Misha Feigin

Just as the Roma people escaped oppression through the spirit of music, East Village Arts of Birmingham will honor through music the determination and resilient spirit of the Ukranian effort to preserve their right of independence as a sovereign nation. As the war in Ukraine rages on, families are forced into disruption to their daily lives causing many to flee their homes from the atrocities and violence of Putin’s war. 

Next month, on November 17 th, East Village Arts of Birmingham will present a fundraising concert to support the Ukranian effort to defend their country in the commitment for democracy and victory for Ukraniane. History has a repeating record of conflict as wealth, power and governance compete for territory. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a current example of illicit aggression and oppression. As families are forced to flee their homeland for safety, help is EVA will present artists from both Russia and Ukraine in an effort to show that human beings must come together for the greater good of the people. 

The concert will feature poet and musician, Russian born Misha Feigin in Concert with Birmingham’s LaDonna Smith in a concert of free-improvisations. The two have worked and toured together on the international free-improvisation concert scene for nearly 30 years! Misha Feigin was born and raised in Moscow and was known as one of Russia’s premiere guitarists. When he immigrated to the US in 1990, he left behind an established position in the Moscow arts scene highlighted by his four albums on the Melodia label, features on major radio and television shows, and national and international tours.  He began recording free improvised music in 1986 in Moscow with Auction’s Dimitry Matkovsky.  He also performed with the Russian pop-folk star Janna Bichevskaya.

Violinist LaDonna Smith has been on the forefront of the free improvisation movement in the United States, performing world-wide. She co-edited one of the foremost magazine-journals on free improvisation in America, the Improvisor. Feigin and Smith met in 1996 and toured USA Europe together twice and appear on 5 releases together including their first “Yokel Yen” which is “southern colloquial” for “local plus desire”. Misha won the Thomas Merton Prize for Poetry in 2000 and was awarded the Al Smith Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction in 2002. Free improvisation is a contemporary, often classified as avant-garde art form that features music or poetry made in the current moment of performance.

Expect music and poetry that represents the freedom of expression that we thrive on in working democratic societies, and always on the forefront of the cutting edge. The Opening Act of the event will feature traditional Eastern European “Gypsy Violin” music performed by artists currently living in Birmingham. Along with LaDonna Smith, violinist Alina Tuganova and guitarist Mark Schantz will be performing. Alina Tuganova was born and raised in Ukraine. As a child, she was a prodigy on the Ukrainian folk instrument, the domra. A scientist by training she moved to USA in 2000. She holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, works at Avanti Polar Lipid Inc. and meets with LaDonna weekly in pursuit of mastering her violin & making music! Mark Schantz, the guitarist for the trio, is a Professor of History at Birmingham Southern College as well as an accomplished classical guitarist and expert on guitars, makers, and guitar styles. Alina’s family is still living in Kiev, and she follows daily the reports of what is happening on the ground, and knows first hand the effects it is having on her family and friends. A website exists for public support of the Ukranian effort to preserve their beloved country.

See www.U24.gov.ua to make a donation!

 This event will start at 7:00 p.m at East Village Arts ofBirmingham, 7611 1 st Ave. North.