November 8: Istanbul Connection & Helios

Friday, November 8
The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal at the Starry Plough presents
Istanbul Connection (10:30 pm)
Helios (9 pm)

Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm.
Admission: $15 – Ages 21+ after 10 pm
The Starry Plough Pub, 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

Istanbul Connection
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A Bay Area musical collective formed when thirteen members of the hottest Balkan and Latin bands were gravitationally pulled to visit the city of Istanbul. With a mind towards cross-cultural connection and sonic expansion, these die-hards flew 7,000 miles to represent a piece of the the Bay Area music scene. In the process, they have cemented themselves as a supergroup of groove and since their epic beginnings, the band has performed sold-out-show after sold-out-show. They continue to draw their inspiration from the Turkish Maqam, Flamenco, Rumba, Balkan, and Cumbia they are are so deeply rooted in. Come prepared to dance!

Helios
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The Helios Band is one of the most versatile Greek bands in Northern California, playing traditional Rembetika, Laika, Nissiotika, Demotika and Modern Greek music. The outstanding musicianship and vocals of the Helios Band members make each performance a truly special and memorable event.

 

 

October 11: MWE & Levona

Friday, October 11
The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal at the Starry Plough presents
MWE (10:30 pm)
Levona (9 pm)

Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm.
Admission: $12. Ages 21+ after 10 pm
The Starry Plough Pub, 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA


MWE

MWE Performing at the Starry Plough

MWE Performing on the floor at the Starry Plough

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! The MWE experience is an all-out, crazy dance party for your ears and your feet!

Gregory Masaki Jenkins & Morgan Nilsen: clarinets
Calvin Lai: zurna
Teddy Raven: sax and kaval
Sean Tergis: percussion

Listen to MWE on bandcamp


Levoná

LevonaThe 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

September 13 with Alaturca Connection

Friday, September 13
The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal at the Starry Plough presents
Alaturca Connection

Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm.
Admission: $12. Ages 21+ after 10 pm
The Starry Plough Pub, 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

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Alaturca Connection is a Turkish band formed by the Bay Area’s widely acclaimed musicians. Each of our members brings musical depth and years of experience in playing a broad repertoire of classical, folkloric and contemporary Turkish, Balkan and Roman songs. The sound is a bridge between modern and traditional. They perform regularly at community events, weddings, and shows at various San Francisco venues.

Vocals: Nurdan Civi, Violin: Younes Makboul, Oud: Haluk Kecelioglu, Kanun: Ahmet Cagin, Drums: Faisal Zedan, Murat Bayhan, Saz: Raman Osman, Bass: Mansour Ghanbari

August Bacchanal

Friday, August 9
The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal at the Starry Plough Presents
Briana Di Mara and Friends (11 pm)
Lars and In Charge (10 pm)
Balkanton 340 (9 pm)

Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm.
Admission: $12. Ages 21+ after 10 pm
The Starry Plough Pub, 3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA


Briana Di MaraBriana Di Mara and Friends

Violinist and composer Briana Di Mara will be weaving together traditional tunes and unique original Balkan inspired melodies from her recent album, “Haven”. Joining her are stellar musicians Gari Hegedus (Saz,mandocello), Calvin Lai (clarinet) and Sean Tergis (percussion). Come prepared to dance!

 


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Lars and In Charge plays high energy fiddle tunes from Turkey, Greece and beyond.

Lars Tergis leads the charge on violin with original compositions and driving, gritty interpretations of the classics. Chris Reid adds a touch of ‘West’ with percussive chordal accompaniment on acoustic guitar while Sean Tergis keeps the beat popping on drums.

 



Balkanton 340Balkanton 340 brings you the unique traditional sounds of the folk instruments gaida, gadulka, kaval and tupan played by the Bay Area’s most exciting veterans of Bulgarian music. Band members include Hector Bezanis on Gaida and Dena Bjornlie on Gadulka.


The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents a new rotation of bands the Starry Plough Pub on the second Friday of 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. 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.

 

June 21 Extra Bacchanal with Melez and Fanfare Zambaleta

Friday, June 21
Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal at the Starry Plough Pub presents
Fanfare Zambaleta and Melez Band.

Local Balkan Brass favorites Fanfare Zambaleta is excited to host the exciting new Melez Band from the Pacific Northwest in a celebration of the younger generation of the American Balkan scene.

$12 advance/$12-15 sliding scale at the door

Melez Band is a four-piece, Seattle based band that plays Macedonian style Roma Pop.

