Balkan Bacchanal February 13

2015 is off to a great start! February continues the good times with our favorite Serbian/Roma party band, Mano Cherga, with the lush Balkan sounds of Sabaya and La Pêche!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday February 13, 2015
La Pêche  (11pm)
Mano Cherga (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

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 guests Jake Leckie on bass, Gary Hegedus on oud, Gregory Masaki Jenkins on clarinet– Sabaya (meaning “the girls” in Arabic) is more than just the girls!

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ManoCherga2

Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome you to The Mano Cherga Band experience! Wailing of the accordion, violin trills, clinking of the glasses, wind from the skirts on the dance floor, sweat running down your back, a smile on your lips, and tears in your eyes. That’s what it’s all about for us, and we love to share those moments with you. We are Haluk, Beodan, Sasha, Ed and Zhenya – violin, guitar/voice, accordion, drums, bass. Folk and Roma songs from all over the Balkans, played with a lot of heart.

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LaPeche2

La pêche is an ensemble of young Bay Area musicians, coming from backgrounds as diverse as hard rock, philharmonic orchestra or balkan brass. Out of this collaboration comes a music that is at the crossroads of European folkloric traditions and jazz & improvised performance.
“La Pêche” refers to a witty French expression for a heighten physical and spiritual state ; which the group aims to convey with their wild improvisations, deep soundscapes and fiery compositions.

January 2015 – more Bacchanal!

Thanks for joining us for another year of great local Balkan music! We’re excited about this show, gonifs was the first klezmer band I saw in the Bay Area back in the 1990s when San Francisco was still fun. Taraf de Locos is a new band that really blew me away last time they played the Bacchanal. And Radio Istanbul keeps getting better and better with their latest line up!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday January 9, 2015
Radio Istanbul (11pm)
Taraf de Locos (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

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. The gonifs’ breakout CD features Peter, Jeanette, Aaron Kierbel, Darren Johnston, Daniel Fabricant, & all the members of Veretski Pass. Since Peter is now travelling in Greece, the current lineup will be: Sheldon Brown (clarinet), Aaron Kierbel (drums), Jeanette Lewicki (vocals), Rob Reich (accordion), & Richard Saunders (bass). 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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Taraf

Taraf de Locos is a group of talented young musicians who grew up together. They met as children at a magical music camp in the heart of California, where traditional music from all over the world showered them every minute for ten days every year. Their sound is very natural and diverse. They play a mix of songs and tunes from Spain, Romania, Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Tajikistan, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba and Mexico. As best friends, they bring a fun-loving energy that is genuinely contagious. Taraf de Locos features Aya Safiya on violin and vocals, Cecilia Cassandra Peña-Govea on trumpet, guirra and vocals, Miguelito León on percussion and vocals, and Tano Brock on guitar, saxophone and vocals.

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11Photo

Radio Istanbul combines a traditional Istanbul sound with western sensibilities. Inspired by the diverse music heard in the streets and nightclubs of Turkey, Radio Istanbul’s hypnotic melodies and driving rhythms draw on Turkish, Romani (Gypsy), Balkan, and Arabic grooves. In existence for over ten years, the musicians are among the best in the S.F. Bay Area. Ahmet Cagin on Kanun, Greg Jenkins on Clarinet, Faisal Zedan and Sean Tergis on Rythm, and Haluk Kecelioglu on Oud and Violin.

DECEMBER BALKAN BACCHANAL!

Another great line up, come by for the final show of 2014!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday December 12, 2014
Balkalicious Fire Drive (11pm)
MWE (10pm)
Disciples of Markos (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

Begin the evening by traveling back in time to the smoke-filled night clubs of Athens! The Disciples of Markos continue to mine the incredible repertoire of 1930s Greek underworld music with the addition of vocalist Gregory Masaki Jenkins.

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One zurna, one davul, one saxophone, and two clarinets. MWE always kicks ass at the Bacchanal and you’ll be dancing when the band hits the floor to play in the middle of the dancers. Part Turkish marching band, part belly dance party band, MWE is a force of nature not to be missed!

MWE

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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.

