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jason on 01/18/2013 at 08:00AM

Balkan Brass & Beyond: WFMU Live From NYC's Golden Festival This Weekend (Mix)

For much of the last three decades, Zlatne Uste was the singular Balkan brass band on the U.S. eastern seaboard. Their influence has spread rapidly in recent years. Newer groups like What Cheer? Brigade, Raya Brass Band and Slavic Soul Party have not only helped introduce a new generation to the irresistible melodies, rhythms, and timbres of Roma (Gypsy) Music, but infused everything from Bollywood, hip-hop and dabke into a genre that knows no bounds.

They're among the 60+ groups performing at this year's Zlatne Uste Golden Festival, where the spirit of Balkan brass is a jumping off point to celebrate a wide range of traditional music. Bulgarian women's choirs, Turkish folk, Norwegian hardingfele, Egyptian film music, Georgian throat singing, and flamenco are all part of the mix. It's an incredible grass roots event where generations join hands for circle dances in complex time signatures. Traditional food and drink are included with your ticket, with all profits donated to Balkan educational & relief organizations. The 28th annual party kicks off tonight (Jan 18th-19th) at Brooklyn's Grand Prospect Hall.

WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise presents a special live broadcast from the Golden Festival's main stage on Saturday Jan 19th, 6-9pmET (91.1-FM NYC | wfmu.org). It's the fifth year that WFMU and the Free Music Archive document performances across the festival's multiple stages.

This mix offers a sampling of Golden Festival archives from recent years (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) as well as tracks from artists scheduled to perform at this year's event.

Zlatne Uste kick things off with a Čoček, one of the most common Balkan brass styles, performed live in the WFMU studios for Transpacific Sound Paradise.

Provience RI's 19-piece street band the What Cheer? Brigade play brass music "with the intensity of metal." A crowd favorite whether they're playing a house show, Lollapalooza, or legendary brass festivals like Guca (Serbia) and Sziget (Hungary).

Rooted in the tradition of Bulgaria's a capella women’s choirs, Black Sea Hotel performed "Malo Selo," a song named after the village in Bosnia-Herzegovia, live on Irene Irudel's WFMU program.

Young classical virtuosos The Rosen Sisters perform "Ruchenitsa," a Bulgarian line dance in 7/8.

Toronto's Ventanas meld sephardic, flamenco, and Balkan traditions on "Gusta Mi Magla."

"Merzifon Karsilama" is a bride-meeting song from Merzifon, Amasya in northern Turkey, performed by Turku: Nomads of the Silk Road.

The guitar duo Isra-Alien Band draws on Israeli musical traditions for "Brogez/Sholem."

Rakiya peform an electrified Roma tune "Sa Bas Tute."

Zikrayat, specialize in Egyptian film music's golden era, accompanied by live dancing on stage at the Golden Festival for this rendition of the song "Tahey" by an unknown composer whose song now lives on.

Raya Brass Band put a Brooklyn spin on Balkan brass, take a listen to a room packed with people gettin' down to "Riff Cloud" during last year's Golden Festival, and don't miss 'em this year!

Photos by Oresti Tsonopoulos: Raya Brass Band (top) & What Cheer? Brigade, Golden Festival 2012. 

 goldenfest.org

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