Photo: Santiago de Hoyos

Julia Úlehla (US)

Julia Úlehla (born in 1978, Knoxville, USA) is a vocalist, composer, actress and ethnomusicologist. She grew up in Tennessee with a Czech refugee-émigré father and Cherokee-Welsh mother. Úlehla received formal training in opera and other Western art music forms at Stanford University and the Eastman School of Music. She became a resident actress with the renowned laboratory theatre Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards in Pontedera, Italy, where she co-devised four performative opuses which toured extensively across Europe and North America.

In 2011, Úlehla moved to New York City, where she and her husband, guitarist Aram Bajakian, initiated a new line of performance. For this performance, she analysed ancestral song traditions based on collected and transcribed folk songs by her Czech great-grandfather, the biologist Vladimír Úlehla. This research resulted in the formation of "Dálava", a project combining ritual and performance that has been praised as a dynamic and electrifying band in her adopted home of Vancouver.

Úleha holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of British Columbia. Among her publications is an English translation of Chapter VI from her great-grandfather's book "Živá píseň" (Living Song, 1949).

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