Posts filed under ‘Balkan’
Join in the Celebration of Bulgaria’s Special Day with Fabulous Folk Song and Dance: May 13th, Sunday @ 5:00 p.m.
Participate with Boston’s Bulgarian-American community as they celebrate the 8th Bulgarian Cultural Festival in New England in recognition of their native homeland’s independence as well as the establishment of the Slavic alphabet. Presented by the Bulgarian-American Center (MADARA), this well-established popular event promises attendees an evening of colorful folk music and dance originating from a wide variety of local regions throughout Bulgaria. Featured performers will include the folk dancers of Ensemble “HORO” from Chicago, women’s chorus Divi Zheni, and men’s chorus Zornitsa. I know that I have posted about this event before, however, this year activities appear to have been expanded a bit to include native food and games, making it a more family friendly event. So, why not bring the kids along too! This long-running ethnically inspired event is sure to please crowd members of all ages.
About the Performers
Ensemble “HORO” (The Ensemble for Bulgarian Folk Dances) is comprised of 40 or so very passionate adults and teens dedicated to the promotion of their native culture’s performing arts here in the United States and beyond. Artistic directors Irena Gotcheva and Todor Gotchev, both formerly of the highly esteemed Bulgarian troupe Ensemble “Silven”, established this Chicago-based troupe in 2003, assuring that their repertoire would represent all of Bulgaria’s main cultural sects in authentic folk music and dance including, Severniashka, Trakiiska, Shopska, Dobrudjanska, Pirinska and Rodopska. In addition to frequent local appearances throughout the Chicago area, the ensemble has also performed in St. Louis, Toronto, and Montreal.
Divi Zheni (Wild Women) is an all-female chorus which performs a most authentic repertoire of Bulgarian folk songs either a capella or accompanied by ethnic instruments such as the tambura, dumbek, and tupan. Members of this group come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and range in age from young to old. Their repertoire includes both village and more popular dance songs which they perform at concerts, festivals and dance events. Founded in 2000, they not only appear locally, but nationally and overseas in Bulgaria as well.
Zornitsa, the male counterpart to Divi Zheni, was the first group of its kind to perform Bulgarian folk and popular songs. In addition to appearances at folk music events around the New England area, they have also performed in Bulgaria where they were aired on Bulgarian National television.
Tatiana Sarbinska, internationally renowned Bulgarian folk artist, is the artistic director of both Divi Zheni and Zornitsa. As a recipient of the prestigious honor of National Treasure status, compliments of the Bulgarian government, she is recognized as instrumental in the preservation of her country’s native music culture. Thus, it is under her tutelage that Divi Zheni and Zornitsa are able to perform so successfully in the true Bulgarian folk style. She has had and still enjoys an illustrious career as a vocalist and has recorded her own cds, Makedonsko Devojche and Katerino Mome. Since 1991, she has shared her numerous artistic talents in the United States through the direction of various ensembles, music events, and workshops.
When: May 13th, Sunday @ 5:00 p.m.
Doors open at 4:30
Where: ACAS Center (Woburn)
Tickets: $20.00 (Advanced purchase) / $25.00 (At the door) / $5.00 discount for students and seniors / Kids under 12 are free
Discover a Whole New Side of the Music of Eastern Europe with the World Renown Guitarists of the Trio Balkan Strings: April 22nd, Sunday @ 8:30 p.m.
Zoran, Nikola, and Zeljko Starcevic are a father and son team that together have formed the Trio Balkan Strings, a highly successful group showcasing the talents of three of Serbia’s best guitarists. Inspiring audiences with their own special brand of world fusion, they share with the rest of the world a version of Balkan-inspired instrumental music that is not only electrifying and exhilarating but also most contemporary and innovative as well. The group’s uniqueness of sound stems in a large part from a masterful blending of an extensive array of various Eastern European and other world music styles including, Serbian, Romani, Macedonian, Romanian, Moldavian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Mediterranean, Greek, Oriental, and more. Add to that elements of Western style genres such as jazz, swing, classical and rock, and you have a whole new interpretation of what actually began as Balkan folk music. The Starcevics regard each of the many diverse styles of Balkan music as individually unique in character, and yet quite similar in many ways. This viewpoint is reflected in their music which can be appreciated as unique over-all blending of many such genres and at the same time a well constructed collage of diverse stylistic elements, each of which stands out in the mind of the listener as a distinct part of the whole. The guitarists of Trio Balkan Strings are also known for their leading-edge instrumental technique, often displayed in the form of breath-taking improvisational passages or in the execution of musical ornamentations never before performed on a pectoral stringed instrument.
Each member of the trio brings their own special set of talents to the over-all mix. Zoran has recorded countless cds totaling over a million copies, while sons Nikola and Zoljko both graduated from music school and teach classical guitar. As a group they have won international awards in both performance and composition. They have graced the stages of jazz, classical, and ethnic music events throughout Europe, Canada, and the United States, and have conducted workshops with American music students. The Trio Balkan Strings have two cds to their credit entitled Balkan Guitars and Watermill. So, are you ready for a new take on Balkan music? Just come on out to Johnny D’s and spend a unforgettable evening with the Trio Balkan Strings.
