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Zedashe Ensemble Flyer - color.
PDF (11" x 17", 160 KB)

Zedashe Ensemble Flyer - black and white.
PDF (11" x 17", 160 KB)

Zedashe Ensemble at St. George's Basillica

Zedashe Ensemble at St. George's Basilica.

Zedashe Ensemble

Zedashe Ensemble.
JPEG (2.1 MB)

Zedashe Ensemble


Zedashe Ensemble.
JPEG (2.4 MB)

Zedashe Ensemble

Zedashe Ensemble.
JPEG (1.7 MB)

Zedashe Ensemble, dancing

Zedashe Ensemble, Dancing.
JPEG (1.7 MB)

Zedashe Ensemble: folk music and dance from the Republic of Georgia, 2007 US Tour

Caucasus Georgian folk musicians and dancers, Zedashe Ensemble, is pleased to announce their 2007 tour of the United States.

Zedashe Ensemble now has a website at Zedashe.org. Both this page and that one have the same, up-to-date information on them, but you may wish to update your bookmarks for the future!

Zedashe Ensemble 2007 US Tour schedule:

Fri Oct 12th: Charlottsville, VA
8pm, Tandem Friends School, 279 Tandem Ln., Ticketed concert ($15)
Contact: David Slezak: 434-981-4161
Sat Oct. 13th: Washington DC
St. Nicholas Cathedral
7pm, sacred music performance, Ticketed concert ($10)
3500 Massachussetts Avenue
Contact: Lisa Morris, 202-333-5060
Sun Oct. 14th: Washington, DC
Katzen Center
6pm concert followed by Georgian wine and hors d'ouvres, ticketed concert ($40)
4400 Massachusetts Avenue
Contact: Maka Gabelia: 202-234-2441
Wed Oct. 17th: Princeton, NJ
Princeton University
3pm Symposium, Woolworth Music Building: Trends in Performance Practice in Georgian Traditional Music
Free event
8pm concert, Taplin Hall, Fine Auditorium
Free Event
Contact: John Graham: 802-922-3264
Thurs Oct. 18th: New York, NY
Columbia University
3pm, Grace Dodge Hall, Columbia University Teachers College
Panel presentation: "Trends in the Contemporary Performance of Georgian Song"
DIRECTIONS: 1 train to 116th St. (Columbia U.), walk up Broadway to 120th St., turn right and enter Teachers College Main Entrance (halfway between Broadway and Amsterdam). Inside, follow signs to Grace Dodge Room. The building is very well marked.
8pm Concert, Milbank Chapel, Columbia University Teachers College, Broadway and 120th St.
Free concert
DIRECTIONS: 1 train to 116th St. (Columbia U.), walk up Broadway to 120th St., turn right and enter Teachers College Main Entrance (halfway between Broadway and Amsterdam). Inside, follow signs to Milbank Chapel. The building is very well marked.
Contact: Lauren Ninoshvili 646-479-8748
Fri Oct. 19th: New Haven, CT
Yale University
7pm Concert, Dwight Chapel, Old Campus
Free concert
Contact: Sean Maher: 203-432-4136
Sat Oct. 20th and Sun Oct 21st: Enfield, NH
Weekend Workshop
Registration and more information
Contact: Patty Cuyler: 802-426-3210
Weds Oct. 24th: Hanover, NH
Dartmouth College
8pm Rollins Chapel
Ticketed event
Contact: Hopkins Center: http://hop.dartmouth.edu/
Thurs Oct.25th: Middlebury, VT
Dartmouth College
"Sounds and Tastes of the Caucasus" - Music, language, and food in Georgia
8:45 am - 1:00 pm
Kreindler Auditorium (Room 041), Haldeman Center
Download a Schedule
Middlebury College
8pm, Mead Memorial Chapel, Free concert
Contact: Judy Olinick: 802-443-5532
Fri Oct. 26th: Montpelier, VT
8pm, Union School Auditorium, School St
Ticketed concert ($15)
Contact: Larry Gordon: 802-426-3210
Sat Oct.27th: Portsmouth, NH
7pm concert; Ticket prices: $15 adults, $10 students/seniors
St. John's Episcopal Church
101 Chapel Street,
Contact: Church office/sexton (603) 436-8283; Kevin Siegfried (603) 957-0530
Sun Oct. 28th: Saxton’s River, VT
7pm, Christ's Church, Saxtons River, Ticketed concert
Contact: Mary Cay Brass: mcbrass@vermontel.net
Mon Oct. 29th: Amherst, MA
3pm, Buckley Recital Hall, Free Concert
Contact: Sara Leonard, 413-542-2195
Tues Oct. 30th: Boston, MA
New England Conservatory
4:00-5:30, Brown Hall, Lecture/Discussion: Traditional Music from the Caucasus
Free Event
Contact: NEC BOX office: 617-585-1260
Wed Oct. 31st: Cambridge, MA
8pm, Cambridge Friends Meeting House
5 Longfellow Park (off Brattle St.)
Ticketed event ($15)
Contact: Larry Gordon: 802-426-3210
Fri Nov. 2nd: Williamstown, MA
7:30pm, First United Methodist Church
777 Main St, Ticketed concert
Contact: Silvio Eberhardt: 802-447-1090; seberhardt@ablazesystems.com
Contact: Church Office: 413-458-3183
Sat Nov. 3rd: Ithaca, NY
Cornell University
8pm, Barnes Hall Auditorium, Free concert
Contact: Loralyn Light: 607-255-4760, LL48@cornell.edu
Sun Nov. 4th: Brooklyn, NY
3pm, Ticketed concert, ($15 donation)
Contact: Louisa: 917-549-1515
71 S. 3rd St., Brooklyn (Williamsburg), New York City
Metro: J/M/Z to Marcy Ave.,
Walk/Car: Northwest on Broadway (towards East River), Right on Berry, Left on S. 2nd Street, Left on Wythe Avenue, Immediate Left into parking lot, entrance to church venue from parking lot (walking distance 0.8 miles/12 minutes from Marcy Avenue Metro station).
Tues Nov. 6th: Athens, OH
Ohio University
7:30, free concert
Elizabeth Baker Theater, Kantner Hall, Ohio University
Contact: Krista McCallun-Beetty: 740-593-4330
Weds Nov. 7th: Oberlin, OH
Oberlin College
8pm, The Cat and the Crème, Hales Annex, 180 W. Loraine St.
Free concert
Contact: Amanda Blasko: 440-775-5130
Fri Nov. 9th: Pittsburgh, PA
8pm, The Brew House, 2100 Mary St., (South Side), Ticketed concert ($12)
Monica Gaydos: 412-381-7767
Sat Nov. 10th: Richmond, VA
St. Michael's Episcopal Church
8706 Quaker Lane, Bonair, VA
Contact: Don Spriggs: 804-272-9376;
Contact: Crystal Jonkman: 804-272-0992
6pm, Art Gallery Opening with wine and hors d'ourvres. Meet representatives from the Lazare Gallery, which houses approximately 1100 fine paintings from the Moscow School of Russian Realism.
7:30pm, Zedashe Ensemble performance, donations at door

