Northwest Folklife’s Community Calendar brings together our greater community’s cultural events and gatherings.
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Balkan Night Northwest 2020
March 7 @ 5:00 pm - 11:30 pm$10 – $25
On March 7, Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood will come alive with Balkan music as musicians, dancers, and community members converge on Saint Demetrios Hall. Now in its 9th year, Balkan Night Northwest is renowned for bringing world-class Balkan artists to the Northwest and for featuring some of the best Balkan musicians from local communities. This year, the festival’s featured guest will be Yuri Yunakov, a legend of Roma (formerly called Gypsy) music. Yunakov’s known for his impossibly frenetic take on Balkan brass band music (he’s a saxophonist) and Bulgarian-Roma wedding music. Together with members of New York’s Roma community, he’ll bring music so technically complex and dazzlingly virtuosic that few outside of the Roma world can play it.
Balkan Night Northwest will feature three stages spread throughout Saint Demetrios Hall, with all three stages featuring dancing throughout. Lines of dancers spread throughout the hall, and anyone is welcome to join in! Traditional food will be offered on two floors of the building, drawing from Greek and Croatian communities. And the festival begins with the coming of the kukeri, giant costumed characters from traditional Balkan lore set around Mardi Gras. Participants work tirelessly on their costumes the week before, and enter the building from the street to the
buzzing sound of Balkan bagpipes. It’s a sight to behold, and a tie to the old pathways of the Balkans, still alive today in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
Scenes from past Balkan Nights https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4XyVHEbrRE
Balkan Night Northwest Performer Highlights Melez Band – young Balkan band of Macedonian Roma pop led by saxophonist Eleni Govetas Srdjan Gino Yevdjevic of Kultur Shock performing Bosnian soul music Dragi Spasovski – a NW treasure, Dragi was one of the pre-eminent traditional musicians in Macedonia before emigrating to Seattle
Bulgarian Voices of Seattle – new performance group of Bulgarian women in Seattle bringing back the sound of Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares
Full List of Performers
-Kukeri traditional Balkan costumed monsters with bagpipes and drums to start things off!
-FEATURED PERFORMERS Yuri Yunakov, Sal Mamudoski and Rumen Sali Shopov play Bulgarian Romani dance music with sax, clarinet, keyboard and percussion
-Dromeno – The Govetas family dance music from Greece and beyond
-The m9 Kef Big Band – Serbian style brass band
-Govetayfa Zournas – The Govetas family traditional zourna and daouli
-Melez Band – hard-core Romani dance hits
-Srdjan Gino Yevdjevic – Bosnian soul music
-Kozani – raw and gritty brass from north-central Greece
-Lemonadika – gleeful Greek island tunes and gritty rebetika. Hank Bradley, Cathie Whitesides, and Steve Ramsey play bouzouki, fiddles, guitar, and baglama, designed to be smuggled under a coat.
-Bonaca – (Croatian for “calm seas”) is a multi-piece tamburica orchestra
which performs music from Croatia, Central & Southeast Europe, and the beyond.
-Svirci Tamburica – string band, starogradska, kafanska music from ex-Yugoslavia, mainly Serbia
-Gin-n-Pontic – Pontic Greek lyra and percussion
-Musiki Parea – Greek and Turkish
-Dragi Spasovski and the Macedonian all-stars – Macedonian traditional village music
-Trio Tsuica – Romanian cimbalom, fiddle and accordion
-Orkestar RTW – Balkan dance music
-Malke and the Boychiks – Specializing in rousing freylekhs, bulgars, terkishers, and soulful doinas, the Boychiks play old-time klezmer with verve!
-Balkanarama – Southeast European party music
-Sinovi – Croatian string band
-Kišobran Tamburitza – Orchestra big band!
-Taraful Datina – Romanian traditional folk music
-Bulgarian Voices of Seattle – Large chorus of singers, all born in Bulgaria
-Vishudolskaia Duo – Accordion, guitar, kaval, vocals – mostly Bulgarian/Romanian folk
-Kaval Park – Bulgarian folk music
BALKAN NIGHT NORTHWEST – MARCH 7, 2020 – 5 pm to Midnight – Saint Demetrios Hall
2100 Boyer Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112 www.balkannightnw.com/ www.facebook.com/BalkanNightNorthwest/ www.facebook.com/events/2490817681149065/
Special after-party at Sarajevo Lounge on March 8