Diane Wolkstein (USA)
Diane Wolkstein is more than a storyteller. She is an interpreter of life. Since 1967, Diane has occupied a unique place in the world of storytelling and literature. Through her performances, teaching, books, and recordings, she has played a major role in the renewed interest in mythology and the modern storytelling movement. Whether recounting epics, trickster stories or fairy tales, Diane enters and speaks from the heart of each story she tells. The internationally renowned author of 23 award-winning books of folklore including the classics, The Magic Orange Tree and Other Haitian Folk Tales and Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Diane is known for her meticulous research and her wide range as a performer. Joseph Campbell calls her ‘one of the greatest storytellers in the Western world.’
Mayor Michael Bloomberg named June 22nd, 2007 ‘Diane Wolkstein Day’ in honor of her 40 years of service to New York City where she initiated America’s first graduate storytelling program, pioneered a year–round storytelling program for parks and schools, hosted her own radio show on WNYC radio, and taught mythology at New York University, The New School, Sarah Lawrence, and the Pacific Graduate School. Diane has toured five continents, has performed at the United Nations, Lincoln Center, the Smithsonian Institute, and the American Museum of Natural History, and has been a frequent guest on PBS, NPR, and the BBC. She is a founding member of both America’s National Storytelling Conference and New York City’s Storytelling Center, and is the recipient of the National Storytelling Association’s Circle of Excellence Award. She is the epicycle editor of Parabola and a resident of Greenwich Village.
Catch Diane in Asian Congress of Storytellers, Masterclass, Monkey King: Journey to the West & International Storytellers Showcase.
Websites: www.dianewolkstein.com | Facebook
Monkey King: www.monkeykingepic.com
Jeff Greene (USA)
Jeff Greene grew up listening to music — from the blues in his boyhood Chicago, to the eastern modal music he encountered whilst hitchhiking across the Sahara Desert as a teenager. When a project in Nashville led him to rediscover American roots music, Jeff decided to dig deeper, tracing its origins back to its Celtic traditions, which in turn led him to discover a whole new world of folk music from all over Europe. He voraciously studied and began to play Balkan music, Klezmer music, and more. Eventually his research led him to the Ottoman Empire, Persia, the Indian subcontinent, and Asia.
Jeff has been accompanying storytellers for over 20 years and, together with Diane Wolkstein, has performed Journey to the West in three continents, including recent tours to Australia, Thailand, and Burma. Although a lifetime is too short to explore everything, an open mind is all that’s required to begin the journey.