Powerhouse women's vocal ensemble Kitka's annual Wintersongs tour features exquisite and unusual seasonal music from a wide variety of Eastern European ethnic and spiritual traditions. This year’s Wintersongs program showcases pieces that Kitka has gathered and transformed through study, collaboration and experimentation with traditional song masters from Bosnia (Amira Medunjanin), Bulgaria (Tzvetanka Varimezova), Georgia (Ensemble Basiani), Russia (Kostroma Ensemble), Ukraine (Mariana Sadovska) and Yiddish-speaking Eastern European Jewish communities (Ethel Raim).
In all the ethnic traditions represented, caroling and communal singing serve an essential social function. Winters in rural Eastern European villages have necessitated a culture of interdependency, and these songs accompany the gathering of people for both sacred and everyday purposes.
Kitka’s 2016 Wintersongs ensemble includes Kelly Atkins, Kristine Barrett, Natalie Bartlett, Shira Cion, Erin Lashnits Herman, Janet Kutulas, Hannah Levy, Samantha Shokin and Corinne Sykes.