Friday July 8, Summer Bacchanal!

We normally take July and August off, but we just couldn’t pass up this show!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday July 8, 2016
Rumen ‘Sali’ Shopov and Meraklii (10:45pm)
Dolunay (9pm)

Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

This will be a Bacchanal to remember, featuring two bands to keep you enthralled and moving all night. Playing first will be Dolunay, a trio from New York performing Turkish and Rumeli music. It will be their first time in the Bay Area and we are very lucky to have them at the Bacchanal. Playing second will be Rumen ‘Sali’ Shopov & Meraklii, some of you might remember when they kept the dance floor moving from beginning to end the last time they played at the Bacchanal. We are very happy to have them back. See you there!
RumenSaliShopov_Meraklii

Ensemble Merkalii & Rumen-Sali Shopov pick you up and spin you around with their energetic wedding-style and arranged traditional Balkan and Romani dance tunes. The band makes music “with merak” – for the love of the experience, with passion and heart – and so they are “Meraklii.”
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.

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With a musical vision that is at once ethereal and grounded, Dolunay flirts with the soundscape of the ancient Ottomans, tracing its migration through Balkan villages, coaxing it across seas and oceans, and grafting it onto a Brooklyn-based backdrop. The trio infuses classic and contemporary traditions with an urban grit that can only be found in New York City’s confluence of musical and cultural forces. Dolunay is Jenny Luna on vocals and percussion, Adam Good on ud and Eylem Basaldi on violin.

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Balkan Bacchanal June 10

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday June 10, 2016
Fanfare Zambaleta (10-12:30pm)
Kala (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

Kala2

We’re very excited to welcome back Kala for their 2nd performance at the Bacchanal. Kala is a Bay Area based Romani Balkan band featuring strings, accordions, clarinet and percussion. Led by Roma musician Dusan Ristic, and in collaboration with some of your favorite local musicians, Kala performs traditional Roma songs from the Balkan region. Ristic was raised in a Roma neighborhood in Valjevo, Serbia and comes from a family of Roma musicians. He has found a new home in the Bay Area and brings an authentic traditional flavor to the vibrant Balkan scene.

 

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Bacchanal favorites Fanfare Zambaleta play 2 sets of their wild brand of Balkan Brass Band insanity! Fanfare Zambaleta was incubated in the Zambaleta Music and Dance School in San Francisco and has since hit the streets as a full-fledged 11 piece juggernaut of a band playing exciting Romani, Serbian, Macedonian, and Greek Brass music with passion and dedication and featuring some of the Bay Area’s most exciting young players and seasoned veterans.

Bacchanal May 13!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday May 13, 2016
Balkalicious Fire Drive (11pm)
Ghost Note Ensemble (10pm)
Balkanton 340 (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

Balkanton 340

Attention folk dancers! Long time Bay Area folk musicians Rumen “Sali” Shopov, Hector Bezanis, Dena Bjornlie and Steve Finney join in Balkanton 340, bringing you the unique traditional sounds of the folk instruments gaida, gadulka, kaval and tupan. Balkanton 340 plays a village style of song and dance music from the many rich and diverse cultural regions of Bulgaria.

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GNE

We’re looking forward to the return of the Ghost Note Ensemble! Ghost Note Ensemble weaves music from Hungarian, Moldavian, Ukrainian, and Jewish folk traditions into a tuneful time traveled tapestry, a requiem for borders of future past.

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BFD

With searing instrumentals and sultry, gut-wrenching vocals soaring over hard-hitting grooves, BALKALICIOUS FIRE DRIVE rocks you with the raw and intoxicating energy, sound and spirit of the Balkans. Band members are infused with long and vibrant histories from the Bay Area world music scene and beyond. They are: Leslie Bonnett on vocals and violin; Stuart Brotman on bass, Shea Comfort on clarinet, and Haig Kassabian on percussion.

Bacchanal April 8

Last June we closed out our Spring Season with an epic dance party featuring the Turkish marching mayhem of MWE and the legendary EDESSA. The night was so incredible we decided to pair two the bands again…do not miss!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday April 8, 2016
MWE (11pm)
EDESSA (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

edessa

Bay Area Balkan legands EDESSA have delved deeply into the roots of Balkan music since the 1970s. From fast Bulgarian and Roma dance music to the lyrical slow dances from Epirus in northern Greece, Edessa will get your feet tapping and compel you to the dance floor!

