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World Music Institute Presents THE ART OF THE BALLADEER & KOBZARI Tonight

World Music Institute Presents THE ART OF THE BALLADEER & KOBZARI Tonight

WORLD MUSIC INSTITUTE Karen Sander, Artistic & Executive Director and Center for Traditional Music and Dance present, as part of the Global Salon series, THE ART OF THE BALLADEER & KOBZARI, reviving oral traditions from the British Isles to Ukraine featuring Colleen Cleveland, voice, and Julian Kytasty, bandura and voice.

The concert is set for tonight, January 29, 2104 at 7:30 p.m. in the Thalia Theater at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street. Tickets: $30 Public • $25 WMI Friends and CTMD Members • $5 Bring a Kid!. Co-presented with Center for Traditional Music and Dance. For more information, viis:


A descendant of Scottish and Irish settlers in NY's north country, Colleen Cleveland is a fifth-generation traditional ballad singer who learned most of her repertoire from her grandmother Sara Cleveland, a well known ballad singer who possessed an astonishing repertoire of over 400 traditional songs. Since the 1960s, the Cleveland family has been an important source of ballads to researchers studying the ballad tradition of the British Isles. Colleen grew up going to festivals and learning the songs in the oral tradition and after Sara's death in 1992, both Colleen and her father, Jim Cleveland, were encouraged to keep the family songs alive. Their repertoire runs the gamut from 15th-century Irish, Scots, and English ballads to local area songs, cowboy songs, Civil War and World War I songs, and many other genres. In 1994, Colleen and her dad received the Traditional Arts of Upstate New York Heritage Award for their efforts to bring these songs to the public, and in 2012, she received a New York Foundation for the Arts' prestigious fellowship for Folk and Traditional Arts. Colleen can be heard on her recording, Treasures from the Attic, and has performed at the Old Songs Festival, The New England Folk Festival, and The Champlain Valley Folk Festival, among others.


Julian Kytasty is one of the world's premier bandura (Ukrainian lute-harp) players and the instrument's leading North American exponent. A multi-instrumentalist and third-generation bandurist who learned most of his early repertoire from his family, he has concertized and taught Ukrainian instrumental and choral music to thousands of students at summer music camps and workshops throughout the Americas and Europe. Julian is particularly recognized for his expertise in Ukrainian liturgical music and his historical research on the bandura and kobzar (epic song) repertoires. Recently he has opened new possibilities for the bandura as a soloist and recording artist, and through his work with the Canadian/Ukrainian world music group Paris to Kyiv, his own groundbreaking Experimental Bandura Trio, and artists as diverse as Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man, Mongolian master musician Battuvshin, performance poet Bob Holman, and composer/saxophonist John Zorn. As a composer, he has created music for theater, puppet theater, modern dance, and film, earning a Blizzard award for best film score for My Mother's Village, the 2002 National Film Board of Canada documentary directed by John Paskievich. Julian is the musical director of The New York Bandura Ensemble and the founding director of Bandura Downtown, an innovative music series based in New York's East Village that provides a home to explorations of traditional and contemporary sounds and themes.

GLOBAL SALON: WMI's Global Salon series takes place in the 168-seat Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater at Symphony Space, providing an informal and intimate setting for a great diversity of traditional music. Two exciting evenings of string music follow The Balladeer and Kobzari, with Richard Hagopian's Armenian oud music from the Ottoman Empire (April 13) and a celebration of lyras and fiddles from the many communities surrounding the Black Sea (May 7). Now in its second year, Global Salon features brilliant artists who not only perform, but also engage the audience with cultural histories and personal stories.

Tickets for all World Music Institute events are available for purchase online at, by calling (212) 545-7536, or in person at the WMI Box Office at 101 Lafayette Street, #801. 15 percent subscription discount tickets are available when purchasing for 4 or more concerts, before October 4th. Student and group discounts are available, as are VIP tickets for select events. Discounts are also available for WMI Friends with memberships starting at $70. WMI Friends enjoy priority seating throughout the season.

World Music Institute is a not-for-profit concert presenting organization founded in 1985 by Robert and Helene Browning and dedicated to the presentation of the finest in traditional and contemporary music and dance from around the world.

WMI encourages cultural exchange between nations and ethnic groups and collaborates with community organizations and academic institutions in fostering greater understanding of the world's cultural traditions. WMI works extensively with community groups and organizations including Indian, Iranian, Chinese, Korean, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Hungarian, Irish, and Central Asian. This has enabled it to be at the forefront of planning and presenting the finest ensembles from these countries.

WMI presents a full season of concerts each year in New York City, and arranges national tours by visiting musicians from abroad, as well as US-based artists. WMI's accomplishments and expertise in its field are recognized by major institutions throughout the US and internationally.

WMI has brought many musical, dance and ritual traditions to the New York stage for the first time, including Laotian sung poetry, folk music of Khorason and Bushehr (Iran), songs of the Yemenite Jews, Bardic divas of Central Asia, trance ceremonies from Morocco, music from Madagascar, and Theyyams (masked dances) of Kerala, South India. Many artists have been given their U.S. or New York debuts by WMI.

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