Tamar Ilana & Ventanas: Saturday, April 15. 7.30 doors, 8:00 start. Tickets $20 each. Ventanas formed in 2011 after the stunning vocalist and dancer, Tamar Ilana returned to Toronto following one of several sojourns to Spain to study flamenco song, cante and dance, baile and teamed up with violinist Mark Marczyk of the Lemon Bucket Orkestra. They began exchanging flamenco, Sephardic and Balkan tunes and in no time had put together a repertoire and formed a stellar trans-Mediterranean ensemble that included flamenco guitarist, Dennis Duffin, Middle Eastern percussionist, Jaash Singh, and Greek oud player Demetrios Petsalakis – an eclectic group of well known musicians on the Toronto music scene. While Ilana’s remarkable voice and intricate flamenco footwork is the heart of Ventanas, together they weave Sephardic love songs from North Africa and the old Ottoman lands, quirky Bulgarian dance tunes, captivating pieces in Greek and Turkish, original songs and deep flamenco. Ilana dances and alternates with her compelling vocals. Ventanas’ virtuoso musicians offer oud, violin, lyra, baglama, double bass, derbukka, cajo?n, and hand percussion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRTYdFy1Fl0 http://www.nerudaarts.ca/artists/ventanas-tamar-ilana
The multi-lingual Ilana has studied intensive flamenco singing and dancing with masters in Seville and Barcelona, and advanced world music vocal techniques with Martina Catella at Les Glotte-Trotters Academy in Paris. She was nominated for the Ontario Arts Council Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts Emerging Artist in 2016. Ilana is often featured on vocals and percussion as part of the exuberant North-Eastern Brazilian tradition maracatu?, and was one of the two singer-actors in Yae?l Farber’s prize-winning “Salome?” at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.. She is also an original member of the cast of the Lemon Bucket Orkestra’s “Counting Sheep Revolution” musical theatre production, which electrified audiences in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2016 and is headed back to Europe in the spring. Since she was a child, Ilana has also performed and recorded Sephardic, Balkan and medieval music withher mother, ethnomusicologist and singer Dr. Judith Cohen, singing and doing village fieldwork in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and Turkey. She is a regular singer with the renowned Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company in Toronto, and teaches dance at her Academy of Spanish Dance.