|Directory maintained by Mike
Thousands of musicians play Balkan music outside the Balkans. Most
of them are not of Balkan ancestry and fell in love with a tradition not their
own. If you're one of them and have a Web site, or are already on the list and
have a new URL, send e-mail to
and I'll update the directory. Since no band lasts forever, some links below may
no longer be active.
OUTSIDE THE USA
Alphabetically by country
- Australia: Isfahan
plays music of the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East. Band member
Malcolm Fielding also operates Web radio station
live365, whose playlist
Tsrvena Kniga plays Macedonian music and has both a
sound samples) and book of musical transcriptions available.
Xenos, from Preston.
Kyrillikata is two guys from Poland who play Bulgarian and Macedonian music
on accordion in Vienna.
Lioutenitsa plays Bulgarian music in Brussels.
- Canada: Angstones.
- Canada: The Boys
from Buf play Macedonian music.
- Canada: Dobri Decki is a
tamburica band in the Vancouver area.
- Canada: Seoski Lopovi
Tamburashi are based in Ontario.
Canada: Tamburaski Orkestar Kardinal Stepaninac
is affiliated with Immaculate Heart of Mary Croatian Catholic
Church in Vancouver.
- Czechoslovakia: Gothart
plays "rajija 'n' roll."
Transit has been playing since 1988 in Aarhus.
- Denmark: Orchestra Mihalache features
Romanian cimbalom player George Mihalache.
- England: 3 Mustaphas
3 have achieved international notoriety.
- England: Baghdaddies play
energetic, horn-driven Balkan ska up in Newcastle upon Tyne and have
sound clips and a CD
- England: Dunav
plays Balkan music in London.
- England: London Sevdah performs
Bosnian music in London.
- England: Szapora
plays jazz-influenced traditional music from Central and Eastern Europe and the
- Finland: Nefes,
the "one and only Finnish-Turkish-New-Zealander acoustic band playing Turkish
music in Finland").
- Finland: Slobo
Horo has two CDs; their site was last updated in 1996.
- Finland: Svirki
Svirjat (with a sample from their CD).
- France: Gürültü (no Web
site, email only) plays Balkan and Turkish music, plus their own originals, in
- Germany: Jerewan brings a
modern sensibility to music of the Balkans and Caucasus -- "Balkanblues und
- Hungary: Falkafolk.
- Hungary: Rece-Fice.
- Hungary: Söndörgő Ensemble
plays South Slavic music from Hungary.
- Hungary: Vujicsics
plays Balkan and tamburica music.
- Hungary: Zsaratnok.
- Italy: Balkan
Babau Circus Orkestar from Trieste offers two sound clips. A babau is "a
kind of little naughty ghost," they say.
- Italy: Dragan Trio is a
quartet from Rome playing Balkan and klezmer music. In Italian, with music
- Italy: Kraski Ovcarji from
Trieste plays Balkan-flavored rock -- here's their
- Italy: Opa Cupa is mostly
Italian musicians, with a Bosnian guitarist and Albanian accordionist.
- Italy: Sniper.
- Netherlands: Csókolom, based in
Amsterdam and Berlin, plays Hungarian, Romanian and Rom music.
De Amsterdam Klezmer Band has recorded with the Galata Gypsy Band from
Edirne in European Turkey.
- Netherlands: Duo Izvor
(Michiel Bakkes and Bregje Tijman) performs Bulgarian music on accordion and
- Netherlands: Galina
Durmushliyska, a Dobrudjan singer, now lives in the Netherlands and works
with the trio Kusmet and orchestra Lorelei.
- Netherlands: Iduna,
an 11-member band, plays music from the Balkans, Eastern Europe and elsewhere.
- Netherlands: Lautareasca plays
Balkan, Irish, Scots and klezmer music.
- Netherlands: Mista
plays Balkan and other folk music for dancing and listening.
- Netherlands: Slavuj
performs Balkan and Eastern European vocal music in Amsterdam.
- Netherlands: Balkanswingband
- Norway: Farmers Market, who did
a concert with Ivo Papazov and whose recordings include "Speed/Balkan/Boogie"
(an excellent idea!).
- Norway: Ulaband plays "music from all
over the world, but mostly Balkan," Torstein Ruud tells us.
- Sweden: Den
Flygande Bokrullen, a Swedish klezmer band that also plays Greek and Balkan
Orientexpressen plays Balkan, Scandinavian, Eastern European and Turkish
music and has a CD.
- Sweden: Süperstar
Orkestar, from Stockholm, plays Balkan brass band music.
Balkan Bazaar plays Balkan dance music in Zürich.
- Switzerland: Ssassa plays Balkan, Rom
and Middle Eastern music and has several CDs.
