Balkan Bacchanl Feb 12!

We’re really happy to have not one, but TWO bands new to the Bacchanal this month. Plus, there’s nothing like Bacchanal favorites Mano Cherga to complete the party…read on!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday February 12, 2016
Mano Cherga (11pm)
Orchestrar Radacina (10pm)
Zabava (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

zabava-jan2016

Zabava!, whose name means “party,” plays energetic, soulful, and rhythmically dazzling music in the Bulgarian, Greek, Macedonian, and Romani traditions. This group of fine musicians recreates the vibrant interplay of traditional music and dance from these cultural crossroads. Along with Bill Cope (gajda, bouzouki, tambura, accordion, chifteli), Zabava! is Corinne Sykes (vocals, tambura, tupan, darabuka), Michele Simon (vocals, baglama, tupan, hand drum), and Tom Farris (tambura, guitar, hand drum). We’re really happy to finally have this cool band here at the Bacchanal!

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OrchRad

The Balkan scene in the Bay Area continues to grow, please welcome Orchestrar Radacina, Sonoma’s hot new brass band, to the Bacchanal! Orkestar Radacina plays Balkan Brass music with a funky twist. Founded in January 2015 in rural Northern California, Radacina’s nine members (trumpets, clarinets, trombone, baritone horn, sousaphone, bari sax and percussion) practice in the back of an old barn, surrounded by goats, llamas, and chickens. Sometimes the goats even sing along.

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ManoCherga2

Mano Cherga are regulars at the Bacchanal, and for good reason – their unique “Roma folk party band” sound and wild energy will make you want to throw back some slivovitz and hit the dance floor!

January 8, 2016!!!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday January 8, 2016
FANFARE ZAMBALETA (10pm-???)
plus special guests Aya & Tano
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

4787002_orig

The Bacchanal embarks on its FIFTH year at the venerable Starry Plough, and what better way to start the year than with a crazy party featuring the Bacchanal’s resident brass band FANFARE ZAMBALETA! Time after time Zambaleta has rocked the Bacchanal into the night with Romani, Serbian, Macedonian, and Greek Brass music pumped out at full velocity by an 11 piece band.

But that’s not all, special guests will be performing a rare set of tunes from Albania and beyond!

Aya and Tano are both familiar faces to the Berkeley Balkan Bachannal. The two have played at the Bacchanal numerous times in different configurations (with Agapi Mou, Safiya, and Taraf de Locos). This time they are going to appear as a duo with a new repertoire brought back from their travels to Albania, Greece, and Italy. Catch them now while they are both home!

December 11 Bacchanal!

The last Bacchanal of 2015 and we’re going out with a bang!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday December 11, 2015
Balkalicious Fire Drive (11pm)
Edessa (10pm)
Mano Cherga (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

ManoCherga2

Mano Cherga is a Bacchanal favorite – a Roma folk party band that will make you want to throw back some slivovitz and hit the dance floor!

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edessa

EDESSA is a legendary Bay Area Balkan band whose members have delved deeply into the roots of Balkan music since the 1970s. Edessa reigns supreme in the Balkan dance world!

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BFD

Balkalicious Fire Drive is a Bay Area Balkan supergroup that pulls traditional songs into the new millennium. Sinuous vocals and violin and throbbing bass never fail to keep the Bacchanal on its feet!

November Balkan Bacchanal!

Three great bands, no, wait…make that three AWESOME bands, rock the Bacchanal this month. Read on!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday November 13, 2015
Orchestra Euphonos (11pm)
La Pêche (10pm)
Veretski Pass (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

Veretski Pass

A Bacchanal favorite, Veretski Pass are our resident Klezmer virtuosos! Taking its name from the mountain pass through which Magyar tribes crossed into the Carpathian basin to settle what later became the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Veretski Pass offers a unique and exciting combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that has excited concertgoers across the world. The trio plays Old Country Music with origins in the Ottoman Empire, once fabled as the borderlands of the East and the West. In a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Rumanian and Ottoman styles, typical suites contain dances from Moldavia and Bessarabia; Jewish melodies from Poland and Rumania; Hutzul wedding music from Carpathian-Ruthenia; and haunting Rebetic aires from Smyrna, seamlessly integrated with original compositions. Veretski Pass has just released a new cd – the amazing Poyln, A Gilgul!

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LP
La Pêche is an unique voice in the bay area music scene, as the only band to focus on the very upbeat and melodically rich Romanian music. Yet their extensive knowledge of musics from the Balkans, Turkey and the Jewish tradition, allied with a strong artistic sense of composition make them one of the most versatile group available today; be it at a concert, wedding party or on a street corner in the mission district, their performances are always an irresistible call to dance, and a dazzling feast for the ears !

