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EFN Newsletter February 2024 #21


Welcome to the new edition of this communication and outreach initiative of the EFN. Feel free to forward it to your friends and colleagues. Receiving this newsletter is open to anyone for free, here. Read to the end to find out how to submit content for future editions.

This is what you'll find below:

🔸News from the EFN: What's going on?

🔹EFN welcomes new members: Escuela de Música Creativa, from Spain, and two members from Ukraine, Anastasiya Voytyuk and Illia Fetysov

🔸News from our members: Flanders Folk Awards

🔹Our next featured member is Lauska

🔸Our next featured artist is the Ukrainian klezmer Abe Elenkrig

🔹Special content: LMNS early years music workshops

✍️ Do you want to participate? At the end of the newsletter you will find how you can contribute to future editions, whether you are an EFN member or not. 

And of course EFN is always looking for new members and at the end of this newsletter there is a note about how and why to join, with links to the membership pages of the website and the application form. 

Thanks for your attention, have a fruitful reading and, please, forward this to any person who could be interested!


News from EFN

🔸What's going on?

In these past few weeks, we have been quite busy. As we write these lines, Nod Knowles is representing the network at the VONK festival in Ghent, Belgium.

Meanwhile, we are also working on several applications for funds and thinking about recurrent projects: the European Folk Day and the annual meeting. We will keep you updated!



By EFN editors

Three new members joined EFN during the last weeks:

🔸From Spain, Fundación Música Creativa

The Música Creativa Foundation is a private non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating projects with a strong impact on education, society, and culture through the transformative power of music.

Our mission is to nurture popular and modern musical expressions while providing invaluable support to young artists in their journey to discover and shape out their artistic paths.

About joining EFN they state that "The foundation is fully committed with the preservation and empowerment of Spanish folk music recognizing its profound cultural significance within the European landscape. As members of the European Folk Network, we would actively strive to enhance the representation of folk music across Europe. Our goal is to contribute proactively to the creation of a strong network of support and collaboration that allows us to learn from each other´s roots.

Check their website for more information.

🔸From Ukraine, Anastasiya Voytyuk

This is how Anastasiya introduced herself in her membership application. "I'm a musician and a cultural manager. As a musician, I play bandura and sing Ukrainian folk songs working as well with their arrangements in modern styles. As cultural manager I lead NGO Unbeaten Path which leads festival for modern bandura Lviv Bandur Fest and implements projects in field of culture, education and inclusion in culture. During war time we became less active but really hope to come normal speed as soon as it will be possible".

In applying for EFN membership she said that “I would like to represent Ukrainian music and bring more knowledge about folklore traditions of Ukraine. I can spread information about folk activities in Ukraine and bring information from EFN to Ukrainian folk communities. I`m interested to become a member of a group of people who cherish and maintain good level of development of folk music in Europe. 

You can follow her on her Facebook profile.

🔸Also from Ukraine, Illia Fetysov

Illia is the head of the folklore ensemble "Bozhychi" and head of the Folk Dance School of the folklore ensemble "Bozhychi". He is also Chairman of the NGO "All-Ukrainian Association of Young Folklore Researchers", author and leader of projects for children and youth in the field of intangible cultural heritage. His international work includes being UNESCO facilitator for Convention for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. He has been chairman of various expert councils on Intangible Culture Heritage of the Ministry of Culture in Ukraine.

In applying for EFN membership he said that "I have been long-time active in Ukrainian folklore research, practicing traditions, singing, playing, folk-dancing, educating young people and the wider public in the field of Ukrainian folklore. I could bring to the European Folk Network knowledge and contacts to the Ukrainian folklore scene and I am sure there could be a mutually enriching exchange of information and expertise of various aspects of working in the folklore field nowadays. In this very difficult time - during the Russian full-scale invasion in Ukraine, it is particularly important to create close cultural ties among people across Europe and also to expand all kinds of cultural co-operation and exchange."

The picture is from his Facebook profile


News from the members

🔹Flanders Folk Awards

By Steven Vanderaspoilden

Flanders Folk Network organized on January 27 a showcase evening during which the 2024 Flanders Folk Awards were announced:

  • The award for Best Live Band went to Naragonia, who perform their varied music all over Europe for both dancers and listeners.

  • The group Toasaves received an award for their cd “De Zwerver”

  • The all-female a capella group Hella was awarded the prize for Most Promising Band.

  • Radio producer Marc Vandemoortele received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his continuing work of presenting Flemish folk as an international, inclusive, and living story.

The jury of the FFA consisted of music professionals from both within and outside the Folk sector.

For more information, check their website.


Featured Member: Lauska

When they became a member in 2019 this is how they presented themselves: 

"The Culture Management Centre “Lauska” is a partner for independent artists and groups active in various cultural fields. “Lauska” helps to professionally organize and implement different projects and creative ideas. KMC “Lauska” has the aim to promote folk music as a vivid and thrilling genre, by encouraging the research and preservation of traditional musical material, as well as by supporting new creative findings. KMC “Lauska” organizes musical camps and workshops for children and people interested in folk music, different concerts and performances for groups and musicians, as well as produces and releases music CDs. Lauska is also organising the Ethno Music Festival “SVIESTS” in Valmiermuiža." 

