Small World – Big Ears
Mon, Feb 26th: Zdravets (at 7pm) & Jason Anick Gypsy Jazz Quartet (at 8pm)
Mon, Mar 26th: Revma & Gogofski
Mon, Apr 23rd: Qwasaan & Kotoko Brass Band
ZDRAVETS is a Boston-based ensemble which has been performing traditional music from Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia since 1989. This village music is the wild ancestor of the music that modern composers have tamed and adapted for large choral ensembles.
Bulgarian music is characterized by highly resonant, close harmonies and energetic asymmetric rhythms. The vocal styles are free, full, and thrilling, while the instrumental music makes your feet itch to dance. ZDRAVETS brings you the whole gamut – instrumental music, unaccompanied voices, and the full ensemble combining instruments with voices.
ZDRAVETS’s instrumentalists usually play the old-style Bulgarian village instruments – kaval (end-blown flute), gadulka (bowed lute), tambura (mandolin-like instrument), tapan (large double-headed drum), tarabuka (hourglass shaped drum), and gaida (goatskin bagpipe); occasionally they play newer folk instruments (clarinet, violin, saxophone) as well.
ZDRAVETS’s unaccompanied songs are primarily from field recordings, many of which were made by group member Martha Forsyth, who has done extensive folklore research in Bulgaria since 1978. (Some of her original recordings can be heard on Rounder Records #1055, “Two Girls Started to Sing: Bulgarian Village Singing”.)
ZDRAVETS has performed regularly at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA), the Folk Arts Center of New England’s annual Balkan Music Night and the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival in New York. Since the fall of 1997, ZDRAVETS has been holding a regular monthly dance party and concert from September through June; currently we meet in Newton, Mass. The group has also performed at the National Folklore Festival in Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria (1991 and 2000) and at the Petrova Niva Festival in Strandzha, Bulgaria (2000), and has been featured on Bulgarian television and radio. Occasional appearances have included wedding receptions, farmers’ markets, international folk dance events, livingrooms, backyard barbecues, barn dances, and you-name-it in the northeastern U.S. The group has released two tapes: “Zdravets” and “From Our Garden”, and a CD: “Late Harvest”.
About the group’s name: zdravets is a wild mountain geranium (Geranium Macrorrhizum) whose aromatic leaves stay fresh and green all winter. Zdravets is beloved by Bulgarians, to whom it symbolizes all that is healthy and longlasting.
The currently active members of ZDRAVETS are Chaya Bromberg, Dean Brown, Dick Forsyth (in spirit), Martha Forsyth, Ralph Iverson, David Skidmore, Dana Sussman, Patrick Yacono, and Janet Yeracaris.
Jason Anick Quartet
The Jason Anick Quartet is an ever-revolving group of some of the best young jazz musicians in New England. The group performs uniquely arranged standards along with founding member Jason Anick’s eclectic and soulful compositions.
The group got together in January 2012 to begin recording Anick’s second album as leader, Tipping Point (February 18, 2014), blending Anick originals that openly incorporate the influences of mainstream jazz, classical, new acoustic music, Gypsy jazz, swing, and hard bop with a wide-ranging swath of jazz classics.
“Jason Anick’s sheer joy in playing is evident from the first track on his new recording, “Tipping Point”. While tipping his hat to one of the forefathers of Jazz violin, Stephane Grappelli, Jason maintains his own distinct voice – especially in his own compositions. Equally gifted as a musician and composer, Jason attracts new listeners to the violin and mandolin. “Tipping Point” is an uplifting and refreshing project deserving of countless repeated listenings” – Regina Carter
REVMA passionately displays the living art of traditional Greek music (“Dimotika”), to listening and dancing audiences. Mesmerizing pentatonic and polyphonic Epirot mountain laments and celebrations, lyrical melodies and the “springing” sousta and ballos dances of the Aegean, Dodekanese, and Ionian islands, powerful odd-metered Macedonian and Thracian rhythms, and the delicate modal tones of urban Smyrnaika, are all shaped by a history drenched in struggle, war, migration, resilience, and philotimia, and charged with Greek life-embracing passion and wit. Our musicians are: Rohan Gregory on violin, Glenn Dickson on clarinet, Fabio Pirozzolo on percussion, guitar, and voice, and Sandy Theodorou on laouto, accordion, and voice.
Our fabulous guest musicians:
Harry Bedrosian – oud
Stephanos Karavas – oud
Phil Papadopoulos – bouzouki, vocals
Georgios Galanakis – guitar
Gogofski plays music of the Balkans. Not the loud and fast brass of Goran Bregović. Not the massive thirty-voice choir of Mystère des Voix Bulgares. We bring you other great music from the Balkans, from the complex dance rhythms of Macedonia to the heart-wrenching Sevdah song tradition of Bosnia.
Gogofski plays for a dance evening the way they do in the old country: the musicians on the floor playing right in front of you, to you, for you. A Gogofski club evening gives you a feast of comic songs and intimate ballads, traditional and modern, and brings you to understanding, to sharing, and to feeling. And at an outdoor festival, Gogofski brings a new sound and a new excitement that brings the audience out of their seats to dance in front of the stage. Gogofski is Kasia Sokalla, David Golber, Gawain Thomas, and Henry Goldberg.
Kasia Sokalla studied voice in her native Poland, and graduated with honors from the Berklee School of Music.
David Golber has been playing Balkan-style clarinet for decades. He speaks Macedonian, and has studied in the Republic of Macedonia with Risto Krapovski, Bajsa Arifovska, and others.
Gawain Thomas comes from a musical family, and began playing accordion at an early age. He has studied for years with Bulgarian maestro Ivan Milev, and is well-known in Boston’s Balkan music scene.
Henry Goldberg is a true master of the Balkan drum tapan. When the Bulgarian group Kabile came on tour to Boston, they were traveling without a tapan player. Henry stepped in and played with them, seamlessly and completely in style.