The Final Chapter of the History of NOMAD

Each successive year brought new challenges, often unanticipated – from finding the lower gym full of school supplies on the opening night of the festival to complying with abrupt changes in the fire regulations. One notable challenge was being notified just two weeks before the 1994 festival that the main gym would be closed to install a new floor. Each time the NOMAD volunteers pulled through. In that last instance, the program committee adjusted the dance schedule to various large hallways around the school, and the dances were saved.

During our time in Newtown High School, the festival date was always subject to the school’s football schedule, so we landed on a different weekend each year.

Early on, NOMAD was mostly dance and its related music. That changed one summer when Fran’s husband Chip was hired to play a wedding. During the break, Chip and Fran spent time with Sandy and Caroline Paton, traditional singers and owners of the Folk-Legacy record company, who were also performing there. After hearing the concept of NOMAD, the Patons attended the next festival. They were so pleased that they shared their performer mailing list with the program committee, and in 1992 the “right hand side of the grid” was born. At this point, we were running eight rooms for programs.

In 1993 we started the “red hot” Friday evening dance for early festival attendees. The Friday evening event has continued to this day and has expanded to include song sessions as well.

Ed Potter, John Foley and Fran developed a set of by-laws, and we were accepted under the umbrella of the Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) as a 501(c)(3) non-profit group.

Chip was the silent partner, supporting us in so many ways ranging from organizational skills to developing the festival booklet and giving us valuable ideas from his years of experience with major dance festivals and desktop publishing. In January 1997, Chip suffered a major stroke. It was just after the 9th NOMAD Festival, and Fran and Chip left NOMAD to deal with his catastrophic illness. The faithful volunteers – committee heads and others – pulled together to see that the 10th anniversary of NOMAD was a success. This festival moved to Newtown Middle School due to major reconstruction at the high school.

When we returned to the high school two years later, we found that the floor-plan was not as user-friendly to our events as it had been, and eventually the committee planned to move the festival.

A great deal of searching for just the right school brought us temporarily to the Hill Career Regional High School in New Haven, and the next year to New Haven’s Wilbur Cross High School. We’d had our eyes on Wilbur Cross for some time, but were unable to move there previously because the school was undergoing extensive renovations. Now we are settled comfortably in a festival-friendly facility in a fabulous neighborhood.

The final chapter of the History of NOMAD has not yet been written, and we expect that it will not be for a long time. We are still tinkering with the layout of the festival in our new home, trying to make NOMAD even friendlier and more accommodating to our performers, volunteers, vendors, and all of our loyal NOMAD attendees, so many of whom return year after year.

History of NOMAD

In the summer of 1986, the idea of the NOMAD Festival was just a spark in the mind of its creator, Fran Hendrickson. Based on fond memories of growing up in the Boston area, dancing the various styles that abound there, and becoming a faithful NEFFA (New England Folk Festival) goer, Fran decided that it was time to create a fun, family-oriented participation festival in Connecticut. It was in the wee hours of a May morning that the set of eleven purposes for this festival fell out of her heart onto paper. The next day, it still looked like a good thing, and a possibility. Almost immediately, Fran sent this set of purposes, along with an introductory letter to several long-time dancer, musician, and caller friends who had also expressed an interest in starting a new dance festival.

The first meeting was held at Fran’s home on April 13, 1987. The invited attendees at that meeting included Fran, John & Louise Foley, Ed & Marj Potter, Pat & Dick Wexelblat, and Doris & Warren Pemburn. Crowded around the table in the tiny dining room, they hashed out ideas. The name came from Dick Wexelblat. We decided we were more than Connecticut, more than New England – we were Northeast Music and Dance. NEMAD didn’t sound very inspiring so we used the first two letters of NOrtheast as capitals and the name became NOMAD. Later the “A” came to represent the Art incorporated within the creations at the festival.

Using the video prepared by NEFFA explaining the nature of their festival, Fran was able to “sell” the NOMAD concept to the principal of the Newtown, Connecticut, high school and then to the superintendent of the Newtown schools.

In the year and a half before the doors opened on the first NOMAD festival, the committee worked hard researching and developing plans. Dance groups were surveyed to encourage them to support such a festival. Procedures from other festivals and events were scrutinized. Rules were secured from the Newtown police and fire departments. Insurance was purchased. Volunteers signed up. The first festival was scheduled for October 15-16, 1988.

