instrument, the Contrabass Sintir, which combines attributes of
several traditional Arabian / North African instruments, with the playing position of an upright bass. To his playing approach,
Miles has adapted a whole range of melodic techniques from Arabic, Turkish, and Greek music. Miles has performed in over 20
countries, in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Emirates Palace, and the United Nations, with artists such as Youssou N’Dour,
Ziad Rahbani, Naseer Shamma, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, Mashroa Layla, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Ross Daly, Trygve
Seim, Fathya Salama, Azam Ali and Niyaz, Zeid Hamdan, and Dr. Ali Jihad Racy. His 2012 solo release “the Troposphere,” is
available on all major online stores and through
The Labyrinth evening of Greek music is made possible through the
generosity of the Argyropoulos endowment in Hellenic Studies. The
performance is presented by the UCSB Multi-Cultural Center, and
organized by Professor Sara Lindheim and Professor Helen Morales
in the Department of Classics, in collaboration with Professor Scott
Marcus of the Ethnomusicology Program in the Department of Music.
PRofessor Sara Lindheim is Chair of the Department of Classics at UCSB. Educated at Amherst College
and Brown University, she taught at Scripps College before moving to UCSB. She enjoys working collaboratively and has been
Vice-Chair of the Comparative Literature Program. Her published work is primarily in Latin literature, although as a Classicist,
she is equally passionate about Greek literature and culture.
Professor Helen Morales was educated at the University of Cambridge, England, and has taught at the
Universities of Reading, Arizona State, and Cambridge where she was a faculty member and fellow of Newnham College for
eight years before moving to UCSB in 2009. Daughter of a Greek father and English mother, she is a committed Hellenophile
and has published on the ancient Greek novel, Greek mythology, drama and poetry, as well as on modern Greek identity.
Professor Scott Marcus was educated at UCLA, and is Head of the UCSB Program in Ethnomusicology.
He is an expert in the music of the Arab Middle East and Northern India. He founded and continues to direct the UCSB Middle East Ensemble and the UCSB Music of India (sitar) Ensemble. The Middle East Ensemble and Middle East Dance Troupe
regularly perform Greek music and dance in addition to other music and dance traditions across the Middle East.
The mission of the UCSB MultiCultural Center is to promote cultural awareness,
interaction, and education. The Center provides a myriad of programs from various cultures, both
national and international, to foster a multi-multicultural worldview. For culturally affiliated student organizations, the Center provides a space to hold programs of a social or educational nature.
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