A RAVEN ABOVE PRESS
Presents the Los Angeles St. David's Day Festival-National Day of Wales March 1, 2014
Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90027
Free Outdoor Festival 10am-5pm
Druid Blessing 1:30pm and Grand Concert from 2pm to 5pm
We are very proud to announce Meinir Gwilym will be making her North American debut headlining the St. David's Day Festival-National Day of Wales Grand Concert!
Born and raised in the small village of Llangristiolus in the heart of the Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Môn) off the North Wales coast, singer-songwriter Meinir Gwilym has established herself as one of the best-selling Welsh language artists ever. Her breakout release Smôcs, Coffi a Fodca Rhad (Cigarrettes, Coffee and Cheap Vodka) in 2002 met with phenomenal response being hailed as one of the most original and inspired compilations to come out of Wales in years. Follow-up albums have built on her success with performances at all major festivals in Wales, including Sesiwn Fawr Dolgellau, Maes B, The Royal Welsh Show and Bryn Terfel’s Faenol Festival.
Meinir’s list of accomplishments include presenting shows for: BBC radio and Heart FM, music series ‘Noson Chis a Meinir’ on television and school tours, S4C (Channel 4 Wales)’s nightly magazine show, Wedi 7, and a special one hour ‘fly-on-the-wall’ S4C broadcast documentary which followed Meinir for a year, including an inside look at Yamaha by whom she is endorsed.
Along with traditional Welsh songs and her hits, Meinir will be performing new material from her forthcoming album!
The Grand Concert will be also featuring Welsh harpsichordist Christopher D. Lewis!
Christopher was born in Rhiwbina, Wales, and moved to North America in 2005 to study harpsichord with Luc Beausejour & Hank Knox at McGill University, Montreal. Since that time he has received outstanding recognition and accolades for his performances internationally. Christopher will be performing a special set dedicated to British and Welsh composers on the harpsichord that appeared in the movie Titanic.
A sought-after public speaker and narrator, Christopher has presented numerous lectures on the history of the harpsichord and narrated for many projects. Past projects include collaborations and performances with American Bach Soloists, The San Francisco Bach Choir, The Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, Ensemble Parallele and The San Francisco Conservatory of Music's New Music Ensemble.
We are also excited by the return of the Welsh Choir of Southern California (Cor Cymraeg de Califfornia) to the Grand Concert stage. Under the direction of Tony Davis, the choir performs Welsh traditional and hymnal music and believes in the power of music to restore our faith in life, in ourselves, and in each other. The Choir’s repertoire is one hundred percent Welsh, with approximately two-thirds sung in the Welsh language and one-third in English.
To begin the Grand Concert, we will be showing Yr Etifeddiaeth (The Heritage).
Yr Etifeddiaeth was filmed between 1947 and 1949 by 'Y Cymro' photographer Geoffrey Charles, with the newspaper's editor, John Roberts Williams, as director and script-writer. It presents the culture, work and rural way of life in Llyn and Eifionydd. Freddie Grant, a young, black evacuee from Liverpool who was housed with Eliseus Williams, ex-headteacher of Llangybi school and friend of John Roberts Williams, is used, initially, as (voice-less) presenter. The poet 'Cynan' [Albert Evans-Jones], is the narrator, extolling the area's past and present - in which communities are held together by a shared culture and language - but expressing concern that its future is threatened by the readily available modern, but English-language, media and the hordes of English-speaking summer visitors who visit, many of whom stay at the new Butlins holiday camp at Pwllheli (opened in 1947 with accommodation for 5,000 people).
The film closes with shots of the summer visitors splashing about in the Butlins swimming pool and, in contrast, a small but respectable band of the Cymry Cymraeg gathered outside the chapel on Sunday morning, torch-bearers for the threatened faith and tradition.
Yr Etifeddiaeth was first shown at the National Eisteddfod in Dolgellau in 1949, attracting full houses for the nightly screenings. (Description from the National Screen and Sound Archives of Wales)
Outside the Grand Concert beginning at 10am visitors will be delighted in a free Celtic Marketplace, Welsh language classes by Jason Shepherd of the Learn Welsh Podcast, Celtic workshops, Welsh Corgi demonstrations, Kids Crafts, and the LA Eisteddfod featuring poetry, storytelling, readings, performance, Welsh food, and much more.
We will be promoting artists from both Wales and the US in a special book release party on the history and legends of Welsh Saints (title to be announced) written by Peter Anthony Freeman (Llanelli, UK) and published by A Raven Above Press.
Also, artist Kimberly Wlassak will be exhibiting her artwork from the book Tylwyth Teg: Excerpts from The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries, by W.Y. Evans-Wentz, and illustrated by Kimberly Wlassak. This book will be in association with activities for kids, where they can try on their own fairy wings or learn how to fly like a dragon at the kids craft corner!
There is really no better place to celebrate the history and accomplishments of Welsh-Americans then at Barnsdall Art Park. Designed by Welsh-American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, its nestled atop a shaded hill and away from the city bustle, the park has a clear view of the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park (named for Welsh philanthropist Griffith J. Griffith) and near the infamous Gower Street to the west (known for the golden age of cinema and Welsh-American stars like Glenn Ford and Myrna Loy).
Risks and challenges
We are fundraising for seed money to get the festival off the ground. Without sufficient support from community leaders and donors the project would not be possible. Please help me continue building on the success of last year!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)