With only our own funds, a small loan from NEFFA, and a great deal of faith that “if we build it – they will come,” we launched NOMAD with great hope and enthusiasm. It began as a full Saturday day and evening and Sunday event. We were very brave! Miraculously, things went smoothly. Crafters moved in, food vendors set up, dancers arrived, leaders came for their 50-minute time slots, musicians jammed in the hallways; hugs were seen at every turn. All ages laughed together and enjoyed each other’s company whether dancing, performing or watching a performance or concert.

It was over before we knew it. As everyone packed up, bathed in the glow of success and a beautiful sunset washing through the picture windows of the NHS cafeteria, we breathed a collective sigh of relief. One committee member had brought a bottle of champagne (non-alcoholic, of course). We toasted each other, the performers, the volunteers and the attendees. Then the inevitable question was asked – should we do this again? A resounding “Yes” went up from the group.

Members of NOMAD’s first board of directors were Terry Brettman, John & Louise Foley, Jim Gregory, Fran Hendrickson, Maria Kruelski, Greg Luckman, Ed & Marj Potter, and Pat & Dick Wexelblat.

Additional committee heads for the first festival were Rachael Gordon Lambertson (Artwork), Geraldine Parent (Children’s Programs), Evelyn Cirillo (Hospitality), Katheryn Veszi (Lost & Found), Paul Kerlee (Morris & Sword with Carol Mazza), Nelson & Gail Beers (Parking), Warren & Doris Pemburn (Security), Tom Halmose (Indoor Signs), Amy Cann (Outdoor Signs), Andy Woodruff (Sound), Eric Hollman (Stage Manager), and Cheryll Compton (Volunteer Coordinator). The board members divided up the balance of the committee head jobs.

Wrap-Up Report, NOMAD 2006

Here’s John Mazza’s wrap-up report for the 2006 NOMAD Festival, November 3-5, 2006, at the Hill Regional Career High School, New Haven, CT.

We are still experimenting to find the best way to use the pleasant, modern facilities at Wilbur Cross High School. One experiment that succeeded beyond our expectations was use of the beautiful front foyer as a performance space.  We did have a few sound bleed problems which we are working to overcome, but performers and audiences enjoyed the space. We think the music and activity helped create a festive atmosphere for people entering the building, and everyone enjoyed the sunlight and the autumn colors visible through the wall of windows. We were especially pleased with a visit from our old friends, the Kartuli Ensemble, who entertained an appreciative SRO audience with choral music from the Republic of Georgia. Other good friends who made use of this wonderful new space were Robert Messore displaying his virtuosity on guitar, the Greater Hartford Scottish Country Dancers, and banjo virtuoso Roger Sprung.

More people are discovering the delights of the V wing. The V wing rooms are located at the opposite end of the cafeteria from the gyms and are the venues for intimate concerts, family activities, and in-depth discussions of musical traditions.  It is definitely worth the short walk. In 2006 the V Wing provided venues for such diverse presentations as the Walkingwood Mandolin Quartet, Songs and Stories of the Underground Railroad with Nzinga’s Daughters, West Gallery Music and Shape-Note Singing with Bruce Randall, Songs of Cowboys, Outlaws and Scoundrels with Woodchucks’ Revenge, a Chantey Blast hosted by Mystic Seaport chanteyman Geoff Kauffman, a Ballad Blast for lovers of song-stories, Irish fiddle and flute music with Damien and Sally Connolly, and many more acts too numerous to list.

We had two new food vendors this year.  La Carreta Mexican specialties and Elm City Kettle Corn tempted our taste buds with their delicious fare. Our mainstay vendors, the Hamden Plains Church catering group coordinated by Anthony Moore, are just amazing.  Their variety of tasty and satisfying dishes warmed the hearts as well as the stomachs of many hungry NOMAD attendees.  Our good friends the Scottish Country Dancers provided coffee and dessert.  They have been part of NOMAD almost from the beginning, and their Sunday morning oatmeal (porridge) is an annual treat that many of us look forward to.

The vendors in the crafts bazaar were very happy with their new location in the cafeteria.  They were right in the middle of things, and they helped make the cafeteria the heart of the festival as it was in our early years at Newtown.  We hope this positive energy will help attract more vendors to the upcoming festival.  Several of our vendors, including Eastern European Emporium, Alamo Styles, Folk Legacy Records, and Celtic World have been with us from those early years.  They are part of the family!

