Monday, January 21, 2008

Zlatne Uste Golden Festival 2008!

Ever folkdanced with about 300 other people at the same time? Me neither. Until Saturday night and the Zlatne Uste Golden Festival, entered my life--it hails as the biggest festival of Eastern European music in North America.

I think my ass is still in the Good Shephard school on Isham Street in upper Manhattan where I danced it off. E and I got our Balkan on into the wee hours of the morn (well, 2:30 am, which is pretty wee for me).

Here's a video from before it got crowded (I didn't take any of these videos but found them on You Tube)... (this auditorium, where all the videos in the post were taken, was just one of three rooms hosting music...)

This one is a little later in the night...during what I think is Zlatne Uste, the collective Balkan brass band that is at the heart of making this festival happen. You'll notice in the video that the dancing starts out in mayhem and then lines start to form. I love the loud "hopa!" you can hear part way through...

It was so FUN! So many happy, excited, sweaty people together in one space dancing to the most gorgeous music in the world. It just doesn't get much better than that. About 40 or so bands of varying styles and covering a range of regions.

Slavic Soul Party of course!
Lyuti Chushki: A great Bulgarian band from DC with this incredible woman phenom. What a voice...
Veveritse Brass Band A funky balkanic explosion from Brooklyn (led by the trumpeter from the Hungry March Band)
Raqy and the Cavemen--wow, they were tight! (must thank my good friend in Alabama who gave me the tip off to GO SEE THEM...definitely one of the highlights). Free-form percussion-heavy Middle-Eastern fusion funk.
The West Philadelphia Orchestra. These guys completely rocked...I would travel to see them. Here's one video from their performance. This was later in the night--or early in the morning rather--so the population is a little sparser than it was an hour or so before...but you can see some of the fun folkdancing you get to do to this music...(if you go to their link, you can really hear their music...)

Not all the bands were brass...they just happened to be some of my favorite! I'll post more videos as I find them.

Check out Slavic Soul Party's schedule. Looks like they are doing a little touring (A, they are coming to Seattle at the end of Feb!).

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