Olga Avigail Mieleszczuk Poland
Olga Avigail Mieleszczuk is a singer, accordion player and researcher of Eastern European musical folklore. Her research and creative work focuses on Jewish music of Ashkenazi roots, especially from borderlands of Poland (Galitzia, Polesye), including Chassidic music, Yiddish folk songs, and multilingual Jewish songs. She will present two separate programs as part of the 2018 Ashkenaz Festival:
1) POLESYE: THE SONGS OF MIRIAM NIRENBERG
Sunday September 2, Lakeside Terrace, Harbourfront Centre
This project is inspired by field work conducted by Prof. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett under the auspices of YIVO Institute for Jewish Research between 1968-1975, with Miriam Nirenberg, a Jewish folksinger born in the Polesye borderland region of Poland, who moved to Toronto in the 1930s. Based on this research, Mieleszczuk revives, reconstructs and creates modern arrangements of Nirenberg’s many Yiddish songs, most of which are known only to a small circle of ethnomusicologists. The Poland-Toronto connection makes this project especially resonant for this year’s Ashkenaz Festival, where themes related to Polish-Jewish history and women in Jewish music.
The band features Olga Avigail Mieleszczuk (vocal) Grzegorz Bożewicz (accordion) Hadrian Tabęcki (piano) and Piotr Malicki (guitar).
2) LI-LA-LO: INTERWAR CABARET, TANGO & POPULAR MUSIC FROM WARSAW AND TEL AVIV
Wednesday August 29, 8pm, Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St W
This program highlights the eclectic “popular” music sounds of Poland and pre-state Palestine, a unique and varied milieu in which the leading composers and artists were mostly Jews (many of whom later perished in the Nazi ghettos and death camps). The multi-lingual repertoire includes songs in Polish, Yiddish and Hebrew, encompassing such popular styles of the day as cabaret, tango, and foxtrot, as well as jazz compositions with klezmer motifs, and songs alla orientale (reflecting the European image of the Orient). The repertoire is given new interpretation, striking a fine balance between music for dancing and for dreaming.
The band features Olga Avigail Mieleszczuk (vocal) Grzegorz Bożewicz (bandoneon) Hadrian Tabęcki (piano) and Piotr Malicki (guitar), and special guest Ron Davis.