As usual, the two gymnasiums attracted large crowds of enthusiastic dancers all weekend long. There were events in both gyms for every hour of the festival this year, from 8 p.m. Friday through 5 p.m. Sunday. We presented a full program of Contra Dancing, interspersed with English Country, Scottish, Zwiefache, and Squares. With all that vigorous dancing we do a good job of keeping ourselves warm in the main gym, but thanks to a computerized central heating system we sometimes get just a mite too warm. We will contact the school engineers in advance of the 2007 festival to try to have the temperature lowered for our event.

The auditorium stage provided space for a wide variety of participatory international dancing. The styles we enjoyed this year included Scandinavian Turning Dances, Russian Cossack Dances, Colonial Cotillions, Balkan Dances, Breton Dances, Italian Dances, and many more.

For next year we hope to produce a festival just as jam-packed with activities.

As a dance and music festival NOMAD depends heavily on knowledgeable sound volunteers to keep the music playing.  If you or someone you know has experience with sound system operation for dances or concerts, please get in touch with us.  NOMAD can’t happen without a sound crew.

In fact, we need volunteers for all aspects of the festival.  NOMAD is an all-volunteer festival.  We need people to serve on the organizing committee and others to help during the festival.  Please consider becoming a volunteer.
Volunteers receive discounts on festival admission and lots of love!  Please contact us at 860-355-9029 or by email to learn how you can help with future festivals!

We hope to see you in November 2007.

Wrap-Up Report, NOMAD 2005

Here’s John Mazza’s wrap-up report for the 2005 NOMAD Festival, which was held November 4-6, 2005, at the Hill Regional Career High School, New Haven, CT.

We dedicated NOMAD 2005 to Chip Hendrickson, who passed away in February. Chip was Connecticut’s own Dancing Master. He was a researcher and educator in the fields of Colonial and Native American Dance. He was a good friend of NOMAD and he provided valuable support and assistance to his wife, NOMAD’s founder Fran Hendrickson. In Chip’s honor, we offered sessions in Colonial dances led by Patricia Campbell, Chip’s Contras led by Eric Hollman and Chip’s Squares led by Allen Brozek and Dave Hass. As we expected, all were very well attended.

We continue to be delighted with our new home at Wilbur Cross High School. As we reported previously, it’s a bright, modern facility located between a comfortable suburban neighborhood and a very popular state park. For a better idea of just how pleasant our venue is, please refer to our Directions page for a photograph, and to last year’s wrap-up for a more detailed description.

As in past years, NOMAD 2005 quickly became a place to meet old friends and welcome new ones. On the dance side of the schedule, our core program of Contras, Squares, Scottish, English, and International was complemented by such offerings as Multi-Ethnic Israeli with Danny Pollock, Historical Dance and a Ragtime Dance performance by Terry & Jim, a Croatian Dance Party with Pajdashi, an exceptionally impressive performance of Lithuanian Folk Dances by Vetra, and many other interesting and often unusual sessions.

Our musical offerings also were too numerous and diverse to list. We will mention just a few here. Deb Cowan delighted the children with her Silly Songs and Funney Folk (yes, that’s how it’s spelled). Shoregrass gave us a good sampling of their new CD in a Songs of the Civil War workshop. John Roberts and Pamela Goddard kept the ballad fans enthralled with their Double Ballads session (Pamela also has a new CD “As Time Draws Near” that is getting rave reviews from folk radio hosts all across the country). Other musical delights were the West Gallery Music session led by Bruce Randall and Voyageur and Habitante – Women’s Voices in New France with Diane Taraz and Lynne Noel.

Sandy and Caroline Paton have been making their contributions to NOMAD for so long that we are in danger of taking them for granted. Many, many thanks to Sandy and Caroline for their Folksong Harvest session, for all of their contributions to NOMAD over the years, and for all they have done to promote traditional music with their Folk-Legacy record label. We look forward to seeing them back at NOMAD in 2006.

We expect many of the 2005 group to return in 2006. Since we don’t have room here to  tell you about each of them individually, we are directing you to our Performers List. As we assemble the lineup for the 2006 we will list all of the performers, with links to their web pages when available. We are truly gratified that all of these good folks perform each year without remuneration, satisfied just to share their knowledge and talents with their appreciative friends at NOMAD.

