Bear Kittay
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Bear Kittay

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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Old Favorites and New Faces Rock out for Sudanese Relief"

The highly-danceable bluegrass of the People's Republic of Gefiltestan, a band that deftly blurred the lines between bluegrass and klezmer, and bluegrass and art-rock with their cover of "Psycho Killer". - The Oberlin Review, April 28, 2006

"Late Night Bands Make the People Hop"

Gefiltestan, whose members sing thick harmonies and whose sound is professional yet goofy and eclectic, started the night...with a traditional folk-band lineup....The audience was a key ingredient to Gefiltestan's show, dancing like old followers and even singing along to the group's original tunes. The smiling, hopping crowd danced during every moment of the band's performance, demonstrating the band's solid following. Kittay mentioned how happy the band was with its fan base here at school. "It was the most exciting and interactive show yet," he said. Surprisingly, the group has been together for less than a year, since they held an all-night jam session last winter. They have been playing steadily since, including an extensive Spring break tour last semester, which landed them in various locations throughout the Northeast. But the band made serious strides this past summer, creating an authentic- and professional-sounding recording project consisting of six original tunes. - The Oberlin Review, September 22, 2006

"Bluegrassers Starred At Cat"

Oberlin's own The People's Republic of Gefiltestan opened the night with a selection of their usual light-harted bluegrass. Despite the playful nature of their songs ("Oh Lord, that stick came from a tree"), it was difficult not to take their instrumentation and harmonies seriously. - The Oberlin Review, October 6, 2006


The People's Republic of Gefiltestan (Self-Titled)
EP Produced by Adam Winokur;
Recorded at Kawari Studios in Wyncote, PA
Mixed and Mastered in Oberlin, OH



New York native and Oberlin College graduate Bear Kittay is an engaging, versatile, and spirited composer, performer, and social activist. He began his career as a composer of politically-charged acoustic rock, and began hosting festivals and promoting music while still in high school. The annual Beartopia Music Festival began in his backyard with an eclectic assortment of local bands and performers. Upon his acceptance to Oberlin College, Bear launched the band Magellan's Flying Ship, which performed at New York City's Tribeca Rock Club and other local venues. Bear also began studying classical sitar in the Gayaki style with one of the world's great female sitarists, the honorable Guruji Hasu Patel.

In the fall of 2005, Bear left the US to live and study in Buenos Aires, where he joined forces with the Argentine band Los Barris to form The International Morrones Experiment, which performed throughout the country, playing blues-influenced rock with lyrics in both Argentine Spanish and English. Upon returning to Oberlin, Bear collaborated with a group of highly talented and eclectic folk musicians to launch a popular band called The People's Republic of Gefiltestan. The band earned a significant and enthusiastic following in the Midwest and on the East Coast, playing venues like New York City's legendary Knitting Factory and Harvest Fest 2006, as well as college gigs at Hampshire, Ramapo and Wheaton. In addition, Gefiltestan recorded an EP at Kawari Studios in Philadelphia, featuring such tracks as "Milton's on the Run," a finalist in Relix magazine's annual Jam Off competition.

Bear also devoted years to his studies of North Indian classical music, playing regularly with tabla maestro Jagdesh Sookhdeo. The duo played at a wide range of venues, including a performance for the mayor and members of Congress at Cleveland's City Hall. After graduation, Bear moved to New York City in the summer of 2007. He is currently the national director of a Political Action Committee called Music for Democracy, launched to build a bridge between youthful audiences and progressive politicians, and help candidates in targeted races across the country win in 2008. Bear is also recording his first solo EP in the studios at Columbia University with engineer Jacob Friedman.

Bear is a natural storyteller in song, accompanying his sweet bluesy voice with guitar, sitar, banjo, bouzouki, and charango, often tuned in his own innovative tunings. Wired magazine editor Steve Silberman calls Bear's music "an appealingly fresh synthesis of bluegrass and new-school folk, jazz sensibility, and world-music influences drawn from India and the Andes. Bear's incisive and warmly humane lyrics articulate the hopes, humor, and perspectives of his generation." You can hear samples of Bear's music at