March 13: Trio Dulce Amar with Special Guest Ionela Guzic + The Keepers

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Friday, March 13
The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal at the Starry Plough presents
Trio Dulce Amar and special guest Ionela Guzic (9 pm)
The Keepers (11 pm)
Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm.
Admission: $12. Ages 21+ after 10 pm

Trio Dulce Amar

Moldovan and Romanian traditional music is known for its swift, complex rhythms, musical improvisation, and rich melodic ornamentation. Traditionally performed by Romani musicians, the Lautari musical style encompasses soul-wrenching ballads, high-energy wedding dances, and village-style tunes. Hailing straight from the source and having been steeped in this tradition from birth, Sergiu Popa and Valy Lautar passionately embody these traditions, transporting the audience back to the weddings and the summer nights on the porches where the duo grew up. They are joined on cimbalom by Balder ten Cate.

Sergiu Popa (accordion) was born in Chisinau, Moldova. From a young age, he studied traditional folk and Roma (Gypsy) styles with his father, Ion Popa, himself a well-recognized Gypsy accordionist in Moldova. Over many years of playing alongside his father at weddings, he also became familiar with Jewish, Turkish, Russian, Serbian and Bulgarian styles. After studying at the Conservatory of Moldova and moving to Montreal in 2002, Sergiu immersed himself into Middle Eastern, North-African, Jazz, Latin traditions, developing a remarkable ability to switch and blend seamlessly the different styles, adding a fresh perspective and inspired improvisations to every performance.

Valy Lautar (violin) grew up in Chisinau, where he graduated from the Conservatory of Moldova and collaborated with several professional orchestras. He worked for five years as a musician on transatlantic cruise lines, before permanently settling in the new world. Valy currently lives in Montreal, where he collaborates with Sergiu Popa and many other local musicians. He is specialized in a wide array of styles of music, including traditional (wedding) music from Moldova and other parts of Eastern Europe, classical music, and the pan-European romantic repertoire that musicians in Moldova and Romania often refer to as “cafe concert”.

Balder ten Cate (cimbalom), born into a musical family, grew up in the Netherlands but was steeped in eastern European music from a young age. He studied Romanian music with cimbalom master Giani Lincan, as well as, after moving to the Bay Area in 2008, music from the Balkans with Rumen Sali Shopov. Currently, Balder plays cimbalom in the local ensembles Orchestra Euphonos, Mahala, and Trio Yeraz, and he can occasionally be spotted with various other bay area-based Balkan bands.
The Keepers
The Keepers start with a bedrock of traditional Arabic beats by brother Faisal Zedan, add a layer of impeccable accordion by Dan Cantrell, and finish it off with a harmonious frenzy of horns by Joey and Calvin Lai.

February 7 Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal

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Friday, February 7

The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal at the Starry Plough presents
Giorgos Frantzeskakis and Giorgos Stratakis
Duygu Gün and Friends

Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm.
Admission: $12. Ages 21+ after 10 pm

Giorgos Frantzeskakis and Giorgos Stratakis (10 pm)

Boasting supreme musical talent and intuition, harmonizing voices, and upbeat tempo. The young duo of Giorgos Frantzeskakis (violin) and Giorgos Stratakis (Cretan laouto) has become growingly popular throughout the island of Crete, and especially within their native area of Hania (Western Crete).

Duygu Gün and Friends

A new project featuring a collaboration between Turkish vocalist Duygu Gün (vocals and guitar) and Peter Bonos (oud & bouzouki), plus Leah Serkin (violin) and Aharon Wheels Bolsta (drums).  This new ensemble will perform traditional folk, classic and popular music from Turkey, Greece and Sephardic traditions from the region.

 

 

 

January 10 Bacchanal

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Friday, January 10
The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal at the Starry Plough presents
Zabava International and The Feldthouse Family Band
Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm.
Admission: $12. Ages 21+ after 10 pm

Zabava International is an international folk dance (and beyond) band whose goal is to play anything you’d like to dance to! Band features Michele Simon: Vocals, percussion & tambura, Corinne Sykes: Vocals and tambura, Simmy Willeman: Violin, Tom Farris: Chordophones & percussion, Bill Cope: Come find out!

The Feldthouse Family band will be making a special visit to jam Balkan, Romani and Turkish favorites. Featuring David Feldthouse plus old friends and surprise special guests. Don’t miss this rare Bay Area performance!

Friday, December 13
The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal at the Starry Plough presents
Édessa (9pm) & Agapi Mou (11pm)

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

Edessa captures the passion and vitality that is at the heart of Balkan music. This often rambunctious band plays the intricate time signatures and highly ornamented modal music that is characteristic of the Balkans with authority and joy. An understanding of the unique connection between this music and it’s expression in Balkan dance informs the ensemble’s performances and derives from decades-long involvement as both musicians and dancers. Using both traditional and modern instruments, they play a variety of styles featuring long sets that interweave melodies and improvisation with a big Balkan beat.

The sounds of this SF Bay Area ensemble include the ancient and mesmerizing music of the zurna and davul; the lyrical and sweet music of the Greek islands; the haunting, trance-like pentatonic music of Epirus; and-at the other end of the acoustic spectrum-the sizzling, contemporary Bulgarian fusion known simply as “wedding music.” George Chittenden – clarinet, saxophone, zurna, Ari Langer – violin, Lise Liepman -accordion, Paul Brown – bass and Sean Tergis – percussion.

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.

Aya Safiya— violin/vocals
Greg Jenkins — clarinet/vocals
Michael Garibaldi — percussion/vocals

Alan Davidson — laouto

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