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2007 Homegrown Concerts

Online Archive of Past Homegrown Concerts

All of the materials from the Homegrown Concert Series are available to visitors in the Folklife Reading Room. Selected materials will be made available online as digital versions are available.

December 12, 2007 at 12 noon
GandydancerGandydancer -- traditional string band music from West Virginia

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View the webcast of this presentation Time 1:1:31

The West Virginia stringband, Gandydancer, performs spirited old-time mountain music on a variety of stringed instruments. Five musicians, from various counties in West Virginia, play driving fiddle tunes and banjo pieces, and sing ballads, folksongs, and old-time spirituals in four-part harmony. The band takes its name from nineteenth-century railroad workers; much of their material emanates from that era. Ron Mullennex, Dave Bing, Mark Payne, Jim Martin and Gerry Milnes represent lifetimes of experience collecting and performing traditional music. They pride themselves on bringing to life unusual, old, and rare selections at their performances.

November 15, 2007 at 12 noon
Hoop Dances by Dallas Chief Eagle and Jasmine Pickner
(Rosebud and Crow Creek Sioux tribes of South Dakota)

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View the webcast of this presentation Time 0:58:50

Dallas Chief Eagle and Jasmine PicknerTwo first place World Hoop Dance Champions have joined together to model and dance a vision of male and female balance, harmony and respect as traditionally practiced by their ancestors. Dallas Chief Eagle, Rosebud Sioux tribal member, and Jasmine Pickner of the Crow Creek Sioux tribe are both world-traveled hoop dancers. They share with audiences an ancient hoop dance story outlining sacred hoop wisdom.

Dallas Chief Eagle is a member of the Rosebud Lakota (Sioux) Nation and master of the Hoop Dance. For Dallas, the Hoop Dance is more than a dance; it is a way of keeping Lakota traditions alive. The ancient and honorable tradition of the Hoop Dance explains the Plains Indian world view as the hoops intersect and grow into ever more complex shapes, always and forever returning to the beginning. His twenty-seven hoops represent the different colors and sizes of trees, which, to Dallas, also represent the diversity of life. His ornate dance regalia itself resembles a tree, with animals on its branches - a porcupine roach and eagle feather on his head, fur on his legs and dragonfly beadwork on his "trunk." As with the Lakota word can' gleska which means both "spotted hoop" and "tree," the two come together closely for Dallas, who demonstrates the power of this symbolism in his intricate hoop dance.

Jasmine Pickner, a member of the Crow Creek Lakota tribe, was encouraged to dance from an early age by her grandmother, Theresa Red Bear. Red Bear brought her family to Mitchell's Corn Palace during the 1950s and 60s to perform. At about age 7, Pickner began hoop dancing, and has become a leading proponent of the form. She is a member of the reigning World Champion hoop dancing team and the adopted daughter of Dallas Chief Eagle. Pickner credits the dancers she saw growing up with enhancing her interest in dancing, as well as the family tradition. She is an accomplished performer, having spent the past eight summers dancing each weekend at the Alex Johnson hotel in Rapid City.

October 17, 2007 at 12 noon
Aubrey GhentAubrey Ghent and Friends -- sacred lap steel guitar

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View the webcast of this presentation Time 1:05:00

Aubrey Ghent has been playing guitar and sacred lap steel for over thirty-eight years. The steel guitar was first introduced to the House of God Church by Aubrey's uncle, Willie Eason, during the 1940s. Willie taught Aubrey's father, Henry Nelson, who played for more than 50 years in the church and around the United States. Aubrey was greatly influenced by his uncle and father. He began learning the instrument at age six and playing for church services at age nine. He has continued his great family legacy of the lap steel style for thirty-eight years and has been named the "Master Lap Steel Guitarist." Ghent recorded on the Arhoolie roots label for six years and has several recorded selections on each of the label's Sacred Steel volumes. For more information, view the Aubrey Ghent External Link website.

