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Special Guest: Niva


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A nonet of fiery Balkan brass, throbbing funk grooves, Roma Gypsy accordion wizardry, and virtuoso jazz representing the vast cultural expanse of Southeastern Europe promises to engage house and hill in a raucous dance party.

A bristling brass band from New York City’s outer boroughs, they’re wildly international all by their formidable selves. A self-dubbed “super-collider,” they hammer together folk-songs from the Balkans, dance tunes from Roma wanderings, fiery funk and jazz of complex ingenuity into a seething, stomping dance parade.


Playing trombones, trumpets, saxophones, accordions, drums, tuba and clarinet, they’re like a music store full of instruments, come to life and marching in full funk power down the street and into your party. Drummer Matt Moran ringmasters this roaring riff circus, with Peter Stan, accordion; John Carlson and Kenny Warren, trumpets; Peter Hess, saxophone/clarinet; Adam Dotson and Tim Vaughn, trombones; Kenny Bentley, tuba; and Chris Stromquist, percussion.


Ambitious as they are eclectic, they re-arranged and recorded Duke Ellington’s monumental “Far East Suite” as their latest album (of five). As the Wall Street Journal reported, “parts of SSP’s reinterpretation sounds like a Bulgarian wedding, others like a gypsy jazz funeral in New Orleans. And yet… it all sounds like Duke Ellington.”


For all its explosive energy, SSP music requires precision playing since so much goes on at once; and they are fiercely focused.


They recorded their second album, “Bigger,” over just four hours with 12 musicians, four roosters and an MC. Then they descended on the Brooklyn club Barbes to join another brass band that was subbing for them, creating a monster ensemble that rocked the whole borough.


They often leave the stage to parade around as fans form conga lines behind them.


Resourceful rocker Sufjan Stevens told Rolling Stone the SSP is “way more aggressive than a lot of punk music I’ve seen.”


Special Guests: Niva 

Not to be mistaken for the Swedish metal rockers of the same name, Niva is a seasoned quartet that plays venerable Macedonian Izverna (Roots) music: Bridget Robbins, kaval (Balkan flute); Corinna Snyder and Kristina Vaskys, tambura (four-stringed drone lute);  and Emily Geller, tapan (Balkan or Turkish drum). Regulars at The Balkan Café in NYC, all four members of the band sing. 

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