Location: Santa Fe, N.M.
Occupation: I teach music K-6 at Turquoise Trail Charter School, and perform in a few bands around Santa Fe.
Connection to Balkan music/dance: I play with the band EVET with Polly Ferber, Melinda Russial, Paul Brown, Willa Roberts and Nick Kunz. Last summer, after Mendocino, Billy Giaquinto and I started playing in a small brass band in Santa Fe also, which we call Korvin Orkestar.
Number of times at Balkan camp: I first came in 1999. It was a year that Esma Redžepova brought her band.
Studied at camp: Instruments—Thracian and Rhodope gajda, Macedonian Roma trumpet with Nizo Alimov; and Albanian accordion with Raif Hyseni.
Memorable moment at camp: I was very touched to be able to be included in the Rhodope set with the Gajda Mafia. It was the first time I had been to camp since Vassil Bebelekov passed away, and we had a little circle for him. I was struck by the spirit of playfulness that continues in his memory. I worked hard to learn the melodies at Mendo, and now continue to work on learning the intricate ornaments of the kaba gajda. Thanks to Craig [Kurumada] I was able to purchase one and bring it home!