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (Somerville)
More Info: 617-776-2004 OR 617-800-9720
Celebrate the Spirit of Greece,Turkey and the Balkans with Authentic Live Music and Tasty Cuisine @ The Sabur Restaurant & Lounge: Saturday Evenings (Starting 9:00 p.m.)
I’m forever searching for local eating establishments in and around the Boston area that offer live ethnic music to go along with their fine cuisine. It’s these multi-dimensional experiences with world music that stand out as rather special in my book. Well, I’ve located what looks to be a real gem in this regard, conveniently located no less, right near Davis Square (Somerville). The folks at the Sabur Restaurant & Lounge serve up authentic cuisine from a number of Mediterranean regions including Italy, Greece, Southern France, North Africa, the Balkans, and elsewhere. In addition, on each and every weekend, they step things up a bit with their Kafina Saturdays. Lucky diners can enjoy live world music from Greece, Turkey and the Balkan nations along with their meal. So actually, the ethnic atmosphere here is not only multi-dimensional but multi-cultural as well. In addition here at the Sabur, they pay attention to every little last detail of authenticity, right down to the house decor! Take a look at the positive comments of food critics from The Boston Globe, The Boston Phoenix , Phantom Gourmet and other local publications. And then? Why not take a little trip to the Mediterranean without ever having to leave Boston at all.
Menu (Full version)
What intrigues me the most with respect to Sabur’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine is the complex variety of flavors present in many of their individual offerings. Menu selections include Chardonnay carrot lentil soup, Seared sea scallops with crab polenta cakes, asparagus, moscato, and truffle butter sauce, Slow roasted beet risotto with wild forest mushrooms, parmesan, roasted acorn squash, and honeydew infused honey, Apple. cherry and pistachio strudel with warm caramel and vanilla gelato, and Macedonian wild fig sundae with vanilla gelato, almond frangipane and pomegranate caramel.
When: Saturday evenings (9:00 p.m.)
Where: Sabur Restaurant & Lounge (Somerville)
Admission: No cover charge
More Info: 617-776-7890
Enjoy Two Great Balkan Music Events for the Price of One Each and Every Month!: Saturdays (8:00 – 11:00 p.m.)
This is one highly entertaining Balkan inspired event to be sure! Since 1997, the Zdravets folk ensemble has been faithfully providing the public with a dance party, concert, and social get together all in one, each and every month. Hit the dance floor, mix and mingle, or just sit back and chill out to the wonderful and intriguing sounds of purely authentic traditional music originating from Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonea, and their Balkan neighbors. Zdravets, who refer to themselves as “Boston’s friendly neighborhood Bulgarian band”, is well known for their ability to throw a good party with music that naturally lifts the attendees’ spirits, keeping one and all in a festive and fun-loving mood all evening long. The dancing is performed group-style so no partners necessary. In addition, I would point out this is a very laid back event, so dress comfortably and rest assured that dance steps will be less complex in nature and will be demonstrated for the sake of any beginners in the crowd. Dancers with all levels of experience are happily accommodated for!!! Now here’s the added bonus that comes with this particular event. During the rest periods, dancers will actually be treated to a mini concert, compliments of Zdravets of course! There will also be a refreshment table on the premises where you can meet your fellow party guests. Culinary donations made in honor of the party feast are welcomed.
The name Zdravets refers to a wild species of geranium which thrives year round on the mountain-sides of Bulgaria. To the native population, this bloom represents health and endurance. And appropriately so, such is the state of the band’s music which has itself been thriving for over 20 years! Much of their repertoire is representative of Bulgarian folk genres, which are characterized by their irregular rhythms, tightly spaced harmonic structures, and sonic intensity. The bands instrumental selections literally beckon one to get up and dance while the sharply vivid harmonies of the vocal numbers cannot help but grab ones attention. They take the authenticity of their traditional music very seriously as many of their interpretations are based on actual field recordings of native folk musicians. In addition, Zdravets performs for the most part on ethnic instruments including: kaval, gadulka, tambura, tapan, tarabuka, and gaida. Aside from regular local appearances throughout New England, this nine-member folk ensemble has appeared oversees in Bulgaria at such prestigious events as the National Folklore and Petrova Niva festivals and on native national television and radio as well. Their latest recording is entitled “Late Harvest“. Thanks to the enthusiastic and dedicated efforts of Zdravets, Bostonians can enjoy first-rate Balkan music and dance virtually every month of the year!
When: Saturdays (Monthly) (8:00 – 11:00 p.m.)
Where: Church of Our Savior (Arlington)
More Info: 617-964-2003 OR firstname.lastname@example.org
Awaken Your Creative Senses in an Evening of Leading Edge World Fusion with Jazz Artists Eastern Blok: December 7th, Wednesday @ 8:00 p.m.
