Friday, December 20th 7:30 pm
Kitka is an American women’s vocal arts ensemble inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Founded in 1979, Kitka are an award-winning professional touring ensemble known for its artistry, versatility, and mastery of the demanding techniques of regional vocal styling, as well as for its innovative explorations in new music for female voices.
Kitka’s performances have exposed millions to the haunting beauty of the ensemble’s exquisite and unusual repertoire. With deep ties to Balkan, Slavic and Caucasian lands, Kitka has performed, taught, and conducted cultural exchange activities in Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia, as well as in communities throughout the USA, Canada, and beyond.
The women in Kitka are fearless sonic explorers, and you can hear their intrepid spirit in every haunting song. For over four decades, the nine-women Oakland ensemble has developed a vast, breathtaking repertoire of traditional songs from the Balkans, Caucasus and Slavic lands, as well as new material composed for the group drawing on those traditional vocal practices. Traveling to rural communities in Armenia and Bulgaria, Ukraine and Georgia, Serbia and Turkey, they’ve gathered songs and communed with elders who are often the last links to centuries-old traditions. The ravishing textures of the women’s voices, unearthly cadences, angular rhythms and unfamiliar languages make Kitka’s performances an enthralling experience.
“Simply amazing harmonies. . . truly this is the most wonderful singing I have ever heard.”
—David Crosby, CROSBY, STILLS, AND NASH
“A stunning group unlike any other. . . absolutely electrifying!”
—Garrison Keillor, A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION
A refreshing spin on traditional seasonal choral music… thoroughly marvelous!
— NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO
Few things evoke the magic of the winter holidays as the transcendent splendor of the human voice. Kitka has researched and discovered a treasure trove of seasonal music from a wide variety of Eastern European ethnic and spiritual traditions. Wintersongs showcases material ranging from rousing Slavic folk carols to lush, meditative Eastern Orthodox sacred choral works… from pre-Christian incantations for the longest nights of the year to Medieval Sephardic Chanukah songs to original new pieces inspired by the beauty and mystery of wintertime.