January’s edition of the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents an eclectic pairing of new local Balkan combos and from NYC/Russia, special feature Vadim Kolpakov performing in Via Romen Duo. The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal is a notoriously raucous marathon of music and dance at the Starry Plough on the second Friday of every month.
Doors at 8pm
Music at 9pm
Admisison is $10-20 sliding scale
21+ after 10pm (kitchen closes then)
We are ecstatic to present for the first time at the Bacchanal, Via Romen! Founded in 2004, Via Romen has performed to glowing reviews across North America and has established itself as the continent’s premier Russian-Romany (Gypsy) group. Nuevo Russian–Romany Music is a new style, the original creation of Via Romen members. Drawn from a vast repertoire originating in Eastern and Western Europe and enriched by jazz, Jewish, and Latino styles, this music is modern, innovative, fresh and often deeply emotional. Founder and artistic director Vadim Kolpakov (Russian seven-string guitar, dance and vocals) will lead a band of master musicians from all over the world.
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. Aya sings and plays violin, and Tano sings and plays saxophone, clarinet, and they’ll be joined by Dan Cantrell on accordion, Sean Tergis on percussion and Johnnie Gilmore on bass.
Also making their first Bacchanal appearance, we are proud to present the Alex Hand Band! 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 Hand, who has traveled to the Balkans to study folk music, is involved with various projects in the Bay Area’s Balkan and jazz manouche scenes, including Istanbul Connection. Backing him up will be the all-star Bay Area cast of Lewis Patzner on cello, Kevin Gerzevitz on accordion, and Valentino on drum kit.