Location: Gainesville, Fla.
Occupation: Professional musician and music teacher and software developer.
Connection to Balkan music/dance: I am working on putting together a Balkan brass band. Our first songs will be a few of the songs I learned in Eva Salina’s Romani singing class. I also play the davul in non-Balkan settings but I do get a lot of questions about it and let people know of its origins and connections to music in Turkey and the Balkans. I am also learning Turkish makam, integrating concepts from Christos Govetas’ improvisation class and Adam Good’s makam theory class. I have been performing Rast taksim at my weekly cello solo gig. I perform regularly for a yoga class at Flow Space in Gainesville, Florida.
Number of times at Balkan camp: This was my fourth year.
Studied at camp: I wanted to focus on using the upright bass in as many ensembles as I could but I could not find a good setting for it. Ultimately I ended up playing Macedonian tambura more. I prioritized taking Eva Salina’s class because I enjoy her teaching.
Memorable moment at camp: This was my first year traveling without friends from my hometown and I was afraid that I would feel lonely. However, I had made so many connections at camp the previous years that I actually felt quite connected, welcomed and included.