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Explore the rich cultural influences of New York’s traditional music scene, and the cultural organizations that nurture those traditions. See also, the ethnomusicology organizations we list in our Allied Organizations.


FOLK ARTS & CULTURE:   Traditional Music & Dance

Cultural Music & Dance Resources

Explore the rich cultural influences of New York’s traditional music scene, and the cultural organizations that nurture those traditions. Below is a list of the major cultural groupings of New York State, and the main cultural organizations that support various genres and ethnic musical traditions.










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blue cube design element Alianza
530 W. 166 St.
New York, NY 10032
(212) 740-1960
Fax: (212) 740-7065
Alianza’s mission is to strengthen communities and affirm the value of family and community life by forging strategic partnerships, developing and implementing model programs to provide support and protection to those in need and create opportunities for social and economic development.

blue cube design element La Troupe Makandal
Dr. Lois Wilcken, Executive Director
621 Rutland Rd., Apt 4C
Brooklyn NY 11203-1716
La Troupe Makandal evokes the power of traditional Afro-Haitian music and dance to represent the history and culture of Haiti and New York’s Haitian community in theaters and educational establishments, and to archive these cultural treasures for posterity. Much of the company’s repertory derives from the sacred music and dance of Vodou, widely misunderstood in the United States as “voodoo.” The Troupe”s workshops, classes, performances, and online resources challenge ingrained stereotypes, but they keep Haitian magic alive while educating, entertaining, and healing racial and cultural divisions.

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blue cube design element Music from China
170 Park Row, #12D
New York, NY 10038

E-mail: events@musicfromchina.org
Music From China (MFC) is a musical ensemble based in New York City that introduces audiences to traditional as well as contemporary Chinese music. Discover the sights and sounds of “silk strings and bamboo winds” with fiddles, lutes, plucked zithers, bamboo flutes, reeded mouth organs, and hammered dulcimers. Step back in time for several millennia and hear the ancient sounds of the sheng and the pipa, or listen to the compelling music of the erhu. The percussive strength of drums, gongs, cymbals, and woodblocks summons the spirit of ancient music and invokes the vitality of folk music and traditional opera. In addition to performing concerts, the group conducts lectures and workshop and offers in-school programs that integrate the study of China with the experience of live music and hands-on learning.

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blue cube design element Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (US – Northeast Region)
New York State branches:
  1. Sean O’Riada – Albany branch
  2. Twin Tiers Branch, Binghamton, NY
  3. Buffalo Comhaltas, Buffalo, NY
  4. Tom Finucane Branch, Rochester, NY
  5. Craobh Dugan branch, Utica, NY
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (Mid-Atlantic Region)
New York State branches:
  1. Craobh Úll Mór Nua Eabhrac branch, New York, NY
  2. Killoran-Clancy branch, Queens, NY
  3. Martin Mulvihill branch, Pearl River, NY
  4. Coleman-O’Grady branch, Bronx and Yonkers, NY
  5. Mulligan-Quinn branch, Long Island, NY
With international headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, Comhaltas is the largest group involved in the preservation and promotion of Irish traditional music. Comhaltas is a non-profit cultural movement with hundreds of local branches around the world, working for the cause of Irish music since the middle of the last century. Local branches offer music, dance and language classes, and music sessions for musicians. Comhaltas also maintains an archive of printed materials, videos and recordings, and sponsors the definitive All-Ireland competition for musicians, the Fleadh Cheoil na hÈireann.

blue cube design element Michael J. Quill Irish Cultural & Sports Centre
2267 Route 145
P.O. Box 320
East Durham, NY 12423
(518) 634.2286
Named for the Transport Worker’s Union leader, Michael J. Quill, the Irish Cultural Centre was founded in 1987 on a 58-acre site in East Durham, NY. The MJQ Irish Centre’s mission is to promote and preserve the cultural and artistic heritage of the Irish. Its Irish Cultural Programs, held throughout the year, present and preserve Irish culture through fine arts, language, literature, theater, music, dance and folk arts. Programs include Catskills Irish Arts Week, East Durham Irish Festival, East Durham Feis and many more!

blue cube design element Irish Arts Center
553 West 51 Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 757-3318
Fax: (212) 247-0930
Founded in 1972, Irish Arts Center is a New York-based arts and cultural center dedicated to projecting a dynamic image of Ireland and Irish America for the 21st century, building community with artists and audiences of all backgrounds, forging and strengthening cross-cultural partnerships, and preserving the evolving stories and traditions of Irish culture for generations to come. The multi-disciplinary programming is centered around three core areas: performance – including live music, dance, theatre, film, literature, and the humanities; exhibition – including visual arts presentations and cultural exhibitions that tell the evolving Irish story; and education – with dozens of classes per week in Irish language, history, music, and dance.

