Join us for the return -- after a brief hiatus -- of Studio Grand's Balkan Nights. This series, featuring (not-so-strictly) Eastern European music, occurs on the third Friday of the month. The night is graciously curated by Kent Kessinger in association with Studio Grand. This month, we are pleased to welcome back Orchestra Euphonos, who played our first-ever edition of Balkan Nights way back in August 2016. We also welcome for the first time Jonnie Pekelny & Friends, who bring us a set of Russian folk and pop tunes.
Orchestra Euphonos is a Bay Area-based Eastern European folk and klezmer band. Their uplifting sound is characterized by a brass and woodwind melodic front line. Orchestra Euphonos performs songs and melodies from old world Bessarabia and the Balkans. Their performances are joyous occasions filled with wild takes on old favorites, group improvisations and more than a few opportunites to dance.
Peter Bonos: trumpet
Samantha Shokin: vocals
Zina Pozen: accordion
Yagiz Sen: guitar & bouzouki
Asaf Ophir: clarinet, saxophone, flute
Travis Hendrix: bass, clarinet
Ivan Velev: Tapan Drum
Founded in 2012 by bandleader and trumpeter Peter Bonos, Orchestra Euphonos is active in the San Francisco Bay Area has performed as part of KlezCalifornia Yiddish Culture Festival, The Oakland A's Jewish Heritage Night, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, the Berkeley Balkan Bacchanal at the Starry Plough and Ashkenaz Music and Dance Center.
Jonnie Pekelny & Friends
Jonnie Pekelny is a native of St. Petersburg, Russia. Although she spent her childhood in the big city, Jonnie’s mother made it a point to learn the songs of the Russian villages and to teach them to her daughter. A singer from an early age, Jonnie grew up with the sweet, fiery, humorous, irreverent and honest songs of rural and working Russia. Although she later went on to study and sing other genres (obtaining a minor in music from U.C. Santa Cruz and performing solo and in group ensembles that included classical and pop and other folk traditions) that first musical love has stuck. Jonnie still loves and performs the songs of this disappearing cultural treasure.
Zina Pozen is a familiar face in the Bay Area and Seattle Balkan music scene. Originally from Ukraine, she grew up in a family of classical musicians, playing piano from a tender age. As an adult, Zina picked up the accordion and stared playing traditional Eastern European repertoire. She is a founding member of Seattle’s infamous Bucharest Drinking Team. Since moving to the Bay area in 2015, Zina has been playing klezmer with Orchestra Euphonos, rembetika with MetaNastys, and old Soviet songs at so many after-parties and impromptu jams.
Lee Corbie-Wells has been playing violin since the age of 6. Her father, a music teacher in San Francisco (Lee’s hometown), and her mother, a (now retired) music teacher in the Oakland Public School district, taught her Scottish and American tunes by ear, fostering her love of folk music. She has played in numerous Celtic and Americana bands. Lee became passionate about learning Scottish Gaelic as well as other Celtic languages and became dedicated to learning songs from all those language traditions. Although she primarily plays Irish, Scottish and North American fiddle music, Lee has taken her years of experience in Blues and folk improvisation and branched out into explorations of Jazz, Swing, Ragtime, and Eastern European genres. Currently she plays fiddle and sings in a Celtic/ Americana/Eastern Roots band called Moonshine Jelly. She also sings, plays fiddle and hardanger d'Amore in a Scandinavian/Bluegrass band called Kaptain Bottletop. Lee teaches violin and guitar in the Bay Area.
DOORS 9:00 PM; SHOW 9:30 PM
$7-15 sliding scale