Innovation! Innovation! Innovation! Such is the musical mantra for popular world fusion jazz ensemble Eastern Blok. This group remains ever ready to outdo themselves by pushing the envelope just a little further with each subsequent performance, often through the employment of unconventional rhythmic patterns and offbeat phrasings. They further challenge themselves by experimenting with music that varies in mood from the intensely lyrical and profoundly emotional to the more animated and light hearted yet electrifying. Their inventive re-interpretations of old standards and innovative original compositions are a by-product of the artful blending of many diverse styles with jazz including classical, Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Serbian folk, Klezmer, rock and a smattering of Middle Eastern flavorings as well. The band members are all formally trained musicians and virtuosos in their own right. So as one might expect, their music is as distinguished in its complexity as it is technically advanced. Nevertheless however, Eastern Blok takes pride in creating music that appeals to all types of listeners and that also ultimately continues to stand the test of time. They will tell you that key to their success in this regard lies in the masterful blending of both classical and jazz genres in a musical setting that is ever evolving yet still highly pleasing to the vast majority of listeners’ ears.
Founded in 2004 by Goran Ivanovic, lead composer of the group, and Doug Rosenberg the band continues to tour nationally, performing at America’s top entertainment venues. The current membership includes Ivanovic on classical guitar, Rosenberg on woodwinds, Matthew Ulery on upright bass, and Michael Caskey on percussion. A major breakthrough in the group’s career came in 2005 when their self-titled debut release “Goran Ivanovic Group” (became Eastern Block in 2006) received a national award for Album of the Year by the publishers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine. More accolades followed that same year when the group’s single entitled “Blacksmith’s Dance” stood out from thousands of other competition entries in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest to make it all the way to the finalist’s round! They have also been featured on Chicago Public Radio and in 2007 were among the ensembles specially showcased at that city’s World Music Festival, one of the largest musical celebrations of its kind in the US. So, if you’re in the mood to get your creative juices flowing, an evening with world fusion artists Eastern Blok, should definitely be on your “to do” list!
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (Somerville)
More Info: 617-776-2004 OR 617-800-9720
Get Set for an Evening of Premier Balkan Inspired World Fusion as Theodoshi Spassov’s North American Tour 2011 Comes to Boston: October 21st, Friday (7:30 – 9:00 p.m.)
(Doors open at 6:30)
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (Somerville)
Tickets: $20.00 (Online purchase highly recommended – $2.00 fee)
More Info: 617-776-2004 OR 617-800-9720
Usher in the Upcoming Holiday Season in Grand Slavic Fashion with Traditional Choral Music from Bulgaria: Compliments of Premier Vocal Ensembles Divi Zheni & Zornitsa: December 3rd, Friday @ 8:00 p.m. & December 5th, Sunday @ 1:00 p.m.
Every time that the holiday party season comes around, it gives us world music fans here in the US another chance to experience the Christmas and New Years festivities of other cultures. Of course, to me, the music is the best part, but then there’s the ethnic food, decorations, and other interesting native customs to explore. Coming up in the first week of December, there are two Bulgarian holiday dance parties happening in the Boston area. The first is one is actually part of FACONE’s (Folk Arts Center of New England) Friday night folk dance series. The live dance music at this event will be provided by two of Boston’s premier world music choral ensembles, both of which are under the direction of Tatiana Sarbinska, a world-class vocalist in her own right and a leading expert in the area of Bulgarian choral music. Divi Zheni is an all women’s group while Zornitsa is their male counterpart. Let Marcie Van Cleave and friends be your instructors as you learn a number of Bulgarian group-style folk dances, many of which can be easily followed simply by watching and copycatting! There is no previous dance experience expected of party guests and you don’t even need to bring a partner. More experienced dancers will be accommodated for as well, so come one, come all. And as I mentioned before, because this is a holiday party, there will also be ethnic food on hand for guests to sample and decorations to enjoy.
When: December 3rd, Friday @ 8:00 p.m.
Where: Park Avenue Congregational Church (Parish Hall) (Arlington)
Admission: $8.00 (General) / $6.00 (FAC members) / $5.oo (Students)
More Info: 781-438-4387 OR Facone.org
The second celebration is a benefit event for the Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church (Allston) and Divi Zheni, who will be performing, as well. It will be modeled after the traditional Bulgarian Sedenka. This is a Christmastime festivity originally held by farming communities after the crop season’s work was done. Party activities included crafting for personal enjoyment (i.e. carving, sewing, knitting, etc.), storytelling, singing of old familiar as well as newly composed songs, seasonal treats, and, of course, dancing. In like spirit, this year’s Boston celebration will include traditional singalongs, and group dancing, complete with instruction. Party guests are encouraged to bring along any personal crafting projects that they wish to work on in a group setting and, of course, ethnic food will be served for all to enjoy.
When: December 5th, Sunday @ 1:00 p.m.
Where: Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church (Allston)
Street parking available for free
Tickets: $20.00 (General) / $10.00 (Students) / $5.00 (Children 12 & under)
Purchase At the door OR At the church bookstore on Sunday’s (11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
So, start the holidays off right in grant multi-cultural fashion and experience a little of Bulgaria in the true spirit of the season!