blue cube design element Capital District Celtic Cultural Association, Inc.
430 New Karner Rd.
Albany, NY 12205
(518) 250-5890
Founded in 1998, the mission of the Capital District Celtic Cultural Association (CDCCA) is to support and preserve the Celtic culture throughout the Capital District of New York State, providing support to a number of Irish and Scottish groups including: Pipe bands, Scottish and Irish dance groups, and Celtic athletic organizations. The CDCCA’s programming, scholarships and other support allows the Celtic culture to thrive in the Albany region region. The Celtic Hall was established to provide a central location for Celtic cultural activities in the area.

blue cube design element Irish American Cultural Institute—Rochester, NY Chapter
PO Box 18416
P.O. Box 18468, Rochester, NY 14618
Programs are presented by the Rochester IACI throughout the year and include authors, performers and speakers from Ireland and the United States. Most are held at St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Ave. in the Rochester suburb of Pittsford. The Irish American Cultural Institute national organization was founded by Eoin McKiernan in 1962 and is a federally recognized 501c(3) not-for-profit group devoted to promoting an intelligent appreciation of Ireland and the role and contribution of the Irish in America. The IACI is strictly apolitical and nonsectarian, and is the only Irish American organization that has as its patron, The President of Ireland. The Rochester Chapter of the IACI was started in the 1980s by Rev. John Cavanaugh, CSB, and Bob Kelly, who believed in the mission to support Irish culture. The chapter has been continued under the leadership of founder Eoin McKiernan’s daughter Dierdre McKiernan Hetzler, who remains President Emeritus.

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blue cube design element The An-Sky Institute for Jewish Culture
Center for Traditional Music and Dance (CTMD)
Peter Rushefsky, Executive Director
32 Broadway, Suite 1314
New York, NY 10004
212/571-1555 x36
E-mail: prushefsky@ctmd.org
The An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture represents the continuation of CTMD’s ongoing work since the mid-1970s to research, preserve and present the Jewish performing arts traditions of New York City. In 2006, CTMD’s work to research and revitalize the Yiddish Dance tradition kicked off the first regular dance (Tantshoyz) workshop series in North America. In concerts and workshops since 1974, CTMD has focused on presenting important Yiddish folk singers. In 2010, CTMD founded the An-sky Jewish Folklore Research Project, directed by folklorist Itzik Gottesman, Ph.D., that coordinates research and dissemination of Jewish folklore collecting through a core group of eighteen leading researchers. The Project has initiated the Yiddish Song of the Week blog as a means of disseminating rare field recordings of leading Yiddish folksingers.

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blue cube design element Mano a Mano
550 W. 155th Street
New York, NY 10032
(212) 587-3070
Fax: (212) 587-3071
Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders is a nonprofit dedicated to celebrating Mexican culture in the United States and promoting the understanding of Mexican traditions among immigrants, artists, educators and the general public. Founded in 2000 as a project of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, we attained independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) status in 2006. We have collaborated with leading international organizations, museums, and local cultural partners to create landmark events and celebrations of Mexican culture.

blue cube design element Mariachi Academy of New York
1775 Third Avenue (98th Street)
New York, NY 10029
(212) 729-7678
The Mariachi Academy of New York is the first school in the East Coast dedicated to educating young girls and boys in a celebrated and cherished musical tradition of Mexico.The Mariachi Academy provides unique learning opportunities for youth interested in playing instruments and singing classic rancheras while helping to develop a strong sense of identity and community pride in a bilingual environment.The Academy is open to Mexican and non-Mexican students, ages 7-17.

blue cube design element Mexican Cultural Institute of New York
27 East 39th St.
New York, NY 10016
(212) 217-6478
Fax: (212) 217-6425
Founded in 1991, the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York was established along with thirteen other Institutes throughout the United States as part of the “Program for Mexican Communities Abroad.” Both an independent U.S. not-for-profit organization and the New York cultural branch of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Mexican Cultural Institute is committed to generating awareness of the richness, dynamism and cultural diversity of Mexico as a democratic, plural and creative nation. Through art exhibitions, performances, film screenings, panel discussions, readings, book presentations and other activities, the Institute in collaboration with leading New York organizations, develops and cosponsors events that showcase the uniqueness of Mexico’s art and culture, and infuses New York with the variety of Mexico’s traditional and contemporary cultural and artistic expressions.

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These traditional music & dance web pages were developed with support of New York State Music Fund, administered by the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. These music pages are still in development. Please enjoy and come back again, as we continue to expand this section.

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