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

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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)

 

November Bacchanal

Friday, November 10, 2017
Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal Presents
Radio Istanbul
Alex Hand Band
Balkalicious Fire Drive

The November edition of the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents a three-part concert featuring the rare worldly talent of local Bay Area musicians. 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 (kitchen closes then)

Radio Istanbul

Radio Istanbul

Performing at 11:00pm. Photo by H Doğuş Akaydın

Radio Istanbul combines a traditional Istanbul sound with modern sensibilities. Inspired by the diverse music heard in the streets, bars and nightclubs of Turkey, Radio Istanbul’s hypnotic melodies and driving rhythms draw on Turkish, Rom (Gypsy), Balkan, and Arabic grooves. Located in California in the San Francisco Bay Area.
This performance will feature Haluk Kecelioglu (Oud and Violin) Calvin Lai (clarinet), Jenny Luna (Vocals), Sean Tergis (Percussion), Faisal Zedan (Percussion) and Skyler Fell (Upright Bass)

Alex Hand Band

Alex Hand Band

Performing at 10:00pm

The Alex Hand Band is an electric folk jazz ensemble focusing on Bulgarian and Romanian dance music. With a setlist that ranges from Bulgarian wedding tunes to hot club jazz, the Alex Hand Band mines the common ground between swing and Eastern European folk dance music–the soundtrack of Western music moving across Balkan borders and being changed by European village music.
Alex graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011 with a jazz performance degree, studied traditional music in Bulgaria in 2015 and has been a key member of the Bay Area gypsy jazz and Balkan scenes in recent years. For this performance, Alex is joined by Lewis Patzner on cello and Aaron Kierbel on drums.

Balkalicious Fire Drive

BFD

Performing at 9:00pm

With searing instrumentals and fierce, sultry vocals soaring over hard-hitting grooves, the Bay Area’s rockin’ Balkan band, Balkalicious Fire Drive moves you with the raw and intoxicating energy, sound and spirit of the Balkans. The members of BFD bring with them extensive and vibrant histories in the world music scene. They are: Leslie Bonnett on vocals and violin; Stuart Brotman on bass; Shea Comfort on clarinet; Haig Kassabian on drums; and Ali Yagiz Sen on guitar and vocals.

June Bacchanal: MWE, Mano Cherga, Aya & Tano

June Bacchanal for Facebook

Friday, June 9th, the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal Presents MWE, Mano Cherga and Aya & Tano

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


558976_10152131433498092_1036104729_nThe 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 (kitchen closes then)


MWE

MWE Performing at the Starry Plough

Performing at 11:00pm

Based in San Francisco, CA, MWE puts a modern and eclectic twist on Turkish and Balkan folk music. As a five member acoustic wind ensemble, MWE plays traditional and original songs with the rarely paired clarinet and the double-reeded zurna.  Add one more clarinet, a saxophone , and a davul (a shoulder slung marching drum), and you’re about the closest to heavy metal you can get without amplification.  MWE’s shows are loud, wild, and raucous affairs known for drawing entire audiences to their feet in one song or less.

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

Website | Facebook Page


Mano Cherga

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The Mano Cherga Band ( Beodan Miric- vocals and guitar, Yevgeniy Sverdlik- upright bass, Alexander Goldshtrakh- accordion, Haluk Kecelioglu- violin and oud and Edwin Meares- drums ) started performing around the Bay Area nearly 8 years a go. The band’s repertoire consists of contemporary and traditional tunes from Ex Yugoslavia, stressing mostly on the “Romani King”- Saban Bajramovic, then Goran Bregovic, Tozovac along the Hungarian, Vallachian, Macedonian, Croatian and Greek popular tunes as well, singing on more then 6 languages. Along the popular “covers”,  the band plays their original songs. Besides the obvious Balkan soulful feel and energy, unintentionally, yet obviously, Mano Cherga flirts with the popular styles and genres such as: Jump Blues and Swing from the 40’s, the 50’s Rock’n Roll and Chicago blues, British invasion, Surf and Skiffle from the 60’s, the 70’s funk and punk, 80’s and 90’s rock and metal etc. The band focuses on the theatrical, live performance representing the Serbian club scene and wedding euphoria by presenting the upbeat, steamy tempos and hypnotic Balkan rhythms along the catchy melodies and fierce violin, guitar and oud solos. Special guest for the June’s BBB is Balder ten Cate, who will join Mano Cherga on the accordion.


Aya and Tano

Back to the Bacchanal in a new iteration, we welcome back the potent creativity and beautiful harmonies of Aya Tano Band! Aya Davidson and Tano Brock are a Bay Area based duo of young musicians that perform Albanian, Greek, and Romani music. They started building their repertoire together during their travels through Eastern Europe in 2015. They will be joined onstage for this performance with Dan Cantrell on Accordion and Sean Tergis on Drums.

Tano Brock is a 21 year-old artist, composer, Tano.jpegproducer, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and performer. Brought up in a traveling musical family, Tano was introduced to the world of music at a young age. His first instrument was the “doumbek” (a Middle Eastern drum) which he started at age 6. He started studying piano at age 7, and at age 12 began teaching himself guitar. At age 13 he taught himself how to digitally record and produce music, which began his career as a composer/producer. He then continued to expand his array of instruments, adding saxophone/clarinet at age 13, bass and oud at 16, and laouto at 18.
Website | Facebook Page

ayaviolin.jpegAya Safiya (Vocals & Violin) was born in into a richly musical household and intercultural community. She grew up constantly embraced by multi-cultural music, including music from: Egypt, Spain, Turkey, India, Japan, Brazil, Cuba and beyond. Growing up, she was especially involved with Greek culture. Over the years she built up her traditional Greek repertoire and polished her Greek styling. Now, while continuing to deepen her understanding of Greek music, she is studiously revisiting traditional musics from all over the world, as well as composing originals in the styles of Pop and Electro-acoustic. She is native to and currently resides in the Bay Area.
Website | Facebook Page

Watch Video of Aya and Tano Band live in their previous set at the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal.