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ange on 03/30/2013 at 02:48PM

Balkan Brass & Beyond: 14 Live Performances from the 2013 Golden Festival

For the fifth year, WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise brought us a live broadcast from the massive annual Balkan and Eastern European music and dance bacchanal, the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival. We present here 14 different artists who performed this year, who are performing everything from Bulgarian dance staples, to music from the Golden Age of Egyptian Cinema, to traditional polyphonic acappella folk from Georgia.

Black Sea Hotel is the Brooklyn-based vocal quartet of Corinna, Joy, Sarah and Willa. Their set from last year included traditional songs learned under a plum tree in Bulgaria, but with their own distinct twists and arrangements, since many of the songs were originally sung by larger choirs.

Brazda is a New York-based Balkan band that plays fresh arrangements of traditional repertoire from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, and beyond.

Supruli is a Georgian choir directed by Carl Linich (also of Tenores de Aterúe). Its members have studied in Georgia -- listen and hear why polyphonic singing is so captivating to music scholars.

Yale Women's Slavic Chorus performs songs from Macedonia, Russia, Georgia, and Bulgaria.

Zikrayat, who 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.

If this trove doesn't satisfy your Balkan and Eastern European jams fix until the festival returns in next January, be sure to explore our collections from 201220112010 & 2009.


Arabic/Egyptian Music
from the Golden Age of Egyptian Cinema
Zikrayat

Vocal Arrangements of Bulgarian and FYR Macedonian Folk Songs
Black Sea Hotel


Punk, Jazz, Folk,
Tango & Klezmer
Guignol Band



Traditional Bulgarian Music on Kaval, Gaida, Gadulka, Tambura & Tupanve
Lyuti Chushki


Traditional Village Songs from All Over the Balkans and Eastern Europe
Yale Women's Slavic Chorus


Romani Music Performed by NYU Students & Community Members
Raklorom


Balkans, Heavily FYR Macedonia. Clarinet, Accordion Drum & Vocals 
Gogofski


Bulgarian Solo Improvisations on Gadulka (aka. Bowed Rebec)
Nikolay Kolev


Bulgarian Dance
Staples Live
at Golden Festival
Balkan Fields


Danceable Gypsy Tunes from Eastern Europe.
Plus Klezmer & Hungarian

Rozsa

8-Piece Balkan Band with Fresh Arrangements of Traditional Repertoire
Brazda


Traditional Polyphonic
Acappella Folk
from Caucasus Georgia
Supruli



Young People's Band Performing Traditional Music in a Modern Way
Zlatni Makedoncinja

None of this would have been possible without Rob Weisberg, host of Transpacific Sound Paradise. He'd also like to thank the Golden Festival founders and organizers, the Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band and the festival committee; co-host and tech guru Irene Trudel; and to the rest of our our illustrious crew: Mark Koch, Juan Aboites, Chuck Dean, Dan Barker, Jason Sigal, Matthew Cherchio, Bryan Koniarz, Ariana Hellerman, Katie Gentile & Nick the Bard.

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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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