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Cultures at the Crossroads with Dragi Spasovski, The Mehanatones, Black Sea Surf

  Friday , Nov 2, 2012         7:30 PM        $15,$10adv children free

Event Details

mehanatones_200Famed Macedonian singer-dancer, Dragi Spasovski, and the Balkan band, The Mehanatones, present an evening of traditional Macedonian song and dance, featuring traditional instruments on songs rarely heard, some almost lost to antiquity. 

They will be joined by Black Sea Surf.  With crashing waves of sound, this hot new Balkan band enlivens the traditional sounds of Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, the Roma, Turkey, and more with modern instrumentation and interpretation. Whammy bars and foot pedal effects!

Dance lessons at 7:30pm, Music at 8:30pm. Ethnic food by Hristo Kolev. Davida Munkres will be teaching Turkish and Macedonian dances! Advance tickets


Dragi Spasovski was born in the small village of Studena Bara, near Kumanovo, only 25 km from Skopje. His family moved to Skopje when he was 4, and Skopje is the place where he made his first steps in exploring life, art, music and dancing. He was “the” actor in elementary school drama, then joined the school ballet group, and finally, influenced by his mother’s singing, mostly in their home, he found himself swept away by the folk spirit.

In 1966, encouraged by his mother, Rajna Spasovska, who was already recording for the Macedonian National Radio, he made his first attempt at professional singing. He had a trial recording with Radio Skopje’s Izvoren Orkestar. At the first rehearsal with the orchestra, his life was totally changed.

In 1976 he recorded intensively with all three radio orchestras. Singing became a very important part of his life. This was the period when he did most of his radio recordings, eventually completing over 100 songs for the National Radio of Macedonia.

Most of the songs Dragi has recorded he learned from his mother, “songs which were inside of me since I was a child, songs which I shared with myself and others when I was happy and when I was sad. The song was, is, and will be a description of me, a picture of my soul.” The general editor of the Folk Department of Radio Skopje, in one of the programs featuring Dragi, said, “Dragi Spasovski did not find singing a main source of his existence, rather for him it was a cultural exchange.” To which Dragi adds, “Singing is the voice of my soul.”

The MEHANATONES perform urban and village dance music from the Balkans & Anatolia. Like the working Chalgia orchestras of the last century, we perform a wide variety of dance tunes from the many ethnic groups living throughout these regions. Our sets include fasils; suites incorporating classical Ottoman and folk repertoire utilizing typical Ottoman Turkish instrumentation of ney, oud & dajre. You will also hear Slavic & Greek repertoire from the rural villages of Macedonia, Bulgaria & northern Greece performed on gajda, kaval, tambura & tupan. You may also experience urban Greek Rebetika performed on bouzouki & baglama as well as comparatively modern Rom (Gypsy) & Serbian dances performed on accordion, trumpet & electric guitar. 
For this performance we will be joined by Macedonian traditional singer, Dragi Spassovski in a special performance of Macedonian Izvorna & Chalgija repertoire. 
Dragi Spassovski - voice
Bill Cope - oud, gajda & tambura
Pat Mac Swyney – ney & kaval
Dan Auvil - tupan, darabuka & dajre
Corinne Sykes - voice & tambura
Tom Farris - tambura & laouto

Black Sea Surf

Crashing waves of sound! 

This hot Balkan band enlivens the traditional sounds and instrumentation
of Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, the Roma, Turkey, and more with
modern instrumentation and interpretation. What if traditional Balkan
music were created by a California surf band?! But we don't even let
that concept limit us!

Come enjoy dancing all your Balkan favorites (and maybe find some new
ones!) pumped up by the energy of this exciting band!

No telling what you'll find in the Black Sea surf... but to find out
more, visit: 

Radka Varimezova - lead vocal
Dan Auvil - all things percussive
Bill Cope - Stratocaster, gajda(s), bouzouki, accordion
Tom Farris - bass
Corinne Sykes - keyboard and vocals

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