Zorzal (Spanish for wood thrush) is a vocal and instrumental ensemble dedicated to the performance of Spanish, Sephardic, and Latin American music from the 12th century to the present. We focus on works that reflect how musical elements from Spain are influenced by and influence other musical cultures, including those from African, Native American, Sephardic, Arabic and other European sources. We ourselves are a crossroads, bringing together a variety of musical backgrounds, education, and experience. Some of us are educators; several of us have extensive experience performing folk music, both American and Latin American. Our interpretations are based on ethnomusicological and musicological research, as well as on knowledge of classical and jazz composition. Our performance practice is at a crossroads between folk vernaculars and classical training, and our mission is at the crossroads of education and pure performance.
Zorzal features a vocal quintet, recorders, guitar, harpsichord, violoncello, and Latin American, Arab, and African percussion. We perform in a variety of Spanish dialects as well as in Ladino (Sephardic Jewish), Quechua (Incan), and Náhuatl (Aztec). The group was founded in 2001 in south-central Pennsylvania under the sponsorship of the Pommerian Early Music Guild (www.pommerianearlymusicguild.org
/. The group is now based in central New Jersey. Current members include Lynn Gumert (Artistic Director, Soprano, Recorders), Carlos Fernandez (Guitar, Tenor, Percussion), Kate Chen (Soprano), Doug Helvering (Bass, Percussion), Megan Helvering (Alto), Momo Kusaka (Recorders), Minju Lee (Harpsichord), Bob Ramos (Percussion), and Janet Walker (Violoncello).
Zorzal Music Ensemble