Performer Lineup

Here are the acts scheduled for the 2017 Slavic Fest!

Visit our schedule page for information on performance times!

Raya Brass Band

 

You might catch them wailing mid-span on the Brooklyn Bridge under a full moon. Or making partiers on a Bushwick rooftop dance so hard that the roof bounces. Raya Brass Band bursts with a frenetic joie de vivre that powers the high-energy party. Digging into black-market compilations, Eastern European carnival traditions and their own eclectic musical pasts (New Orleans brass, punk, out jazz), Raya Brass Band has the chops to match their irrational exuberance.

Raya Brass Band does it on the dance floor, mashing up the music of Eastern Europe with American dance grooves. Featuring odd meters, unusual scales and a fine helping of gorgeous Balkan and Romany (Gypsy) melodies played on reeds, trumpet, accordion, tuba and drums, Raya Brass Band brings the East European get-down wherever it goes.

Raya Brass Band draws in both average listeners and Eastern European folk music aficionados alike with its energetic and engaging portable show. As a fully acoustic ensemble, Raya Brass Band can wander freely, bringing a Balkan style dance party to every corner of the room. With members of the band ready to teach basic Balkan dances at the drop of a hat, the audience can choose to listen, learn some new dance steps, or shake everything they’ve got however they like!

“This Brooklyn collective gleefully upends traditional wedding music of the Balkans and Greece, undercutting regional reeds and brass with decidedly American funk pulse.” New York Times

“Watch as five people conjure a massive party around them. Then see if you can resist the temptation to get up and start dancing. It’s pretty unlikely.” Pop Matters

“The wild … stylings of this band invoked such a frenzy that several people questioned their own existence after their own souls leapt from their body and danced right out in front of them.” What Weekly, Baltimore

“A wild ride of genre blending that doesn’t call it a night just because the sun is coming up.”Midwest Record

“Unhinged energy and dizzying skill.” New York Daily News

Harmonia

Harmonia‘s music is intense, driving, lyrical roots music from Eastern Europe, with a repertoire drawing on Gypsy, Hungarian, Romanian, Croatian, Ukrainian, Slovak and Carpatho-Rusyn traditions.

Harmonia presents the traditional folk music of eastern Europe, ranging from the Danube to the Carpathians. Its repertoire reflects the cultures of this region: Hungarian, Slovak, Ukrainian, Romanian, Croatian and Gypsy. Performing on authentic folk instruments, and styled after turn of the century East-European Gypsy bands, their music is drawn from both the urban and rural traditions of Eastern-Europe. The ensemble’s performances evoke the full range of human emotions; interspersing fiery, passionate virtuosity with soulful melancholy and nostalgic yearning. They have been called “obscenely talented” by the Folklore society of Washington D.C. and “a musical gem” by National Public Radio.

The musicians come from varied East-European backgrounds; in Harmonia they have found a common musical language. Harmonia brings to the concert stage the vitality and excitement of ethnic weddings, celebrations, and smoky cafés that inspired composers such as Bartok, Brahms and Lizst. Whether performing in these traditional settings or in concert halls, Harmonia’s members stay close to their roots.

The six-piece ensemble uses instruments as varied as accordion, upright bass, violin, panflute, and cimbalom (the East-European 125 string hammered dulcimer).  Capturing the emotion, depth, fire and passion of Eastern Europe; Harmonia’s rhythms move in a heartbeat from mellow and dissonant to loud and frenzied.  The musicians come from varied East-European backgrounds, finding a common musical language in Harmonia.  Their technical brilliance only adds to Harmonia’s breathtaking performances – dizzying cimbalom solos coupled with soaring violin lines, haunting flute and accordion solos and soulful vocals – are a joy by any standard.

Ariana Lem Joy Trio

Coming from the land and influence of the Carpathian Mountains, this is Ariana лем Joy Trio. Ariana (age 9) plays the violin and sings with her Parents – Suzi (mandolin & violin) and Juraj (accordion and Cajon-kick-tambour-drum). Together, they re-imagine rich traditional music from Eastern Europe and render them into their own intriguing arrangements.

This Trio will capture you with their joyous three-part vocal harmonies, catchy rhythms, and unique instrumentation: violin, mandolin, accordion and “Cajon-kick-tambour-drum”. They have performed on numerous festivals with thousands in attendance. In November 2016, they released their debut EP album called, “Spivanocky Moji”, translated as “My Songs”.

Ariana (age 9), plays the violin and sings. She has been performing since age 7 with Concordia Chorale and the New Jersey Symphony Youth Orchestra with performances in Madison Square Garden and St. Patrick’s Cathedral among others. She is also a competitive Rhythmic Gymnast.

Junior Tamburitzans of Duquesne

The Junior Tamburitzans of Duquesne were officially organized in August 1961 and performed their premier concert in 1962. For 55 consecutive years, the Junior Tamburitzans of Duquesne have diligently preserved the cultures of many Eastern European countries through music, song and dance, utilizing a myriad of instruments and costumes showcased in their annual concert. The parent organization is extremely proud of all its young Tammies whose sustained enthusiasm has made possible many memorable performances throughout the United States and Canada.  To each youngster, past and present, who has donned a costume to dance a kolo or play an instrument, especially those who have remained until graduation, to the 56 former members who have been awarded scholarships with either the world-renowned Duquesne University Tamburitzans or PIFAI Tamburitzans of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and to our two talented directors (both JTD alumni), we extend our sincere appreciation and congratulations. It is your dedication, cooperation, and inspiration that will build the stepping stones for future generations of Junior Tamburitzans.

We are fortunate, indeed, to count among our membership several second generation Junior Tammies, and we are eagerly awaiting the third generation.

Joe Maloy

Joe Maloy of Derry is an accordion virtuoso who is known for his infectious enthusiasm and joy while performing. He has performed for many years at Oktoberfest at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, and at the Bavarian Village of Frankenmuth in Michigan. Locals can often see him perform on Saturday evenings at the Darlington Inn of Ligonier.