IN SUMMER OF 2008, SONIC ZEN RECORDS RECORDED AND PRODUCED BRASS MENAZERI.
More info on Sonic Zen's contribution to this project will be posted soon.
The Brass Menazeri is the Bay Area's Award Winning Balkan Rom ("Gypsy") style brass band, performing hard driving music of Serbia, Macedonia and Greece.
Long before the current Balkan brass music craze, as iconified by crossover artists like Beirut and NY's Balkan Beat Box, the musicians of the San Francisco Bay Area's powerhouse Brass Menažeri Balkan Brass Band were already getting deep into the music. And there is plenty of depth to get into—a tradition developed over centuries by the Rom (“Gypsy”) communities of Serbia, Macedonia and Greece, which yields music as alive with ecstatic celebration as with despairing laments. It is music that draws on many of the characteristics common throughout the Balkans: odd-metered rhythms, riveting, often close harmonies,soulful improvisations, and a mission to get people dancing. It is a living tradition that is as old as a mournful Ottoman-era melody and as new as American funk and Bollywood movie hits, and Brass Menažeri embraces it all.
They are steeped in tradition and yet bring their own 21st-century American sensibilities to every arrangement they create, every wild solo they take, every note they play. This is not museum music, nor a re-creation or an emulation. It is undeniably alive, played with skill and passion by seasoned musicians. Now a wider audience is taking notice, as Brass Menažeri's powerful live music drives some of the most fresh and exciting live shows in the Bay Area, including SF Weekly's "Best Crazed Gypsy Brass Band Dance Party," Kafana Balkan. It is no wonder they have crowded clubs screaming and boogying and begging for more.
"Warning: listening to the Brass Menazeri is addictive—once they start, you can't stop." —Dina Maccabee, SF Bay Gaurdian
Brass Menazeri's latest CD—Vranjski San: Vranje Dream. The streets of Oakland, California meet the streets of Vranje, Serbia, and a raucous party erupts. This is Brass Menažeri Balkan brass: on fire with live-wire ecstasy, midnight laments, unstoppable dance beats. The party must never stop.