Blog Archives

July 3, 2018

Singing & Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware

The Singing & Praying Bands of Maryland and Delaware practice a form of religious worship that encompasses one of the oldest, most historic African American performance traditions still active today. With origins in West African religion, Christianity, and African American ring shout traditions, singing and praying bands emerged throughout the Mid-Atlantic during slavery. For two centuries, their ministry has taken place...

July 3, 2018

Shodekeh & Ian Hesford

One of the world’s oldest and most striking vocal traditions is xöömei (throat singing), from the Republic of Tuva, nestled on the northern border of Mongolia in central Asia. Throat singing is an ancient style of overtone singing in which a single vocalist produces multiple pitches simultaneously, skillfully shaping a melody from harmonic tones arrayed over a continuous low drone....

July 3, 2018

The Sensational Royal Lights

For over sixty years, the Sensational Royal Lights have traveled throughout Delmarva to deliver their music ministry through quartet-style gospel music. The group originated in Cordtown, a small community located near Cambridge, Maryland, when the late Howard and Rena Elliott brought their sons together to form a gospel quartet. They took their name from another quartet, the Royal Lights, that...

July 3, 2018

Sebastian Wang & Sanghyuk Park

Rooted in musical forms originally practiced in rural areas by farmers and shamans, samulnori is a centuries-old Korean percussion tradition that today serves as a beacon of Korean culture. The word samulnori roughly translates as “the art of playing four instruments,” a reference to the tradition’s four signature percussion instruments: the changoo (hourglass-shaped drum), the buk (barrel drum), the jing...

July 3, 2018

Mohammadreza Kazemifar & Ali Analouei

Present-day Iran shares its borders and much of its culture with ancient Persia, a kingdom and the center of an empire that stretched from southern Asia to Egypt and north to the Balkan Peninsula. Though the empire fell over two thousand years ago, its musical traditions remain strong, upheld by gifted masters like singer Mohammadreza Kazemifar and his apprentice, Ali...

July 3, 2018

Mama Linda Goss & Dr. David Fakunle

Master storyteller Mama Linda Goss is one of the foremost African American storyteller’s in the country. Co-founder of the National Association of Black Storytellers, she continues a tradition that extends across centuries and continents. Her performances encompass singing, call-and-response techniques, percussion, and even dance. With Mama Linda, it’s never just about the words. It’s about the audience listening to the...

July 3, 2018

Jay Armsworthy & Eastern Tradition

A school bus driver by day, Jay Armsworthy has made it his life’s passion to keep the flame for southern Maryland’s bluegrass heritage as a bandleader, radio host, and promoter. With his band Eastern Tradition, Jay is a beloved performer throughout the Chesapeake Bay and along the East Coast. A lifetime resident of California, Maryland, located on the Western Shore...

July 3, 2018

Hugh Campbell & Dave Reed

Hugh Campbell and Dave Reed are first cousins and Cecil County natives. They sing mountain harmonies and play music that draws on old-time, bluegrass, and gospel. These traditions were passed onto them by their parents and extended family members, who were part of a large wave of Appalachian migrants to settle in the region in search of work in cities and industrial centers. Hugh and Dave descend from musicians who contributed significantly to popularizing traditional...

July 3, 2018

Chum Ngek & Suteera Nagavajara

Pin peat is a classical music tradition that has been central to Cambodian cultural identity for centuries. A small orchestra comprised primarily of tuned gongs and drums, pin peat accompanied highly controlled, stylized dance dramas that were prominent in ceremonial life in the royal court of Cambodia. Homrong, a subgrenre of pin peat, is typically played immediately prior to a...

July 3, 2018

Andrea Hoag & Chris Ousley

Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Program Team The fiddle is the main instrument in Swedish folk music, a richly harmonic tradition that goes back four centuries, with yet older influences from medieval Europe. After a decline in the mid-20th century, Swedish fiddling now enjoys widespread popularity at home and abroad, both as an accompaniment to traditional dance and concert music in its...

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