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From the Program Committee

Highlights of the Upcoming 2014 Workshops

By Demetri Tashie, Spring 2014

Our 2014 Workshop season has delicious treats in store. We hope you’ll join us and our talented teachers for fun, learning, parties, and some unforgettable memories.

Mendocino Highlights

Ahmad Yousefbeigi

Ahmad Yousefbeigi

Our Mendocino workshop this year has four, count ’em, four different dance teachers to choose from. We welcome back Alex Marković for his second year, focusing on South Serbian dances. Our remaining triumvirate of dance teachers—Michael Ginsburg (Balkan), Joe Graziosi (Greek) and Steve Kotansky (Albanian, Macedonian, and Romani)—will add their expertise and nonstop energy for your dancing pleasure.

Some of the other exciting additions to camp will be: Vlado Pupinoski on clarinet and saxophone, Ahmad Yousefbeigi on doumbek and riqq, Lyuben Dimitrov on Bulgarian tambura, and Ivanka Paunova on gudulka. By the way, if you haven’t heard Ivanka together with her lifelong friend Tzvetanka Varimezova, then you are in for a surprise and a treat. All in all, expect mesmerizing playing and captivating new collaborations.

 
Lyuben Dimitrov

Lyuben Dimitrov

We are again honored to host the incomparable Merita Halili and Raif Hyseni for more remarkable Albanian and Kosovar vocal and ensemble work. And speaking of ensembles, Sali Shopov will introduce to us his acclaimed Romani ensemble.

 
Vlado Pupinoski

Vlado Pupinoski

I could go on and on about the rest of the fine teaching staff. We invite you to check out the Mendocino Teaching Staff webpage for our full offering of talented professional teachers.

Iroquois Springs Highlights

Iroquois Springs is going to be jam-packed with high-energy music and dance. The power block of Mensur Hatić on accordion, Ljubomir Živkov on tamburica and Serbian singing, and Sergiu Popa on accordion, is not to be missed. You heard about their impromptu jams from last year, so how could we not bring them back to repeat the magic this year?

Irene Karavokiros

Irene Karavokiros

This year we are introducing to our community the Greek singer Irene Karavokiros, who will be focusing on the haunting yet lively music of her native island of Kalymnos and the music of the Dodecanese Islands. We also heartily welcome newcomer Elitsa Stoyneva, who will be teaching a beginning Bulgarian singing class. That means the beloved Tzvetanka Varimezova will be teaching both an intermediate AND an advanced Bulgarian class. Wow.

Elitsa Stoyneva

Elitsa Stoyneva

The East Coast is in for a treat with Milo Destanovski and Jessica Ruiz. You might have danced to their exciting set at Golden Fest this year. If not, come and behold a master zurla duo. Milo hails from a long line of respected zurla players in his native Berovo, Macedonia. He will teach an intermediate/advanced Macedonian-style zurla class. Jessica, the first-ever woman to play zurla with Macedonia’s national folk ensemble, Tanec, will teach a beginning zurla class to help novices grasp the mystery of this ancient instrument.

Another husband and wife team, Seido Salifoski and Kazuki Kozuru, will teach advanced, and beginning doumbek respectively. We’re also excited to welcome back relative newcomers Ferdi Demir (Romani singing) and Sal Mamudoski (clarinet). Expect hot nights of sizzling nonstop music!

For your dancing fix, we present Alex Marković once again for Serbian; Nina Kavardjikova, whom we enthusiastically welcome back for her beautiful Bulgarian dancing; and of course the incomparable master Greek dance teacher Joe Graziosi.

But wait, there’s lots more. Please check out the Iroquois Springs Teaching Staff page for the full list of our teachers this year.

And if you haven’t already, get yourself signed up now and join us for one (or two!) of the best weeks of your life!

Demetri Tashie, Program Committee Chair

© 2014 East European Folklife Center