Musical Mementos

I'm a multi-instrumentalist.  I produce acoustic music for concerts, movement, theater, film scores and especially community building events.  I have a vast background in dance accompaniment and melodic arrangement. 

 

My global groove ensembles feature sizzling, soaring solos over odd meter rhythms informed by movement. 

Fliers Slideshow

About Meg York

I grew up off-grid in rural New Mexico, United States in the 1970's in an artistic household and community.  I have become a seasoned musicologist, performer, and band leader in global folk music styles for these past 30 years.  

I was in symphonic band and pit orchestra, marching band, jazz band, music theater, and headed up small ensembles all through school.  I started playing for dancers in the Society for Creative Anachronisms, with Sazlar a Middle East ensemble and got HOOKED playing for all night, fire circle haflas ... weaving notes with wafting sparks into the crisp high desert air... These ladies took me to my first Mendocino Music and Dance Camp in 1990.  The rest is history.  

I started going to Eastern European Folklife Center Balkan Camp in about 1997 and am a Lifetime Member of EEFC.  It's also great to be in the middle of the circle of folks dancers.  I was really lucky to be on staff at Stockton Folkdance Camp two years with Bruce Sagan.  

I got a Bachelor's Degree in Clarinet performance from University of New Mexico, leading and playing in all sorts of Western Classical ensembles on clarinets, saxophones, recorders and even a short stint with  Javanese Gamelan Encantata. I also accompanied and danced in Eva Encinias-Sandovol's Flamenco Dance Program, performing through out the United States and Mexico.  Eva is a powerhouse performer and producer, her vision crystalline and inspiring.  I relished steeping myself in movement by being a corps (ensemble) dancer -- Flamenco with Pablo Rodarte's Dance Espana tours, swing dancing at Denver's Mercury Cafe, the Turnverein Ballroom for 25 years, accompanying and dancing at Colorado Friends of Old Time Music and Dance Contra Dance and Boulder International Folk Dance Events.  I studied with Frankie and Norma Miller, among many other great swing dance teachers through Denver's Community Minded Dance programs.  As the great Frankie Manning of the Savoy Ballroom, New York, said:

"I don't know, but I've been told:  if you keep dancing -- you never grow old".

Most recent studies include Turkey and India with Sedat Gulci, clarinetist, the Gundecha Brothers at the Dhruphad Institute in Bhopal, India, and with Dr. Scott Marcu, University of California Santa Barbara.  

I loved accompanying David Taylor Zikr Dance Company classes and productions, including creating the Atash soundtrack with Farabi Ensemble for Persian fusion choreography by Sharhzad Khorsandi.   Persian Contemporary, Taylor's own Modern choreographies, and TWO Gurdjieff's classics on the same program -- far out!  I toured with Zikr as roadie and got to see the incredible stamina and focus of his dance corps company on the road.  Astonishing. 

I've also trained deeply in the Dahn Yoga Brain Management Training in Sedona with Il Chi Lee from South Korea.  I do enjoy leading private yoga sessions with my family.  The practice unkinks my body after long hours practicing or performing (and being in front of the computer!)

I've done my 10,000 hours. 

I am now known for my world music playing and productions including Tarab Retreat, performing in Denver Center Performing Arts’  Klezmer play by Paula Vogel, Indecent, co-founding the Farabi Iranian Ensemble, and heading up the Eastern European style party band, Klezmerize.   I've played for Circus Luminous in Santa Fe, at Arise Festival for Monkey Chant, and countless Society for Creative Anachronisms all night music jams.   Pete Jacobs and I have had many co-productions over the years including a Yuval Ron Colorado tour, playing Turkish music on NPR in Paonia with Jon Seligman and David Alderdice, playing with Zvek Sufi Ensemble for numerous outreach events over the years with Zuruna to benefit International Rescue Committee and Musical Ambassadors of Peace.   

I am an Athena Project Artist in Residence, and I join Hal Aqua at Dazzle Jazz and the Mizel Museum/Mercury Cafe Denver KlezFests. I love sitting in with Gora Gora Orkestar and Hadgaba Balkan Band! 

Community Outreach includes Denver Sister Cities and Denver Spring Institute events, Musical Ambassadors of Peace Benefit Concerts,  playing for Colorado Senate sessions, Yo Yo Ma’s 2018 Colorado Tour, Roshni Denver and the Boulder Balkan Bash.   

I've met my closest friends and colleagues through playing music for their movement -- through that trans-personal connection.  There is NOTHING else like playing for live movement.   

And here's the thing:  I could never learn choreography well -- as a dancer -- I can only really thrive with improvisation.  I have that same feeling for sharing my music for movement -- keep the conversation between melody and movement alive. 

Until we can be in person!

2021 in review: 

After vaccination in early 2021, Pete Jacobs and I presented an in person event at the Alma Amphitheater, a private residence in Albuquerque to a very appreciative ensemble and audience!  I got to play with Sam Tynker and Beth Cohen for the first time together.  It was lovely!

Next Pete and I produced the Iranian Culture Exchange Tarab Retreat in Boulder. 

In July, Eric Koenig and I traveled to San Diego to visit family and sponsor some boutique events at La Vie Center with Hector Delgado and friends. 

September found me sitting in with Kurdish classical master musician Sirvan Manhoobi's Bamdad Ensemble:  I'm helping to produce future concerts in the Cherry Hills area of Denver. In December I recorded a gay gospel album with dear friends at my beloved FTM studio.

International Rescue Committee: Women's Programming Project.