We hope to see you at NOMAD 2006. Please visit our website periodically. We will post updates on NOMAD 2006 as information becomes available.

Wrap-Up Report, NOMAD 2004

Here’s John Mazza’s wrap-up report for the 2004 NOMAD Festival, which was held November 6-7, 2004, at the Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven, CT.

Attendees at NOMAD 2004 found us once again in new digs. Our new – and we hope permanent – home is Wilbur Cross High School, across town from Career High School where we presented NOMAD 2003.

Wilbur Cross has just about everything we could possibly have hoped for. It is a modern, bright, spacious building with two gyms for our dance events, a couple of small concert venues, a good-sized auditorium and more than sufficient classroom space for workshops. In all, we have 10 areas for our dance and music events, and more are available if we should need them. The cafeteria is just enormous – so large in fact, that one could easily dine and socialize at one end and be completely unaware of a concert or jam session taking place at the other. The folk bazaar vendors fit easily into the huge, bright open area just inside the main entrance, and a few opted for a section of the cafeteria. Best of all, everything is on one level; no stairs or elevators to contend with.

All of this sits scarcely a mile from Interstate 91, the major north-south corridor that connects New Haven with central Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire. On one side of us is a people-friendly residential neighborhood of large, picturesque old houses and small local shops and eating places. It’s just a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown. On the other side is East Rock, a spectacular traprock ridge, the summit of which towers some 350 feet over Wilbur Cross High School and the surrounding neighborhood. The summit is accessible by autombile or, for the more stout-hearted, by foot. The summit offers a panoramic view of New Haven, the surrounding area of Connecticut and, on a good day, clear across the water to Long Island. The rock is the centerpiece of a 425-acre park that features miles of hiking trails, playgrounds, facilities for various sporting activities, boating, picnicking and kite-flying. (Kite-flying is a favorite activity at the summit; the wind conditions there are ideal.) East Rock’s Rose Garden is a favorite locale for wedding photos (not in November though). The park is a favorite not only of local residents, but also an attraction for tourists spending their vacations in this part of Connecticut.

So much for the physical accommodations. We think the festival itself lived up to our regular attendees’ expectations – a widely diversified program of dance and music, with lots of sessions to appeal to just about every interest. As usual, it would be impossible to list everything here so we’ll just highlight a few things. Cajun dance returned to NOMAD this year, hosted by Jesse Lege and Bayou Brew. We saw some Kurdish dancing led by Carole Silverman, Serbian Line Dances led by Jonathan Young, a Croatian Dance Party with Pajdashi, Zwiefache with the NOMAD Festival Brass Band and Women’s Belly Dancing with Ksenia, to name a very few. Jeff Walker and the Walker Family Band had us doing a whole range of dance styles to bagpipe music. In the Family Area, Susan De Guardiola and Irene Urban demonstrated French Circle Dances in a session titled “Having a Bransle” (Yes, that’s a pun). Then, of course, there were the hours and hours of English, Contra, International, Square and Scottish sessions, with dance leaders from near and far.

In our concert areas, we were pleased to welcome Scott Alarik from Boston and John Roberts from Schenectady. Aside from his performing, Scott is well known for his many writings on the subject of folk music. His columns have appeared in both folk-oriented and mainstream publications. John is known for his long-time association with Tony Barrand and the Nowell Sing We Clear productions that have delighted audiences during the winter holiday season for many years. Scott presented a program of Folk Songs Old and New, which included a considerable amount of knowledgeable commentary, and John gave us a concert of Songs of the Sea, reflecting his recent work with Ye Mariners All. A couple of the newer or more unusual musical additions this year were a Kora concert, “Music of the Gambia” by Bajaly Suso and a Family Concert of Japanese Folk Songs by Takako Nagumo. Among our favorite local musical groups were Shoregrass, giving us a concert of Old-Time Bluegrass music, the Walkingwood Mandolin Quartet, “The Only Mandolin Quartet You’ll Hear Today,” and a brand-new sea-chantey group, The S.S. Chanteens presenting “Chanteys from the Teenage Sole (Just for the Halibut)” (Dang puns again!)

