Folk ensemble Kolibri releases retrospective CD

Latvian-American folk ensemble Kolibri has released its first compact disc, a retrospective collection entitled Kolibri atskatās / Kolibri reminisces. The CD collects a selection of folk song arrangements from the ensemble’s 1979 debut album, as well as concert performances recorded at Latvian Radio in 1988, and some addition live performances from concerts in New York and Boston.

Kolibri, founded in 1976, featured a number of prominent Latvian-American musicians and composers, including Pēteris and Mārtiņš Aldiņš, Anita Kuprisa, Juris Broks, Laila and Lalita Saliņa, Līga Aldiņa, Laura Padega, Imants Mežaraups, Pēteris Ozols, Jānis Sils and Ruta Dambis-Ruice. The ensemble was later joined by Pamela Ambrose, Silvija Padeja and Andris Lēvenšteins. Arrangements of the songs on this CD are by both Aldiņš brothers, Kuprisa, Mežaraups, Laila Saliņa, as well as one arrangement by distinguished Latvian American conductor Andrejs Jansons.

The group took the name Kolibri, which is Latvian for hummingbird, so that it could give a “voice” to a bird that does not sing.

In addition to its 1979 vinyl album, Kolibri released three audio cassettes, Kolibri dzied un spēlē arī and Danco, danco, pagriezies, pagriezies! (both 1988) and Slava Dievam augstībā (1991). However, the group no longer actively performs.

The CD was presented Nov. 15 in a concert at the Rīga Latvian Society House, featuring guest performances by the vocal groups Putni and Putnu dārzs, composer Valts Pūce, as well as Kolibri member and composer Imants Mežaraups.

Tracks on Kolibri atskatās / Kolibri reminisces include (with their arrangers in parentheses):

  1. Malni muni kumeleņi (Pēteris Aldiņš)
  2. Zvirgzdienas rotāšana (Mārtiņš Aldiņš)
  3. Kas dimd (Andrejs Jansons)
  4. Māmiņa mīļā (Anita Kuprisa)
  5. Šūpļa dziesma (Pēteris Aldiņš)
  6. Tu māsiņa, es māsiņa (Imants Mežaraups)
  7. Metenītis (Pēteris Aldiņš)
  8. Darbs ira (Laila Saliņa, Pēteris Aldiņš, Mārtiņš Aldiņš)
  9. Bērnu dziesmas (Pēteris Aldiņš)
  10. Ģērbies, saule, sudrabota (Anita Kuprisa)
  11. Pavasara ainas (Imants Mežaraups)
  12. Putnu dzīšana (Mārtiņš Aldiņš)
  13. Vedat mani dziedādami! (Anita Kuprisa)
  14. Vadža dances (Mārtiņš Aldiņš)
  15. Ganiņu līgošana (Pēteris Aldiņš)
  16. Čigānu dziesma (Pēteris Aldiņš)
  17. Ziemassvētku dziesmas (Pēteris Aldiņš)
  18. Sidrabiņa lietiņš lija (Pēteris Aldiņš)
  19. Sidrabiņa lietiņš lija (Anita Kuprisa)
  20. Sidrabiņa lietiņš lija (Mārtiņš Aldiņš)

The CD was published by the SPEKTRS culture association.

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Kolibri has released a retrospective compact disc titled Kolibri atskatās / Kolibri reminisces.

Egils Kaljo is an American-born Latvian from the New York area . Kaljo began listening to Latvian music as soon as he was able to put a record on a record player, and still has old Bellacord 78 rpm records lying around somewhere.

3 thoughts on “Folk ensemble Kolibri releases retrospective CD

  1. KOLIBRI was the BEST! They were also the first Latvian group from the West to perform at Baltica — standing ovations! Where can I get the CD??

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