Fishtank Ensemble

The Performant: When in Roma

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Wild brass and shaking floors at the Kafana Balkan party.

Hi-ho, the gypsy life. While the reality of living as a member of a marginalized, nomadic population is really not quite the Technicolor dream romance conjured by 19th century poets and Hollywood producers, the music created by the roaming “Romani” is as lushly romantic as it gets. Combining exuberance with melancholy, abandonment with abandon, musical traditions as far-flung as Spanish Flamenco, Romanian Manele, Gypsy jazz, and even the youthful strains of modern-day Gypsy punk, have a way of getting under the skin right on down to the toes—which will almost assuredly be tapping. Label it folk music if you must, but don’t expect a lot of polite purists holding forth while holding back. Gypsy music is party music, and Zeljko Petkovic aka DJ Zeljko’s (in)famous Kafana Balkan evenings are always one of the consistently best parties in town.

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