32 Broadway, Suite 1314 • New York, NY 10004 • Tel: 212-571-1555 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasures of the CTMD Archive
For a technical description of the CTMD Archive click here
In honor of CTMD's 45th Anniversary in 2013, we are pleased to present Treasures of the CTMD Archive, a 10-part series of video shorts posted weekly to this page and to CTMD's Facebook site beginning May 1.
Week 4 (May 22) - Los Pleneros de la 21: Los Pleneros de la 21 is a group that performs the Afro-Puerto Rican traditions of bomba and plena. The group features Juan Gutiérrez, a recipient of a NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1996.
Plena music originates in Puerto Rico's coastal cities. Plena features a driving rhythm provided by a group of panderetas (round-frame drums), as well as alternating solo and group refrains that are often improvised on contemporary topics. Los Pleneros also performs bomba - a centuries-old form rooted in traditions brought to the plantations from West Africa. Bomba features a lead drum (requinto) that engages in an improvized dialog with a solo dancer. Bomba songs often have mystical connotations.
Juan Gutiérrez was born in 1951 in Santurce, Puerto Rico, and grew up in the San Juan suburbs. He came to New York and continued to study plena with master Marcial Reyes Avelo. Gutiérrez later found teachers who could help him to master bomba. Los Pleneros de la 21 was founded in New York by Gutiérrez and Reyes in 1983; the name literally means "the plena musicians of bus stop 21." For thirty years the ensemble has been recognized as ambassadors of Puerto Rican bomba and plena, with extensive international tours to their credit. This rare video is from 1991. Click here for the group's website.
Week 3 (May 15) - Liz Carroll: Born in 1956, Liz Carroll is a master Irish fiddler from Chicago. Her family hails from the counties of Offaly and Limerick in Ireland, and her father Kevin Carroll was a button accordion (box) player. At only 18 years old she won the prestigious All-Ireland senior division competition on fiddle. Carroll was featured in a 1980’s CTMD program with folklorist/musician Mick Moloney that created Cherish The Ladies, an ensemble that has gone on to become international ambassadors for the participation of women in Irish music. Carroll received a NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1994, and was nominated for a Grammy in 2009. This rare footage is from a 1986 performance; Carroll is accompoanied by her father on box and Mark Simos on guitar. Click here to go to Carroll's website.
Week 2 (May 9) - Ilias Kementzides: Ilias Kementzides (1926-2006) was a Pontic Greek lyra player. He was born in Kazakhstan, of Greek parents from Sampsunda, Pontos. The Pontic Greeks lived from ancient times in the Pontos area of Asia Minor (Turkey), on the southeastern coast of the Black Sea. The community resettled in Greece as part of the compulsory exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey in the early 1920s, but some families also relocated into areas under Russian rule. In 1940, Kementzides moved with his family to Greece and settled in a small town near Thessaloniki, an area heavily populated by Pontic Greeks, and in 1974 he immigrated to the US. During his 32 years living in the United States, Kementzides played at scores of community weddings and christenings, concerts and festivals, and a presidential inauguration. He was a favorite at Pontic Greek clubs, whether in Astoria, Queens or in Norwalk, Connecticut, informally making music for others to sing and dance to and regularly accompanying the vibrant performing groups in the Pontic community. Kementzides received a National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1989. Click here for more information.
Week 1 (May 1) - The Popovich Brothers: The Popovich Brothers were a Serbian-American tamburitza band from South Chicago. The ensemble featured brothers Ted and Adam Popovich. Adam Popovich (1909-2001) was a recipient of a NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1982. Footage is from CTMD's 1977 film, The Popovich Brothers of South Chicago, directed by Jill Godmilow, produced by Martin Koenig, Ethel Raim and Godmilow. For more information about Adam Popovich and the Popovich Brothers click here.
ABOUT TREASURES OF THE CTMD ARCHIVE
Treasures of the CTMD Archive features rare, one-of-a-kind video of leading masters of immigrant music and dance traditions that have been recently digitized from our Archive. Most of the artists presented in this series are (or were) based in the New York metropolitan area. Sadly, a number of these masters are no longer with us, and so the CTMD Archive provides vital, and sometimes singular, documentation of their artistry and traditions.
Watch the Treasures of the CTMD Archive Preview Video:
Week 5 (May 29) - Festival Shqiptar (Albanian Festival): CTMD worked with community leaders to organize the first Festival Shqiptar in 1991. The Festival, which still occurs annually at Lehman College in the Bronx, features performers of rural and urban Albanian music and dance.
Week 6 (June 5) - Keba Cissoko: Keba Cissoko (1962-2003) was a master of the kora (gourd harp), and major exponent of the jaliya (hereditary singers/bard) tradition from Guinea Bissau.
Week 7 (June 12) - Dave Tarras: Dave Tarras (1897-1989) was a renowned Jewish klezmer clarinetist from the Ukrainian province of Podolia, and is generally considered to be the musician/composer most responsible for the creation of a uniquely American klezmer sound. He received a NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1984.
Week 8 (June 19) - The Women of Shashmaqam: The Queens-based Ensemble Shashmaqam features a group of leading Bukharian Jewish performers from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. They perform a wide repertoire of the musical traditions of Central Asia. A singer with the ensemble, Fatima Kuinova, received a NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1992.
Week 9 (June 26) - Periklis Halkias: Periklis Halkias (1908 - 2005) was an Epirotik Greek clarinetist originally from the mountainous region of Pogoni in northwestern Greece. He immigrated from Greece to Astoria, Queens in 1963. Halkias received a NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award in 1985.
Week 10 (July 3) - Banat Romanian Orchestra: A Queens-based, multi-generational ensemble of musicians from the Banat, a historical region that stretches between the borderlands of Serbia and Romania.
Special thanks to CTMD archival interns Taylor Bergman-Chrisman, Jesse Chevan and Rebecca Kunin for their work on this project. Treasures of the CTMD Archive is made possible through the support of the Emma A. Sheafer Charitable Trust. Archival digitization was made possible through the support of New York State Council on the Arts. Top