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Songs & Stories: An Evening of Georgian Folk Tales and Songs with Temple of Light Georgian Choir

  • Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center 1317 San Pablo Avenue Berkeley, CA, 94702 United States (map)

Join us for an evening of oral storytelling and traditional polyphonic music from the Republic of Georgia! Kitka’s Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir and storyteller Dana Sherry will weave together folktales, legends, and ancient melodies that are guaranteed to transport the listener across the Black Sea, through the Caucasus Mountains, and beyond.

Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir is an Oakland-based volunteer mixed vocal arts project dedicated to the performance of traditional polyphonic music and ritual song from the Republic of Georgia, the Caucasus, and Lazona. Designated by UNESCO as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity, Georgian polyphony stands among some of the oldest and most beautiful song repertoires in the world. Sung in three distinct and overlapping parts, Georgian music necessitates singing with others. The individual parts do not stand alone. In a time of divisive political upheaval, the need for wonder, fierce love, and transcendent beauty is vital in creating a world that deeply sees one another and responds to that seeing with celebration, joy, and empathy. Temple of Light’s core mission is to be a light in dark places, igniting the best in our humanity through Georgian song.

Director Kristine Barrett is an artist, composer, and vocalist specializing in traditional music and ritual song. Barrett’s work has been performed and exhibited in galleries and media festivals throughout North America and Europe, and recently featured on the acclaimed NPR show The Thistle and Shamrock. In addition to her solo work, she currently performs with the acclaimed KITKA Women’s Vocal Ensemble and is the director of the Temple of Light Georgian Community Choir in Oakland and the Headlands Community Folk Ensemble in Sausalito.

Storyteller Dana Sherry was a respectable historian of the Caucasus and Central Asia until she turned to a life of storytelling. Now she brings folk tales from the heart of the Silk Road to life in programs for adults and children. She also hosts the Caravan of Stories, a monthly storytelling series dedicated to the oral traditions of Central Asia, at the Silk Road House in Berkeley.