MWE put a modern and eclectic twist on Turkish and Balkan folk music. As a six member acoustic wind ensemble, MWE plays traditional songs with the rarely paired clarinet and the double-reeded zurna. Add three clarinets, some dumbek, some riqq, and a Davul, a shoulder slung marching drum, and you’re about the closest to heavy metal you can get without amplification. Their shows are loud, wild and raucous affairs known for drawing entire audiences on their feet in one song or less. Often found playing hit-and-run gigs in San Francisco’s Mission District, they’ve also played at established world music venues including Ashkenaz and Yoshi’s Lounge.
Sirtos (from Yiannitsa): The name speaks for itself but it should be noted that Yiannitsa is in northern Greece and this tune is in 7/8.
Suleyman Aga: This song is a Turkish Roman traditional. This 9/8 karsilama rhythm is probably the most popular rhythm among Turkish Roma.
Halay: Halay is actually the name of a line dance from Turkey. It is driven by a relentless 2/4 beat, and usually features zurna and davul.
Varshaver: Varshaver is fully named "Varshaver Freilakhs," which is Yiddish for "happy dance from Warsaw." It's a klezmer piece. We learned it from an early 20th century recording of violinist Abe Schwartz.
Los Bilbilicos: This is a traditional sephardic tune that has spread in popularity all over the Mediterranean and Middle East.
Peter Jaques: Clarinet
Greg Jenkins: Clarinet
Samual Atchley: Clarinet
Calvin Lai: Zurna
Sean Tergis: Davul
Faisal Zedan: Dumbek, Riqq
You can contact us at [email protected] or check us out on
Varshaver by MWE is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.