Всички публикации и новини от БГ общността

Boston and Mass

BG новини и събития от Massachusetts и Boston


BG новини и събития в Connecticut и региона

New Jersey

BG новини и събития от New Jersey и региона

New York & NYC

BG новини и събития от New York и региона

Home » Articles

Romani Music with Yuri Yunakov & Sal Mamudoski

Electrifying Balkan wedding music at Balkan Cafe

Saturday, April 29 at 4 PM
Hungarian House NYC
213 E 82nd St, New York, New York 10028

Opre Khetanes! Festival @Balkan Cafe
Balkan Romani Dance Party: Grand Masters of Gypsy Music

4-5:30pm Instrumental music workshop with the musicians, all instruments welcome, $20
6pm – Dinner available for purchase, cash bar
6-7:15pm Panel discussion on Romani music and current politics, with Carol Silverman, Sani Rifati, and artists, free
7:30pm Dance workshop with Sani Rifati, free with admission to dance party
8:30pm Dance party with Grand Masters of Gypsy Music, $20

Tickets will be at the door only

Cash bar and Delicious homemade Balkan food for purchase by Ma Mma Mila

Grand Masters of Gypsy Music features:
Yuri Yunakov - sax
Sal Mamudoski - clarinet
Erhan Rambo - keyboard
Sevim Umer - drums

Part of the Opre Khetanes 5 Conference at NYU
Festival website:

Sponsored by the Center for Traditional Music and DanceVoice of Roma, and Initiative for Romani Music at NYUBalkan Cafe and Hungarian House NYC
Grand Masters of Gypsy Music is:

Yuri Yunakov, the superstar of the saxophone, was born in Haskovo, Bulgaria, in 1958, and has been the recipient of much critical acclaim. In 2011 Yuri received a National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honor for an American folk musician. A self-taught virtuoso, Yuri comes from a family of Turkish Romani musician who include his father, grandfather, uncles and brother. Yuri was catapulted to international fame for his pioneering work in Bulgarian “wedding music” with Ivo Papasov and their legendary band Trakiya which attracted thousands of fans and hundreds of imitators. Their thrilling music showcases virtuosic technique, electrifying improvisation, rapid tempos, daring key changes and eclectic musical literacy. This contemporary style of wedding music was named for its ubiquitous presence at life cycle celebrations such as weddings, baptisms, and circumcisions where dancing and music are a requirement. Wedding music is known for its haunting melodies, dense ornamentation and complex rhythmic patterns.

Yunakov immigrated to New York in 1994 and formed the Yuri Yunakov Ensemble, which toured widely in Europe and the U.S., including concerts at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, the National Folk Festival, and the Monterey World Music Festival. Yuri is featured in the new Canadian documentary about the saxophone, “The Devils’ Horn.” The New York Times has written “Yuri Yunakov led his ensemble in Bulgarian and Gypsy tunes….racing ahead in dizzy-speeding curlicues and zigzags. They played as if Bulgaria’s national drink were rocket-fuel!” And The Vancouver Courier has hailed Yuri and his ensemble for “entrancing melodies, shifting time signatures and those unbelievably rapid tempos that Yunakov navigates with ease. His solos especially stand out for their pure exuberance.”

Selajdin (“Sal”) Mamudoski was born in 1988 and raised in NY in a Romani family from Macedonia. He plays clarinet at Romani, Albanian, Macedonian, Turkish, and other Balkan family and community celebrations. He was a student of Romani saxophonist Yuri Yunakov for many years and frequently performs with him. Sal toured the US with Yunakov’s Romani Wedding Band in 2007, and he performed with the Sazet Band at the 2015 Herdeljezi Festival, both sponsored by VOR.

Erhan (Rambo) Umer, born in Bitola, Macedonia in 1973 and moved to NY in 1986, comes from a long line of professional Romani musicians: his father was a drummer with the National Macedonian Ensemble “Tanec.” Erhan is a keyboard player and vocalist who performs for weddings and celebrations for his community of Macedonian Roma and also for Albanians, Bosnians, Serbs, and Turks. Erhan toured the US with Yunakov’s Romani Wedding Band in 2007, sponsored by VOR.

Sevim Umer, born in Bitola, Macedonia in 1965, currently living in NY, comes from a long line of professional Romani musicians: his father was a drummer with the National Macedonian Ensemble “Tanec.” Sevim drums regularly in the NY area for Macedonian Roma and also Albanians, Bosnians, Serbs, and Turks. For over a decade he has performed and toured with Albanian stars Merita Halili and Raif Hyseni.

Sani Rifati is Voice of Roma’s President and founder, production/tour manager, dance researcher and instructor, and activist. Of Romani decent, Sani was born in 1962 in Kosovo, emigrated to the United States in 1993, and now lives in Berlin. His career as a dancer and singer began early in childhood in his Romani neighborhood, and he has given numerous dance workshops in Europe and the US. Sani produced VOR’s North American tours with Esma Redžepova in 2004 and 2016, Yuri Yunakov in 2007, and Kal in 2006 and 2008.