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MWE_2

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!

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March 11 Bacchanal!

Ouds, bouzoukis, kanuns and more!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday March 11, 2016
Radio Istanbul (11pm)
Rumen Shopov & Meraklii (10pm)
Disciples of Markos (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

DoM_Octo

photo: Darcy Noonan

 

 

Disciples of Markos bring their classic Rebetika back to the Bacchanal for the first time since last year. The underworld songs from 1930s Greece tell the stories of knife fights, love, prison, and of course, hashish!

 

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RumenSaliShopov_Meraklii

Rumen Shopov is a Bay Area legend in the Balkan scene and here he’ll lead his own ensemble for the first time at the Bacchanal!

 

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Radio Istanbul is a super group whose members are in so many excellent bands it would be impossible to list them all here. This powerhouse group plays Turkish and Romani street music and will definitely rock the house!

Balkan Bacchanl Feb 12!

We’re really happy to have not one, but TWO bands new to the Bacchanal this month. Plus, there’s nothing like Bacchanal favorites Mano Cherga to complete the party…read on!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday February 12, 2016
Mano Cherga (11pm)
Orchestrar Radacina (10pm)
Zabava (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

zabava-jan2016

Zabava!, whose name means “party,” plays energetic, soulful, and rhythmically dazzling music in the Bulgarian, Greek, Macedonian, and Romani traditions. This group of fine musicians recreates the vibrant interplay of traditional music and dance from these cultural crossroads. Along with Bill Cope (gajda, bouzouki, tambura, accordion, chifteli), Zabava! is Corinne Sykes (vocals, tambura, tupan, darabuka), Michele Simon (vocals, baglama, tupan, hand drum), and Tom Farris (tambura, guitar, hand drum). We’re really happy to finally have this cool band here at the Bacchanal!

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OrchRad

The Balkan scene in the Bay Area continues to grow, please welcome Orchestrar Radacina, Sonoma’s hot new brass band, to the Bacchanal! Orkestar Radacina plays Balkan Brass music with a funky twist. Founded in January 2015 in rural Northern California, Radacina’s nine members (trumpets, clarinets, trombone, baritone horn, sousaphone, bari sax and percussion) practice in the back of an old barn, surrounded by goats, llamas, and chickens. Sometimes the goats even sing along.

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ManoCherga2

Mano Cherga are regulars at the Bacchanal, and for good reason – their unique “Roma folk party band” sound and wild energy will make you want to throw back some slivovitz and hit the dance floor!

January 8, 2016!!!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday January 8, 2016
FANFARE ZAMBALETA (10pm-???)
plus special guests Aya & Tano
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

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The Bacchanal embarks on its FIFTH year at the venerable Starry Plough, and what better way to start the year than with a crazy party featuring the Bacchanal’s resident brass band FANFARE ZAMBALETA! Time after time Zambaleta has rocked the Bacchanal into the night with Romani, Serbian, Macedonian, and Greek Brass music pumped out at full velocity by an 11 piece band.

But that’s not all, special guests will be performing a rare set of tunes from Albania and beyond!

Aya and Tano are both familiar faces to the Berkeley Balkan Bachannal. The two have played at the Bacchanal numerous times in different configurations (with Agapi Mou, Safiya, and Taraf de Locos). This time they are going to appear as a duo with a new repertoire brought back from their travels to Albania, Greece, and Italy. Catch them now while they are both home!

December 11 Bacchanal!

The last Bacchanal of 2015 and we’re going out with a bang!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday December 11, 2015
Balkalicious Fire Drive (11pm)
Edessa (10pm)
Mano Cherga (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

ManoCherga2

Mano Cherga is a Bacchanal favorite – a Roma folk party band that will make you want to throw back some slivovitz and hit the dance floor!

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edessa

EDESSA is a legendary Bay Area Balkan band whose members have delved deeply into the roots of Balkan music since the 1970s. Edessa reigns supreme in the Balkan dance world!

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BFD

Balkalicious Fire Drive is a Bay Area Balkan supergroup that pulls traditional songs into the new millennium. Sinuous vocals and violin and throbbing bass never fail to keep the Bacchanal on its feet!

