CTMD Magazine

Remembering Diego Obregón (1971-2020)

By | July 21, 2020

Born in Colombia’s Pacific coastal town of Guapi, Maestro Diego Obregón (1971-2020) was an amazing multi-instrumentalist, instrument builder, composer, performer and educator. Best known as a virtuosic marimba player and maker, Maestro Obregón specialized in Afro-Colombian genres such as currulao, juga, and bunde, and he also performed on indigenous percussion instruments such as cununo and…

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Remembering Rustam Samarqandi Khojimamedov (1969-2020)

By | June 15, 2020

  Photo courtesy Brooklyn Arts Council CTMD was sad to learn that our dear friend, New York-based Central Asian singer Rustam “Samarqandi” Khojimamedov passed away at age 51 in April 2020 of complications due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. We dedicate this page to his memory.  Rustam “Samarqandi” Khojimamedov (1969-2020) was one of the most accomplished…

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Ray Musiker – Generations: A Living Musical Legacy

By | June 11, 2020

CTMD is excited to present Generations: A Living Musical Legacy, a series of videos of new compositions by legendary klezmer clarinetist Ray Musiker (b. 1926), performed with his son, renowned pianist/conductor Lee Musiker. Additionally, we have partnered with Dan Blacksberg’s Radiant Others Klezmer Podcast Series  to feature an exclusive new interview with Ray. We are…

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Andy Statman – Innovation Across Musical Worlds

By | November 22, 2012

CTMD Executive Director Pete Rushefsky writes in Voices, the Magazine of the New York State Folklore Society about klezmer clarinetist/bluegrass mandolinist Andy Statman, one of the most versatile musicians to ever come out of New York’s music scenes. CTMD began working with Statman and his colleague Zev Feldman in the mid-1970s on a pioneering project…

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Remembering Giovanni Coffarelli: High Priest of Neapolitan Music

By | September 1, 2010

Giovanni Coffarelli, ‘high priest of an uninterrupted tradition’ and a star in the firmament of Neapolitan music, died on August 31, 2010 at 1:15 p.m. in Somma Vesuviana, Naples, Italy, after a long illness. Giovanni was an internationally known ambassador and teacher of the folk traditions of his native region of Campania, particularly of the…

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Remembering George Caba: Banat Romanian Violinist

By | February 18, 2010

It is with great sadness that we heard of the death of George Caba on February 17th, 2010. Our heartfelt condolences go out to George’s sons Craig and Patrick and to his sister Dorothy. We first met George when he came as a spectator to the Tribute to the Tamburashi program that Martin and Ethel…

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Remembering Eugenio Ortega: Colombian Vallenato Master

By | December 10, 2009

Eugenio Ortega October 14, 1932 – December 10, 2009 Master musician and founding director of Los Macondos, Eugenio Ortega, died in Colombia on December 10, 2009. Born in 1932, Ortega was a pioneer of Colombian vallenato music here in New York for many years and a cultural ambassador of traditional Colombian music throughout the United…

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Yuri Yunakov: Master of Bulgarian Wedding Music

By and | May 1, 2009

CTMD is pleased to honor Bulgarian Roma saxophonist Yuri Yunakov at our June 4, 2009 Benefit Event entitled “A Night in Istanbul.” Yuri is a long-time friend of CTMD and featured performer of our Touring Artists program, as well as a major innovator whose music is rooted in the traditions of the cosmopolitan Thracian hinterlands…

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Tamara Chernyakhovska : Encircled by Friends

By | February 1, 2009

Beginnings Tamara Zaika Chernyakhovska was born just after the Second World War in southeastern Ukraine, in the city of Dnipropetrovsk, in Ukraine’s industrial center, then under Soviet rule.  Tamara’s mother, Anastasiya Rubanenko, grew up in Diivka-Kodaky, the oldest part of the Katerinaslav district.  In the early 1930s, as a young woman, she found work in…

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Sue Yeon Park: Dancing with the Shaman

By | November 1, 2008

Over our forty year history, CTMD has had the good fortune to work closely with a number of National Heritage Fellowship Award winners. Each year, the National Endowment for the Arts selects ten to thirteen individuals (occasionally ensembles) to receive Fellowships—our national government’s highest recognition for excellence in folk and traditional arts. This year, we…

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Dendê Macedo: Drumming with Spirit

By | September 24, 2008

The Meaning of a Name When I talked by phone with Jailton “Dendê” Macedo, director, dancer, and drummer with the traditional Afro-Brazilian musical ensemble Ologundê, before the group opened CTMD’s Heritage Sunday performances at Lincoln Center in August, one of the first questions I asked him was where he got his nickname. As it happened,…

