Posts Tagged ‘maryland traditions’

Maryland Traditions Gathering

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Photo by Shane Carpenter

As a longtime resident of Montgomery County I am aware of the wealth of cultural diversity present in the area. I have enjoyed the food of cultures I know little about, listened to live music performances from countries I have never been to, and marveled at art I don’t fully understand. But at this past Thursday’s gathering and showcase of the Maryland Traditions network I was given a rare opportunity to not just experience these cultures vicariously, but to interact with the practitioners directly.

Photo by Shane Carpenter

Photo by Shane Carpenter

From the heart of Montgomery County to the edges of the state, ambassadors of Maryland’s traditional and folk culture came to schmooze and amuse. Exchange abound and spirits high, attendees were treated to an opportunity to speak directly with tradition bearers in a congenial atmosphere over a multi-cultural feast, featuring traditional Maryland crabcakes and Pit Beef BBQ as well as additional delicacies offered by local producers and vendors, including fresh corn tortillas and tacos offered by Baltimore’s Tortillaria Sinaloa. Discussions continued over a delicious dessert of locally produced ice cream by Blooms Broom Dairy and included dialogues about specific artistic disciplines, regional identity and community, and local economy.

The evening culminated in a showcase of the “Maryland Masters;” exceptional tradition bearers performing alongside apprentices that are working to keep their traditions alive. From Western traditions such as gospel performer Burton DeBusk and jazz pianist Lafayette Gilchrist to world traditions such as the beautiful mother-daughter pairing of Hindustani performers Samia and Irum Ahmad and the lively and complex rhythms by Persian Sufi percussionist Ali Analouei and the SAMA ensemble, the event captured the diverse offerings of the area. This included a wonderful representation of Montgomery County’s vibrant Hispanic community, which featured the fiery Colombian vellenato accordion playing of Gustavo Nieto and his apprentice Edwin Lozana as well as the beautiful interlocking melodic patterns of Robert Giron and family’s marimba playing.

Samia Ahmad, Photo by Shane Carpenter

Though seemingly disparate, the evenings events were united by the deft hands of skilled practitioners, the refined sensibilities of seasoned cooks, and the curiosities of a public hungry for culture.

Photos taken by Shane Carpenter.

Maryland Traditions Gathering and Showcase 2010

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Each year the Maryland Traditions presents a gathering and showcase featuring  recipients of the masters and apprenticeship awards.  The day is a celebration of folk and traditional artists from throughout the state and is a unique opportunity to engage with the artists, community members and colleagues all in one place.  The traditions presented encompass art forms long rooted in Maryland communities from fox hunting, musical instrument and boat building to centuries old traditions  based in diverse cultural communities throughout the state.

As director of Montgomery Traditions I’m very excited as this year’s gathering features four Montgomery County based folk and traditional arts apprenticeship pairs.  These artists from Montgomery County represent a glimpse at the wealth and breadth of folk and traditional arts practiced in our community.  The Montgomery-based artists include Colombian vallenato accordion master Gustavo Nieto and apprentice Edwin Lozano, Hindustani Classical vocalist Samia Ahmad and apprentice Irum Ahmad, Persian sufi percussionist Ali Analouei and apprentice Giti Abrishami with the Sama Ensemble and Guatemalan marimba master Robert Giron and apprentice Beverly Giron of Marimba Linda Xelaju.

There is something for everyone with a passion for folk and traditional arts from material and occupational culture to culinary traditions for the foodies. Come honor and celebrate the recipients of the ALTA (Achievement in Living Traditions and Arts) Awards, presented annually to individuals and organizations who exemplify outstanding stewardship of Maryland’s traditions. The award is given in three categories: People, Place, and Tradition.

The event schedule includes:
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
•    Edwin Remsberg Photo Exhibit- Masters and apprentices;
•    Maryland Masters of Material & Equestrian Arts – Live Demonstrations;
•    Economy & Community – Maryland’s Traditional Small Businesses;
•    Serving Up Traditions – Traditional Cooks Share Their Stories;
•    2010 ALTA (Achievement in Living Traditions and Arts) Awards Ceremony and;
•    Taste of Traditions – “The Meal”
7:30 pm
•    Maryland Masters Showcase

2010 Gathering and Showcase Maryland Masters
Date:      Thursday, June 10, 2010
Time:     Gathering  – 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Showcase – 7:30 pm
Venue:  Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore 21224

Tickets for the evening performance are gratis if you register for the daytime gathering. Otherwise they are $8 ($6 for Creative Alliance members). For tickets go to Creative Alliance, Maryland Traditions or call 410-276-1651 to order.

Maryland Traditions web site