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.
- 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: email@example.com
- 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; firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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
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)
Click photograph thumbnails to open full-sized images.
Ketevan 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.
Shalva 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.
Tamila 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.
Shmagi 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.
Nikoloz 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.
Tamuna 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.
Eka 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 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.
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|
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
– 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