Slavic Soul Party!

Region: Balkan, USA

Fiery Balkan brass, throbbing funk grooves, killer Gypsy accordion, and virtuoso jazz chops make Slavic Soul Party! NYC’s official #1 brass band for Balkan Soul Gypsy

Slavic Soul Party: “Teknochek Collision (Bellyhouse Remix)”

With Mexican, Asian, Jewish, Gypsy, and American roots, Slavic Soul Party! makes new music out of the unplanned results of immigration, proximity, and globalization, pumping a strong Balkan brass sound through the filter of life in New York’s outer boroughs. The nine-piece band has won fans in Carnegie Hall, Serbian schoolyards, skate punk tours, and pasha’s palaces, playing over 300 shows in the past six years and releasing four albums.

TimeOut NY says “Of all the NYC dance bands that draw on Eastern European music, Slavic Soul Party! is the coolest. And the group isn’t preoccupied with rebelling against the Old World. The Big Easy funk influence on the band’s recent Teknochek Collision adds a welcome laid-back quality to Balkan-brass frenetics. Live, the band’s members prove they are acutely aware of the common principle that unites the traditions they borrow from: music ought to move you.”

Percussionist, composer and founder Matt Moran drives the band from the bubanj, the Balkan drum that’s bass drum, snare-like crack, and cymbal, all in one. The bandmembers are Ben Holmes and John Calson on truba (rotary valve flugelhorns) or trumpet, Peter Stan on accordion, Oscar Noriega on clarinet and alto saxophone, Jacob Garchik and Brian Drye on trombone, Ron Caswell on tuba, and Take Toriyama on snare and darabouka. These musicians are each known as first-call players in New York, and make their living performing with their own groups and with top ensembles from Balkan music to jazz, chamber music to big band, klezmer to rock. Frequent collaborators include vocalist Eva Saline Primack and bellydancer Kristina Melike.

New York has become the center of a new scene for East European-influenced music, partying, and djs that includes Balkan brass, Gypsy punk, hard-rocking klezmer, and other unique sounds; Slavic Soul Party! is at the heart of the scene, as the nexus between Balkan traditionalists and hipster exploration. The success of the weekly Balkan Cabaret series in 2000 (curated by Moran) and of the band Gogol Bordello brought critical attention; since then the scene has steadily grown with the famous parties at Mehanata with DJ Eugene Hutz, the King Gypsy Rocker Massive nights at the Knitting Factory, and increasing numbers of bands, festivals, parties, cd compilations, and New York Times articles. Slavic Soul Party’s weekly performances at Barbes in Brooklyn have become a meeting point for fans and musicians from all over the world, and bandmembers work with artists like Saban Bajramovic, Gogol Bordello, DJ Eugene Hutz, Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars, and Balkan Beat Box.

According to Allmusic Guide, Slavic Soul Party has developed a reputation for delivering a great time due to their “wonderful and exciting music, exuding a thrilling and unpasteurized blend of traditional forms cheerfully reconsidered and reconstituted by a restlessly rolling creative collective.” The common link between fans of Slavic Soul Party is that they’re people who like to live near the third rail — they like raw unmitigated experiences: backroom dance parties, lips and lungs that make rooms bounce.

“Developed a reputation for delivering a great time.” -NY Times

“SSP! make wonderful and exciting music, exuding a thrilling and unpasteurized blend of traditional forms cheerfully reconsidered and reconstituted by a restlessly rolling creative collective.” -AllMusic Guide

“Madcap rhythms, hyperactive horns, a sense of the absurd, and just a hint of abstract jazz… everything you could want in a record.” -All Things Considered, NPR     (More on SSP! from NPR)

• In Makedonija, 2002
• Bigger, 2005
• Teknocheck Collision, 2007


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