| is an
eclectic blend of five of the Bay area's most individual
musicians. With a myriad of successful music careers
five dynamic performers have joined their unique and
diverse talents to
form what is being called a wildly playful ensemble.
Clockwise from the
lower left: Santuri player Robin Petrie has
recorded and toured
extensively, playing and singing Celtic and European folk
LeCorgne specializes in Middle Eastern and Balkan
Brown Singer is well known as a vocalist and the
director of the Kitka women's chorus. Shira Kammen
tours here and
abroad as a medieval and early music vocalist and
Lewis has led several renowned Balkan and klezmer
ensembles in the
Bay area. Together their repertoire is as diverse as their
with music that travels from Finland to Israel and spends
quite a bit
time in the Balkans along the way.
SHIRA KAMMEN received her degree in music from UC Berkeley and studied medieval fiddle (vielle) with Margriet Tindemans. A member for many years of Ensemble Alcatraz, Project Ars Nova, and Medieval Strings, she has also worked with Sequentia, Hesperion XX, the Boston Camerata, and the King's Noyse, and is a founder of Class V Music, an ensemble dedicated to performance on rafting trips. She has performed and taught in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Israel, Morocco and Japan, and on the Colorado and Rogue Rivers. Shira collaborated with John Fleagle, and works with the groups Fortune's Wheel and the Sirius Ensemble.
NICOLE LeCORGNE began her musical studies in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she received her B.A. in World Music and Dance, and worked with oriental dancer and choreographer Cassandra Shore. She also played with a number of folk and rock groups, Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, composed for modern dancer Gerry Girard, taught classes and workshops and was a full time member of Tandava Slinky, an improvisational acoustic trio. She moved the the Bay Area in 1995 and has since worked as a percussionist with Susu and the Cairo Cats, Slavko Silic, George and Tony Lammam, Djerdan and several other local groups. She has been accompanist and resident drum teacher for Oasis Dance Camps. Nicole has traveled to Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon to study, and is completing a Ph.D. degree at this time.
NADA LEWIS is originally from Stockton, CA, where she became interested in folk music, playing guitar, banjo, clarinet, and piano. She graduated from UC Berkeley, where she was active in the Balkan folk dance scene. She founded the Silver String Macedonian Band, the first Balkan revival music ensemble on the west coast, and later co-founded the Romanian-Serbian group Hatsegana. Nada has played and recorded with Klezmorim, co-directed Balkan Pacific, and performed with Troika Balalaikas. She has performed solo at Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, and for many years has taught accordion workshops at music camps. She has been to eastern Europe collecting music and instruments in Bulgaria, the former Yugoslavia, Romania, and Greece.
ROBIN PETRIE has been performing popular and seldom-heard music on the hammered dulcimer since 1980, and has toured extensively in the British Isles, New Zealand and Japan. She has also recorded both solo and collaborative projects with DNA Records, Flying Fish, and Gourd Music, as well as publishing a collection of Victorian Christmas carols through Mel Bay. Her instructional video, An Introduction to the Hammered Dulcimer, is available through Lark in the Morning. Robin is regularly featured and interviewed in music magazines including Dulcimer Players News and Dirty Linen. At home in California and at events around the country, Robin is highly sought out as a teacher, workshop leader and session player.
BON SINGER, the artist formerly known as Bon Brown, has done extensive research in the field of women's vocal folk music in the Balkans and elsewhere. She directed the internationally acclaimed women's vocal ensemble Kitka for 14 years. Bon has been recognized by experts such as Dora Hristova, the director, and Kalinka Zgureva, a soloist of the Bulgarian radio and television women's vocal choir, a.k.a. Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares, as the foremost director of Bulgarian music in America. Bon is also a cantorial singer for several congregations in California.