PRINCES AMONGST MEN: Journeys With Gypsy Musicians

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Sudahan put a clarinet to his lips at the wedding of Elvis Huna in Skopje and blew a ferocious wail, summoning the spirit of Shutka (city of Gypsies). Dzansever’s a phantom, singing only for Turkish and Gypsy weddings, her voice conveying deep Balkan blues. Sofi Marinova’s charming, a devastating singer. Boban rules Serbia’s Guca brass band festival. There he sent thousands of youths into ecstasy with his eerie, charged notes. Ederlezi – the holy day for Balkan Gypsies – in Kyustendil mahala, south west Bulgaria. A night never to forget. Jony & Boril Iliev’s band played and the ghetto rose in a wave of joy. Esma enters a room – any room – and is acknowledged as the Queen. Saban, choking on a cigarette, remains the Lizard King. Ekrem and Naat: stoic trumpet masters. Ferus leers.

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Fulgerica frowns. Kal’s Dragan Ristic’s a smooth operator. In Zece Prajini, Fanfare Ciocarlia’s “invisible” village, geese and pigs clutter up the main road and brass echoes across the valley. Taraf de Haidouks translates as Band of Outlaws. Very apt. Eight wild, relentless months from Spring to Winter a Balkan exodus I got the bear and the bear got me. Some dream of running away to join the circus. Mine was to ride with the Gypsies. This is how the journey sounded. Garth Cartwright.

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Princes Amongst Men featuring: Sudahan (Macedonia), Ekrem & Gypsy Groovz (Serbia), Fulgerica (Romania), Romica Puceanu (Romania), Dan Armeanca & Fanfare Ciocarlia (Romania), Kal (Serbia), Jony Iliev (Bulgaria), Ferus Mustafov (Macedonia), Saban Bajramovic (Serbia), Sofi Marinova (Bulgaria), Kocani Orkestar (Macedonia), Esma Redzepova (Macedonia), Rom Bengale (Romania), Dzansever (Macedonia), Toni Iordache (Romania), Boril Iliev (Bulgaria), Taraf de Haidouks (Romania), Boban Markovic (Serbia) For more information follow the link below.


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