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OrchestraEuphonosSubt

Orchestra Euphonos is a Bay Area-based Eastern European folk and klezmer band. Their uplifting sound is characterized by a brass and woodwind melodic front line. Orchestra Euphonos performs songs and melodies from old world Romania, Ukraine and Moldova and modern day Macedonia, Serbia, and Greece. Their performances are joyous occasions filled with wild takes on old favorites, group improvisations and more than a few opportunites to dance.

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October Bacchanal!

Ok, September was fantastic, what a night. But can it be topped? YES!
October is seriously going to be unbelievable…this may be THE Balkan show of the year.
Why? Because not only is the headliner Fanfare Zambaleta, the 11-piece brass band that has rocked the Bacchanal time and again, not only is it the debut of Roma band Kala, but we are super excited to announce that Seattle’s Dromeno will be opening the show! Read on….

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday October 9, 2015
Fanfare Zambaleta (11pm)
Kala (10pm)
Dromeno (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

Dromeno

We’re honored to have the legendary DRÓMENO kicking off the night…dancers get ready!!! Dromeno is a unique folk group presenting regional music from all over Greece and the Balkans. Led by Christos Govetas and Ruth Hunter, long-time players in the Balkan music scene, the group includes both of their kids (Eleni and Bobby Govetas), as well as Nikos Maroussis  and Peter Lippman. Dromeno presents authentic music that pulls from deep roots from Greece and all across the Balkans. Between them, these versatile members create the brass sounds of Macedonia, sonorous clarinet and vocal interplay from Ipiros and Thessaly, strident zournas and daouli from Serres, and energetic Thracian dance tunes. Come get your dance on!

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We’re beyond excited to welcome Kala to the Bacchanal for the first time!
Kala
Kala is a Bay Area based Romani Balkan band featuring strings, accordions, clarinet and percussion. Led by Roma musician Dusan Ristic, and in collaboration with some of your favorite local musicians, Kala performs traditional Roma songs from the Balkan region. Ristic was raised in a Roma neighborhood in Valjevo, Serbia and comes from a family of Roma musicians. He has found a new home in the Bay Area and brings an authentic traditional flavor to the vibrant Balkan scene. Come enjoy the songs and sounds of Kala!

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4787002_orig

Fanfare Zambaleta never fails to rock the house! The band was incubated in the Zambaleta Music and Dance School in San Francisco and has since hit the streets as a full-fledged 11 piece juggernaut of a band playing exciting Romani, Serbian, Macedonian, and Greek Brass music with passion and dedication and featuring some of the Bay Area’s most exciting young players and seasoned veterans.

September Bacchanal!

Hello Good People!
Summer is winding itself down into wisps of nostalgia….but there’s more fun is right around the corner!

The fall season of the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal is set to kick off soon!
Our first show will pick up the party right where we left off in June.
Sabaya, MWE and La Pêche!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday September 11, 2015
La Pêche (11pm)
MWE (10pm)
Sabaya (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

sabaya pic

The Bacchanal is excited to kick off the night with Sabaya! Sabaya is Diana Strong (accordion), Briana Di Mara (violin), and Faisal Zedan (percussion) — a newly formed trio of accomplished Bay Area musicians, performing traditional and original melodies inspired by the music of the Balkans and Near East. With rich harmonies, danceable grooves, and soulful improvisation– joined by special guest Morgan Nilsen on clarinet– Sabaya (meaning “the girls” in Arabic) is more than just the girls!

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MWE_2

If you were at the show in June you know that MWE nearly blew the roof of the joint! Yes, their name is enigmatic, but MWE’s magical sounds are no mystery…a Middle-Eastern marching band consisting of one zurna, one davul, one saxophone, and two clarinets and 1 million decibels! With nearly half the band returning from gigs and workshops across the Balkans you can expect a super-charged MWE experience.

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LP

Born out of a weekly residency in 2013/14 at the legendary Revolution Café in San Francisco, La Pêche quickly grew to become one of the major players on the Bay Area Balkan scene. Led by French-American saxophonist and composer Paul Bertin, the band features Eastman graduate Morgan Nilsen (La Misa Negra, Mc Rai, and a student of David Krakauer), Ofir Uziel (Inspector Gadje), Izzy Wise (LoCura, Istanbul Connection) and Jonathan Selin (Tiger Honey Pot).
La Pêche is an unique voice in the bay area music scene, as the only band to focus on the very upbeat and melodically rich Romanian music. Yet their extensive knowledge of musics from the Balkans, Turkey and the Jewish tradition, allied with a strong artistic sense of composition make them one of the most versatile group available today; be it at a concert, wedding party or on a street corner in the mission district, their performances are always an irresistible call to dance, and a dazzling feast for the ears !

Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal June 12

Do NOT miss this one! Not only is it the last show of the 2015 winter/spring season (the BBB will be off until September), not only are a bunch of folks returning from musical excursions in the Balkans, not only are there two kick ass local bands…but there we have a special guest all the way from NYC!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday June 12, 2015
Edessa
MWE
Eva Salina
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************
EDESSA is a legendary Bay Area Balkan band who’s members have delved deeply into the roots of Balkan music since the 1970s. Edessa reigns supreme in the Balkan dance world!

edessa ************************************************************

MWE_2

Their name is enigmatic, but MWE’s magical sounds are no mystery…a Middle-Eastern marching band consisting of one zurna, one davul, one saxophone, and two clarinets and 1 million decibels! With nearly half the band returning from gigs and workshops across the Balkans you can expect a super-charged MWE experience.

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©2014 Reuben Radding

©2014 Reuben Radding

Joining MWE on stage as well as opening the night with a solo set of her own, EVA SALINA makes her first appearance at the Bacchanal! Eva hails from Brooklyn, but is originally from The Bay Area (Santa Cruz). Her showstopping brand of singing and accordion playing will be sure to captivate with creative and intimate arrangements of songs from the Bulgarian, Greek, and Romani traditions.

Balkan Bacchanal May 8!

Special guest opener just added…Rumen Sali Shopov & Friends!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday May 8, 2015
Balkalicious Fire Drive (11pm)
Orchestra Euphonos (10pm)
Rumen Sali Shopov & Friends (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

Rumen

Rumen Sali Shopov is a renowned Rom artist from Gotse Delchev  in Southwest Bulgaria. He is one of the greatest living exponents of the southern Bulgarian/northern Greek style of ceremonial and celebratory tapan, a large double-headed drum that is the lead percussion instrument driving the rhythm of Romani Balkan processional brass band music and dancing. He also is known for his virtuosity on the tambura (long-necked mandolin), bouzouki, and doumbek, and as a vocalist.

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OrchestraEuphonosSubt

Orchestra Euphonos is a Bay Area-based Eastern European folk and klezmer band. Their uplifting sound is characterized by a brass and woodwind melodic front line. Orchestra Euphonos performs songs and melodies from old world Romania, Ukraine and Moldova and modern day Macedonia, Serbia, and Greece. Their performances are joyous occasions filled with wild takes on old favorites, group improvisations and more than a few opportunites to dance. ************************************************************

Balkalicious Fire Drive

Balkalicious Fire Drive

With searing instrumentals and sultry, gut-wrenching vocals soaring over hard-hitting grooves, BALKALICIOUS FIRE DRIVE rocks you with the raw and intoxicating energy, sound and spirit of the Balkans. Band members are infused with long and vibrant histories from the Bay Area world music scene and beyond. They are: Leslie Bonnett on vocals and violin; Stuart Brotman on bass; Shea Comfort on clarinet; Dennis Demakos on laouto and vocals, and Haig Kassabian on percussion.

Three Flavors of Klezmer – April 10

We’re stoked to present “Three Flavors of Klezmer,” 3 amazing Bay Area bands that have mined deep into different veins of traditional Jewish/Balkan music…do not miss!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday April 10, 2015
Ghost Note Ensemble (11pm)
Veretski Pass (10pm)
gonifs (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

gonifs Rob Reich, Richard Saunders, Sheldon Brown, Aaron Kierbel, Jeanette Lewicki

Once again we’re happy to present the inimitable sounds of the gonifs! The gonifs began as the house band for the pirate radio station, Radio Libre. Started by Peter Jaques & Jeanette Lewicki around 1996, as a vegan anarchist bicycle-powered marching klezmer band, this group is a loosely-knit collective that expands & contracts, adding instruments as needed to play raucous, frolicsome, soulful dance tunes & yiddish songs about love, anarchy, gangsters & potatoes. You can hear more of the gonifs at http://www.portofrancorecords.com/artists/the-gonifs/
In case the dog ate your Yiddish dictionary, a gonif is a thief, a rascal, or a very smart mischievous kid. Old folks sometimes say “Oy, Amerike gonif” — meaning something like, “Only in America!”

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VP

Another Bacchanal favorite, Veretski Pass are our resident Klezmer virtuosos! Taking its name from the mountain pass through which Magyar tribes crossed into the Carpathian basin to settle what later became the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Veretski Pass offers a unique and exciting combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that has excited concertgoers across the world. The trio plays Old Country Music with origins in the Ottoman Empire, once fabled as the borderlands of the East and the West. In a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Rumanian and Ottoman styles, typical suites contain dances from Moldavia and Bessarabia; Jewish melodies from Poland and Rumania; Hutzul wedding music from Carpathian-Ruthenia; and haunting Rebetic aires from Smyrna, seamlessly integrated with original compositions. Veretski Pass recently performed at the Concertgebouw Concert Hall in Amsterdam, and their CDs have repeatedly been on the 10-best recording lists of journalists.

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Gyimes-kozeplok

Stay tuned for the Bacchanal-debut of  the Ghost Note Ensemble. Ghost Note Ensemble weaves music from Hungarian, Moldavian, Ukrainian, and Jewish folk traditions into a tuneful time traveled tapestry, a requiem for borders of future past.