October Bacchanal

Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal
At the Starry Plough Pub

La Pêche
Mahala
George & Nikolas Parisis

Friday, October 12
The Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm.
$10 presale tickets are available online
$12-15 sliding scale at the door
Kitchen closes at 10:00 pm (ages 21+ thereafter)

Facebook Event

The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents a new rotation of bands the Starry Plough Pub every month. Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal is a concert series featuring the other-worldy talent of musicians from the Bay Area and beyond performing Eastern European folk music on the second Friday of the month. A hub in the Bay Area Balkan music scene, the bacchanal provides a platform for a community of performers, folk dancers, regular attendants and new friends to revel together every month since 2011.


La Pêche

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To have “La Pêche” is French for being in a particularly good mood and great form ; a feeling the band immediately conveys with its fiery energy and unique sound, taking roots in traditional musics from Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Born in 2012 out of a residency at the legendary Café Revolution in San Francisco, La Pêche quickly grew under Saxophonist Paul Bertin’s direction to become one of the most original players in the California Balkan scene. Always reinventing itself while paying respect towards traditional music, La Pêche brings out the juiciness of melodies old and new in a dazzling feast for the ears!


mahala

Mahala

Mahala is a new collaborative project, bringing together some of the finest musicians from the local Bay Area Balkan music scene. We will bring you traditional as well as original music in the traditional and Lautari Romanian and Moldavian style.

Andrew Cohen (accordion), Annie Cilley (violin), Balder ten Cate (cimbalom), Matthew Stein (violin), Travis Hendrix (bass)


Parisis 2.pngGeorge & Nikolas Parisis

George & Nikolas Parisis grew up in Lodi, CA and have played traditional Greek folk music from the island of Crete for over a decade. Both brothers play mandolino, however George is a highly skilled laouto player and Nikolas excels at the Cretan Lyra. They are self taught since age 14 and currently George works as a science teacher while Nikolas is a medical student.

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August 10 Bacchanal

 

Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal
At the Starry Plough Pub

Dan Cantrell
Book of J

Friday, August 10
The Starry Plough, 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm; Kitchen closes at 10:00 pm (Ages 21+ thereafter)
Admission: $10+

The August Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal showcases the other-worldly talent of renown local musicians reinterpreting traditional folk music from Eastern Europe with a groundbreaking new sound.

Dan Cantrell-2-1024x683Dan Cantrell is an Emmy-award winning composer and multi-instrumentalist who has emerged as one of the most virtuosic and well-known American accordionists.  Dan’s music can also be heard accompanying individual dance choreographers and performers on stage and in film. Dan is appreciated by audiences and collaborators his love for the idiosyncratic and flawed beauty found in live acoustic performance and his exploration of haunting and mysterious ambient sound textures.

Book of JBook of J is the collaboration of singer-guitarist Lockwood and Charming Hostess vocalist Eisenberg. According to The New Yorker, Book of J is “an affecting duo with an expansive musical landscape encompassing gothic Yiddish songs, Piedmont blues, and queer politics. Both musicians have deep roots in Jewish music: Lockwood grew up singing in the High Holidays choir of his grandfather, a renowned cantor, while Eisenberg continues to lead the experimental, politically-minded Jewish vocal group Charming Hostess.” And the SJ Mercury News describes Book of J as “weird in all the best ways.” Read more

Jewlia Eisenberg is a musician and composer working at the intersection of voice, text and diaspora consciousness.  Her music is mostly released with John Zorn’s Tzadik label on the Radical Jewish Culture imprint. Her installation work has been curated into the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco and the Museum of Peace in Uzbekistan; she performs regularly in Europe and the Americas. She has been a visiting artist at CalArts, MIT, the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado.

Jeremiah Lockwood has played around the world from Montreal Jazz to the Festival au Desert in Timbuktu, Mali, as the leader of The Sway Machinery and as the guitarist in the Balkan Beat Box. Jeremiah was a recipient of a Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists, an Artist-in-Residence for the Forward and a Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra Composer Fellow.  He is currently completing a PhD on Khasidic cantorial music at Stanford University.

July 13 Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal

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Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents
Mano Cherga (11 pm)
Alex Hand (10 pm)
Jerusafunk (9 pm)
Doors at 8:00pm; Admission: $10+
Kitchen closes at 10:00 pm (Ages 21+ thereafter)

At the Starry Plough Pub 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA
Facebook Event

The Mano Cherga Band‘s repertoire consists of contemporary and traditional tunes from Ex Yugoslavia, drawing to a great extent on the body of work of the Romani Music King Saban Bajramovic, as well as Goran Bregovic, Tozovac, and a mix of Hungarian, Vallachian, Macedonian, Croatian and Greek tunes, singing in more than six languages. Its lively performances transport the audience to the kafanas of former Yugoslavia with upbeat, steamy tempos, hypnotic Balkan rhythms, catchy melodies, and fierce violin, guitar, and oud solos.

