Founded in 1946, Latvian folk dance ensemble Teiksma is recognized as one of the highest quality folk dance groups in Latvia. Their artistic talents are a joy to behold in both concerts and folk dance competitions. Led by Janis Erglis, Teiksma continually strives to be the best in order to master and develop Latvian folk dance traditions. Teiksma has become a main stage for new ideas and choreographies within the Latvian folk dance community, striving to advance Latvian folk dance into the next era. Many of their creations have become well established in the repertoire of both Latvian dance ensembles and major dance festivals. With their seemingly endless bounty of creative potential and hard work, Teiksma is devoted to preserving and sharing their love and knowledge of Latvian folk dance and culture within Latvia and beyond its borders.


Contemporary folk music band “Raxtu Raxti” began their artistic journey together back in summer of 2012. It brought together a number of musicians from another band – “Autobuss debesīs” -, as well as present group’s lead vocal Kristīne Kārkle – Kalniņa and her brother Edgars Kārklis. At the beginning of their career, their repertoire was based on the music of Latvian composer Imants Kalniņš, which was brought closer to the sound of folk music. Over time the repoertoire has been complemented by original compositions and folk song arrangements by other composers, as well as by the band’s own members. “Raxtu Raxti” uses both – traditional and academic – Latvian musical instruments and also world music ethno-instruments in their music, creating a distinct and well defined sound that is solely unique to themselves.

Up till this point “Raxtu Raxti” has performed vigorously not only in Latvia, but also abroad. The main event for the group each year is the concert dedicated to the proclamation day of the Republic of Latvia performed in Riga, where the band collaborates with the bagpipe and drum group “Auļi” and several other well known Latvian musicians creating their very own folk music orchestra. In honour of the 100th anniversary of Latvia, a dance performance “Vēstījums rakstos” was created in collaboration with recognized and experienced choreographers and received the Dance award, which is the highest award in Latvia for professional dance art.

Released music albums: “Es atradu tautasdziemu” (“I found a folk song” translation from Latvian), “Līgo”, Oratorio by Imants Kalniņš “Dzejnieks un nāra” (“Poet and mermaid” translation from Latvian), “Man bij’ dziesmu vācelīte” (“I had a song pouch” translation from Latvian), “Vēstījums rakstos” (“Message in the writings” translation from Latvian).

Latvian University Faculty of Physics, Mathematics and Optometry mixed choir “Aura”

Latvian University Faculty of Physics, Mathematics and Optometry mixed choir “Aura” is comprised of  70 singers from all over Latvia. Founded in 2004, “Aura” began as the Riga Humanitarian Highschool teacher’s choir. Thanks to the enthusiasm of the Artistic Director Edgars Vītols and the two assistant directors Lauma Eglīte and Emīls Rusovs, along with the hard work of the singers, choir “Aura has grown and emerged as one of the top choirs in Latvia. They have successfully participated in many national and international choir competitions such as the 8th World Choir Olympics and 3rd European Choir Olympics in Riga, as well as in contests in Germany, Austria, Malta, The Czech Republic and Spain, bringing home many awards and diplomas.

The choir “Aura” has always participated in the Baltic Student Song and Dance festival “Gaudeamus”, as well as in the Latvian Song and Dance festival. During the Latvian Song festival competition the choir has been given the honour of being part of the top ten best choirs in Latvia. During the most recent song festival in 2023, “Aura” placed third highest.

During this upcoming choir season the choir is planning on participating in the XVI Latvian Song and Dance Festival in Canada, the Baltic Student Song and Dance Festival in Klaipeda, Lithuania, and Hamburg, Germany just in time for the holidays.

Choir “Aura” have had the privilege to collaborate with academic and popular musicians in Latvia. Amongst those are singer Daumants Kalniņš, singer Ance Krauze, composer and pianist Ilze Arne, and maestro Raimonds Pauls.

The choristers themselves believe that “Aura” is probably the best choir in the world. The choir is rounding out its second decade with some beautiful traditions that have emerged over time. These include annual choir retreats in various small towns of Latvia, celebrating member’s birthdays, Christmas ball, night hikes and many other adventures. “Aura” is not just a choir, it is a way of life.

During the festival in Toronto, choir “Aura” will deliver a solo concert in which they will perform various Latvian folk song arrangements, as well as give an insight in the music of the Latvian composer Raimonds Tiguls. The choir will participate in the Sacred music concert and will perform during the Reception organized by the Latvian University as a part of the University’s delegation.


The XVI Latvian Festival of Song and Dance in Canada is thrilled to announce that Latvia’s “Grand Music Prize” laureate Arta Jēkabsone will be performing, leading two evening programs: a night of jazz at the legendary “Jazz Bistro” before the festival, and an evening of lighter fare at the Sheraton hotel.  Arta Jēkabsone is a vocalist, composer, violinist and arranger.  After graduating from Rīga’s Cathedral Choir School, she received a full scholarship to study at “The New School For Jazz and Contemporary Music” in New York.  Since then, Arta has been a prize winner at several festivals: the Montreux Voice Competition, the Sarah Vaughan International Competition and the Ella Fitzgerald International Vocal Competition. Arta has also recorded her debut CD “Light”.  Performing alongside Arta will be accompanied by many gifted and accomplished musicians: bass player Andrew Downing (a multiple Juno award winner), flautist Ilona Kudiņa (a graduate of both the Berklee School of Music and the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Music Academy, as well as a flautist with Latvia’s National Symphony Orchestra), professor of jazz music at Laval University saxophonist Jānis Steprāns, and Raxtu Raxti acclaimed drummer Artis Orubs.  You are invited to listen to Arta’s velvety voice and her talent for arranging in this following Latvian folk song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v62Iy162Hxk



Anna Stube, violinist, is a senior Taylor Academy student in the studios of Jonathan Crow and Barry Shiffman.