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Bacchanal November 14

Balkan Folk Dance Extravaganza! November features three bands that specialize in different regional folk dance music…come get your circle dance on!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday November 14, 2014
Orchestra Euphonos (11pm)
Agapi Mou (10pm)
Plovdiv Party Bus (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

Plovdiv Party Bus is a Bay Area Balkan Folk Dance Band that plays music from all over the Balkans including the music of the Bulgarian, Macedonian, Greek, Swedish, and Romani people. Party bus ************************************************************

Agapi Mou is a four-piece ensemble that plays Greek traditional music, with an emphasis on tradition — no modern sound effects or drum machines, just violin, clarinet, hand drums, laouto, and voice. The name Agapi Mou means “my love” in Greek and describes the group’s feeling for the music they play. Formed in 2009, the group performs in the San Francisco Bay Area at festivals, restaurants, dance venues, concert halls, and private parties. AgapiMou ************************************************************

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.
This performance will feature Peter Bonos, trumpet, Annie Cilley, saxophone and vocals; Travis Hendrix, clarinet & mandolin; Juliana Frick, upright bass, Kalei Yamanoha, accordion, Aharon Wheels Bolsta, percussion plus special guests Yoshie Fruchter and Jeremy Brown of Pitom.OrchestraEuphonosSubt

Balkan Bacchanal – October 10

daaaaaaaaamn, that was a crazy, wild night of music in September! We’re anxiously awaiting October because we’ll be featuring two of our favorite bands; the virtuosic klezmer of Veretski Pass and the unhinged Serbian party band Mano Cherga. But that’s not all! One of our favorite local musicians, Aya Sofia, is making her first appearance with her latest band , Taraf de Locos. Read on!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday October 10, 2014
Mano Cherga (11pm)
Taraf de Locos (10pm)
Veretski Pass (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Show at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door

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Veretski Pass will open the show with their sublime and intricate interpretations of obscure Jewish music. 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.

VP

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Taraf de Locos is a group of talented young musicians who grew up together. They met as children at a magical music camp in the heart of California, where traditional music from all over the world showered them every minute for ten days every year. Their sound is very natural and diverse. They play a mix of songs and tunes from Spain, Romania, Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Tajikistan, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba and Mexico. As best friends, they bring a fun-loving energy that is genuinely contagious. Taraf de Locos features Aya Safiya on violin and vocals, Cecilia Cassandra Peña-Govea on trumpet, guirra and vocals, Miguelito León on percussion and vocals, and Tano Brock on guitar, saxophone and vocals.


Taraf

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Growling of the tuba, wailing of the accordion, clinking of the glasses, wind from the skirts on the dance floor, sweat running down your back, a smile on your lips and tears in your eyes. That’s Mano Cherga! An Eastern European party band, Mano Cherga always take things to the brink of sanity. Now featuring Haluk Kecelioglu (of BBB favorite Radio Istanbul) on violin.

ManoCherga2

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The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal is a music series held on the 2nd Friday of each month at Berkeley’s Starry Plough Pub. Each month we feature 3 local bands that showcase the diversity of Balkan music and Bay Area musical talent.

Balkan Bacchanal September 12, 2014

Summer’s not quite over, but the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal is right around the corner! We’re going to kick off the fall season with a crazy party! Co-produced by the Mission Creek Music & Arts Festival!

Get ready for RADIO ISTANBUL’S sultry version of Turkish street music followed by the Bacchanal’s favorite Balkan Brass band, FANFARE ZAMBALETA!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday September 12, 2014
Fanfare Zambaleta (10pm)
Radio Istanbul (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Show at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door

Radio Istanbul combines a traditional Istanbul sound with western sensibilities. Inspired by the diverse music heard in the streets and nightclubs of Turkey, Radio Istanbul’s hypnotic melodies and driving rhythms draw on Turkish, Romani (Gypsy), Balkan, and Arabic grooves. In existence for over ten years, the musicians are among the best in the S.F. Bay Area. Ahmet Cagin on Kanun, Greg Jenkins on Clarinet, Faisal Zedan and Sean Tergis on Rhythm, and Haluk Kecelioglu on Oud and Violin.