- Sweden: Andra
Generationen (Second Generation), from Goteborg, plays Balkan, Turkish and
Rom music with a hot, modern sound. Nice Web site (in Swedish). The band
includes emigre and Swedish musicians.
- Sweden: Spúkah Gúma, from Halmstad,
plays Bulgarian and Macedonian music.
- Sweden: Other Balkan bands include Athinas, Cabare Oriental, Nema Problema
and Kopanitsa, according to Leif Isebring.
- Vojvodina: LADAABA (La
Danza Apocalyptica Balcanica) from Novi Sad technically doesn't qualify for this
list, as it is actually based in the Balkans, but it definitely has the right
attitude. Good look, good samples.
IN THE USA
Alphabetically by state
- California: Anoush plays music from the
southern Balkans and has a CD.
- California: 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.
- California: Chubritza performs Balkan
music in idyllic Arcata.
- California: Danubius, including my
old pal Barbara Deutsch, plays Eastern European and Balkan music in the Bay
- California: Drita
plays Albanian music in Los Angeles and has a
- California: Edessa plays hot music from the Balkans, Greece and
Turkey in the Bay area and beyond (no Web site).
- California: Farabi
in Santa Barbara.
- California: Kitka, a women's choir in the
San Francisco Bay area, performs songs from the Balkans and beyond.
- California: T'Adelfia, John
Pappas' Greek orchestra in Stockton.
- California: Savina Women's Folk Choir
in San Francisco.
- California: Slavonian
Traveling Band plays tamburica and Rom music.
- California: Sviraci
plays Balkan village music (and a little Scandinavian on the side) in the Bay
- California: The Toids are a cool Balkan band
born at CalArts and now hanging out in San Francisco.
- California, Washington and Massachusetts: Ziyiá,
an excellent traditional Greek ensemble with bicoastal roots, has released two
- Colorado: Planina sings
songs of Eastern Europe.
- Connecticut: Zabe i Babe in
Middletown released a recording,
Drumovi, with the fabulous
- East Coast: Izgori has been performing traditional Macedonian music
since 1993. No Web page, but you can
contact them by email.
- Illinois: Boduli plays
Croatian tamburica music in Chicago and the Midwest.
- Illinois: Izgrev
plays Bulgarian wedding music in Chicago.
- Illinois: Sinovi of
Chicago melds Croatian tamburica music with other idioms.
- Indiana: Spatter
Dash, a folk band in South Bend.
is based in Shelburne.
Cambridge Folk Orchestra.
- Massachusetts: Divni Zheni, a
Bulgarian women's chorus and band directed by Tatiana Sarbinska in Boston.
Flying Tomatoes in the Boston area.
- Massachusetts: Gogofski Trio, with
David Golber, plays music from the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia and
Band in the Boston area.
- Massachusetts: Rakiya plays Rom music in
the Boston area.
Tamburitza Troubadors in the Boston area.
Tom Pixton in
the Boston area.
- Massachusetts: Zdravets is "Boston's
friendly neighborhood Bulgarian band."
Bulgarian men's choir in the Boston area.
Connection in Ann Arbor, featuring David Owens, formerly of the L.A. band
Immigrant Suns in Detroit: "Balkan village indie-rock, or improvised pop
hooks with topical lyrics? Arabic garage folk or avante world beat?".
- Minnesota: Ethnic Dance Theatre
in Minneapolis has a folk orchestra and women's choir, Mila, that perform music
from Eastern and Central Europe and have each released a CD.
Continental Drift plays Balkan music in Kansas City.
- New Mexico: Kathryn Stately, formerly
of XSKO, is a Balkan singer in Santa Fe.
- New Orleans: Panorama Jazz Band
includes Eastern European tunes in its repertoire.
- New York: 9 Olives
skillfully plays izvorni music from Macedonia, with sound samples on their site.
- New York: Bogomila, in New
York City, features Seido Salifoski, Ismail
Butera, George Stathos and Annette Ezekiel.
- New York: Frula Show,
a Serbian band in New York, offers four RealAudio sound clips.
- New York: Kolevi Family Orchestra is
led by Nikolai Kolev and includes Donka, Penka and Maria Koleva, sometimes
joined by Adam Good and Matt Moran.
- New York: Merak, an excellent
Macedonian dance band in Syracuse, offers
14 songs for your listening
- New York:
- New York: PECTOPAH ("Restoran")
is a 6- to 10-piece Balkan jazz orkestra based in New York City, expanding and
contracting from gig to gig.
- New York:
Romashka is a New York based band
playing Romanian and Russian Gypsy and folk music.
- New York: Slavic Soul Party is
"downtown's answer to Balkan party music: brash and strong as slivovitz."
