By Titania Buchholdt
July 12, 2017

San Francisco Kulintang Legacy at the 50th Smithsonian Folklife Festival -  July 2017.  Photo: Cliff Murphy/NEA.

On July 6 and 7, San Francisco Kulintang Legacy performed traditional kulintang ensemble music of the Philippines and contemporary kulintang music of California at the  50th Smithsonian Folklife Festival this summer as part of the Festival’s ” On the Move” program on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. 

SF Kulintang Legacy is a coalition of a dozen people who worked closely, in various capacities, with San Francisco-based Maguindanaon kulintang master Danongan “Danny” Kalanduyan (1947-2016). California kulintang music exists because of master artist Kalanduyan, who moved from the University of Washington in Seattle to San Francisco in the mid-1980s, and who is now acknowledged as the “Father of American Kulintang Music.” 

Master artist Danny Kalanduyan was honored with many awards over the years, including a 1995 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship for traditional music. He was a three-time participant in ACTA’s Apprenticeship program (I was his first ACTA apprentice, in 2000), and his last project in 2016 was a collaboration with Stockton’s Kulintang Academy through ACTA’s Living Cultures program

Kulintang ensemble music is a complex and ancient bronze gong music that is not well known or understood, even within the Philippines.  Kulintang music exists in many forms throughout the island archipelago, which is a land of many dozens of languages and many dozens of cultures.  Kulintang music is now commonly played in the southern Philippines, and in Taguig (Metro Manila), and also in California. Master Kalanduyan’s students and colleagues in San Francisco Kulintang Legacy are honored to present his legacy in America through their performances and workshops at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. 

~ Titania Buchholdt

2017 ACTA Apprenticeship Program, Master Artist

2000 ACTA Apprenticeship Program, Apprentice