New recordings and books by folks in the EEFC community. Names in bold type indicate EEFC Workshop campers, staff, teachers, and other EEFC supporters.
This is Margaret Loomis’ 13th year of putting together a large collection of digital photos from East Coast Balkan camp as a fundraiser for EEFC.
The 2013 Iroquois Springs camp was another amazing week, full of fantastic music, dancing, classes, parties, food, kafanas and friends. These photos will bring back memories if you were at camp, or give you a very good idea of the week if you weren’t there. The photos make a great slideshow—enjoy the DVD yourself, or use it to convince your friends to come to camp! The collection is a lot of fun, and it also makes a nice gift. “I can pretty much guarantee you that there are a lot more camp photos in this collection than you took on your phone,” Margaret says.
The 2013 DVD contains 1,072 photos, including:
- evening parties and kafanas
- music and dance classes in action
- group sings
- Zlatne Uste’s 30-year celebration on Monday night
- auction on Tuesday night
- classes performing at Friday’s student concert
- Friday afternoon soccer game
- candid and semi-candid shots throughout the week
- lots of kids at camp
- scenic views of Iroquois Springs
- many spontaneous moments
The DVD is available for $30 plus $2 shipping/handling in the U.S. Please make checks payable to Margaret Loomis and send to Margaret Loomis, 10206 Day Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910. Phone 301/565-0539; or email for more information. All proceeds go to EEFC. (Photo collections from most past years are also still available.)
Drómeno, a band based in Seattle and led by Christos Govetas and Ruth Hunter, presents regional music from all over Greece and the Balkans. This recording is a collection of their favorite Macedonian (brass) dance tunes from both sides of the border. Christos Govetas – clarinet, voice; Ruth Hunter – accordion, voice; Eleni Govetas – saxophone; Nick Maroussis – guitar; Peter Lippman – trumpet; Bobby Govetas – drums; and special guest – Benji Rifati: trumpet.
$15 CD or $9.99 digital at cdbaby.com
Fanfare Zambaleta was incubated in the Zambaleta Music and Dance School in San Francisco and has since transformed into a full-fledged juggernaut of a band, featuring some of the Bay Area’s most exciting young players and seasoned veterans. Emulating the great Balkan brass bands of the past and present, they play Romani, Serbian, Macedonian and Greek brass band music with passion and dedication. FZ’s potent musical concoction of wild improvisation, meticulous ensemble coordination, earth-shaking low brass, thunderous drumming and jubilant vocals will move your feet and lift your soul.
Members are: Gregory Jenkins – alto sax, vocals; Noah Levitt – trumpet; Harlow Carpenter – trumpet, truba; Theo Padouvas – trumpet; Corinne Sykes – lead vocals, percussion; Rachel MacFarlane – tenor horn; Larry Leight – euphonium; Peter Bonos – euphonium; Evan Stuart – sousaphone; Ivan Velev – percussion, vocals; and Jake Shandling – percussion.
You can download the 4-track digital album ($4 USD) or order the CD ($5 USD) at bandcamp.com.
David Bilides and Dragi Spasovski have recently released the 35th podcast in their series, “Macedonian Postcards,” which features the song “Ori Jano, Sokol Jano,” a love song from the Tetovo area of Macedonia. Dragi discusses the background of the song and talks about the differences between singing with kavals and gajdas, and ornamenting melodies.
Since the first podcast in 2007, David and Dragi have discussed and provided samples drawn from the 54 Macedonian folk songs in Dragi’s three-CD and songbook project issued by Izvor Music. On each podcast, Dragi tells stories about the recordings and musicians and gives glimpses of his life and Macedonian culture in general. You can download each episode individually, listen to an audio stream of each episode, or subscribe to the entire series. Go to: http://podcasts.izvormusic.com
The AgaRhythm label is re-issuing a newly mastered Near East Far West, a recording made in 1998 that features two fine musicians—Souren Baronian and Haig Manoukian. Souren is still burning the music up, and Haig is never far from our thoughts. This recording was made after being together in Hawaii for a particularly rainy week. Instead of hitting the beaches we hung out inside making music all day, sharing our different musical interests. This musical mix captures that moment in time.