Beodan Miric- vocals and guitar, Yevgeniy Sverdlik- upright bass, Alexander Goldshtrakh- accordion, Haluk Kecelioglu- violin and oud and Edwin Meares- drums

Alex Hand is a guitarist, currently based in the San Francisco area. Alex’s musical journey has taken him from classic rock and punk to classical guitar, jazz and the Django Reinhardt tradition. Recently back from studying in Eastern Europe, he’s been focusing on European folk styles, including Bulgarian, Romanian and Irish. New for 2018 is the Alex Hand Band’s debut album, “Traders of the Lost Arts,” available on iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp.

Alex Hand: guitar
Gabe Case: bass
Isaac Schwartz: drums
Kevin Gerzevitz: accordion

Jerusafunk is Phoenix’s first and only Klezploitation band! Conceived in 2010 by Chris Del Favero (guitar) and Jessie Demaree (clarinet), the nine-piece ensemble seamlessly blends traditional Klezmer with American Funk and other world music genres such as Jazz, Salsa, Samba, Bossa Nova, Cumbia, and Afrobeat.

Chris Del Favero- guitar/vox
Jessie Demaree- clarinet/vox
Alan Acosta- alto/flute/clarinet
Elliott Fox- tenor
Saul Millan- trombone
Zack Parker- guitar/ slide guitar
Bailey Zick- bass guitar
Connor Sample- drums/ percussion
Jeremy Lentz- drums/ percussion

May Bacchanal: Édessa and Arcana

Friday, May 11
The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal Presents:
Édessa – 9 pm
Arcana – 11 pm
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The May edition of the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents a double bill featuring the rare worldly talent of bay area musicians and dancers. The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal is a notoriously raucous marathon of music and dance at the Starry Plough Pub on the second Friday of every month.

The Starry Plough Pub
Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm
Admission is $10+
21+ after 10pm (as kitchen closes)

Édessa – Balkan Border Music
with Ezgi Kurt

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For many years one of the Bay Area’s premier Balkan dance bands, Édessa is comprised of musicians who have devoted decades to the study and performance of the rich cultural expressions of the southern Balkans. They play with a deep understanding of the connection between dance and music. Using both traditional and modern instruments, they perform in a variety of styles, featuring long sets that interweave melodies, improvisation and a beat with dancers in mind. The music comes from Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Armenia, and Turkey, and Balkan Roma (Gypsy). The group and its members have long participated in and taught at Balkan camps across the country, and Édessa was the first band to take Balkan music to Japan. Édessa is George Chittenden on clarinet, gaida (bagpipe), zurna (shawm), and guitar; Lise Liepman on santouri (hammered dulcimer) and accordion; violinist Ari Langer; bassist Paul Brown; and percussionist Sean Tergis.

 


Arcana Music and Dance

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Arcana Music & Dance is a live music & bellydance company based in the Bay Area. Arcana is directed by Danielle Elizabeth, Paul Evans, Gregory Masaki Jenkins, and Shanti Bardot. Founded in 2014 with the purpose of performing at the Northern California Renaissance Faire, Arcana has a unique aesthetic that acknowledges history while representing a blend of regions associated with the spice trade routes. Within one show, you will experience elements of the Balkans, North Africa, India, and the Bay Area.
This performance will feature dancers Shanti Bardot, Laura Elisabeth and Kendra Michelle with saxophonist Joey Friedman, percussionist Faisal Zedan, clarinetist Travis Hendrix and Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal producer Peter Bonos on trumpet.

April 13 Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal

Friday, April 13, 2018
The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal Presents

Balkalicious Fire Drive
Alaturca Connection
Balkan Ensemble Meraklii with Rumen Sali Shopov

The April edition of the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents a triple bill featuring the rare worldly talent of local musicians and from near and far. The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal is a notoriously raucous marathon of music and dance at the Starry Plough Pub on the second Friday of every month.

The Starry Plough Pub 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley CA
Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm
Admission is $10+
21+ after 10pm (as kitchen closes)


Balkalicious Fire Drive

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With searing instrumentals and fierce, sultry vocals soaring over hard-hitting grooves, the Bay Areas’ Rockin’ Balkan band, Balkalicious Fire Drive moves you with the raw and intoxicating energy, sound and spirit of the Balkans! The group is passionate about honouring traditional musical roots, particularly those of Greek, Balkan Rom, and Macedonian music, while infusing their sound with more modern sensibilities.

