Thousands of musicians play Balkan music outside the Balkans. Many are not of Balkan ancestry and fell in love with a tradition not their own. Either way, if you’re a Balkan band outside the Balkans and have a Web site, or are already on the list and have a new URL, contact us and we’ll update the directory (which went dormant for a while, but is alive and well again). Since no band lasts forever, some links below may no longer be active.
OUTSIDE THE USA
Alphabetically by country
- Tamburaski Orkestar Kardinal Stepaninac Croatian group in Vancouver, BC.
- Orchestra Mihalache features Romanian cimbalom player George Mihalache.
- Balkan Transit has been playing since 1988 in Aarhus.
- Baghdaddies play energetic, horn-driven Balkan ska up in Newcastle upon Tyne.
- Dunav plays Balkan music in London.
- La Morte Subite- Balkano Carpathian Franco Greco Russo Turco Gypsy Jazz Folk
- Nefes, the “one and only Finnish-Turkish-New-Zealander acoustic band playing Turkish music in Finland”.
- Falkafolk Ensemble Balkan and Hungarian music in Budapest.
- Söndörgö Ensemble plays South Slavic music from Hungary.
- Vujicsics plays Balkan and tamburica music.
- Dragan Trio is a quartet from Rome playing Balkan and klezmer music. In Italian.
- Kraski Ovcarji from Trieste plays Balkan-flavored rock
- Opa Cupa is mostly Italian musicians, with a Bosnian guitarist and Albanian accordionist.
- Sniper – Balkan music in the Venice area.
- Balkanswingband Sultan
- ?arlama Orkestar – Exuberant brass party band
- Csókolom, based in Amsterdam and Berlin, plays Hungarian, Romanian and Rom music.
- Iduna, an 11-member band, plays music from the Balkans, Eastern Europe and elsewhere.
- Lautareasca plays Balkan, Irish, Scots and klezmer music.
- Mista plays Balkan and other folk music for dancing and listening.
- Farmers Market, who did a concert with Ivo Papazov.
- Ulaband plays “music from all over the world, but mostly Balkan,” Torstein Ruud tells us.
- Niko Ne Zna – Wellington’s Balkan Extravaganza
- Sarakina Balkan Band
- Tsârvuli are an Edinburgh-based group specialising in Bulgarian and Macedonian folk music played on traditional instruments
- Den Flygande Bokrullen, a Swedish klezmer band that also plays Greek and Balkan music.
- Süperstar Orkestar, from Stockholm, plays Balkan brass band music.
- Gothenburn Gadjos are a fantastic wild brass band.
- Östblocket – a balkan band from Sweden
- Andra Generationen (Second Generation), from Goteborg, plays Balkan, Turkish and Rom music with a hot, modern sound.
- Ssassa plays Balkan, Rom and Middle Eastern music and has several CDs.
IN THE USA
Alphabetically by state
- Big Rock Balalaikas, starring Judy Sherman from Odessa Balalaikas and Andy King from every famous L.A. Balkan band of the ’70s and ’80s, heighten the cultural consciousness of the Central Coast.
- Brass Menažeri – San Francisco’s powerhouse Balkan brass band
- Chubritza performs Balkan music in idyllic Arcata.
- Danubius, including my old pal Barbara Deutsch, plays Eastern European and Balkan music in the Bay area.
- Drita plays Albanian music in Los Angeles.
- Edessa plays hot music from the Balkans, Greece and Turkey in the Bay area and beyond (no Web site).
- Fishtank Ensemble – “deliriously international” Gypsy jazz
- Kitka, a women’s choir in the San Francisco Bay area, performs songs from the Balkans and beyond.
- Nevenka women’s Balkan choir
- Slavonian Traveling Band plays tamburica and Rom music.
- Sviraci plays Balkan village music (and a little Scandinavian on the side) in the Bay area.
- CA and Washington and Massachusetts: Ziyiá, an excellent traditional Greek ensemble with bicoastal roots, has released two fine CDs.
- Planina sings songs of Eastern Europe.
- The Balkan Situations – nine piece band playing popular and traditional Balkan tunes
- Eastern Blok , from Chicago, plays Balkan jazz fusion
- Izgrev plays Bulgarian wedding music in Chicago.
