Special to the Union
BAYSIDE – The full glory of the brass band traditions of the Balkan countries will be on display Saturday, March 30 at the Bayside Community Hall, 2297 Jacoby Creek Rd., when local activist street band Bandemonium presents the Eugene, Oregon based brass band Kef.
“Kef” is a Turkish word referring to the spirit and energy shared by a group of people in celebration. It’s a state of being, an intangible quality approaching ecstasy and usually involving music and a sensation Balkan brass bands are more than capable of conjuring.
Much as the culture of the Caribbean has informed our local Humboldt culture through the establishment of the HSU steel drum orchestra, Kef has grown out of the East European Folk Music Ensemble at the Music Department of the University of Oregon.
The band came together in 2007 and has been performing for dancers, festivals and sit-down audiences ever since. Its music is a sampling of the regional genres found across the Balkans, from Bulgarian wedding music to Serbian brass band, and from 1960s radio-style orchestrations to simple melody/drone-based village music.
At 6 p.m. doors will open for a short welcoming set of new alternative music for brass bands by the hosts Bandemonium and at 7 p.m. a short introduction to Balkan dance will be coordinated by local purveyors of Balkan culture, Linnea Mandell and Craig Kurumada.
Finally at 8 p.m. Kef will take the floor (not the stage as Balkan dances take place with the band in the middle of the room while the dances swirl around them) for two hours of balkan dancing.
Entrance is $10 and food, wine and beer will be available. Although correctly a dance, listeners will be welcome and amply rewarded with an evening of exciting and exotic sounds.