Bear Kittay

Bear Kittay


He came across the avenue adventure in his hands...


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


Little Earth

Written By: Gefiltestan

It's a big universe, there's a place they call Earth, and I'm pleased to call it my home.

Life's absudities bring you down, it might even make you frown, just remember, that nothing is real.

I imagine the spring time, a bright sunny day, there ain't no wind howlin' my troubles far away, but that cursed Black River ain't flowin' today, the East Lorain winter has iced us astray.


When the world is confused, and the UN amused, and the mares have all run out of hay, as the sirens are rung, and the future is flung, all the turnpikes have floated away...


Written By: Gefiltestan

Far far away in the ocean adrift
Above all of Russia and the continental rift
On an island mislabeled by Rally McRand
Lies the illustrious nation of Gefiltestan
The people are friendly the fish is superb
The music eccentric the language unheard
But all is not happy for war had its toll
From nuclear disaster this tale must be told

Our father our hero our patron our muse
The greatest musician inventor of blues
Embarked on a journey of giant demand
To find the new border of Gefiltestan
The weather did strengthen disaster was sure
And all of the others in ice they were stored
But he was not found there and decades had fled
Our hero our patron assumed to be dead

Vaksmüt on the cliff side by the sea
Blisters on his eyelids and his knees
Haunting eyes of Moses with plutonium in his nails
In the Arctic Ocean fleeting sanity in the gales
Scavengers of all kinds gathering overhead
Feeding time begins on doctor’s special bread
Vaksmüt hero of our land come home to your native klan
Founding father to us all bless us with your awful call
Vaksmüt villain of the land leave us from your scheming hand
Get away while you can he’ll destroy Gefiltestan!

The Russians invaded we vanished inland
They saw nothing but tundra and infertile sand
We thought it was over when they sailed away
Until bombers flew over on one fateful day
On the northern horizon where our hero once strayed
Came a mushroom of fire and our villain was made

In the thicket of winter in a miserable save
Our hero retreated deep deep in a cave
From here he survived more than 45 years
Eating lichen and granite devoid of all tears
Until fire unleashed from the sky up above
And crept through the caverns creating a flood
He was swept in the current of toxic ferment
He swore he would seize eternal revenge



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

Set List