Folk Songs of Naboréa

"...the smart young vocalist Kavita Shah presented the premiere of "Folk Songs of Naboréa," a song cycle for seven voices and kora, which dares to peer beyond the apocalypse toward a more harmonious form of chaos."

- Nate Chinen, WBGO/NPR, "Top 10 Jazz Performances of 2017"

Eleni Arapoglou (voice) 
Tomas Cruz (voice)

Christie Dashiell (voice)
Michael Mayo (voice)
Sofia Ribeiro (voice)
Kavita Shah (voice)

Vuyo Sotashe (voice)
Yacouba Sissoko (kora) 
Nyugen Smith (visual artist)

Folk music has played a central role in human societies for millennia, transmitting the stories, rhythms, and harmonies that help define a culture from past to present to future. In Kavita Shah’s imagined future, where everything familiar to us today is abandoned, music prevails.

Folk Songs of Naboréa is an interdisciplinary work by vocalist, composer, and ethnographer Kavita Shah that imagines the folk music of a futuristic, post-nuclear society in which humans have abandoned technology and national and racial identities have eroded. Tracing the agro-religious, celebratory, and commemorative rituals of Naboréa, this piece incorporates elements of jazz improvisation, extended vocal techniques, “world music,” movement, and performance art. Embedded in the folk songs of Naboréa are remnants of the past—some distinguishable, some faint—and with them, the memory of collective loss and the promise of future regeneration. 

“Folk Songs of Naboréa” first premiered in November 2017 at the Park Avenue Armory, and it was named by NPR as one of the Top 10 concerts of 2017.