Wednesday, May 23 Coolidge Auditorium
Dáithí Sproule, singer and guitarist & Robert Watt, Highland bagpiper

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View the webcast of this presentation Time 0:55:30

Dáithí SprouleDáithí Sproule is a guitarist and singer of traditional songs in English and Irish. He was born and raised in Derry City in the north of Ireland and moved to Dublin in 1968 to attend university. In the late sixties and early seventies, through his work with the group Skara Brae, he was one of first guitarists to develop DADGAD tuning for Irish music. From 1974 to 1978 Dáithí played most nights of the week in sessions and clubs in Dublin, frequenting the Four Seasons in Capel Street and performing with many great musicians, such as John and James Kelly, Sean Casey, Pádraig Mac Mathúna, Dáithí Connaughton, Paddy O'Brien and Catherine McEvoy. In 1978 Dáithí left his editing job in Dublin to play and record in the U.S. with Paddy O'Brien and James Kelly. A second album followed a year or two later, by which time Dáithí had settled in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. Here there was a thriving music and dance scene,and Dáithí played with the Northern Star Céilí Band, Miltown na nGael and Peat Moss and the Turf Briquettes. The 1980's also brought recordings with Tommy Peoples, Séamus and Mánus McGuire, Peter Ostroushko and Sean O'Driscoll. It was at this time that two longer-term partnerships also originated. One was the group Trian, with Liz Carroll and Billy McComiskey. The other was a friendship with Frankie Kennedy and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, which led to a long involvement with the band Altan. Dáithí has toured all over the world with Altan, including appearances at the Albert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and the Sydney Opera House. In addition to his performing life Dáithí is a composer of tunes, many of which have been recorded, and a writer of academic articles on early Irish poetry, legend and history and of short stories in the Irish language. He has taught courses on Old Irish, Celtic culture and Irish traditional music at University College, Dublin, the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul and the University of Minnesota. In recent years Dáithí has toured and recorded with Randal Bays and with the trio, Fingal, which includes Randal and James Keane. For more information, see the Dáithí Sproule External Link website.

Robert Watt

Born in 1978, Robert Watt was brought up in the small town of Maghera, Co. Derry at the foot of the Sperrin Mountains. With a keen ear for pipes from a very young age, he was first introduced to the instrument in the winter of 1985 in his local pipe band, Tamlaght O'Crilly. It was here that he took his first instruction from Pipe Major David Taylor and former Pipe Major of the band, John Crockett. Both of them were strict and disciplined instructors. It is no doubt this discipline that accounts for the precision and finger dexterity in Robert's playing. In 1998 he took an interest in solo piping and had the good fortune of meeting current mentor, Pipe Major Norman Dodds, another highly respected teacher and prolific prize winner from the 1960s through the 1980s. This was Roberts first introduction to Piobaireachd (the classical music of the bagpipe), and in a short time his name was appearing regularly in prize lists at home and in Scotland. In 2000 he competed for the Silver Medal prize at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban and at the Northern Meeting in Inverness. He surprised many by winning this prestigious medal on his first attempt at Inverness and subsequently took the runner up spot at Oban,again making history as the first person in Ireland to win the Silver Medal. On the strength of these triumphs he gained access to compete for the much coveted Highland Society of London's Gold Medal. The contest, limited to 30 competitors, is both recognized by the piping world as being the top prize and also every piper's dream. Robert achieved a very creditable third place in the Gold Medal competition at Oban in 2003.

April 25, 2007 at 12noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building

The Sama EnsembleThe Sama Ensemble -- Traditional Iranian music and dance

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View the webcast of this presentation Time 0:55:30

The Sama Ensemble, founded by Ali Analouei, was formed in 1998 from students of the Center for Classical Persian Music (CPCM). The Ensemble (whose name references the best known of the ritual dances of the Sufis, characterized by whirling) has performed under the auspices of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the National Geographic Society, several Universities, and venues such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Since its founding, the Ensemble has attracted professional performers, including Naser Khorasani, a renowned musician and Daf player, who joined Dr. Analouei as co-director of the Sama Ensemble in 2005. This event was jointly sponsored with the Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division.

