THE SWEETEST SONG: Brooklyn Traditional Singers and Their Songs

FA_TSS_Galeet Dardashti in performance_color

The Sweetest Song Festival (TSS), 12 concerts and 8 singing master classes to be held at various Brooklyn venues in Spring 2014, explores a range of singing traditions as practiced and performed in Brooklyn immigrant and diaspora communities. TSS is designed to engage a diverse audience of New Yorkers in a creative, cross-cultural exchange with some of the finest traditional singers living in Brooklyn.

Singing is at the center of traditional family and community life for Brooklynites of all backgrounds. It is the art form perhaps most widely practiced and appreciated within community, and yet traditional songs—from Georgian table songs and Dominican salves to Carnatic Hindu devotional songs and Balkan laments—are rarely shared across cultures or with the general public. TSS fills this gap, creating an unprecedented opportunity for audiences to learn about a wide range of song traditions continued by their Brooklyn neighbors.

Songs will be presented by masters of culturally-specific song traditions, such as Winston “Jeggae” Hoppie, a leading performer of Guyanese kweh-kweh songs, Eva Primack, the renowned singer of Balkan music, and Jose Ortiz, an acclaimed Puerto Rican bombero. Most TSS concerts afford the opportunity for audiences to learn a bit of a song and sing it together. Brooklyn singers can sign up for master classes, to be held at the Brooklyn Music School, taught by some our TSS performing artists.

Every culture claims “the sweetest song” is theirs, but in Brooklyn, the sweetest song is ours!

The Sweet Song Festival
April 26 through May 27, 2014.

Brooklyn’s Sweetest Songs: A Traditional Song Sampler
Saturday, April 26, 2014, 4-5:30pm
Brooklyn Public Library, Central, Dweck Auditorium. 10 Grand Army Plaza

Encounter with Hindu Devotional Singing
Sunday, April 27, 9-11pm
Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St., West Village, Manhattan
*No admission fee for the show but the café charges a $10 minimum on food/drink.

Singing the Gods: Songs of Devotion, Praise and Invocation
Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 11am-12:30pm
Brooklyn College, Woody Tanger Auditorium inside Brooklyn College Library; enter at Campus Road and Hillel Place

Young Traditionalists: Rocking Their Roots. Pete Seeger Tribute Concert
Friday, May 2, 7-9:30pm
Brooklyn Music School Auditorium Theater, Brooklyn Music School, 126 St Felix St

Pakastani Encounter: Midwood’s Master Ghazal and Thumri Singers
Saturday, May 3, 2014, 7:30-10:30pm
Royal Catering Hall, 818 Coney Island Avenue
* Food + Music inclusive at $20

Ballads, Blues, and Banana Boat Songs
Thursday, May 8, 2014, 6:30-8:30pm
Jalopy Music Theatre, 315 Columbia St. (Red Hook)

Persian and Balkan Break-out! Brooklyn Singers Expanding Traditions
Saturday, May 10, 2014, 9-10:30pm
BAM Café at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Ave

Mothersongs: Traditional Singing by, for, and about Mothers
Sunday, May 11, 2014, 1-3 pm
Actors Fund Arts Center,160 Schermerhorn St.

Haitian Encounter: Traditional Vodou Songs Collected by Georges Vilson
Wednesday, May 14, 7-9pm
City Lore Performance Space, 56 East First St.

Sung Among Friends: Intimate Georgian and Yiddish Singing Traditions
Thursday, May 15, 7-9pm
City Lore Performance Space, 56 East First St.

Brooklyn Masters of Traditional Song
Saturday, May 17, 2014, 4-5:30pm
Brooklyn Public Library, Central, Dweck Auditorium. 10 Grand Army Plaza

Singer-to-Singer Master Classes
Tuesday evenings May 6, May 13, May 20, and May 27 from 6:30-9pm
Two classes per night (6:30-7:15pm and 7:30-8:45pm)
Brooklyn Music School, 126 St Felix St


**This programs was curated by former BAC Folk Arts Director, Dr. Kay Turner.**

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