And about what they can give to the European Folk Network as a member and what they thought that would be the benefits of membership, they explained that:

"Lauska has already for several years been a first contact-point for international partners looking for specific music, musicians, contacts and information about Latvian folk music and crafts. We are happy to provide information about where to look for something related to traditional culture in Latvia. The webpage features not only a catalogue of our almost 90 releases, but also a catalogue of artists – Latvian folk musicians and groups with information in Latvian, English and German. The membership would provide more possibilities for networking, cultural exchange and international project realisation."

For more information, check their website.


Remember: the Featured Artist section is open to the contributions of the members of the EFN. If you want to talk about someone contact

Featured Artist: Abe Elenkrig

By Araceli Tzigane

Although klezmer music originates from Europe, I believe this is the first time we are talking about a klezmer artist here. Moreover, this artist is from Ukraine. Let this selection serve as a welcome to our two new Ukrainian members and as a means to keep the flame of Ukrainian culture alive in its various manifestations. 

Furthermore, a recording by this artist is considered the first klezmer recording in history. Keep reading to discover it!

The portrait is from Wikimedia Commons, is of public domain and announced as "a photo of Abraham "Abe" Elenkrig, klezmer musician and barber, at a family wedding circa 1950". 

I first wrote about this artist in Over there I talked also about the Jews from his land, Zolotonocha, where we has born in 1878. It is two and a half hours away from Kiev by road, following the Dnieper River towards the southeast.

According to the website of the Institut Européen des Musiques Juives:

"In addition to being a hairdresser, Abe Elenkrieg or Elenkrig (1878-1965) was a trumpeter and conductor of the “Abe Elenkrig Yiddishe Orchestra” and the “Hebrew Bulgarian Orchestra”. His klezmer recordings are considered by scholars to be the forgotten treasures of klezmer music. As such, the Library of Congress designated his 1913 recording of “Fon der Choope” as the first klezmer recording and listed it as such in the National Recording Registry.”"

There is a very interesting essay by Dr. Hankus Netsky, available in the website of the Library of Congress. He explains that Elenkrig, by 1913, was well established in New York, both as a barber and as a musician who knew the Jewish dance repertoire and how it was supposed to sound. He came from a family of klezmorim (Jewish professional folk instrumentalists) that also included Ralph Elenkrieg, a trombonist and barber who lived in Philadelphia.

However, Abe, like other klezmorim who emigrated from Europe, had difficulties adapting to the evolution of styles in New York. You can read the full story here.

In 1913, Abe Elenkrig recorded this piece "Fon der Khupe" (from the wedding canopy), for Columbia Records in New York. On the essay by Dr. Netsky we read that "Fun der Khupe tunes served a specific purpose in the wedding ceremony and were often a frelylekhs or skotshne, although other genres may have been used for this purpose.  These tunes were played after the breaking of the glass, as the newly married couple leaves the wedding canopy and leads the assembled company to the wedding feast."

Listen and enjoy:


Special content: LMNS early years music workshops

Our very active member Live Music Scotland (LMN) sends us a call accompanied by interesting information about the effect of music at early ages. We hope it is of your interest.

By Malena Persson, from Live Music Now Scotland (LMN)

It is important that all children and young people have access to high quality musical experiences. Not only is it an enjoyable experience, but taking part in regular music-making has been proven to make a major contribution to children’s learning, social and personal development in areas including: 

  • Exploring and expressing feelings non-verbally, developing conversational skills. 

  • Improving mood; developing life skills such as turn-taking, collaborating, teamwork; increasing social interaction and self-confidence.

  • Improving concentration, memory and developing creativity.

  • Encouraging intentional movement, developing motor skills.

This winter, LMNS is looking forward to collaborating with the University of Glasgow, delivering two participatory music events aimed at an Early Years audience.

Folk duo based in Glasgow Mairi McGillivray (voice + fiddle) and Katie Allen (guitar + fiddle) joined Live Music Now Scotland in January 2023 and the pair hosted the workshops on Saturday 10th February, offering a day of musical fun for the wee ones. Mairi and Katie are well experienced in early years work, and are currently part of the long-running LMNS series ‘Traditional Tunes for Tiny People’.

The events are free to attend and bookings can be made via Eventbrite.


Are you already a member? Then, remember that you can submit contents for this monthly newsletter. Email your content to, for these sections:


· News from EFN Members. Brief announcements – of around 100 words and a link. 


· Featured artist. A profile with around 200 words, an embedded video and one link. Members are invited to submit profiles, considering solo and ensemble living or not living artists who have achieved lifelong artistic and technical quality or historical significance in the field of folk art from or developed in or settled in Europe. If you have any artists in mind that you'd like to feature, please ask in advance, just to be sure there is no other member already doing it.

And whether you are a member or not, you can participate in this section:


· Special sections. For instance, an interview with someone from an institution that is not a member or a thematic article by a guest writer or anything that can appear and be considered as interesting. This section can also host guest writers that are not members.

If you'd like to share any content, contact us in advance to schedule it by emailing


Of course, self promotional articles lacking interest won't be accepted. In case of doubt, the EFN board will be consulted and will decide. 


EFN membership is growing rapidly – why not join the network of traditional arts organisers and artists that stretches across Europe from the Irish Sea to the Baltic, the Mediterranean to the Black Sea? Find out more about membership and download an application form from


The EFN welcomes donations. We do a lot with little money. Imagine what we can do with a little more :) Let us know how much do you want to donate and we'll issue an invoice for your organization.

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