Milokraj ("Beloved Land")
New music that draws from Czech & Slavic folklore, jazz & chamber elements
Marta Topferova has recently returned to her homeland, the Czech Republic, in order to conceive and launch an ensemble of Czech and Slavic music - Milokraj - meaning "beloved land". The result is a collection of stunning original songs, featuring an all-star Eastern European line up: Slovak violinist Stanislav Palúch, Moldavian cimbalom player Marcel Comendant, Czech guitarist David Dorůžka, and Czech bassist Petr Dvorský. Their debut CD was funded by the Czech Ministry of Culture as well as Prague’s City Hall, and is getting rave reviews around Europe. In January 2014, World Music Charts Europe placed the album at #6, and in February, Milokraj got the Czech grammy nomination for best world music album 2013 (Andel 2013). Within a short time, Milokraj has become an in-demand group in the Czech Republic, and toured Germany, Netherlands, UK, Poland and Hungary.
Marta Topferova (Czech Republic) – vocals, cuatro & compositions
Stanislav Palúch (Slovakia) – violin
Marcel Comendant (Moldavia/Slovakia) – cimbalom
David Dorůžka (Czech Republic) – acoustic & electric guitar
Petr Dvorský (Czech Republic) - acoustic bass
"Very beautiful songs" -- Robert Browning, World Music Institute, New York
LeoŠ JanáČek's folk ballads & Moravian folk poetry in songs
Marta and pianist Aneta Majerová, have come together to collaborate on Leoš Janáček's folk ballads and Moravian folk poetry in songs. Janáček's songs are hauntingly beautiful, mysterious, and closely tied to the Moravian landscape, traditions, and folklore. Moravia also happens to be the region where Marta was born, so it's been particularly inspiring for Marta to get to know this genius Czech composer. Marta has been honored to receive a grant from the Leoš Janáček Foundation to perform several concerts of Janáček's works in the spring of 2016.
Marta is also newly collaborating on this program with pianist Jan Bartoš.
Marta Topferova – voice
Aneta Majerová - piano
Jan Bartoš - piano
Workshop of Latin American songs and rhythms
La dílna is an ongoing workshop of Latin American songs and rhythms.
La dílna was created as a space for Marta to share her extensive knowledge and experience within Latin American music, which she gathered during the time she spent among the Hispanic community in the United States. The workshops enable participants to get to know Latin American rhythms and styles. La dílna is mainly focused on teaching songs and basic rhythmic accompaniments on hand percussion and clapping. We learn songs in styles such as the Cuban son, guajira, Colombian porro, Venezuelan joropo, Chilean cueca or Argentinean chacarera. We also spend time learning rhythms on the maracas, clave and hand clapping, which singers typically use to accompany themselves.
Both singers and instrumentalists can participate. Lead sheets and lyrics are provided.
La dílna Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LadilnaMT/
Trova – original & Latin American songs
Marta’s "Trova" ensemble reflects her longtime love and dedication to Latin American music. Comprised of mostly original songs rooted in rhythms such as the Venezuelan vals, Chilean cueca or Cuban son, as well as some traditional pieces, her touring group is usually a quartet and features four-string cuatro, charango or tres, accordion, guitar, bass and percussion.
TROVA in the US / Canada:
Marta Topferova - vocals, cuatro
Aaron Halva (US) - tres, accordion
Pedro Giraudo (Argentina/USA) - bass
Neil Ochoa (Venezuela/USA) - percussion
in Europe / Latin America:
Marta Topferova - vocals, cuatro
Alejandro Soto Lacoste (Chile/Germany) - guitar, accordion, piano
Cristian Carvacho (Chile/Germany) - charango & percussion
Minino Garay (Argentina/France) - percussion
Marta Topferova & Edmar Castañeda
Original compositions by Marta Topferova, Edmar Castañeda & traditional Latin American songs
Marta Topferova - vocals, cuatro, percussion
Edmar Castañeda - (Colombia/New York) - harp
"Duets: Lucía Pulido & Marta Topferova" - duets of Colombian & Venezuelan songs
Occasionally, these two soulful singers unite to revive duets of Colombian and Venezuelan songs that they've been singing together since they met in 1996 in New York City. The Colombian and Czech singer have had a special musical connection ever since.
Lucia Pulido (Colombia/New York) - vocals, cuatro & percussion
Marta Topferova - vocals, guitar & cuatro
+ special guests on bass, strings or percussion