Brass Menažeri (pronounced “Menagerie”) is San Francisco’s original & hottest Balkan Romani (“Gypsy”) Brass Band, and this concert will be part of their FAREWELL TOUR. Their music cascades through Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Greece & even Rajasthan with wild rhythms, new sensibilities, innovative arrangements & original compositions, expanding the traditions while we remain rooted within them.
Directed by trumpeter & clarinetist Peter Jaques, Brass Menazeri unites the Bay Area’s foremost interpreters & reimaginers of the Balkan traditions.
Long before the current Balkan brass music craze was iconified by crossover artists like Beirut and NY’s Balkan Beat Box, the nine musicians of the San Francisco Bay Area’s powerhouse Brass Menažeri Balkan Brass Band were already getting deep into the tradition, developed over centuries by the Rom (Gypsy) communities of Serbia, Macedonia and Greece, which yields music as alive with ecstatic celebration as with despairing laments. The band draws on many of the characteristics common throughout the Balkans: brazen horn lines, odd-metered rhythms, riveting, close harmonies, soulful improvisations, and a mission to make people dance.
Now a wider audience is taking notice, as Brass Menažeri’s powerful performances drive some of the most fresh and exciting live shows in the Bay Area, including SF Weekly’s “Best Crazed Gypsy Brass Band Dance Party”, Kafana Balkan, that has packed most of San Francisco’s venues over its 3 year history.
Joining them for the evening will be Vancouver’s stalwart Balkan Brass Band icons, Orkestar Slivovica and the Scarlet Lux Bellydancers!