Doors at 7:30 pm
Show at 8:00 pm
Our fall Big Balkan Blowout features two of Ashkenaz’s all-time favorite Balkan bands: a brief reunion of Brass Menažeri along with Édessa.
Brass Menažeri is San Francisco’s original Balkan brass band, introducing the fiery, irresistible, heartrending music of Serbian, Macedonian, and Romani brass (and original compositions) to a Bay Area thirsty for a fresh international sound, since 2000. Bandleader Peter Jaques moved abroad in 2013, but has returned for a brief visit and reunited the ensemble for just a few shows before he moves to Greece. So don’t miss this rare opportunity to experience Brass Menažeri’s original and innovative approach to Balkan brass. The lineup is Jaques on clarinet and trumpet, singer-snare drummer Briget Boyle, trumpeters Eric Oberthaler and Darren Johnston, alto saxophonist Sheldon Brown, tupan player Michele Simon, Sousaphonist Evan Stuart, and the baritone horn trio Rachel MacFarlane, Larry Leight, and Alex Zendzian.
For years one of the Bay Area’s premier Balkan dance bands, Édessa’s musicians have devoted decades to the study and performance of the rich cultural expressions of the southern Balkans. They play with a deep understanding of the connection between dance and music. Using both traditional and modern instruments, they perform in a variety of styles, featuring long sets that interweave melodies, improvisation, and beats with dancers in mind. The music comes from Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Armenia, Turkey, and the Balkan Roma (Gypsy) people. The group and its members have long participated in and taught at Balkan camps across the country, and Édessa was the first band to take Balkan music to Japan. Édessa is George Chittenden on clarinet, saxophone, gaida (bagpipe), zurna (shawm) and guitar; Lise Liepman on santouri (hammered dulcimer) and accordion; violinist Ari Langer; bassist Paul Brown; and percussionist Sean Tergis.