2020 Performers

Balkan E Boston Acoustic

Two members of the band Balkan E Boston, Elena Mancheva and Zoran Matich, will perform as Balkan E Boston Acoustic:

Elena Mancheva (vocals) comes from a musical family in Bulgaria. She graduated n 2007 from the Academy of Music, Dance, and Fine Arts in Plovdiv, where she received a bachelor’s degree in music education with a specialization in Bulgarian folk music. She participated as a singer in numerous folk events in Bulgaria and the United States. A resident of Provincetown, MA from 2007 until 2014, she performs on Cape Cod and throughout New England. In 2013 she became a member of Balkan E Boston. She currently resides in Boston and is teaching at Bulgarian School “Sv.sv. Kiril and Metodii”.

Zoran Matich (guitar, vocals) began playing with several Balkan folk bands and rock bands in 1975 in his native city of Novi Sad, Serbia, where he attended high school for music (with a major in vocal performance). He subsequently toured with several major folk performers in Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia from 1980 through 1992. Zoran moved to the United States in 1992 and continued playing Balkan music in New York. He moved to Boston in 1998, and in 2007 he formed Balkan Express Boston, which played throughout New England, New York, and New Jersey. A fan of various music genres, Zoran has also played American blues and soul since 2005. He has performed with many New England and New York musicians in the United States, and with international musicians in London, Rome, and several cities in China, notably at the House of Blues in Shanghai.

Balkan Fields

Balkan Fields, led by accordionist Melinda Fields, brings the rich and diverse musical styles of the Balkans to dance parties and festivals, with dynamic instrumentals and vocals from the Bulgarian, Serbian, Romani, Macedonian, Albanian, and Romanian traditions.
Dean Brown – tambura, guitar
Melinda Fields – accordion
Mel Fitzhugh – electric bass
Henry Goldberg – tupan, darbuka, riq
Ralph Iverson – violin, gadulka

Beth Bahia Cohen Hungarian Trio

The Beth Bahia Cohen Hungarian Trio will perform Hungarian Transylvanian music. Members of the group are:
Beth Bahia Cohenhegedű (violin)
Mimi Rabsonkontra (3 string viola) and ütőgardon (hit cello)
Michael Harristbőgő (bass)

Beth Bahia Cohen Turkish Trio

Beth Bahia Cohen (yayli tanbur), Michael Harrist (yayli tanbur), and Tev Stevig (plucked tanbur) present a set of Turkish classical music tunes.

Dolunay

The music of Dolunay (Turkish for a full moon) 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.
Jenny Luna – voice, percussion
Adam Goodud
Audrey Wozniak – violin

Gogofski

From the complex dance rhythms of Macedonia to the heart-wrenching Sevdah song tradition of Bosnia, Gogofski brings you to understanding, to sharing, and to feeling.
Kasia Sokalla, vocals, graduated with honors from Berklee.
Dave Golber has studied clarinet with masters in Macedonia for years.
Gawain Thomas is a long-time student of Bulgarian accordion virtuoso Ivan Milev.
And Henry Goldberg is the drummer whom touring Bulgarians want to play with them.

Grachanitsa

The Serbian Folk Dance Ensemble Grachanitsa began when a group of folk enthusiasts from the Boston area started exploring the rich heritage of folk dancing and music from different parts of the former Yugoslavia. The ensemble is led by Djordje Koldzic, a former soloist and assistant choreographer with the National Folk Ballet of Yugoslavia “Branko Krsmanovich”. Today’s Grachanitsa dancers are from around the world, with members from the Balkan region, the United States, Canada, and all over Europe. Grachanitsa has become known throughout the Northeast for its original choreographies, elaborate costumes, perfected style, and attention to detail.

Horo na Pesen

Horo na Pesen (dancing to unaccompanied singing) is an old Bulgarian village tradition, and has been part of our Balkan Music Night tradition since 1988. In the village, two small tight groups of singers would sing for the dancing; at Balkan Music Night we invite everyone to sing (“the band is US!”), sometimes with instrumental accompaniment. The words and music for our first song at 11 pm (shown below) will be in the Program Booklet. We encourage you to get familiar with the song, and sing and dance along with us! For the complete details, music notation, and recordings, see Martha Forsyth’s web page.

Jedin Dimitâr na majkja, lele, i za nego mi dojdoha
petina mladi gavaze, lele, da karat da go zatvarat.
Dimitâr majkja produma: lele, “Male le, stara male le,
Do koga šte me prežališ, lele, prežališ i zaboraviš?”
“Sinko Dimitre, Dimitre, lele, jaz šte te, sinko, prežalâ prežalâ
i zaborava, lele, koga se sravnat planene
Rila i Stara planina, lele, na ravno pole da stanat
Da orat ðerne ogare, lele, da sejat bela pðenica.”

