Balkan Beat Box Takes The SF Tenderloin East Block Party-Style

balkan beat box frenzy at GAMH, SF

Two years ago at the Kesselhaus in Berlin, we were fully entranced by the eastern Romanian masters of Balkan brass, Fanfare Ciocarlia, who ended their roaring set by descending from the stage and playing nearly an entire 2nd show in the midst of the crowd. Last night Balkan Beat Box spliced that frenzied custom into their intro, beginning their percussive and horned assault from the balcony of The Great American Music Hall, and weaving their way through the crowd. When they finally arrived onstage, Tomer Yusef – rapper, percussionist, and frenzy-conductor – declared, “This is not a live show… this is a party!”, effectively setting off what was to become a seamless loop of non-stop bouncing bodies on a diverse bed of rocking east-block rhythms.

Paired down slightly to fit this wild bunch for the road, BBB performs this tour with Ori Kaplan and Peter Hess on sax, Tamir Muskat on drums and programs, Itamar Ziegler on bass, and Jeremiah Lockwood on guitars, and Tomer… on the pouring sweat. And this is very likely the most high-wired act you can catch this year! Check the full tour schedule at their Murdochspace. And like all musicians who keep at least one foot in the NYC scenes, all of em have other active projects. Check the links above, not surprisingly there’s a wide-range collection of ingenious and explorative ear-licking euphoria in there.


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