The members of BFD bring with them extensive and vibrant histories immersed in the world music scene. They are: Leslie Bonnett on vocals and violin; Shea A.J. Comfort on clarinet; Haig Kassabian on drums; Stu Brotman on bass; and Ali Yağiz Şen on guitar and vocals.


Alaturca Connection

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Alaturca Connection – Performing at 10 pm

Alaturca Connection is a band formed by Turkish, Kurdish, Roman, Tunisian, Azeri, Syrian and American musicians who bring the richness from their culture and background to the music they make. They mainly play classical and contemporary Turkish, Balkan, Roman music. The band works with nonprofit organizations; proceeds from their concerts go to social projects such as children’s education.

Band members include: Jelaleddin Takesh: qanun, Lee Dynes: oud, Rumen Sali Shopov: davul, Faisal Zedan: darbuka, Saleheddine Bedoui: violin, Raman Osman: saz, Mansour Ghanbari: cello & Nurdan Civi: vocals.

Watch Video: Alaturca Connection – Lelim Ley


Balkan Ensemble Meraklii with Rumen Sali Shopov

Meraklii
Meraklii open the show at 9 pm.

Rumen Sali Shopov is an internationally acclaimed musician, arranger and band leader who has inspired many local musicians and groups. Ensemble Meraklii grew out of his Balkan and Romani Ensemble music/singing workshop at the Berkeley Jazz School.

#berkeleybalkanbacchanal @starryploughberkeley

March 3 Bacchanal

Friday, March 3, 2018
Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal Presents
Orchestra Euphonos with Ionela Guzic
Balkanton 340
Mano Cherga

The March edition of the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents a triple bill featuring the rare worldly talent of local Bay Area musicians and touring artists. The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal is a notoriously raucous marathon of music and dance at the Starry Plough. Please note, our usual night of the month (second Fridays) has been rescheduled for just this one month.

The Starry Plough Pub 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley CA
Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm
Admission is $10+
21+ after 10pm (as kitchen closes)

February 9th Bacchanal

Friday, February 9, 2018
Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal Presents
9 pm: Samaria Trio
10 pm: Highest Ani
11 pm: The Collective

The February 9th edition of the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal will highlight three new local projects exploring music of the Near East. The folk music of Greece, Turkey, Armenia will be performed by exciting three new Bay Area bands, each reflecting their members’ cultural explorations and worldly musical abilities. The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal is a notoriously raucous marathon of music and dance at the Starry Plough Pub on the second Friday of every month.

The Starry Plough Pub 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley CA
Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm
Admission is $10+
21+ after 10pm (as kitchen closes)


Samaria Trio

Samaria Trio
Samaria Trio consists of Gary Haggerty (oud, saz, tar, mandocello, lavta), Faisal Zedan (darbuka, riq, and frame drum) and Elana Brutman on sympathetic string Cretan lyra. They play traditional and contemporary music from Greece and Turkey. Samaria’s music is deeply informed by the Maqam tradition of the Near East, employing the use of microtonal stringed instruments with percussion.


Highest Ani
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Highest Ani
plays traditional Armenian songs blended with diverse musical influences. Committed to paying homage to Armenian music, while incorporating musical identities taken from rock, jazz, indie, blues, and Middle Eastern music, Highest Ani is a band that strives to carve out its own sound. Featuring an exciting variety of musicians, Highest Ani is made up of Mark Ohanesian on the qanon (traditional Middle Eastern stringed instrument), Avo Chalaganyan on the drumset and vocals, Marina Hovhannisyan on main vocals and guitar, and Aaron Kruziki on saxophone, duduk (traditional Armenian double-reed), and clarinet.


The Collective is an effort of like-minded Bay Area musicians to make live music from the Balkans, Greece, Turkey, the Arab world and the greater Middle East.  The collective consists of Calvin Lei (clarinet), Dan Cantrell, Joey Friedman and Faisal Zedan, plus guest musicians for some parts of the performance.

Fun fact: three out of five members of The Collective are also part of the band known as Hadi Dede!

January Bacchanal

Friday, January 12, 2018
Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal Presents
Levoná
Chubritza

The January edition of the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents a double bill featuring the rare worldly talent of local Bay Area musicians and touring artists. The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal is a notoriously raucous marathon of music and dance at the Starry Plough on the second Friday of every month.

