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Kitka's 40th Anniversary Celebration & Reunion Concert

19:30 - 21:30
Kitka's 40th Anniversary Celebration & Reunion Concert

Kitka, Oakland's own powerhouse women's vocal ensemble, celebrates its 40th Anniversary with soulful songs, stories and recollections gathered over decades of exploring collective singing traditions from Eastern Europe and beyond. More than three dozen women who have contributed their creativity to this trailblazing ensemble's journey will come together in what promises to be an uplifting evening of music and memories.

Special guest Bulgarian vocalist and choirmaster Tzvetanka Varimezova will make a special appearance as director of the Kitka Reunion Choir.

Kitka is a professional women's vocal arts ensemble inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Kitka has earned global recognition for its distinctive sound, exploring a vast palette of ancient yet contemporary- sounding vocal effects. Kitkas commitment to presenting traditional song as a living and evolving expressive art form has led to adventurous collaborations with some of the worlds most exciting indigenous musicians, composers, and multi-disciplinary performance artists ranging from Le Mystères des Voix Bulgares to Meredith Monk.

Kitka began in 1979 as a grassroots group of amateur singers from diverse ethnic and musical backgrounds who shared a passion for the stunning dissonances, asymmetric rhythms, intricate ornamentation, and resonant strength of traditional Eastern European women's vocal music. Since its informal beginnings, the group has evolved into 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 women's voices.

Kitka's wide-ranging performance, teaching, and recording activities have exposed millions to the haunting beauty of their unique repertoire. Kitka has performed, taught, and conducted cultural exchange activities throughout the USA, Canada, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia. Kitka has produced 14 critically-acclaimed recordings (most recently, Evening Star) and two popular songbooks, and a PBS television special.

A frequently occurring symbolic word in Balkan women's folk song lyrics, Kitka means «bouquet» in Bulgarian and Macedonian.