Iļģi, post-folk band, sets third U.S. tour

The post-folklore group Iļģi has scheduled its third U.S. tour in September and October, this time visiting more than a dozen communities and performing 15 concerts, tour promoters have announced. The band last toured the United States in 2001.

The band’s nearly month-long tour starts in Minneapolis with two concerts Sept. 9 and concludes Oct. 6 in Philadelphia. The group also will perform at the Madison World Music Festival in Wisconsin, the Globalquerque World Music Festival in New Mexico and the Culture Days event planned by the American Latvian Youth Association at the Latvian center Gaŗezers in Michigan.

The group first toured the United States in 2001 in a series of concerts that began shortly after the September terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. The band returned in 2003, playing concerts on the eastern and western coasts, including a performance during the 14th West Coast Latvian Song Festival in San Francisco.

The concert program for this tour, according to a press release from the band’s management, will be focused on material from recent recordings and on Latvian dances. While concerts meant for a broader public will include background information about Latvian culture, concerts scheduled in Latvian centers will be augmented with a program of traditional games for children.

Concerts are scheduled:

  • Sept. 9 in Minnesota:  Two concerts are scheduled. The first is at 12:30 p.m. in the Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church of Minneapolis and St. Paul, 3152 17th Ave. S., Minneapolis. The concert is presented by the Minnesota Association of Latvian Organizations. For further information, contact Maija Zaeska at +1 (763) 972-2521. The second concert is at 7:30 p.m. in the the Cedar Cultural Center,  416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis. Tickets are USD 18 in advance and USD 20 the day of the show. Tickets are available at www.thecedar.org/tickets or by calling the cultural center at +1 (612) 338-2674.
  • Sept. 13 in Wisconsin: At 7 p.m. on the Terrace of the Memorial Union of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 800 Langdon St., Madison. More information is available by visiting www.union.wisc.edu/worldmusic.
  • Sept. 14 in Illinois: At 7:30 p.m. in the Zion Latvian Ev.-Lutheran Church, 6551 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago. For further information, telephone Silvija Kļaviņš-Barshney at +1 (773) 724-1579 or e-mail her at sil@skbdesign.org. Admission is USD 20 for adults, USD 15 for parents with children, and USD 5 for children younger than 16.
  • Sept. 15 in Michigan: At 5 p.m. during the American Latvian Youth Association’s Culture Days at the Latvian center Gaŗezers, 57732 Lone Tree Road, Three Rivers. Admission is USD 15 for the concert, USD 25 for the concert and the dance that follows. For further information, e-mail latvian_oddball@yahoo.com or markus.apelis@case.edu.
  • Sept. 16 in Indiana: At 5 p.m. in the Indianapolis Latvian Community Center, 1008 W. 64th St., Indianapolis. For further information, telephone Andris Bērziņš at +1 (317) 652-1781.
  • Sept. 21 in Colorado: At 8 p.m. in a concert organized by the Swallow Hill Music Association, Daniels Hall, 71 East Yale Ave., Denver. Tickets are USD 15 and are available by visiting www.swallowhill.com or by calling +1 (303) 777-1003.
  • Sept. 22 in New Mexico: At 6 p.m. during the Globalquerque World Music Festival in the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 4th St., Albuquerque. Tickets available at the NHCC box office or through Ticketmaster. For further information, visit www.globalquerque.com.
  • Sept. 27 in California: At 8 p.m. in the Freight & Salvage Coffee House, 1111 Addison Street, Berkeley. Tickets are USD 18.50 in advance or USD 19.50 at the door. Tickets are available at Ticketweb by calling +1 (866) 468-3399 or by visiting www.ticketweb.com. For more information, telephone the coffee house at +1 (510) 548-1761 or visit www.thefreight.org.
  • Sept. 28 in California: At 8 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall of Capistrano Hall on the campus of California State University, Sacramento. Tickets are USD 15 for general admission and USD 8 for students. Tickets are available at the university’s Central Ticket Office or by calling +1 (916) 278-4323. Parking for the event is free. The concert is sponsored by the Department of Music and the World Music Club.
  • Sept. 29 in Oregon: At 7 p.m. in the Alberta Street Public House, 1036 Alberta St. N.E., Portland. Tickets are USD 10. For further information, telephone +1 (503) 284-7665 or visit myspace.com/albertastreetpub.
  • Oct. 1 in Washingtion: At 7:30 p.m. in The Triple Door, 216 Union St., Seattle. Tickets are USD 18 in advance and USD 20 the day of show, available by visiting www.thetripledoor.com or by calling +1 (206) 838-4333.
  • Oct. 3 in Washington: At 8 p.m. at Whitman College, 345 Boyer Ave., Walla Walla.
  • Oct. 5 in New York: At 8 p.m. in the New York Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church, 254 Valentine Lane, Yonkers. Tickets are USD 25. The concert will be opened by Miķels Akerbergs and Jānis Baļķīts. The concert is presented by the Council of New York Latvian Organizations. For further information, contact Jānis Riekstiņš at +1 (516) 674-8802.
  • Oct. 6 in Pennsylvania: At 8 p.m. in the Philadelphia Society of Free Letts, 531 N. 7th St., Philadelphia. The bar opens at 7 p.m. The concert is presented by the society. For further information, contact Laris Krēsliņš at +1 (917) 446-3087 or blbphilly@gmail.com.

Iļģi, led by singer and fiddler Ilga Reizniece, was formed 26 years ago. The band began by playing Latvian folk songs in a traditional style, but over the years evolved its “post-folklore” sound, adding elements of rock music and nontraditional instruments.

Other members of the band include Gatis Gaujenieks on bass and vocals, Māris Muktupāvels on kokle, bagpipes and vocals, Egons Kronbergs on guitar and Vilnis Strods on drums. All but Strods will be on the tour, according to Gaujenieks.

The band has 10 albums in its discography, most recently Ne uz vienu dienu, a recording of wedding-related songs released in 2006. The band expects a new album of instrumental music to be ready by autumn, according to the group’s Web site.

Further information about the U.S. tour is available from organizer Benita Jaundalderis at +1 (206) 335-2610 or ilgi@seanet.com. More information about the band is available by visiting www.ilgi.lv or www.myspace.com/ilgimusic.


Members of Iļģi include (from left to right) from left to right, Gatis Gaujenieks, Māris Muktupāvels, Egons Kronbergs, Vilnis Strods and Ilga Reizniece. (Photo courtesy of Iļģi)

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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