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Saturday, January 17, 2009 Options
Live from The Golden Festival

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Every January, NY Balkan music scene pioneers the Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band and friends organize a massive two night grassroots Balkan / Roma / East European music and dance festival / celebration at the Good Shepherd School, 620 Isham (near 207th St. and B'way) in the Inwood section of Upper Manhattan.

The Golden Festival is the biggest event of its kind in New York City: The second night (Saturday) is a marathon featuring about 50 bands and artists performing on three stages from 6pm until 4 in the morning. It is an annual gathering of folk dance enthusiasts, musicians, and of course just plain fans, including more and more young people who are being drawn to the music through its increasing visibility in American and European popular culture.

Transpacific Sound Paradise broadcast all the music from the 2009 Golden Festival's "Kafana" stage from 6pm until midnight. (Kafana is Serbo-Croatian for "cafe"; our broadcast position was conveniently located right next to the beer line!) We went an extra three hours (with thanks to Michael Goodstein) in order to squeeze in as many bands as possible!

Massive thanks to Irene Trudel (Technical Director, Mix Engineer and Co-host), Doron Gura (Technology Guru), Bil Bowen, Chris Stubbs and Glen Luttman (Mix Engineers), Katie Gentile and Megan McKee (Production Assistants), Bryce Kretschmann (Strongman), Jeff Mullan (Board Op), Scott Williams at FMU, house engineer Charlie Pilzer and the Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass band and the entire organizing committee of the Golden Festival. And all the musicians who like us did it as a labor of love!

A few links to help you begin further explorations:

Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band home page - with info about the festival, the band's gigs in New York and elsewhere and other Balkan / Roma / E. European music and dance events and workshops.

NYC Folk Dance / Balkan Cafe / Folk Dance Fridays / Family Dance at Hungarian House, 213 E 82nd St in Manhattan. Learn the dances, hear great local musicians and visiting artists from Europe.

Eastern European Folklife Center (EEFC) - a vibrant educational oganization and online community. EEFC helps organize summer music and dance camps on the East and West coasts - where Zlatne Uste got its start, and inspiration for the Golden Festival which originally was a summer camp reunion party! Learn dates and details for this year's camps and / or join the EEFC mailing list and learn more than you ever imagined about the music and culture and what's going on around the country.

Bob Radcliffe's International Folk Dance Event List (NY / NJ and a bit of CT)

This Week's Playlist:

The artists we heard (sets generally started at the top and bottom of the hour but ran a few minutes behind as the evening progressed) :

Balkan and Georgian traditional music

Kavala Brass Band:
Music of northern Greece and neighbors

Italian Village Dance:
Traditional Italian Village Music

Music of Turkey

Music and Dance from the Golden Age of Egyptian Movie Musicals (1940's-60's)

Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band:
Romany (Gypsy), Serbian, Macedonian, and Bulgarian brass

Paradox Trio:
Improvisational music inspired by Eastern European, Balkan, Gypsy and downtown traditions

Raya Brass Band:
Brass Band music of Greece

Electric Balkan roots and improv

Scott Wilson & Efendi:
Turkish, Greek, Arabic, Israeli, and raqs (belly dance) music

Friends of Souren Baronian:
(Oudist Souren Baronian, a mainstay on the local scene for decades, couldn't appear due to illness but the rest of his ensemble played a lovely set of Middle Eastern music in his honor)

The Sounds of Taraab:
Taraab - music of Zanzibar (also played in coastal Kenya) strongly influenced by styles of North Africa and the Middle East

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