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Martin Vejarano: Healing Wounds through Music

By | April 1, 2008

Perhaps it is because of his mixed heritage of Afro-Colombian, criolloand Indigenous blood, that gaitamusic speaks to the passions of Colombian artist and teacher Martin Vejarano. Martin sees the beginning of a renaissance in Colombian culture where “culture cuts through violence and discrimination and unites people” and gaita music provides the much needed healing. And it’s no wonder, considering gaitamusic…

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Remembering Rudy Tepel and Marty Levitt: Interview with Professor Joel Rubin, University of Virginia

By | March 12, 2008

Over the past three months, the New York klezmer scene lost two leading old-time clarinetists/band leaders. Marty Levitt and Rudy Tepel were both active during a period when klezmer music declined in popularity amongst the mainstream American Jewish community, though demand grew within Hasidic circles. I interviewed Professor Joel Rubin of the University of Virginia, an ethnomusicologist and leading klezmer clarinetist…

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A Bridge of Hope: Sidiki Conde

By | November 3, 2007

If you have been following the work of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance (CTMD), you probably know of Sidiki Conde, the dancer from Guinea and leader of the African music and dance troupe called Tokounou. If you have seen him perform, you won’t soon forget the marvel of his dancing on his hands. What…

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Brian Cherwick: Dulcimer on the Prairie

By | October 4, 2007

As a fellow dulcimer player, I’ve been aware of Brian Cherwick for many years. He’s a multi-instrumentalist and one of the leading researchers and practitioners of the tsymbaly (hammered dulcimer) tradition of the Canadian-Ukrainian immigrants who settled the prairies of Western Canada. Holding a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology/folklore studies, Brian is used to playing the role of the ethnographer, so…

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Abdoulaye Diabate and Super Manden: West African Troubadours in New York

By | July 22, 2007

An 800-Year Tradition Super Manden is a collective of musicians based in New York City, who are dedicated to the performance and teaching of the Malinke oral tradition of Central West Africa known as Jaliya. Passed from generation to generation of hereditary musicians and storytellers, this tradition forms the basis for the larger Mandinka, or Manden…

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Luz Pereira: It’s All in the Timing

By | July 9, 2007

Hands clap and skirts fly, as feet shuffle and stomp against the heavy backbeat of the cajón, an Afro-Peruvian box drum. A dance of flirtation and courtship, the Marinera Limeña, is known as the national dance of Peru. A mix of African, European, and to a lesser extent indigenous sounds and movement styles, the dance is done in pairs,…

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Xiao Xiannian: New Sounds for Chinese Strings

By | May 11, 2007

It was a beautiful spring day in Chinatown when I stopped by the Mencius Society to talk with Xiao Xiannian, a virtuoso of the Chinese hammered dulcimer known as yangqin. Housed in a building on Grand St. near its intersection with Delancey, the Mencius Society (also known as the AiCenter, and formerly the Wossing Center) provides…

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Amalia Papastefanou: A Homecoming in Song

By | April 18, 2007

On a cold, rainy night in April 2007 I traveled with CTMD artistic director Ethel Raim by subway to Astoria, Queens to interview Greek Island singer Amalia Papastefanou at Dahdoo Productions’ studios. Studio director Richard Khuzami and HellasFM radio producer and host Athanasios (Thanasis) Tzouvelis welcomed us warmly, ushered us inside, and introduced us to…

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Kobzar of the East Village: Julian Kytasty

By | January 11, 2007

Julian Kytasty is perhaps North America’s leading exponent of the Ukrainian bandura. The bandura is a harp-like lute, and for hundreds of years bards known as “kobzars” (another name for bandura is “kobza”) traveled the towns and villages of central and eastern Ukraine earning a living playing the instrument while singing dumy (epic songs), religious…

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Michael Alpert and Zev Feldman: Saving Yiddish Dance

By | January 1, 2007

Back in 1978 when Zev Feldman helped the Center for Traditional Music and Dance (then known as the Balkan Arts Center) present octogenarian clarinetist Dave Tarras for a landmark series of concerts and a studio recording, he needed to find a way to describe Tarras’s music for a grant application.  This was the first project…

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In Memoriam: Ilias Kementzides, 1926-2006

By and | November 12, 2006

It is with great sadness that we bring you the news of the death of Ilias Kementzides. Ilias died in his home on November 11, 2006 at the age of 80, surrounded by his children, grandchildren and close friends. In these times of few heroes and role models, Ilias certainly was one of ours. He…

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