October 2021 I started volunteering for Mirielle Bakos' International Rescue Committee Women's project We  Can Do It!.  We play drums and sing and dance almost every Thursday with women from Afghanistan, the Congo, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Lebanon, plus other Anglo mentors and staff. 

I've begun to collect authentic Near Eastern percussion for our refugee and allied women's programming.  So far I've gifted one of our Congolese ladies with a great Djembe from Boaboa in Boulder, and have a collection of frame drums and riqqs for many of the Afghans.  .  .  my goal is to have drums for all our 18 ladies go home with each one by March. 

In December, I joined the Rocky Mountain Welcome Center board as Artistic Director.  This is a lovely grassroots rec center in Aurora.

I'm calling these projects 

 Decolonization of Music Education in America

I'll be supported by the Musical Ambassadors of Peace to purchase and organized donated instruments, hold classes, and more importantly, facilitate the vital psychosocial support needed in the refugee and immigrant communities.  My hope is to find and support musicians in the communities to keep their own music and dance alive.   This is what I mean by decolonization of music education.  We all learn from each other.

Audiences, amateurs and artists alike all appreciate the chance to play together.

I am a vanguard creative. 

Although these events feed the soul, none of them pay for themselves: I am currently working on another grant cycle. 

Your donations keep me going!

March 2021

April 2021 Turkish Cafe in Boulder

Arthur Lefebure, Meg York, Dave Willy and Pete Jacobs

Arthur Lefebure, Meg York, Dave Willy and Pete Jacobs

February 2021

Greetings! 

As I look back on February, it’s poignant to see what has fallen into place and what has fallen aside. 

My Taksim Classes are wonderful!  I partnered with Amaya from Albuquerque and really learned a lot: each of my collaborators have different takes on how to work with people, and I felt our workshop brought a respite from current public events.   I’ve continued to work with Travis Jarrell. Travis has a depth of knowledge that is comfortable and astonishing at the same time.  It’s been a treat to work with her, and her classes have sold out!  

Travis and I also teamed up with her old colleague, Anthony Blake and his philosophical society DuVersity with an incredible visual artist Leslie Schwing.  We did a trio performance of Taksim, Tunes, and Glyph Drawing that unfolded in interesting and spell binding ways. Leslie joined our Taksim Class last weekend to get her pen going with movement and music:  I was really in the zone during our sharing on the ubiquitous Zoom.  Follow up in a few months. 

I’ve also started producing classes as a fundraiser for our dear colleague Faisal Zedan, Syrian Percussionist.  We’ve had 8 Arabic repertoire classes in February and will continue with Iraqi odd meters in March.  There are a few spots left in the ‘cross over class’ designed for not beginner musicians, but beginner percussionists.  

Each class is limited to 8 and each participant gets individual attention.  I also forward the Zoom cloud recordings, encourage participant questions, and guide the class.  

It’s wonderful to have the interaction -- so many other classes are large and can’t really do that!  Do join us if you can on Thursdays! The earlier 'Hot Dog' class is sold out.  

I’m playing ONE outside brunch gig in March with New Normal Ensemble, so if you are in the Boulder area or know someone jonseing for live music and great Turkish food, check out the Breakfast Champion at the corner of Baseline and Foothills, Sunday 11-1 on March 7th.  Old music buddy from Veelah and Sherefe days, Dave Willey, is planning on joining me, as well as the usually suspects of New Normal Ensemble, Pete Jacobs, Eric Koenig, and Arthur Lefebure.  There is a very large patio where it will be great to hear us -- it’s in a lovely brick alcove so sound should be pretty good.  Spring is in the air! 

 Wear a sweater, and enjoy simit omelette sandwiches if you can!  

Yes, you can wiggle around a bit if you are so inclined.. 

Don’t forget that Annya Ishtara and I are doing an involved and interesting Taksim Class on Fridays in March, too!  She’s also a deeply embodied and multi intelligence collaborator.   

We had a poignant, wind-in-the-kerchief kind of going away party for Pascal Diez on Tuesday at Cook Park.  He and his wife Jenny are moving permanently to France to live on a houseboat on the Seine.    

It’s the same park where Florin organized our cool Klezmerize videos.  

 Just a few stalwart friends were invited:  Covid protocols, and Pascal’s imminent move to France made me hesitate to throw a bigger shindig.  I will miss Pascal’s quiet competence on banjo, tambura, piccolo, and his love of all odd meters and spooky Albanian and Romanian tunes, plus of course how he held Klezmerize together musically emotionally and musically. 

Pascal is a rare human, musician and friend;  perhaps I’ll finally cross the pond and visit western Europe to play music with him in France.  Perhaps…  

So in the meantime, check out my online offerings and the Boulder Brunch gig -- and also just reach out to me.  

We are all so awfully lonesome -- these offerings are a way of just ‘whistling in the dark’ for now.   

However my classes are super interactive, all things considering.   

I’m not an avid emailer, Please call me or offer a quick Zoom jam session, or Whatsapp session, or etc.  

It would be so rewarding to see folks online until in person. 

‘See’ you soon! 

Meg  

"music and dance build bridges from the past to the future by basking in the present"

Pascal Diez with Klezmerize at Cook Park

Cook Park with Pascal Diez, from Tarab Retreat 2020

Cook Park with Pascal Diez, from Tarab Retreat 2020

Travis Jarrell Taksim Dance Classes

Dance Improvised Live Music Belly Dance Modern Dance clarinet

Turkish Concert: Tarab Retreat 2020

Turkish Concert Tarab Retreat 2020

Turkish Concert Tarab Retreat 2020

January 2021 Newsletter

Amaya Workshop: the Inner You!

October 2020