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Saturday, May 26 • 6:40pm - 7:10pm
North of the Black Sea
Voice and Ukrainian Bandura

Saturday May 26, 2012 6:40pm - 7:10pm
Folklife Cafe 47.62383, -122.35084
  • Genre EME -- Central-Eastern Europe & Balkan - MUSIC
  • Biography Multi-talented instrumentalist Roy Torley and vocalist Joan Gaustad began performing as North of the Black Sea in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1980s. They moved to Oregon in 1989 when Roy was accepted into the graduate program in geology at the University of Oregon at Eugene, where he obtained his PhD in 1998. They currently live in Gresham, OR. Roy studied the 55-stringed Ukrainian bandura with Victor Kytasty, son of Hryhory Kytasty, renowned Ukrainian bandurist, composer, and director for many years of the musically and historically significant ensemble, Taras Shevchenko Bandurist Chorus. Roy is an outstanding exemplar of the "North American" bandura tradition, which preserved and developed playing styles, repertoire, and types of instruments that were suppressed in Ukraine under Soviet rule. Roy also performs a variety of non-Ukrainian music on the bandura, from Renaissance court dances to movie themes. Vocalist Joan Gaustad has studied classical and folk voice for many years and has performed in sixteen languages, ranging from English (Gilbert and Sullivan) and Latin (Mozart's Requiem) to Turkish and Georgian. Her specialties are Ukrainian, Russian, and Transylvanian-Hungarian folk vocal styles. Joan sang for several years with the Oakland, California-based Danica Balkan Chorus, and she performed with San Francisco's Khadra International Folk Ballet for ten years as dancer, singer, musician, and vocal director. She has taught Balkan, Hungarian, Russian, and Ukrainian folk singing workshops at the Willamette Valley Folk Festival, at the Northwest Folklife Festival, and at conventions of the Balalaika and Domra Association of America.