Location: I currently live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Occupation: I am a luthier specializing in jazz manouche guitars and banjos. I am also a working musician playing in a few bands around town.
Connection to Balkan music/dance: Balkan music is a large interest for me so I am always studying and trying to learn what I can about it. I play guitar in a small brass band that plays tunes from all over the Balkans and Eastern Europe. I also play bouzouki in a rebetika band called Quebetiko. Greek music is what I’m mostly involved in these days. Any time there is an event concerning Balkan music or dance here in Montreal, I try to make it or to participate anyway I can.
Number of times at Balkan camp: This was my second year at Iroquois Springs. I had gone to Mendocino once before. And I hope to go for many more years!
Studied at camp: At this camp I was taking the Greek violin class and Greek ensemble with my oud. Also Adam’s makam class. That was the focus this year because the oud is new for me and I want to focus more on that. I would love to see an oud class or a rebetiko class at Balkan camp. I also enjoyed [Raif Hyseni’s] Albanian ensemble and danced as much as I could in the night.
Memorable moment at camp: One experience that moved me was Beth [Cohen]’s “private” Turkish concert for the auction. I really love that music! The way the bass, oud and violin all sync up on the same melody is so powerful. It being in that small dance studio and played acoustically was all the more special.