November Balkan Bacchanal!

Three great bands, no, wait…make that three AWESOME bands, rock the Bacchanal this month. Read on!

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday November 13, 2015
Orchestra Euphonos (11pm)
La Pêche (10pm)
Veretski Pass (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

Veretski Pass

A Bacchanal favorite, Veretski Pass are our resident Klezmer virtuosos! Taking its name from the mountain pass through which Magyar tribes crossed into the Carpathian basin to settle what later became the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Veretski Pass offers a unique and exciting combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that has excited concertgoers across the world. The trio plays Old Country Music with origins in the Ottoman Empire, once fabled as the borderlands of the East and the West. In a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Rumanian and Ottoman styles, typical suites contain dances from Moldavia and Bessarabia; Jewish melodies from Poland and Rumania; Hutzul wedding music from Carpathian-Ruthenia; and haunting Rebetic aires from Smyrna, seamlessly integrated with original compositions. Veretski Pass has just released a new cd – the amazing Poyln, A Gilgul!

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LP
La Pêche is an unique voice in the bay area music scene, as the only band to focus on the very upbeat and melodically rich Romanian music. Yet their extensive knowledge of musics from the Balkans, Turkey and the Jewish tradition, allied with a strong artistic sense of composition make them one of the most versatile group available today; be it at a concert, wedding party or on a street corner in the mission district, their performances are always an irresistible call to dance, and a dazzling feast for the ears !

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OrchestraEuphonosSubt

Orchestra Euphonos is a Bay Area-based Eastern European folk and klezmer band. Their uplifting sound is characterized by a brass and woodwind melodic front line. Orchestra Euphonos performs songs and melodies from old world Romania, Ukraine and Moldova and modern day Macedonia, Serbia, and Greece. Their performances are joyous occasions filled with wild takes on old favorites, group improvisations and more than a few opportunites to dance.

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October Bacchanal!

Ok, September was fantastic, what a night. But can it be topped? YES!
October is seriously going to be unbelievable…this may be THE Balkan show of the year.
Why? Because not only is the headliner Fanfare Zambaleta, the 11-piece brass band that has rocked the Bacchanal time and again, not only is it the debut of Roma band Kala, but we are super excited to announce that Seattle’s Dromeno will be opening the show! Read on….

BERKELEY BALKAN BACCHANAL
Friday October 9, 2015
Fanfare Zambaleta (11pm)
Kala (10pm)
Dromeno (9pm)
Doors at 8:00pm, Music at 9:00pm
The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley)
Admission $10-15 sliding scale at the door ************************************************************

Dromeno

We’re honored to have the legendary DRÓMENO kicking off the night…dancers get ready!!! Dromeno is a unique folk group presenting regional music from all over Greece and the Balkans. Led by Christos Govetas and Ruth Hunter, long-time players in the Balkan music scene, the group includes both of their kids (Eleni and Bobby Govetas), as well as Nikos Maroussis  and Peter Lippman. Dromeno presents authentic music that pulls from deep roots from Greece and all across the Balkans. Between them, these versatile members create the brass sounds of Macedonia, sonorous clarinet and vocal interplay from Ipiros and Thessaly, strident zournas and daouli from Serres, and energetic Thracian dance tunes. Come get your dance on!

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We’re beyond excited to welcome Kala to the Bacchanal for the first time!
Kala
Kala is a Bay Area based Romani Balkan band featuring strings, accordions, clarinet and percussion. Led by Roma musician Dusan Ristic, and in collaboration with some of your favorite local musicians, Kala performs traditional Roma songs from the Balkan region. Ristic was raised in a Roma neighborhood in Valjevo, Serbia and comes from a family of Roma musicians. He has found a new home in the Bay Area and brings an authentic traditional flavor to the vibrant Balkan scene. Come enjoy the songs and sounds of Kala!

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4787002_orig

Fanfare Zambaleta never fails to rock the house! The band was incubated in the Zambaleta Music and Dance School in San Francisco and has since hit the streets as a full-fledged 11 piece juggernaut of a band playing exciting Romani, Serbian, Macedonian, and Greek Brass music with passion and dedication and featuring some of the Bay Area’s most exciting young players and seasoned veterans.