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Monday, March 15, 2010

What To Do? Monday's Pick: Balkan Beat Box

Posted By on Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 7:00 AM


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Balkan Beat Box @ The Fillmore

Israel-to-NYC émigrés Ori Kaplan (sax) and Tamir Muskat (drums, programming) founded Balkan Beat Box, an ensemble dedicated to intermingling traditional sounds of the Balkans and Middle East regions with rock, hip-hop, and techno. While Arab and Jewish cultures are often at odds politically, they have much in common musically, such as sinuous modal expression and melismatic singing (the stretching and "worrying" of syllables over a melody). The blare of brass is similarly heady and intoxicating, and the group's myriad styles dance dizzily, boisterously bashed over a bed of dubbed-out beats. As fun as the band's albums are, Balkan Beat Box needs to be experienced live, where improvisation kicks the party up a notch.

The group performs tonight at the Fillmore ($22.50, 8 p.m.)

For more Monday recommendations, check out our calendar picks

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Mark Keresman

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