Kavala

Kavala specializes primarily in the brass music from the Florina area of northern Greece, and they also play a variety of other music from the Balkans. They have played together for more than 15 years and have appeared at events in the Northeastern US, including the Balkan Music and Dance Workshops in Rock Hill, NY, Balkan Music Night in Concord, the annual Ragoutsia for the Kastorian Society in NYC, and the Golden Festival in NYC. The performers are:
Michael Ginsburg – trumpet
Catherine Foster – trumpet, clarinet, saxophone
Belle Birchfield – baritone horn
Morgan Clark – accordion
Jerry Kisslinger – percussion
Matt Moran – percussion

Matthew Schreiber and Friends

Matt Schreiber (accordion), Ben Russell (violin), and Jerry Kisslinger (tupan) play dance music from Bulgaria, Macedonia, and former Yugoslavia. These musicians play regularly for folk dancers and Balkan music lovers in the New York area.

See the band on YouTube.

Mladost Folk Ensemble

Mladost Folk Ensemble will take you on tour to the corners of the earth. Join us in an exploration of the different cultures and ethnicities of the world, learning of each through song and dance. The members of Mladost draw their inspiration from the lives of Conny and Marianne Taylor, co-founders of Boston’s Folk Arts Center of New England, and their dances from folk dance experts around the world, combining both in extraordinary performances selected for their style, footwork, and presentation.

Pajdashi

Pajdashi (“buddies, friends” in a northern Croatian dialect) was founded in 2002 in Boston by a group of folk dance enthusiasts and musicians who came together to share the joy of Croatian village and popular folk songs, as well as dance tunes. This Boston-based tamburitza band and chorus has been passionately learning and performing Croatian village and popular folk songs and dance tunes, and has performed at many festivals, music camps, New England Friends of Croatia social events, weddings, folk dance venues and public schools, and around Boston, New York and Connecticut.

Members of Pajdashi are Mirena Bagur, Janet Baker, Allan Chertok, Colin Ferguson, Vesna Flanagen, Ira Gessel, Henry Goldberg, Ralph Iverson, Julie Kingman, Ken Maser, Bob Parr, Joan Shear, Matt Shear, David Skidmore, Irena Stanić-Rašin, Jerry Starcevic, Rebecca Starcevic, Goga Strouch, and Mari Young, plus Becky Ashenden, Barbara Blumenthal, Joe Blumenthal, and Gawain Thomas.

REVMA

Boston’s REVMA will play traditional dance music from Greek island and mainland villages and urban centers. Our musicians are:
Sandy Theodorou – laouto, accordion, vocals
Rohan Gregory – violin
Fabio Pirozzolo – percussion, vocals
Dean Lampros – santouri
Malcolm Barsamian – clarinet

Tano, Aya, and Adam

This trio performs Balkan, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean tunes:

Aya Safiya – violin, vocals
Tano Brock – saxophone, clarinet, doumbek, laouto, guitar
Adam Good – tambura, Turkish ud, guitar, vocals

Zdravets

Zdravets is a Boston-based ensemble that has been performing traditional music from Bulgaria and the Republic of North Macedonia since 1989. This village music is the wild ancestor of the music that modern composers have tamed and adapted for large choral ensembles. Bulgarian music is characterized by highly resonant, close harmonies and energetic asymmetric rhythms. The vocal styles are free, full, and thrilling, while the instrumental music makes your feet itch to dance. Zdravets brings you the whole gamut – instrumental music, unaccompanied voices, and the full ensemble combining instruments with voices.
The currently active members of Zdravets are Chaya Bromberg, Dean Brown, Bennett Clifford, Dick Forsyth (in spirit), Martha Forsyth, Ralph Iverson, David Skidmore, Dana Sussman, Patrick Yacono, and Janet Yeracaris.

Zlatne Uste

Zlatne Uste (“Golden Lips”) Balkan Brass Band, based in New York City, is an internationally known group of American-born musicians performing in the Romany (Gypsy), Serbian, Macedonian, and Bulgarian brass band traditions. Five-time invited guests at the Dragačevo Brass Festival in Guča, Zlatne Uste is among the foremost presenters of traditional Balkan dance music in the United States. Each year Zlatne Uste hosts and produces the Golden Festival, New York’s biggest and best Balkan music festival.
Michael Ginsburg – flugelhorn, vocals
Catherine Foster – sax, clarinet, flugelhorn, vocals
Laine Harris – flugelhorn
Sarah Ferholt – flugelhorn
Marian Eines – sax, vocals
Morgan Clark – tenor horn
Matthew Smith – tenor horn
Kalun Leung – tenor horn
Belle Birchfield – baritone horn
Gary Zema – baritone horn
Don Godwin – tenor horn, percussion, helicon
Emerson Hawley – helicon
Emily Geller – percussion
Seido Salifoski – percussion
Jerry Kisslinger – percussion
Helen Marx – percussion