Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm
Tickets are $25
For many years one of the Bay Area’s premier Balkan dance bands, Édessa is comprised of musicians who 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 a beat with dancers in mind. The music comes from Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Armenia, and Turkey, and Balkan Roma (Gypsy). 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, gaida (bagpipe), zurna (shawm), and guitar; Lise Liepman on santouri (hammered dulcimer) and accordion; violinist Ari Langer and percussionist Sean Tergis.
Seattle’s exuberant band Drómeno plays dance music from all over the Balkans, including the driving brass band music from the border of Greece and the former Yugoslavia, the mournful clarinet tunes from Ipiros and Albania, the energetic dance tunes from Greek and Bulgarian Thrace. Drómeno is the name the famed Govetas family has chosen for this grouping of musicians both young and only slightly older. Drómeno is Greek for a cultural happening, event, custom, tradition.
Christos Govetas (clarinet, bouzouki, zourna, and voice) and Ruth Hunter (accordion and voice) have been playing Greek music and other Balkan music together for more than 20 years. Hunter played Ashkenaz years ago, and Govetas has been here more recently in the band Ziyia. In their family band, Drómeno, they are joined by their children Eleni (doumberleki, defi, drums, sax, zourna and double bass) and Bobby (daouli, drums, trumpet), as well as Nick Maroussis (laouto, guitar, and baglama). Additionally, Peter Lippman and Benji Rifati play trumpet for full-tilt Macedonian brass pieces.