The November edition of the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal presents a three-part concert featuring the rare worldly talent of local Bay Area musicians. The Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal is a notoriously raucous marathon of music and dance at the Starry Plough on the second Friday of every month.
11:00pm Radio Istanbul
10:00pm Alex Hand Band
9:00pm Balkalicious Fire Drive
Doors at 8:00pm; Show at 9:00pm
Admission is $10-20 sliding scale
21+ after 10pm (kitchen closes then)
Radio Istanbul combines a traditional Istanbul sound with modern sensibilities. Inspired by the diverse music heard in the streets, bars and nightclubs of Turkey, Radio Istanbul's hypnotic melodies and driving rhythms draw on Turkish, Rom (Gypsy), Balkan, and Arabic grooves. Located in California in the San Francisco Bay Area.
This performance will feature Haluk Kecelioglu (oud and violin) Calvin Lai (clarinet), Jenny Luna (vocals), Sean Tergis (percussion), Faisal Zedan (percussion) and Schuyler Karr (upright bass)
Alex Hand Band
The Alex Hand Band is an electric folk jazz ensemble focusing on Bulgarian and Romanian dance music. With a setlist that ranges from Bulgarian wedding tunes to hot club jazz, the Alex Hand Band mines the common ground between swing and Eastern European folk dance music–the soundtrack of Western music moving across Balkan borders and being changed by European village music.
Alex graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011 with a jazz performance degree, studied traditional music in Bulgaria in 2015 and has been a key member of the Bay Area gypsy jazz and Balkan scenes in recent years. For this performance, Alex is joined by Lewis Patzner on cello and Aaron Kierbel on drums.
Balkalicious Fire Drive
With searing instrumentals and fierce, sultry vocals soaring over hard-hitting grooves, the Bay Area's rockin' Balkan band, Balkalicious Fire Drive moves you with the raw and intoxicating energy, sound and spirit of the Balkans. The members of BFD bring with them extensive and vibrant histories in the world music scene. They are: Leslie Bonnett on vocals and violin; Stuart Brotman on bass; Shea Comfort on clarinet; Haig Kassabian on drums; and Ali Yagiz Sen on guitar and vocals.