This recording features: Souren Baronian – clarinet, soprano saxophone, riq; Haig Manoukian – oud; George Chittenden – clarinet, alto saxophone; Lise Liepman – santouri, accordion, vocal; Polly Tapia Ferber – doumbek, bendir, Dan Auvil – tupan, defi
$12 or $9.99 digital at cdbaby.com
One Heart, Many Voices: A Biographical History of the American Balkan Scene, by Hasina Cohen. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. Paperback or Kindle.
This book is a journey through the lives of six individuals who make music and dance as part of a cultural constellation known as the American Balkan scene, and by extension, a journey through the history of the scene itself. The six individuals are Mark Levy, Dena Bjornlie, Rachel MacFarlane, Eva Salina Primack, Peter Jaques and Briget Boyle. The book’s cover art is by Susan Reagel.
Rather than limiting her focus to names, dates, and trends, author Hasina Cohen serves as a conduit for the surrounding stories, creating an intimate, compelling and dynamic portrait rich in human experience.
Hasina Cohen completed her bachelor’s degree in ethnomusicology at the University of Oregon under Mark Levy and Anne Dhu McLucas.
OrnâmatiK is a group from Ann Arbor, Mich., that plays music from all over the Balkans, including regions of Turkey, Armenia, Greece, and Bulgaria.
Members are: Derek Worthington – trumpet; Andy Warren – trumpet; Eric Schweizer – saxophone, clarinet; Bethanni Grecynski – trombone; Matt Endahl – accordion; Darrin James- guitar; Ben Rolston – bass; Xavier Verna – doumbek; and Drew Schmieding – drum set.
You can get the 7-track album for $7 USD in the digital format of your choice at bandcamp.com.
Read more about the group here.
The initial inspiration for The Swing Riots Quirktette came from the great Rom guitarist Matelo Ferrét, who played for homesick eastern Europeans in the Caberet Russe nightclubs of Paris alongside Romanian, Russian and at least one Bulgarian Rom bandleader. Matelo also played Hot Jazz with Django Reinhardt and others during the ’30s and ’40s and naturally layered jazz chording and swing rhythm into this eastern European repertoire.
With this in mind, The Swing Riots Quirktette perform a mix of early, traditional string-based jazz, as well as swinging eastern European traditional dance melodies.
The Swing Riots Quirktette are Miamon Miller – violin; Pat Mac Swyney – mandolin, tenor resonator, harmonica and voice; Leslie Yeseta (of the famous Yeseta Brothers Tamburitza family) – voice and guitar; Nick Casillas – clarinet and soprano sax; Ben Getting – upright bass; Adam Steinberg – drums and percussion.
To order the 50+ minute CD-R, send a check for $12.50, made payable to Pat Mac Swyney, 25554 Via Jardin, Valencia, CA 91355, and the CD will be promptly mailed to you, same week.
Ženska Klapa Ružmarin of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, has released its first CD. The seven-voice, Croatian women’s a cappella singing group specializes in the urban four-part, close harmony folk singing style from the Dalmatian region known as klapa.
Ženska Klapa Ružmarin formed in 2009 and is directed by John Morovich. They have performed regionally for Croatian community events, as well as performances at Seattle’s CroatiaFest, Van Dusen Gardens Festival of Lights, the Vancouver Christmas Market and the CKNW Orphans’ Fund Radio-thon. The group is one of only a few klapas in North America.
To order a CD, send a check for $18 made out to Klapa Ružmarin c/o Croatian Cultural Centre, 3250 Commercial Drive, Vancouver B.C. Canada V5N 4E4. For more information email or visit the group on Facebook.
Now one of the premier Greek bands in the U.S., the East Coast and West Coast members of Ziyiá met at the Mendocino Balkan camp in 1990 and have been actively playing together ever since. They are excited to finally have another recording—it’s been a while.
George Chittenden – clarinet, gaida, guitar, zourna
Christos Govetas – clarinet, laouto, vocals
Beth Bahia Cohen – violin
Lise Liepman – accordion, santouri
Rumen Sali Shopov – daouli, doumbeleki
$15 or $9.99 digital at cdbaby.com (currently in production; will be available soon)