Location: Arcata, Calif.
Connection to Balkan music/dance: I play in the accordion duo Balkan Bellows with Linnea Mandell, and the Macedonian village ensemble Muglagrad with Linnea, Craig Kurumada and Randy Carrico. We usually gig once or twice a month, both to sit-down audiences and to dancers.
I recently did some gigs on tupan and doumbek with the Bay-Area group Arcana, with the likes of Greg Jenkins and Joey Friedman.
I have begun teaching a beginning doumbek class in Arcata that is growing!
I have been the stage manager for Kolo Festival in San Francisco. I have played with the international dance band Chubritza at Veselo Festival in Eugene, OR; and at the Tamburitza Extravaganza in LA.
In the last couple years I have spent every free moment of my life practicing accordion, tupan and doumbek, and learning Balkan languages.
Number of times at Balkan camp: I have been to camp three years.
Studied at camp: My focus this year was all things accordion.
Memorable moment at camp: By far the best thing that happened to me at camp was when Milen Slavov took me aside one day and had me play a little for him. He told me my biggest weaknesses, and charged me with working them out by next year. I can think of no greater gift (aside from a new accordion).