For a look at the complete program, just return to the main page and click on the links to the Event Grids. The 2004 grids will remain there until early Fall, when we post the schedule for 2005. We are fortunate to have assembled a group of regular food vendors who return each year to provide fare that is tasty, plentiful and reasonably priced. Returning this year was Judie’s European Bakery offering soups, sandwiches, pastries and scrumptious fresh-baked breads. Roomba provided burritos for carnivores and vegetarians. The Hamden Plains UMC prepared delicious lasagna, salads, soups and a selection of lighter fare. For the more adventurous, Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant offered a variety of interesting meals, both meat and meatless, ranging from the super spicy to the relatively tame. The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, who have been with us from the beginning, returned to provide Scottish baked specialties. Coffee, tea and cold drinks were also plentiful.

Since NOMAD 2004 was in November, the Folk Bazaar was a great place to do some holiday shopping for items not likely found in your neighborhood store or big-box emporium. Alas, we can’t name all of the vendors. There were about 20 of them, offering books, Folk CDs, instruments, handmade jewelry, clothing, toys and a variety of other handcrafts. Of course, we also had our ever-expanding Performer Sales Booth, where NOMADs could purchase CDs, books and other related items offered for sale by our performers.

That’s about all we can tell you about NOMAD 2004. We’re really thrilled with our new home and enthusiastic about our plans for the future. Please check the web site periodically over the summer. We’ll give you updated info as NOMAD 2005 takes shape.

If you have some skill or talent that you think might be useful to NOMAD, either as a performer, volunteer or organizer, please get in touch with us. Contact information can be found in the “Contacting NOMAD” section of he main page.

We hope to see you next Fall.

Wrap-Up Report, NOMAD 2001

Here’s John Mazza’s wrap-up report for the 2001 NOMAD Festival, which was held October 26-28, 2001, at the Newtown High School, Newtown, CT.

We began the festival on Friday night with our traditional contra dance party featuring Eric Hollman calling, with music by our favorite local band, The Fiddleheads. We added a Friday night music session this year as well – a “Taste of NOMAD” sampler, with 12-minute mini-concerts by over a dozen of the weekend’s performers. It went extremely smoothly and was enjoyed by all who attended. We’re hoping to make that event a tradition also.

We were pleased to have use of the auditorium this year. In recent years, conflicts with the school’s Drama Department have made that facility unavailable to us, and we have really missed it. Moving the festival date up to October removed the conflict and gave us one very important area back. It’s impossible to dance on a stage full of sets and props. We were delighted to invite back the Monique Legare International Dance Company, who gave us a superb set of dances from Armenia, French Canada, Russia, Ukraine and Hungary, complete with some really fast costume changes. Zolotyj Promin, a group of young Ukrainian dancers from the Hartford area, provided a spectacular demonstration of the vigorous, athletic dances so characteristic of Ukraine. Our NOMAD regulars, the Greater Hartford Scottish Country Dancers and Reel Nutmeg performed their suites of Scottish and English Country Dances. It’s a delight to see these groups return each year with new programs designed just for NOMAD. Nefesh returned to give us an upbeat performance of Klezmer music in their own inimitable style. A surprisingly large crowd of onlookers braved the chilly October winds to view NOMAD’s only outdoor event, the ritual dance performances presented by eight Morris and Sword teams from New York and New England.

The music and participatory dance programs are just too numerous to list here. Our two-hour shanty blast returned, followed by a two-hour old-timey and bluegrass party. Roger Sprung’s open jam had the walls of the music room just bursting with an overflow crowd. The Songs for a Sunday morning song swap, long a NOMAD favorite, was ably emceed by Kathy Westra. It was joined this year by a Saturday morning song swap, led by Liz Lewis. For the dancers, NOMAD offered its customary, wide range of dances from just about everywhere. Contra, Square, English, Scottish, Klezmer, Italian, Bulgarian, Israeli, Scandinavian, Macedonian, Zwiefache, Balkan, Clogging, Morris and a variety of other International kept everyone’s feet moving.

The Family Area kept the children entertained throughout the weekend. Story-telling, family concerts, singalongs and funny songs are the usual favorites at these sessions. Practicing Umoja gave an interesting presentation of the Afro-Caribbean Experience, and Danny Pollock delighted the children on Sunday with his Israeli Dance workshop.