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About Zedashe Ensemble

The Zedashe Ensemble is based in the medieval fortress city of Sighnaghi, Eastern Georgia, which has been home to the Kiziqian wine growers and warriors since ancient times. Directed by Ketevan Mindorashvili, the current incarnation of the ensemble was founded in the mid 1990s to sing repertoire largely lost during the Communist era. Their repertoire consists of ancient three-part harmony chants from the Orthodox Christian liturgy, folk songs from the Kiziqian region as collected from village song-masters and old publications, and folk dances from the region.

The Zedashe Ensemble also sings repertoire from other regions in Georgia, particularly the high North-Eastern mountain province of Svanetia, where time seems to stand still and the traditional, non-tempered tunings of the old Georgians remain alive in current practice. Folk song genres include field-songs, love songs, historical ballads, war dance songs, and ritual circle dances, and are accompanied by the chunir (Svan lute), panduri (Kiziq lute), chonguri (Gurian lute), doli (drum), chiboni (goat-skin bagpipes), and accordion.

The group's name is taken from the special earthenware jugs — zedashes — that were buried under the family home for the purpose of making wine. The wine made in zedashes was especially for the veneration of ancestors and the tapping of the zedashe every year carried great ritual significance.

On tour for the second time in the United States, the Zedashe Ensemble greets old fans, and looks forward to making new ones. The group has performed in numerous folk festivals throughout Georgia, toured abroad in England and the United States, and has recorded four albums, including the Raising of Lazare (2002), and In the Footprints of Our Ancestors (2006)

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Zedashe Ensemble Biographies

Click photograph thumbnails to open full-sized images.

Photo of Ketevan MindorashviliKetevan Mindorashvili, director of the Zedashe ensemble, was raised in a traditional singing family in her home of Sighnaghi, eastern Georgia. She has become well known as a singer and teacher of Georgian folk music, particularly the fluid ornamentation of eastern folk songs. She has a deep knowledge church chant, and is a master of the panduri, a three stringed lute from the region. Ketevan is also a solo dancer in the Jleha dance troop based in Sighnaghi, and brings the Zedashe Ensemble on their second tour to the United States with a new repertoire of folk dances.

Photo of Shalva MindorashviliShalva Mindorashvili was born and raised in Sighnaghi, where he is an English and Georgian language instructor. With his sister Ketevan, he is a cofounder of the Zedashe Ensemble. Shalva also dances in the Jleha dance troop, and has been involved in the revival of Orthodox liturgical music at nearby Bodbe Monastery.

Photo of Tamila SulhanishviliTamila Sulhanishvili is a piano teacher at the music institute in Sighnaghi, as well as the choir director at the local church of Saint George. She is an experienced workshop leader, and sings mostly first voice on church chants.

Photo of Shmagi PirtskhelaniShmagi Pirtskhelani is from the highland region of Svaneti, the second of eight siblings who were all raised singing and dancing traditional songs. Shmagi makes his permanent home in Sighnaghi, where he is an artisan, teacher and performer. He plays the panduri, chuniri (bowed viol), and chiboni (bagpipes).

