A Chicago Klezmer band with a Balkan Twist
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Chicago-based Balkano (rhymes with Volcano), founded by bandleader Bryan Pardo, melds the soul of traditional Klezmer, the energy of Bulgarian wedding music and the melodies of Turkish Gypsy music into an exciting original mix. The group melds meld the influences of artists like Naftule Brandwein, Selim Sessler, Yuri Yunakov, and John Zorn into a new synthesis that mixes the Old World and the New. Since its inception in 2005, Balkano has played through Chicagoland and the Midwest. Events and venues include the Chicago World Music Festival (2010, 2012), the Taste of Chicago Festival (2008), The Berman Center for the Performing arts (Detroit area), Martyrs, the Bottom Lounge, Reggies Rock Club, Temple Beth Emmeth (Ann Arbor, MI) and many more.
"The members of this local sextet (its name rhymes with "volcano") bring great joy and romance to their frenetic performances of Balkan dance music" - Monica Kendrick, Chicago Reader, Jan 2010
"Pardo and his ensemble stayed miles away from nostalgia, giving old songs a freshly urgent delivery. Any musicians who have the guts to play "My Yiddishe Momme" at this late date better have something new to say about it, and Balkano certainly did. - Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune, Sep 2012
"Reedist Bryan Pardo leads this Chicago band in its investigation of klezmer music,as it intersects with Bulgarian and Turkish repertory. The mix is delivered in a lean, contemporary fashion, minus the schmaltz." - Chicago Tribune, Sep 2012