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Irka Mateo

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Irka Mateo is an award winning singer, songwriter and folklorist. As an artist she has developed a long and successful international career participating in renowned world music festivals and venues as, the UN Headquarters, Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada. Africa, Caribbean, Pacific Festival in the Dominican Republic. Veracruz Caribbean Festival in Mexico. Festival Del Fuego, in Santiago, Cuba to name a few.
World Music Charts Europe listed her CD Anacaona as one of the best World Music albums of 2010.
In 2012 The Dominican Commissioner of Culture and The Dominican Women Fair both in New York City awarded her with recognition for “Life Achievement” in her career as a singer, folklorist and the Taino culture work.
Irka is currently playing in festivals, venues, and educational and cultural institutions with her Dominican Folk Percussion ensemble.

As a folklorist she carried out folk music audio recordings in rural areas of the Dominican Republic preserving some 20 genres. In 2012 she was awarded a Grant from the GRAMMY Foundation® on the category "Preservation and Archive" for creating an Audio Archive on “Sacred and Festive Music at the Liborio Mateo Calvary” from these field recordings. This archive is available to the general audience in the United States and the Dominican Republic. In 2012 she was awarded a Brooklyn Arts Council Grant for presenting a concert featuring the Liborista Music of the archive.
Before coming to NY in 2007 she was producing and conducting the television program “Musica de Kiskeya” which presented folkloric groups from the different regions of the island as well as urban bands whose music fuses with Dominican Folklore. 2005-2007
In Documentaries she has worked as informant, middle woman and locations on: The Dominican Southwest: Crossroads of Quisqueya and Center of the World. Director: Martha Ellen Davis. 2004 and Papa Liborio: The Living Saint of Maguana. Director: Martha Ellen Davis. 2003

She is a collaborator of the Smithsonian Institution at the National Museum of the American Indian in NYC since 2008. At he Museum Irka has presented concerts and workshops on Taino Instruments, Music and Dances and Exhibit Programs on “Mythology behind the Archeological objects” and her the weekly toddlers program "Taino music with Irka". She also conducts workshops on “Taino Mythology through Music” in Universities and Cultural Institutions both in the Dominican Republic and EUA.
She is co-founder and member of Foundation Guabancex, Water and Wind in the Dominican Republic, dedicated to the investigation and dissemination of Taino culture.  The Annual Taino awards, Ku Karey Spiritual Circle, Inc. and Yamocuno Tanama Yucayeke Taino, awarded Irka the 2009 "Kiskeya Taino Music Award" for her contribution to the Neo Taino music with her original compositions.

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