Shergil Pirtskhelani also moved to Sighnaghi from Svaneti, after studying painting in the capital for two years. He directs a furniture design and build business in Sighnaghi, where he sings bass and second voice in the Zedashe Ensemble and performs with the Jleha dance troop. He plays panduri, chonguri (four string lute), and chuniri.

Photo of Nikoloz MorodeliNikoloz Morodeli has been an active member of Zedashe since 2004. Born and raised in Sighnaghi, he is a master of several folk dancing techniques, and co-teaches the children’s folk choir with Shmagi. In 2005, Niko organized the younger members of Zedashe to perform folk music in rural schools throughout eastern Georgia.

Photo of Tamuna BeridzeTamuna Beridze is a new member of the choir, a natural singer with a voice trained in eastern Georgian folk music. She has been a member of Tamila’s church choir since 2003, and sang top voice for Niko’s traveling school choir. She has joined this Zedashe this past year, and sings duets with Ketevan in their eastern Georgian repertoire of elegant, melismatic, and heroic ballad songs.

Photo of Eka TaralashviliEka Taralashvili was born in Sighnaghi, but her family comes from the remote highland region of Mtilueti, accessible only in summer months. She has been dancing highland dances with her family since a young age, and has been a laureate in numerous folk dancing festivals. Eka is a soloist in the Jleha dance troop, where she dances with her daughter Vika, and joins the Zedashe ensemble for this tour.

Erekle KanchurashviliErekle Kanchurashvili has been discovered by the Zedashe ensemble as one of the emerging best dancers of his generation in eastern Georgia. Erekle began dance training at age five under dance master Vano Chatncharauli, and has performed at folk festivals throughout Georgia. A recent addition to the Jleha dance troop, he joins the Zedashe tour where he will have a chance to showcase the incredible footwork of traditional martial and heroic dance from the Caucasus.

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Sample Sounds from Zedashe

Listen to 1-minute clips from Zedashe's 2006 album, In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors. (This album is now available from Northern Harmony Publishing Company.)

Mp3 About this song Region
Kiziqiri Mgzavruli "Folk song accompanied all walks of daily life in traditional Georgian culture. This travel song from eastern Georgia passes the time for relatives riding to a neighbor's wedding, a traditional feast, or coming to and from the fields." Kiziqi
Dali Koja From the high mountain passes of Northwest Georgia, ancient songs in unique tunings predate the Christian era. Featuring the chuniri (bowed viol) and hangi (Svanetian harp), this ritual song recounts the birth of demi-God Dali. Svaneti
Kalo Khalebit Nakargo This folk song is typical of solo-chorus ballads from eastern Georgia, and features the regional strummed panduri, a three-stringed fretted lute. Mtiuluri
Alilo The polyphonic liturgical chant tradition has roots in the 10th century, but traditional Christmas and Easter carols, such as this version of Alilo from eastern Georgia, may be even older. The words are characteristic of Christmas carols, "On the 25th of December, our Savior was born in Bethlehem... to this land, let peace and light reign." Kartl-Kakheti

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Comments from audiences and workshop participants

“I was so enchanted with Zedashe's last appearance that I decided to go to Georgia and experience this music for myself. Having had the opportunity to do so through Village Harmony in 2002, I am now a full-fledged "Georgiaphile.” I returned to Georgia in 2003 with my wife, and am planning a visit with two fellow singers this coming fall!”
– Mark Grieco, Saxton’s River, VT

"Georgian song changed my life. The haunting qualities and direct connection to the heart… it’s irresistible. Georgia is all about community; my first visit (so far!) allowed me to forge strong connections with our Georgian hosts, and has lead to the formation of a local Georgian trio."
– Silvio Eberhardt, Williamstown, MA

“Beware Zedashe. Their impeccable tuning and the casual air with which they deliver small choral gems to your unbelieving ears will, at the very least, afford you glimpses of the High Caucasus in the times of warrior knights and mountain fortresses. Singing with Zedashe in Georgia changed my life…. It could happen to anyone.”
–Susan Miller-Coulter, Burlington, VT

“I can say that whenever a member of Zedashe opens their mouth, a cathedral-worth of sound comes out!”
– Sarah Burghardt, Grinnell College, Iowa

“Zedashe made an enormous impression on me when I heard them in St. Paul's Cathedral in Burlington in 2001. The group's program that day featured pieces from all over Georgia, sacred and secular — a feast of musical offerings. The sonorities of the whole group, the fabulous ornamentation of the solo singers, the wonderful commentary — all made for an unforgettable afternoon, and awoke a hunger for more that has led to the trip to Georgia that I'm about to embark on.”
– Don Jamison, Burlington, VT

"From the first moment you hear Georgian music, it draws you in. When you hear the group Zedashe in concert, you immediately find yourself in the presence of individuals who treasure the rich culture and history of Georgia - expressing the beauty of their people, heritage, and nation through music and dance. The experience is captivating."
– David Lucs, New York City

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