Yuri Yunakov Ensemble

Yuri Yunakov Ensemble

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Friday, January 29, 2010, 8:00 pm
Hogg Memorial Auditorium
$34/28/10

It is not easy conjuring up brides and in-laws, formal nuptial rites and catering halls, while watching the Yuri Yunakov Ensemble perform Bulgarian “wedding music,” that electrified Bulgarian-Roma-Turkish-Macedonian music brew wildly popular in the southern Balkans. Yunakov’s audiences of late certainly don’t have the deportment of typical weddings guests: witness the sweat-soaked crowds in Manhattan and Berlin clubs or, on a recent winter night in Milan, the rowdy soccer fans and scantily-clad Bulgarian bellydancers swirling by the musicians, flattened into rock icons by huge stadium backlights. The tradition-bending music, too, tends toward unseemly, theatrical excess: the cranked amplifiers; the willful nods to bee-bop, cartoon music or the frenetic time signatures, careening from 2/4 to 11/16 to 9/8 with no set breaks and often dizzying speed; and above all the live-wire improvisations, played out as show-stopping duels between Yunakov, Bulgaria’s greatest saxophone player, and his ensemble, inventing harmonies which have made him a legend in Bulgaria since the 1970s.

CAMPUS & COMMUNITY EVENTS
Yuri Yunakov Ensemble – Youth Performance
Roma Tomorrow Symposium to be held on UT campus on January 29


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