Eleni Govetas – Saxophone
Benji Rifati – Trumpet
Mik Bewsky – Electric Guitar
Bobby Govetas – Goč (Drum)

Fanfare Zambaleta is a Balkan style brass band that takes inspiration and influences from the Romani, Serbian, Macedonian, Greek, and Bulgarian cultures and is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

June 14 Bacchanal

Friday, June 14 at The Starry Plough Pub
3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal Presents
Blato Zlato (10:30 pm)
Helios (9 pm)

Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm.
Admission: $12-15, purchase tickets on Eventbrite
Kitchen closes at 10:00 pm (ages 21+ thereafter)


The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents a new rotation of bands the Starry Plough Pub on the second Friday of 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. 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.

Blato Zlato
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Blato Zlato (“Swamp Gold” in Bulgarian) is a New Orleans-based Balkan band featuring dreamy three-part vocal harmonies and hard-hitting instrumentals.

The band performs folk and composed music from the Balkans and Eastern Europe with a particular focus on Bulgarian songs and dark, improvisational arrangements. Following the 2017 release of their debut album Swamp Gold and subsequent EP Voyage, the band has taken the New Orleans music scene by storm, broadening their fan base from bars and clubs to museums, universities, and the local festival circuit.  Hailed as a band with “galactic ambitions” by The New Orleans Advocate, Blato Zlato is a powerhouse of accomplished players from Europe and the United States with a collective goal to produce meaningful cultural and musical bridges between old world and new. The band will be touring in both North America and Europe in summer 2019 in anticipation of the release of their sophomore album.

Lou Carrig – Accordion & Vocals
Ian Cook – Violin
Ruby Corbyn-Ross – Vocals & Percussion
Janie Cowan – Upright Bass
Annalisa Kelly – Vocals
Katya Schoenberg – Vocals
Boyanna Trayanova – Tapan


Helios
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Helios band is one of the most versatile Greek bands in Northern California, playing traditional Rembetika, Laika, Nissiotika, Demotika and Modern Greek music.
Helios has performed at Greek Festivals throughout the western U.S. and has also performed at celebrity weddings in the Bay Area. The outstanding musicianship and vocals of the Helios Band members make each performance a truly special and memorable event.

www.heliosgreekband.com
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Michael Mavroudis – bass, bouzouki, vocals
Michael Garibaldi – keyboards, vocals
Lefteri Tsacle – violin
Irene Mavroudis – lead vocals
George Mavroudis – guitar, bass, vocals
Greg Jenkins – clarinet

May 10 Bacchanal

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Friday, May 10 at The Starry Plough Pub
3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal Presents
Alex Hand Band (11 pm)
Trio Iveria (10 pm)

Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Band (9 pm)

Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm.
Admission: $12. Purchase Tickets on Eventbrite
Kitchen closes at 10:00 pm (ages 21+ thereafter)


The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents a new rotation of bands the Starry Plough Pub on the second Friday of 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. 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.

Alex Hand Band

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Alex Hand graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno’s jazz program in 2011 with a bachelor’s in guitar performance. After touring the country and beyond with west coast bands from Portland and Los Angeles, including LA-based French swing singer, Jessica Fichot, Alex has been living in the San Francisco area for five years teaching and performing. The Alex Hand Band released their debut album, Traders of the Lost Arts, in 2018 of traditional dance music from Eastern Europe arranged for a guitar-led jazz ensemble. Alex has performed for the Midwest Gypsy Swing festival, and Montreal’s Francofolies festival. AHB is working on their second album of Eastern European folk jazz, due in summer 2019, and will feature Chris Trinidad on bass and Isaac Schwartz on drums. Be sure to catch their last Bay Area performance before Alex moves to Texas for grad school in June!

Trio Iveria

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Discover Georgia—music is my life, is a cultural program presented by “Iveria”, a small collective of well-known Georgian performers: Irakli Rusia (Iveria), Zaza Korinteli (Zumba) and Giorgi Kikvidze.

The group’s intention is to popularize Georgian culture and art in the United States and become a cultural bridge between Georgia and the United States. In Georgia, the special love to the land and harvest is preserved by generations and is expressed through ancient customs, architecture, fine and folk art, poetry, folk singing called polyphony and unique dance tradition.


Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Band

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Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Band comes from a musical tradition tracing back to the old world shtetl of Szrensk. Incorporating post-immigrant sounds rooted in klezmer, Saul Goodman’s music moves the spirit and the dance. It’s always a simcha with Saul!

We’ll be debuting some new compositions, as well as some old gems dusted off from Beregovski and Kostakowski collections. And we’ll feature special guest percussionists on xylophone and drum kit.

