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Wednesday, Nov 7 2007
It's easy to forget yesterday's tragedies, as so many new ones quickly take their place. But the organizers of Kafana Balkan hope you won't forget the thousands of refugees and orphans from the 1999 Kosovo war and renewed ethnic tensions of 2004, who are still struggling to cope and survive. Enter DJs Zeljko and Boban, expatriates from the region who promote the event as not only a celebration of Balkan music and culture, but also as a benefit for the Bread and Cheese Circus (Hleb I Sir Cirkus), which puts on free shows and workshops for refugee children in Kosovo. The war and forced migrations affected Albanian, Serb, and Roma alike. Hence, the circus comprises performers from Serbia, Bosnia, the U.S., and Canada, in a show of nonpartisan unity. Don't think of Cirque du Soleil, either: These are earthy, pratfalling clowns more of the Krusty variety than the upper-crusty. They perform at Kafana Balkan along with Oakland's Brass Menažeri, a lively brass band in the Balkan, Serbian, and Rom tradition featuring members of Gamelan X and Lavay Smith's band. DJ Zeljko, whose Pirate Cat radio show (also called Kafana Balkan) airs Wednesdays at noon, spins between sets.
Sat., Nov. 10, 9 p.m., 2007

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