Ali Reza Analouei (Ensemble Master Tombak) was born in Esfahan, Iran. His grandfather, Naser Ali was a renowned Master of Sufism. Inspired by this example, Dr. Analouei has undertaken the lifetime quest to amplify and apply the concepts of Sufism, Erfaan, and music within his playing, his teaching, and his personal development. He has always been inspired by, and closely followed the work and style of Iran's late Master of Tombak, Jahangeer Malek. Over the past two decades Dr. Analouei has played internationally in many concerts and ensembles, including various radio and television shows. He is the founder of the Sama Ensemble, and is currently a member of several important music groups based in the Mid-Atlantic U.S. At the age of ten he began playing Tombak, earning him a prize from Tehran high schools, and then became a member of the Kakh-e Javanaan (youth club) Ensemble.

A member of the American Psychological Association, Naser Khorasani (daf) is a Psychologist specializing in music therapy and meditation. He was born in Tabriz, Iran in 1971. He is a highly respected Master of Persian Classical Music Theory and Practice, and especially of the Daf, which is the musical instrument most used in Persian spiritual practices, as well as the Tanboor.

Other members of the ensemble include: Souri Shirzadi, Giti Abrishami, Hasti Esmaeli, Nazanin Zolriasatein, Audrey Elizabeth, Haydeh Eradat, Puneh Susan Hosseini , Neda Hosseini, Behnaz Bibizadeh, Steve Bloom, and Faribandeh Fayzmehr.

March 21, 2007 at Noon (Special Event for Women's History Month)
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building

Flory Jagoda and Friends -- Traditional Sephardic music from the former Yugoslavia and the world

Flory Jagoda

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View the webcast of this presentation Time 0:52:21

Flory Jagoda grew up in the Sephardic tradition in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in a musical family of which she is the sole survivor. A performer for much of her life, she is intent on preserving and passing on the traditions of her heritage so that they may not be lost and tragically forgotten. She has performed throughout the United States and abroad as a soloist and with her family, and she has also inspired, taught, and performed with most of the other groups in the U.S. who perform Sephardic songs. Her four recorded albums, Kantikas di mi Nona, Memories of Sarajevo, La Nona Kanta, and Arvoliko (released in 2006), along with her live performances, are acts of cultural preservation and salvage in the face of repeated destruction. Flory's repertoire is vast, encompassing Sephardic songs, songs in Serbo-Croatian from the former Yugoslavia, Italian folk songs, and her own compositions, many of which have become widely known. Her many honors for cultural preservation include a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002.

Howard Bass has performed throughout the United States as a soloist and has been a guest accompanist with vocal and instrumental ensembles throughout the Washington area and beyond. A founding member of La Rondinella, with whom he made three recordings for the Dorian label, he has also performed and recorded with HESPERUS, the Smithsonian Chamber Players, the Folger Consort, the Baltimore Consort, and the Choral Arts Society of Washington, among others.

Susan Gaeta is a vocalist and guitarist born in Hartford, Connecticut. For eight years she performed jazz and American folk music as a soloist in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she also studied and performed Argentine folk music accompanied by classical guitarist Oscar Casares. Susan recently completed an apprenticeship with  Flory Jagoda.  Susan performs nationally as a soloist, as a member the Sephardic group, Colors of the Flame, and as a guest accompanist for Flory Jagoda.

February 7, 2007 at Noon (Special Event for African-American History Month)
Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building



Read the event flyer essay

View the webcast of this presentation Time 01:02:58

Springing from a group that sang Christmas carols in the Washington area in 1990, Reverb has become one of the area's outstanding gospel groups. Two-time winners of the Washington Area Music Association's Wammie Award as the best gospel/inspirational harmony group, Reverb has performed along the East Coast and has toured East and Southern Africa, the Persian Gulf and the Caribbean. They have been featured on C-SPAN, BET, Fox Morning News, the WUSA Morning Show and other television programs. The group is also known for singing the National Anthem for the Washington Nationals baseball team at RFK Stadium, the WNBA Washington Mystics at the Verizon Center, and the NFL Philadelphia Eagles at Veterans Stadium. In 2004, they released "The Mission Statement," a CD which Washington Post music critic Mike Joyce describes as "winning mixture of vocal dexterity, impressive craftsmanship and heartfelt emotion."


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