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Kitka, which means bouquet in both Bulgarian and Macedonian, are a leading U.S. women's vocal ensemble specializing in music from Eastern Europe. Kitka began in the Bay Area in 1979 as a group of women coming together simply to sing music they loved from behind the Iron Curtain. That changed after 1981, when Bon Singer became director and the group eventually became professional, recording and touring more extensively. Since 1997 Kitka have been co-directed by Shira Cion, Juliana Graffagna, and Janet Kutulas. The ensemble's travels have understandably included the Balkans, both to perform and collect songs, and the group performed with the lauded Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares in 2002. Kitka have received grants from the the Rockefeller Foundation and the NEA to commission new work, and have performed and toured several of them, including The Origin in 2009. Along the way they've released nine albums on their own Diaphonica label. ~ Chris Nickson