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Ziyia and Rumen Shopov - Greek & Romani music

  Friday , Sep 18, 2009         7:00 PM        $15 Children free

Event Details

ziyia_300Described as "the best traditional Greek band in America," Ziyia, a name which also translates to the small ensembles of rural Greece, performs Greek music with a love, passion and authenticity rarely seen in any genre. The band colors their music with a wide range of styles and emotions, "from the bright, lithe melodies of the typical island ensemble of violin, santouri and laouto to the heavy, passionate laments of mountainous Epirus." 

8PM Music. 7PM Dance lesson by Jerry Duke . Ethnic food by Hristos.

Co-sponsored by Voice of Roma

George Chittenden has been playing Balkan and Near Eastern music since the mid-1970s, having previously become familiar with the music through his experience as a dancer and performer.  He has studied music extensively abroad, focusing primarily on regional dance music of northern Greece and Anatolian Turkey.  This has included traveling to remote corners of both countries to experience the social celebrations in which music plays such a central role, as well as learning regional styles and playing techniques on several wind instruments from both rural and professional musicians. George performs regularly for ethnic communities and for folk music and dance events throughout the country and has toured abroad.  He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Lise and plays with two bands; Ziyiá, a traditional Greek music ensemble featuring regional instruments, and Édessa, known for playing high-energy dance music of the southern Balkans.

Beth Bahia Cohen of Boston, MA has her roots in Syria and Russia.  Her primary instrument is the violin, which she has played since childhood.  She also plays baglama and traditional bowed instruments such as the Cretan and Thracian lyras and the yayla tambur.  In trips to Greece she has studied with prominent traditional musicians such as Vangelis Zagoraios, violinist from Andros, and Manolis Manouras, lyra player from Crete.  She plays Greek music with Ziyiá and Middle Eastern music with the Eurasia Ensemble.  Beth also plays village Hungarian music, and traditional classical.  She teaches both classical and folk violin.

Christos Govetas was born in the village of Proti in the province of Serres in Greek Macedonia.  He is a well known singer and an accomplished bouzouki, laouto, oud, clarinet and zourna player.  Christos moved to the US in 1978 and has recently moved to the Seattle, WA area.  He has performed extensively in the US, Canada and Greece and has taught and performed Greek regional music at Balkan and Middle-Eastern Music and Dance Camps on both coasts of the US.  Currently he is a member of the nationally know bi-coastal band ZIYIÁ, and also of Pangéo in Seattle.

Lise Liepman  began her involvement with Balkan music in 1976 in the vibrant dance scene of the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a member and director of Westwind International Folk Ensemble for many years.  At a Balkan music and dance camp Lise first hear the sound of the santouri (Greek hammered dulcimer) and was hooked. She began studying santouri with the Philadelphia-based musician Yiannis Roussos.  She and her husband George Chittenden moved to Athens, Greece, where she continued her studies with the master musician Tasos Dhiakogiorgis.  Lise plays santouri, accordion, and baglama with the bands Ziyiá and Édessa and has toured internationally with the band Rebetiki Parea as well as Édessa.  She has taught santouri and Greek ensemble classes at Balkan music workshops on both the west and east coasts as well as in Hawaii.

rumencap_190_85Rumen Sali Shopov
Rumen "Sali" Shopov hails from the Turkish Romani (“Gypsy”) mahala (neighborhood) of Gotse Delchev, a crossroads town in Southwest Bulgaria’s Pirin Mountain range, neighboring the borders of Greece and Macedonia. He began his musical career at the age of ten when he joined his uncle's wedding band as a doumbek (goblet-shaped hand drum) tupan (double-headed bass drum), and barabani (drum set) player. Soon thereafter, he began playing tambura, the Bulgarian/Macedonian folk lute. When he was only thirteen, he won an audition to join the Nevrokopski Ensemble, Bulgaria’s first professional national folk ensemble.  At the age of 18, Rumen became the Nevrokopski Ensemble’s concertmaster and toured as an ambassador of Bulgarian culture with the group throughout Eastern and Western Europe, the Near East, and Canada for more than 20 years. Simultaneously, Rumen was also a lead member of several of the Pirin region’s hottest bands Biljana, Shturo Make and Orkestar Orbita, and an accompanist to a long list of Bulgaria’s most popular folk singers. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, he performs regularly as a percussionist with Edessa and Anoush, and as an accompanist to the vocal ensemble Kitka and numerous West Coast folk dance ensembles. Rumen has been on the teaching staff of the East European Folklife Center's Balkan Music and Dance Workshops, Stockton Folk Dance Camp, Balkanalia, and Kosmos World Music Camp.

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