We play hot Eastern European urban folk music: acoustic instruments like clarinets and saxophones, accordion, tuba and hand drums, but we jam out using the mesmerizing rhythms and scales of the Balkans. It’s party music to line dance to, or how ever else you want to get your global groove on.
Meg York is a multi-instrumentalist who specializes in woodwinds and hand percussion. Recently returned from studying music in five cities in Turkey, she has a clarinet performance degree from the University of New Mexico and has studied extensively with world music masters. She toured the US with Pablo Rodarte’s Dance Espana, a New Mexico Flamenco dance troupe, and Mexico with the Univesidad de Las Americas Orchestra. She plays in theater pits, community orchestras, and classical chamber music. She was on staff at the Stockton International Dance Camp in Stockton California, Sherefe, a Boulder based band, and Jurjuna, a Front Range area Middle Eastern ensemble. She performs at Arise Festival, the Taste of Colorado, Global Groove Festival, the Colorado Early Music Festival, and the Boulder Jewish Festival, for Congregation Beth Evergreen, and countless “haflas” for the Society for Creative Anachronisms. She leads the Clarinoodle Conference, an annual clarinet choir improvisation symposium since 1998, and teaches at the Evergreen School of Music and at venues in Lakewood, Colorado. She enjoys composing; she also collects and arranges the rich traditional tunes of the Mediterranean, Balkans and Middle East.
Jesse Manno has composed over 100 commissioned original scores for productions in contemporary dance, theatre, film, circus arts, CD rom, and special events, including 20 full-length soundtracks such as David Taylor Dance Theatre's "Rainforest" and "Lazer Vaudeville",which played Off Broadway in New York most of 2005. His work has been sponsored by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; Meet the Composer Inc., PBS stations, and the Bates Dance Festival among others, and by numerous corporate sponsors ranging from European champagne makers Henkell-Trocken to waste managers Montgomery Watson. He and/or his work have toured extensively in the US, Western Europe and Asia, including appearances at BAM Next Wave festival NYC, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the government handover ceremonies at Pacific Place, Hong Kong, 1997. For the past 20 years he has been studying and performing Balkan and Middle Eastern traditional music with the group Sherefe and with a number of other ensembles and visiting artists from abroad. Of all the genres he works in regularly this music remains his all time favorite. He has been Music Director of the C.U. Dance department in Boulder, CO, since 1991, and has released six CDs of his own work. For more information, visit www.jessemanno.com.
Brian Mullins is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and performer with the Irish ensemble Colcannon, the instrumental group Laughing Hands, the New Mandolin Quartet, Bog Blossom and the Chinese spike fiddle band, "Erhoopla Ensemble". Brian has been a featured soloist with symphonies and chamber orchestras. Brian has performed hundreds of school assemblies presenting music from around the world. His music was featured in short film and public television specials. Brian’s compositions have been referred to as "some of the most innovative and unique music to emerge from this area" by the Boulder Weekly and "musical exotica often verging on the exquisite" by Westword magazine.
Dexter Payne grew up in Denver, CO studying with Aldo Lallo and Jack Frederickson. He later studied improvisation with John Handy Jr. and with Homer Brown. He performed at the Kool Jazz Festival in 1980 and 1981 with the Big Sky Mudflaps and Judy Roderick, as well as appearing on the NBC Today Show. In Latin America, over a period of two and a half years, he visited musicians in 11 countries. He performed with Orkestra Elio Revé and with Bobby Carcacés in Habana, Cuba and with vibraharpist Victor Mendoza while in Guatemala. In Brazil he recorded with Beth Carvalho and Paulinho Tapajós, performed with Noca da Portella and recorded his CD INSPIRATION. In New York he has performed with Grammy award winners Thiago de Mello and Sharon Isbin. More recently he played with vocalist Rene Marie and currently offers the Dexter Payne Quartet, specializing in Brazilian choro music. Dexter has worked in recording studios with Mac Rebennack, Artie Traum, Judy Roderick, Mary Flower, Washboard Chaz, Don DeBacker, Sammy Mayfield, Johnny Long, Boubacar Diebate, Lannie Garrett and others. See www.dexterpayne.com for more details and full curriculum, discography and press quotes.
Dave Willey - accordion, bass, mixing Dave has played with a variety of musicians in many styles in many places. Primarily self-taught, he graduated from Naropa in 1987. After playing with a variety of local bands and traveling a lot, he returned to Colorado and formed the band Hamster Theatre, who will release their third disc in 2006. He is the bass player for the internationally feared Thinking Plague, plays accordion with the gypsy swing band Rue, and his collaboration with the ‘pataphysical’ French group Toupidek Limonade will be released this year. He is currently writing music for his father’s poetry, a project that includes Deborah Perry, Mike Johnson, Bob Drake, Dave Kerman, Mark Fuller and Hugh Hopper.