Folklife Masters: Mirah & Kane Mathis
- Events begin promptly at the posted time - doors open half an hour beforehand, so come early to have your choice of seats.
Tickets: $35 advance / door
Note: The Folklife Masters series tends to sell out quickly. Don’t lose your chance to claim a seat at this one-of-a-kind venue!
Northwest Folklife and Empty Sea Studios are proud to present the third concert in the 2009 Folklife Masters concert series.
Folklife Masters presents one-of-a-kind concerts which bring master musicians from different traditions together to collaborate and inspire on stage. In our intimate 45-seat listening room, every nuance of these masters’ performances can be savored.
A portion of the proceeds go directly to support Northwest Folklife.
Mirah & Kane Mathis: A World of New Traditions
Mirah Tom Tov Zeitlyn has been at the heart of the vibrant Northwest independent music scene ever since her debut album. Signed by legendary underground record label K Records in 1999, her music has always been eclectic, drawing from a myriad of global influences and using musicians from many different backgrounds. In Kane Mathis, Northwest global musician par excellence, Mirah has found the perfect collaborator. Kane is a sublime musician and truly dedicated to the traditions that he studies. Considered a master of the West African harp known as the kora, as well as an excellent Turkish lute (eud) player, Kaneis music is always engaging and subtle. When matched with Mirah’s introspective songwriting, the duo represents the best of Northwest acoustic music. This will be an evening of soul-driven music with roots reaching to the far corners of the earth.
Mirah’s career in music has been more varied and eclectic than nearly any other artist in the world of independent music. Her early albums were an exploration of the territories beyond lo-fi, aiming to transcend technical limitations and to push the boundaries of “indie-rock” towards a more meaningful communicative goal. With each album, Mirah has pushed herself and her music further, like a modern-day sonic explorer. The release of her newest album, (a)spera, saw her collaborating with a wide range of musicians from indie producer Tucker Martine to global percussionist Mehmet Vurkac and Chris Funk of The Decemberists. She collaborated closely with Kane Mathis for this record, resulting in a beautiful duet track, “The Shells”, that featured Kane on kora with Mirahis ethereal vocals. Mirahis artistry defies description, but her music is anchored by her thoughtful songwriting and her beautiful vocals.
A musical renaissance man, Kane Mathis has traveled the globe to immerse himself in some of the world’s most beautiful traditions. Years of study with generous masters has led him to a mastery of his chosen instruments: the Western guitar, the Turkish oud and the Gambian kora. Kane began taking trips to The Gambia, West Africa in 1997 and has continued rigorous study of the Mandinka Kora. Over the past ten years his performances have earned him recognition by the Gambian president, The Gambian minister of culture, and both national television and radio of The Gambia. Not content to devote himself to a single instrument, Kane moved from the kora to the Turkish oud, an ancestor of the Western lute. He studied the oud both in Istanbul and here in Seattle with Oud virtuoso Munir Nurttin Beken, then visiting artist at the University of Washington. Throughout all his musical journeys, Kane brings the same dedicated focus on mastering a purity of sound. This is what makes him such a compelling artist.