With Golden Festival 2012 approaching, let’s take a look at Raya Brass Band. Known for playing their own brand of exuberant Balkan music from the village of Brooklyn, they perform in the tradition of the Eastern European village bands. They mash it up on the dance floor, mixing Balkan and Romany (Gypsy) melodies played on reeds, trumpet, accordion, tuba and drums, with American dance grooves. Their sound is electric and sure to get you out of your seat. The unusual meters and exotic scales will keep you surprised.
Raya Brass Band is Greg Squared (saxophone), Ben Syversen (trumpet), Matthew “Max” Fass (accordion), Don Godwin (tuba), and EJ Fry (percussion). Not only do they perform the music, but they will teach you Balkan dance steps as you listen. From late night rooftop parties parties, Mardi Gras celebrations and large Balkan music festivals to humble community concerts and impromptu “guerilla” shows, Raya Brass Band is ready to excite any audience. You can get a taste of what to expect at the Golden Festival by listening to Raya Brass Band’s performance at the 2009 Golden Festival above. Once again, a big thank you goes to WFMU’s Transpacific Sound Paradise and the Free Music Archive for making this music available to everyone.
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