The Starry Plough Pub 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley CA
Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm
Admission is $10+
21+ after 10pm (as kitchen closes)

Levoná

Levona.jpgThe Levoná ensemble rose out of the highly acclaimed Bay Area musical “Love Sick”, and was named “Best Ensemble” at the Theatre Bay Area Awards in 2017. Master musicians from Syria, Israel, and the United States come together to weave a rich tapestry of sounds that is at once a taste of the orient, and a new creation all on its own – the kind of energy that only comes when distant cultures overlap, and celebrate their differences.

Band Members
Faisal Zedan – Percussion, Vocals
Josh Mellinger – Percussion
Patrick Kelly – Bass
David McLean – Guitar
Asaf Ophir – Woodwinds, Vocals

www.levona.org


Chubritza

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Chubritza offers a vibrant, eclectic mix of Balkan vocal and instrumental folk music using multiple traditional and modern instruments. This Arcata-based band has been regularly featured at folk dance festivals in Central California and Oregon, has recorded 2 CDs, and had the honor of being invited for a concert tour in Israel. You will have a hard time sitting still once Chubritza gets started!
Chubritza is a savory Bulgarian table spice. The name reflects the band’s varied musical tastes and textures, while retaining a Balkan emphasis. Chubritza’s music reflects many universal themes which all people share: the passion of being in love, the sorrow of lost love, and the happiness music and dance brings to the heart.

www.chubritza.com

Performers and instruments:
Jim Case – tambura, prim, brac, guitar, mandolin
Janet Finney-Krull – flute, frula, accordion, dumbek, tupan, snare drum, brac, vocals
Rick Kruse – bass, violin, mandolin, gudulka, tambura, celovic, vocals
Craig Kurumada – gajda, clarinet, prim, tambura, dumbek, spoons, vocals
Meadow Lo – tambura, guitar, bra™, trumpet, bass, percussion, vocals
Linnea Mandell – accordion, tambura, bugarija, tupan, dumbek, snare drum, vocals

 

December Bacchanal

Friday, December 8th, 2017
Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal Presents
Michelle Alany and the Mystics
Staro Vino
Disciples of Marcos

The December edition of the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents a three-part concert featuring the rare worldly talent of local Bay Area musicians and touring artists. The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal is a notoriously raucous marathon of music and dance at the Starry Plough on the second Friday of every month.

The Starry Plough Pub 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley CA
Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm
Admission is $10-20 sliding scale
21+ after 10pm (as kitchen closes)

Michelle Alany & The Mystics
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Violinist & vocalist Michelle Alany is a dynamic performer & internationally touring ambassador of world folk traditions, specializing in Sephardic, Mediterranean & Eastern music. Her captivating band, Michelle Alany & The Mystics, brings fresh interpretations of ancient melodies, hypnotic strings and wild improvisation with her energizing soulful music.
Journey through exotic lands with this fiddle-driven caravan of Sephardic, Klezmer, Balkan & original soul & swing music all spiced up with a southern-fiddle twist.

The band consists of seasoned jazz, classical & globally folk-minded musicians with diverse musical backgrounds in Middle Eastern, Balkan and Klezmer music.

Featuring eclectic musicians from Balkan, Eastern & other folk music traditions, including Dan Cantrell on accordion (Kugelplex), Michael Shay on cello (touring artist from the NW), Travis Hendrix on upright bass, and Faisal Zedan on percussion (Stellamara, Qadim Ensemble).

 

Staro Vino

Staro VinoCome dance to the music of Bulgaria, Greece, and Macedonia. Only the finest vintages! They play dance tunes and table songs from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, and Bosnia.

Staro Vino is Mark Jenkins (percussion and vocals), Andrew Cohen (accordion), Greg Masaki Jenkins (clarinet and vocals), and Peter Bonos (Trumpet)


Disciples of Markos

The Disciples play in the style of Markos Vamvakaris, the most famous songwriter, singer and the heaviest, most stoned-out bouzouki player of the 1930s, as well as his contemporaries such as Delias, Batis, Peristeris, Hatzichristos, Tsitsanis and more.
The Disciples of Markos are based in Oakland, California, and since 2004 have been dedicated to spreading the beautiful songs from the Golden Age of Rebetika.

Wait, what IS rebetika you ask? Rebetika is the urban folk music of 1930s Greece, born in the hashish dens of the Piraeus slums. It tells the underworld stories of smugglers, gamblers, ladies of the night, and hash heads. We are named after the patron saint of bouzouki stoners; Markos Vamvakaris.

Disciples of Markos is Dave Murray (bouzouki and baglama), Greg Jenkins (Vocals, baglama & tsouras), Julay Brooks (Guitar) Darcy Noonan (Guitar, Violin and Vocals) and Paul Wernick (baglama, tsouras & bouzouki)