Mike Perlmutter – clarinet
Dave Rosenfeld – mandolin, violin, percussion
Ilana Sherer – violin
Dmitri Gaskin – accordion
Eric Perney – bass
Eddie Pollard – drums
Jonathan Simon – xylophone

 

April Bacchanal

Friday, April 12, 2019
The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal Presents
Dan Cantrell Quartet (11 pm)
Lars and In Charge (10 pm)
Staro Vino (9 pm)

The Starry Plough Pub
3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm.
Admission: $12-15 at the door
Kitchen closes at 10:00 pm (ages 21+ thereafter)

The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents a new rotation of bands the Starry Plough Pub on the second Friday of 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. 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.


Dan Cantrell Quartet (11 pm)

Dan Cantrell (accordion), Greg Jenkins (sax & clarinet), Josh Mellinger (percussion), and Travis Hendrix (bass).

Dan 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 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.
 Gregory Masaki Jenkins is a San Francisco Bay Area born and raised professional musician and educator who is known for his skill and passion for the music of the Balkans on clarinet, alto saxophone, and voice.
Travis Hendrix spends his time composing and performing music, in jazz and Balkan folk ensembles on clarinet and bass.
Josh Mellinger is a multi-instrumental professional percussionist based in the San Francisco Bay Area and educated at Calarts and actively performs middle eastern, indian, african and gamelan  traditional styles of percussion.


Lars and In Charge (10 pm)

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Lars and In Charge plays high energy fiddle tunes from Turkey, Greece and beyond. Lars Tergis leads the charge on violin with original compositions and driving, gritty interpretations of the classics. Chris Reid adds a touch of ‘West’ with percussive chordal accompaniment on acoustic guitar while Faisal Zedan keeps the beat popping on derbekki, riq and cajon.


Staro Vino (9 pm)
Staro Vino
Staro Vino is balkan folkdance band specializing in the vintage repertoire of Bulgaria, Greece, and Macedonia.  Staro Vino is Mark Jenkins (percussion and vocals), Andrew Cohen (accordion), Greg Masaki Jenkins (clarinet and vocals), and Peter Bonos (trumpet).

Extra March Bacchanal!

The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal Presents Orchestra Euphonos with Ionela Guzic (Romania) and Kef (on tour from Eugene, Oregon) for an EXTRA bacchanal in March.

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Friday, March 29
The Starry Plough Pub
3101 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA
Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm. Admission: $12-15 at the door. Kitchen closes at 10:00 pm (ages 21+ thereafter)

Joined by folk singer Ionela Guzic, Orchestra Euphonos presents a special program of traditional Romanian music featuring vocalist Ionela Guzic trumpeter and bandleader Peter Bonos, Balder ten Cate on cimbalom, accordionist Zina Pozen, clarinetist Asaf Ophir, drummer Ivan Velev, violinst Matthew Stein, guitarist Yağız Şen & bassist Leo Suarez.

Ionela-Guzic

Ionela Guzic is a talented young singer and a rising star in the world of Romanian traditional music. She has performed with many iconic musicians from Romania (e.g., Ansamblu Doina Gorjului, Ionica Minune, Cristinel Turturica) and Moldova (e.g,. Lautarii din Chisinau, Fratii Stefanet). Ionela was born in Targu Jiu (Romania), and graduated from the Music Department in Craiova. She has received numerous awards at national and international folk music competitions. In 2015, Ionela published “Spune-mi mamă ce e doru”, an album of songs that represent the beauty of the folklore from the Gorj region where she grew up. The album was received with widespread acclaim, was featured on many radio and television stations in Romania, and helped launch Ionela’s international career, including tours in the United States. Ionela’s second album is set to be released in August 2019.

26734315_1990110121260155_1722528075109664827_nOrchestra Euphonos is a Bay Area-based Eastern European folk and klezmer band, performing traditional music from Moldova and Romania. Their performances are joyous occasions filled with wild takes on old favorites, group improvisations and more than a few opportunities to dance. Ionela first met with Orchestra Euphonos in early 2018, when she was visiting California to perform for the Romanian community.

kef_2009_08_11aKef is Eugene’s own Balkan dance band. Focusing on music from Bulgaria and Macedonia, their repertoire is equally suitable for a folk dance or a late night party. With two trumpets in tight harmony, they cover the sound of Romani (“gypsy”) and Macedonian Greek brass bands on the one hand, while on the mellower side their accordion, cello and guitar players can create a relaxed texture beneath beautiful vocal melodies, all with the solid driving pulse of a drummer adept in the many and varied rhythms of Balkan music.

Read more about Kef