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FZ 2

FANFARE ZAMBALETA needs no introduction to fans of the Bacchanal. These guys tear it up every time they play! Fanfare Zambaleta was incubated in the Zambaleta Music and Dance School in San Francisco and has since transformed into a full-fledged juggernaut of a band, featuring some of the Bay Area’s most exciting young players and seasoned veterans. Emulating the great Balkan brass bands of the past and present, they play Romani, Serbian, Macedonian and Greek brass band music with passion and dedication. FZ’s potent musical concoction of wild improvisation, meticulous ensemble coordination,  earth-shaking low brass, thunderous drumming and jubilant vocals will move your feet and lift your soul.

Summer Vacation!

Yes, once again the Bacchanal will take a break for the summer as musicians head off to camps, festivals, and distant lands to jam, learn, teach and gather new material and inspiration. The Bacchanal will kick off the Fall season on September 12, hope to see you then!

BBB

 

 

Balkan Bacchanal – Friday June 13

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday June 13, 2014
Incognito Orkestar (11pm)
Janam (10pm)
Sabaya (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Show at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door, $8 in advance (advance tix here)

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SABAYA

sabaya pic

One of the goals of the Balkan Bacchanal has always been to provide a space for musicians to try new things and in new combinations, and Sabaya is a perfect example of why that’s important. 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 guests Jake Leckie on bass, Gary Hegedus on oud, Gregory Masaki Jenkins on clarinet– Sabaya (meaning “the girls” in Arabic) is more than just the girls!

 

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JANAM

Janam2

It’s been awhile since Janam have played at the Bacchanal, so we’re psyched to hear them with their new lineup! Janam (My Soul) blends Balkan, Near Eastern and American roots and original music, creating rapturous acoustic textures, whirling rhythms and stunning vocal harmonies. Led by Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble veteran Juliana Graffagna, Janam unites some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most imaginative and devoted practitioners of Balkan and Near Eastern music, who weave together Eastern exoticism, gritty Appalachian folk melodies and their own inspired compositions. The resulting music is transcendent and irresistible. Janam features: Dan Auvil (percussion and kaval), Tom Farris (laouto and guitar), Juliana Graffagna (vocals and accordion), Gari Hegedu  (oud, saz, mandocello and violin), and Lila Sklar (violin and vocals).

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INCOGNITO EXPRESS

The Balkan Bacchanal is excited to welcome the newly-formed Incognito Express, featuring some of the hottest players in the Bay Area’s Balkan scene! Incognito Express will take you on a trip through Eastern Europe with exciting Romani, Greek, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Macedonian music as well as Balkan-inspired originals. The band features Darren Johnston (trumpet), Gregory Masaki Jenkins (clarinet and alto sax), Dan Cantrell (accordion), Paul Marini (sousaphone), and Marco Peris (tupan).

Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal – May 9

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday May 9, 2014
Plovdiv Party Bus
MWE
Balkalicious Fire Drive
Doors at 8:00pm, Show at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $8-12 sliding scale

Party bus

Plovdiv Party Bus is a Bay Area Balkan Folk Dance Band that plays music from all over the Balkans including the music of the Bulgarian, Macedonian, Greek, Swedish, and Romani people. The Bus driver is Greg Jenkins, master clarinetist and familiar to all Bay Area Balkan fans through his many projects; MWE, Fanfare Zambaleta, Agapi Mou, and others.

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MWE_2

One zurna, one davul, one saxophone, and two clarinets. MWE always kicks ass at the Bacchanal and you’ll be dancing when the band hits the floor to play in the middle of the dancers. Part Turkish marching band, part belly dance party band, MWE is a force of nature not to be missed!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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.

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BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL – ARPIL 11

Greek hashish songs, virtuosic Jewish mountain music, and a rockin Romani birthday bash!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday, APRIL 11
Mano Cherga Birthday Bash
Veretski Pass
Disciples of Markos
Doors at 8:00pm, Show at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $8-12 sliding scale

Begin the evening by traveling back in time to the smoke-filled night clubs of Athens! The Disciples of Markos continue to mine the incredible repertoire of 1930s Greek underworld music.

IMG_8110sml

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The incredible Veretski Pass returns to the Bacchanal with their virtuosic klezmer roots music. 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.

VP

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Mano Cherga is our favorite Balkan Romani rock band, and tonight they headline with front man Beodan’s birthday bash. Expect plenty of guests and wild fun!

ManoCherga