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The Washington Post

Throat singer Tanya Tagaq is both earthy and ethereal in Kennedy Center performance

The sounds that emanate from Tanya Tagaq’s mouth are eerie and exotic, but the indigenous Canadian throat singer began her Friday concert in aw-shucks mode. “Hi, everybody!” she greeted the crowd at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage before warning that her music is “kind of weird.” It was also kind of great, and sufficiently transfixing that few listeners accepted the performer’s invitation to leave “if you hate it.”

If Tagaq has a business card, its motto could read “have voice, will travel.” She’s collaborated with Björk — clearly a kindred spirit — as well as Kronos Quartet, Buffy Sainte-Marie and many others. She also enlists multiple guest stars for her solo albums, the most recent of which is 2016’s “Retribution.”

But Friday’s show, part of the center’s admirably bold Direct Current series, featured just Tagaq and multi-instrumentalists Jesse Zubot and Jean Martin. The trio performed a nearly hour-long improvisation whose wordless vocalese was accompanied primarily by violin and percussion, supplemented sparingly by keyboards and electronics. The best thing about improv, the singer said, “is that it’s never going to happen again.”

 

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Eileen Andrews

Eileen Andrews

Vice President, Public Relations

202-416-8448
etandrews@kennedy-center.org

  • JFK Centennial
  • Kennedy Center Honors
  • Expansion
  • Institution
• • •
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Michelle Pendoley

Director of Public Relations, Non-Classical


mapendoley@kennedy-center.org

  • Kennedy Center Honors
  • Mark Twain Prize
  • Expansion
  • Education
  • DIRECT CURRENT
  • Institution
• • •
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Rachelle Roe

Director of Public Relations, NSO & Classical


rbroe@kennedy-center.org

  • National Symphony Orchestra
  • NSO @ Wolf Trap
  • NSO Pops
  • Chamber Music
  • Fortas Series
  • Sound Health
  • SHIFT
• • •
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Brendan Padgett

Senior Press Representative

202-416-8004
bepadgett@kennedy-center.org

  • Theater
  • Theater for Young Audiences
  • Festivals
  • International Programming
• • •

Sabrina Skacan

Senior Press Representative, WNO & Classical

202-416-8453
smskacan@kennedy-center.org

  • Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program
  • American Opera Initiative
  • Washington National Opera
  • KC Jukebox
  • Renee Fleming VOICES
• • •
Brittany Laeger

Brittany Laeger

Press Representative

202-416-8445
balaeger@kennedy-center.org

  • VSA
  • Any Given Child
  • Ballet
  • Dance
  • Education
• • •
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Chanel Williams

Press Representative for Contemporary Culture

202-416-8447
cpwilliams@kennedy-center.org

  • Hip Hop
  • International Programming
  • Jazz
  • Comedy
  • Festivals
  • Contemporary Music
• • •
LaurenHolland

Lauren Holland

PR Coordinator, Non-Classical

202-416-8441
leholland@kennedy-center.org

  • Millennium Stage
• • •

Iain Higgins

PR Coordinator, Classical

202-416-8442
imhiggins@kennedy-center.org

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