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Oakland Folkharmonic & Teslim

Saturday February 9, 2012 8pm

Traditional modal music from a variety of traditions




  • The Oakland Folkharmonic is Shira Kammen and Kaila Flexer's new string ensemble featuring the two of them plus Kyla Danysh and sisters Rachel and Danielle Taylor on a variety of stringed instruments including violin, viola, vielle and tarhui. The repertoire of this ensemble ranges from traditional modal music of Greece, Turkey and the Middle East to medieval music to original compositions by Flexer and Kammen
  • Teslim (tes-LEEM) is a Turkish word that means both "commit" and "surrender." It is also a musical term for a recurring theme in Turkish music. For us the recurring theme is that the trust we have in one another musically has allowed us to both commit and surrender to our own individual voices, hopefully creating something larger than either of us. Teslim features two well known Bay Area musicians: violinist Kaila Flexer and Gari Hegedus on oud, Turkish saz, Greek lauoto and other (mostly plucked) stringed instruments. This potent duo performs Greek, Turkish and Sephardic music. In addition, both Flexer and Hegedus are composers whose original music is based on these fertile traditions. Both seasoned performers and recording artists, Teslim released its debut (self-titled) CD in December 2008. This unusual duo is at home in classical, early music, and folk music venues and holds workshops on a variety of topics
  • Kaila Flexer -Violin- Kaila Flexer is a violinist, composer and music educator. In addition to performing and recording with Teslim, Flexer also performs with Shira Kammen and three other fiddlers in the Oakland Folkharmonic. Flexer founded and produced Klezmer Mania!, a much-loved annual Bay Area event for over 10 years (1989-2002) and currently produces Pomegranates & Figs: A Feast of Jewish Music. She has been at the helm of bands such as Third Ear, Next Village and Kaila Flexer's Fieldharmonik, ensembles that featured her original material. She has performed both nationally internationally with her own ensembles as well as with groups including The Hollis Taylor-Kaila Flexer Duo, Club Foot Orchestra and KITKA Women's Vocal Ensemble. In addition Teslim's release, Kaila has recorded two CD's of original music for Compass Records (Nashville). Flexer has a thriving studio of students of all ages. She encourages folk musicians to read music, classical musicians to improvise and to play by ear and everyone to enjoy music and to find and appreciate their own voice.
  • Gari Hegedus -Oud, saz, laouto, violin, viola- In addition to playing in Teslim, Hegedus is sought-after for his very personal and heartfelt approach to music. In addition to performing with world music groups Janam, The Helladelics, Eliyahu and the Qadim Ensemble, Hamed Nikpay, and numerous other Bay Area Balkan ensembles, he is a luthier and spends many hours making instruments--repairing old sazes and ouds he finds and coaxing out the true voice of these treasures. Gari has studied with oud master Naseer Shamma. He has toured with the Mevlevi Dervish (Sufi) Order of America and continues to participate in Turkish ceremonial and devotional gatherings around the country.
  • Violinist Kyla Danysh, a Berkeley native, is a literacy teacher and musician who has been playing the violin since she was four. She studied classical and Klezmer music throughout her childhood and adolescence, and was a member of the university opera and orchestra at UC Santa Cruz. As an adult, Kyla has explored her passion for improvisation with the Son Jarocho and Son Huasteco traditions of Mexico, traveling to Veracruz on multiple occasions to record and perform. Most recently, Kyla is enjoying the humbling process of learning to play gypsy jazz in the tradition of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, a dream of hers since she was sixteen. In addition to playing the violin, Kyla loves hanging out in the Oakland redwoods, and working with teenagers.
  • Violinist/violist Rachel Taylor, an Oakland native, began studying violin at age nine at the Crowden School. In 2002, Taylor joined the Oakland Youth Orchestra where she participated in tours to Australia, New Zealand and Greece. In 2004, she attended the San Domenico School and Virtuoso Program. That year, Taylor was also the recipient of From the Top's Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. Taylor graduated from Northwestern University's School of Music and throughout her musical career has enjoyed master classes with Bonnie Hampton, Yuri Bashmet, the Alexander String Quartet, the Jupiter Quartet, the Cavanni String Quartet and many others. She is currently a preschool teacher in Seattle, WA and continues her musical endeavors with the Oakland Folkharmonic.
  • Violinist/violist Danielle Taylor is a native of Oakland, CA and started playing the violin in the fourth grade in the Oakland public schools. Since then, she has attended the Crowden School, graduated from the San Domenico School Virtuoso Program (San Anselmo, CA), and played in both the Berkeley and Oakland youth orchestras. She recently graduated from Oberlin Conservatory and College with degrees in Violin Performance and African American Studies. She enjoys playing listening to and learning different music, playing chamber music, orchestral music and teaching. She is the proud mother of a two year old daughter!

Oakland Folkharmonic


Shira Kammen

Gari Hegedus



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