We think we have finally licked the sound problems that have bedeviled us in the main gym for several years. Our several food vendors seem to have offered just the right mix of selections to satisfy everyone. The Scottish Dancers’ Sunday morning breakfast was wonderful, as usual. A bowl of their steaming oatmeal is a great way to start a crisp Fall day. The craft/folk bazaar area just gets better and better each year. Congratulations to long-time NOMAD vendors Folk-Legacy Records, celebrating 40 years in business this October, and thanks to Folk-Legacy’s Sandy, Caroline, Rob and David Paton for all they have done for NOMAD.

But NOMAD just wouldn’t be NOMAD without a last-minute crisis or two. NOMAD 2001 was no exception. On Thursday, the day before the festival, we were told by the Board of Education that our main parking area – directly in front of the main entrance to the High School – would be unavailable to us for most of Saturday. It seems that one of the local school soccer teams made it to the finals. There were two soccer games that day and, since the soccer field is directly behind the main parking lot, that’s where the parking for the games would be. Like most festivals that are located in educational institutions with large, paved, well marked parking lots, NOMAD has never anticipated the need for a parking crew, and therefore we don’t have one. We were given the use of a large field behind the school for parking, but had no one available to coordinate things. After a bit of chaos, we were able to get the cars parked in a more-or-less orderly fashion. Thanks to all festival attendees who were able to grin and bear it.

One other disappointment was that we were expecting a large troupe of dancers, singers and musicians from Bulgaria, a group named Shoumen, to contribute two one-hour sessions. Again we learned, just a couple of days before the festival, that they had encountered problems with their visas and were unable to make the trip to the U.S.

The CONNtras session with Steve Holland and Christine Hale and, on the music side, the humor workshop titled “What’s so Funny?” helped close out NOMAD 2001 on a high note, a nice counterpoint to our rather inauspicious beginning in the parking lots. Thanks to Mike Agranoff, Evy Mayer, Debra Cowan, Payton Turpin and Jean Schwartz for keeping us laughing.

A big thank you to all volunteer performers and staff and to all who attended, for making this year’s NOMAD such a wonderful time for everyone. Planning has already begun for NOMAD 2002. We hope all who were at NOMAD 2001 will return and be joined by many others. We expect that everything will run smoothly, and the only thing keeping us on our toes will be the dancing.

Wrap-Up Report, NOMAD 1999

Here’s John Mazza’s wrap-up report for the 1999 NOMAD Festival, which was November 5-7, 1999, at the Newtown High School, Newtown, CT.

In 1999, NOMAD again expanded its variety of offerings in both dance and music. For both dancers and music-lovers, it seemed there were just too many interesting and enjoyable things going on all at the same time. Ah, life — always full of hard choices.

On Friday night, Bill Olson, ably assisted by Pam Weeks and Jim Joseph, got things off to a roaring start at the Grand Festival Opening Contradance.

Dance: We increased the international offerings again this year. The two-hour Saturday night International Folk Dance Party featuring A Different Village was festive, almost too well attended, and probably not long enough. English Country Dancers were in their own heaven dancing to Fried DeMetz Herman, Beverly Francis, Gary Roodman and others too numerous to name. The Ted’s Triplets Contra Dance session with Ed Potter was a blast. Stacy Phillips’ talented young fiddle group, the Bethwood Fiddlers, performed and must be seen (and heard) to be believed. Jim Christensen brought Cajun back to NOMAD with with the upbeat rhythms of the Mudpuppies Cajun Dance Band.

Music: A highlight was the two-hour Shanty Blast on Saturday night. New York Packet, the Johnson Girls, Connecticut’s own Shipping News, Lynn Noel, and David Diamond treated us to a rollicking program of shanties, singalongs, and other songs about life on the water. Then, there was the infamous Broken Token workshop. Mike Agranoff performed what surely must be the definitive version of the much parodied story about Johnny’s reunion with his true love (who despite her passionate love somehow fails to recognize him after seven long years). Mike introduced a whole platoon of characters — all played by himself. He identified which characters were singing by donning hats (some borrowed from the audience or workshp participants) associated with the characters. The sight of Mike wearing Caroline Paton’s purple and aqua chapeau… well, you had to be there. On a more serious note, the Spiritual Freedom and Traditional African Songs by Nzinga’s Daughters were awe-inspiring.

There is not enough space here to name all of the hundreds of talented and enthusiastic musicians, dance leaders, and singers who made NOMAD ’99 such an exhilirating experience. We’re gearing up to do it again. November 10 is not that far off!