Kiezsalon opening w/ Valentina Goncharova, Blue Lake and Zoh Amba at Zionskirche | Saturday, 04.05.2024

For the 2024 season opening, Kiezsalon returns to the Zionskirche for a full weekend program. Following Friday’s lineup of Antonina Nowacka, Josephine Foster and Ka Baird, Saturday continues with violinist Valentina Goncharova, Denmark-based zitherist Blue Lake and saxophonist Zoh Amba.

Historically informed violin player, prize-winning street musician, new age experimentalist, chamber ensemble performer and conservatoire deviant – Valentina Goncharova’s boasts a layered musical legacy. Her immense output dating back to the 1970’s “offers a window into a lesser-known Soviet history of experimental music,” write The Guardian, her music is “made for personal pleasure; as exploration, and therein lies its magnetism”.

Behind Blue Lake is Copenhagen-based Jason Dungan, whose instruments of choice include a self-built, 48-string zither, clarinet, organ and drum machines. His 2022 album, Stikling, was nominated as ‘Jazz Album of the Year’ by the Danish Music Awards, but his instrumentals are also influenced by drone and ambient as well as Americana, echoing his Texan roots.

In 2023, Tonal Union issued Sun Arcs, marked by its meditative layering that got named ‘Best New Music’ by Pitchfork, who praised its picturesque tracks that invoke an “intimate view, one that can feel both magical in its simplicity and all the more compelling for what’s just out of frame.”

Zoh Amba is a composer and instrumentalist with an avant-garde blend of folk melodies, mesmerising refrains, and repeated incantations. Born in Tennessee, she studied at the San Francisco Conservatory Of Music, the New England Conservatory and with David Murray in New York, her current home.

“Hearing Amba play, it’s clear that her passion comes from somewhere deep inside. In the first few minutes of a recent concert,” observes The New York Times in their profile on the 23-year old, “she erupted with low-register blasts, then worked her way up to the altissimo range of her tenor sax, her cheeks puffing as she summoned harsh multiphonic squeals.” Zoh’s debut album O, Sun was produced by John Zorn and released on his label Tzadik, followed by Bhakti in 2022.

The Zionskirche, inaugurated in 1873 and renovated just last year, was built in a neo-Romanesque style on a 52-metre-high vineyard at one of the highest altitudes Berlin. Its 67-metre tower offers a panoramic view of the city, and its gardens are ideal for lingering before and after the concert with a glass of wine – especially on a warm spring evening.

Regrettably, due to circumstances beyond our control, Joe Rainey and C. Lavender have had to cancel their European tours. It’s a situation we could not predict, and we are genuinely sorry and hopeful they will be able to join us next year. We are happy to announce that Colorado-based singer-songwriter Josephine Foster and Kyiv-born, Tallinn-based violinist Valentina Goncharova are stepping up to the plate.

Kiezsalon opening w/ Valentina Goncharova, Blue Lake and Zoh Amba

Saturday, 04.05.2024 | Doors 19:00 / Starts 20:00 CET
Zionskirche | Zionskirchplatz in 10119 Berlin-Mitte
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The Kiezsalon is a project by Digital in Berlin. Curated by Michael Rosen and funded by Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion. Presented by The Wire and taz, die tageszeitung. With the kind support of the Förderverein Zionskirche Berlin.
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