- New York: The Yuri
Yunakov Ensemble is led by Yuri, a Bulgarian emigre who played sax with Ivo
Papazov, and has released three CDs with his own band of Bulgarian and American
- New York: Zagnut Circus Orkestar
plays Balkan brass band music, with mp3s available on their site.
- New York: 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.
- North Carolina: Kudzustvo plays
Eastern European and Balkan music in the Raleign Triangle area.
- Ohio: Oberlin College Slavic
- Ohio: Hajde, in Columbus,
plays Macedonian and Bulgarian folk music for dancers.
- Ohio: Harmonia, led by the legendary
Walt Mahovlich, plays music from Eastern and Central Europe.
- Ohio: Zivili in Columbus is a
professional South Slavic dance company with an orchestra and CD.
- Oregon: Balladina plays Balkan dance
music in Eugene.
- Oregon: Kafana Klub plays Balkan music
- Oregon: Milen Slavov and Zhivka
Papancheva play traditional and contemporary Bulgarian music in Portland.
- Pennsylvania: Bulgarian Women's Ensemble
(a.k.a. the Balkan Babes) in Pittsburgh.
Duquesne University Tamburitzans in Pittsburgh.
- Pennsylvania: Gypsophilia is a
trio in Philadelphia that plays Balkan and Middle Eastern music and originals.
- Pennsylvania: Tamburashki Orkestar
SELO plays in the Pittburgh
- Pennsylvania: Svitanja is an Eastern
European women's chorus
in the Philadelphia area.
- Pennsylvania: Sviraj in
Daleko in Pittsburgh.
- South Carolina:
Turku plays music from the Balkans to Iran, and has a great site.
- Texas: For 25 years, Austin Balkan Singers has been doing "a cappella
and minor instrumental Balkan music with a third coast twist." No Web page yet.
- Utah: Zivio performs music and dance of
the Balkans and maintains a
calendar of ethnic and
folk dance events in the Salt Lake City area.
- Washington, D.C.:
Lyuti Chushki's strong lineup of Bulgarian and American performers plays
traditional Bulgarian music in the Baltimore-Washington area.
- Washington state: Balkana is a
Seattle-area youth dance ensemble -- no band, but they're pals, so we'll bend
- Washington: Balkanarama plays Balkan nightclub music
in Seattle, hosts this site and released CDs in 2000 and
- Washington: Balkan Cabaret is a
popular collaboration of singer Mary Sherhart and the band Nisava.
- Washington: The Cociks, no longer active, played Balkan and
international dance music in Seattle.
- Washington: Ensemble Sub Masa
plays Carpathian, klezmer and Turkish music (including live accompaniment for
the film Nosferatu).
- Washington: Folk Voice
plays music from all over Europe, including the Balkans
- Washington: Hejira plays world jazz
from the Balkans and Middle East.
- Washington: Kosava is a women's Balkan choir
formerly affiliated with Radost.
- Washington: Kultur Shock plays
killer Balkan rock in Seattle and released a
live CD in 1999.
- Washington: The
Makedonians are a free-floating Balkan band in the Olympia-Tacoma area.
- Washington: Mary Sherhart is a Balkan
vocal soloist and teacher in Seattle and performs with Nisava as Balkan Cabaret.
- Washington: Nisava
plays Eastern and Northern European music in the Puget Sound area, and performs
with Mary Sherhart as Balkan Cabaret.
- Washington: Orkestar
Radio-Televizija Woodinville (RTW), good buddies of ours, plays Bulgarian
and Macedonian music in Seattle.
- Washington: 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.
- Washington: Radost is Seattle's leading
ethnic dance company and often is accompanied by live musicians.
- Washington: Sandra Layman is an
excellent violinist playing klezmer, Balkan and Turkish music.
- Washington: Seattle Junior
Tamburitzans have been playing Croatian music since 1970.
- Washington: Sinovi
plays tamburica music in Seattle.
- Wisconsin: Izvor
plays Balkan and international music in Milwaukee.
- Wisconsin: Na Lesa
Bulgarian Folk Ensemble is accompanied by Orkestra Makedonska.
- Wisconsin: Prazna
Flasa (Empty Bottle) plays tamburica music in Milwaukee.
- Wisconsin: The Reptile
Palace Orchestra in Madison (here's what they
sound like -- 584K
- Wisconsin: Sloboda
plays Serbian and Balkan music in Milwaukee.
United Serbs play in the Milwaukee area.
- Wisconsin: Vatra plays Croatian
music in Milwaukee.
- Wisconsin: Szászka, in
Madison, plays traditional Hungarian dance music from Transylvania.
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
discussion group on Balkan music and folklore.
Folk Dance Fridays organizes many
Balkan events in the New York area.
Northwest Folk Dancers Incorporated
offers a guide to international dance in the