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 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.