For the first time, Seattle will play host to a Balkan dance party of truly epic proportions. March 10, 2012, Balkan Night Northwest brings together an evening festival of music and dance from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Greece, along with the raging sounds of Romany (Gypsy) brass. This inaugural event takes place at the Russian Center on Capitol Hill.
Balkan Night Northwest will feature two stages with continuous music and over a dozen bands. Balkan dancing is a swirling, sweaty whirlwind that will sweep up even unsuspecting bystanders in its wake. It’s great fun, and recent sold-out shows and in-studios on KEXP have shown that armor-piercing Balkan brass band Orkestar Zirkonium and the crazed misfits of the Bucharest Drinking Team throw a great dance party. Balkan Night Northwest also has a host of great local dance bands, like Orkestar RTW, Balkanarama, Kafana Republik, and Kaba Seattle. Other favorite bands include much-loved Greek musician Christos Govetas’ family band Dromeno, the Balkan women’s vocal ensemble Dunava, the Sinovi Tamburitza Orchestra (the tamburitza is a Croatian stringed instrument), Serbian music from Tri Sesira, and songs from master Macedonian singer Dragi Spasovski. It’s a fully packed Balkan festival in just one night!
In addition to the music and dance on the main stage, Balkan Night Northwest is adopting a wonderful Balkan tradition of the kafana, a traditional coffeehouse venue in Eastern Europe that arose from the Ottoman Empire and continues to this day. Kafanas are small, cozy gathering places for friends to relax and enjoy music. At this Kafana, you’ll hear the gorgeous vocals of Croatia’s klapa songs, rowdy Greek rebetika tunes, and interesting traditional instruments from all over the Balkans.
Traditional Balkan food and drink will be available for purchase at the festival. All this music and dance can be had for just a $15 suggested donation. Children under 12 are free. Doors will open at 3 pm and the music, dancing and jamming goes from 4 pm until midnight.