- Panorama Jazz Band includes Eastern European tunes in its repertoire.
- Divni Zheni, a Bulgarian women’s chorus and band directed by Tatiana Sarbinska in Boston.
- Gogofski Trio, with David Golber, plays music from the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia and surrounding areas.
- Rakiya plays Rom music in the Boston area.
- Tom Pixton in the Boston area
- Zdravets is “Boston’s friendly neighborhood Bulgarian band.”
- The Ethnic Connection in Ann Arbor, featuring David Owens, formerly of the L.A. band Nama.
- Immigrant Suns in Detroit: “Balkan village indie-rock, or improvised pop hooks with topical lyrics? Arabic garage folk or avante world beat?”
- Katun – Acoustic Balkan fusion in Ann Arbor
- Ethnic Dance Theatre in Minneapolis has a folk orchestra and women’s choir, Mila, that perform music from Eastern and Central Europe.
- Ansambl Mastika – Original Eastern European Music.
- Balkan Beat Box Israeli/American meetup where gypsy brass meets ska
- Frula Show, a Serbian band in New York
- Merak, an excellent Macedonian dance band in Syracuse.
- Raya Brass Band – exhuberant Balkan music from Brooklyn
- Romashka is a New York based band playing Romanian and Russian Gypsy and folk music.
- Slavic Soul Party is “downtown’s answer to Balkan party music: brash and strong as slivovitz.”
- The Yuri Yunakov Ensemble is led by Yuri, a Bulgarian emigre who played sax with Ivo Papazov.
- Zagnut Circus Orkestar plays Balkan brass band music, with mp3s available on their site.
- Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band, North America’s leading Balkan brass band, has released several fine recordings and hosts noteworthy Balkan music events in the NY area.
- Hajde, in Columbus, plays Macedonian and Bulgarian folk music for dancers.
- Harmonia, led by the legendary Walt Mahovlich, plays music from Eastern and Central Europe.
- Balkan Babes in Pittsburgh.
- Duquesne University Tamburitzans in Pittsburgh.
- Sviraj in Steelton
- Svitanja is an Eastern European women’s chorus in the Philadelphia area.
- Turku plays music from the Balkans to Iran
- Zivio performs music and dance of the Balkans.
- Balkanarama plays Balkan nightclub music in Seattle, hosts this site
- Bucharest Drinking Team
- Dromeno – Greek and Balkan music with the Govetas family.
- Dunava is a women’s Balkan choir affiliated with Radost.
- Folk Voice plays music from all over Europe, including the Balkans
- Hejira plays world jazz from the Balkans and Middle East.
- Kafana Republik plays Balkan and Rom music wedding band style.
- Kultur Shock plays killer Balkan punk in Seattle.
- The Makedonians are a free-floating Balkan band in the Olympia-Tacoma area.
- Mary Sherhart is a Balkan vocal soloist and teacher in Seattle and performs with Nisava as Balkan Cabaret.
- Orkestar Radio-Televizija Woodinville (RTW), good buddies of ours, plays Bulgarian and Macedonian music in Seattle.
- Orkestar Zirkonium a large drum and brass ensemble in Seattle
- Pangeo, with Christos Govetas, Ruth Hunter and friends, plays superb regional Greek music.
- Pasatempo, featuring Christos Govetas, Ruth Hunter, Dave Bartley and friends, specializes in Greek rebetika.
- Radost is Seattle’s leading ethnic dance company and often is accompanied by live musicians.
- Sandra Layman is an excellent violinist playing klezmer, Balkan and Turkish music.
- Seattle Junior Tamburitzans have been playing Croatian music since 1970.
- Modal Music plays klezmer, Romany, Balkan, Greek and more
- Izvor plays Balkan and international music in Milwaukee.
- Prazna Flasa (Empty Bottle) plays tamburica music in Milwaukee.
- The Reptile Palace Orchestra in Madison.
- Sloboda plays Serbian and Balkan music in Milwaukee.
- Wisconsin: United Serbs play in the Milwaukee area.
The East European Folklife Center sponsors memorable Balkan music camps on the West and East coasts of the U.S. every summer and runs an e-mail discussion group on Balkan music and folklore.