Category: Live music

Balkan Mondays: ROSA Vocal Group

February 19, 2020

March’s Balkan Mondays on March 2 will feature ROSA Vocal Group followed by a Balkan Jam. $10 suggested

8pm – ROSA
Traditional Vocal Group ROSA is a New York based, all-female vocal ensemble that unites singers from 4 different continents with a mission to preserve and nurture the authentic form of traditional, non-tempered singing from Serbia.

The group was formed in New York, in 2014, by Marija Stojnic, documentary filmmaker and traditional Serbian music vocalist and Aleksandra Denda, vocalist, composer and Berklee College of Music Alumna. The concept of the ensemble was inspired by Marija’s documentary titled Girl Who Opposed the Sun.

Songs that ROSA performs date decades, often centuries back, and have been surviving in rural areas of Serbia and the surrounding countries. Irreducible to the Western tonal system, these songs are impossible to write down with precision and are carried on as an oral tradition.

ROSA has performed at numerous and critically acclaimed venues – The Kennedy Center, MoMA, Carnegie Hall, Boston University Theater, The Collective School of Music, Mendocino Festival, Golden Festival, as well as at fund-raising events for Balkan communities in need.

In 2018 ROSA performed at a sold-out show at Carnegie Hall titled Sounds of Serbia and Peace First Summit hosted by the philanthropist and Barack Obama’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng.

New York Folklore Society (NYFS), East European Folklife Center (EEFC), Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), LeitMotiv Arts and Cambridge Global Arts have endorsed ROSA.

Today, ROSA members are Aleksandra Denda (Serbia), Shilpa Ananth (India), Astrid Kuljanić (Croatia), Raquel Rivera (Puerto Rico). Carolina Mama (Argentina) and Joanna Schubert (USA).

9pm – Balkan Jam
Bring an instrument if you want to sit in and get in touch for the playlist!

BMH : Mavrothi Kontanis & The Maeandros Ensemble


Greek, Turkish & Armenian tavern songs from the early 1900s, heard from Athens & Thessaloniki to New York. The Maeandros Ensemble released albums and performed regularly between 2006-2010. For this performance the old friends come together again to take you back in time to the sounds of the Cafe Aman.

8:00pm – Mavrothi Kontanis & The Maeandros Ensemble
9:00pm – Open Jam Session
Admission: $10
Doors at 7:30pm

Lefteris Bournias – clarinet
Megan Gould – violin
Shane Shanahan – percussion
Philip Mayer – percussion
Mavrothi Kontanis – oud & voice

Shelley Thomas + Brooklyn Takht at BMH

Shelley Thomas + Brooklyn Takht.

8:00pm – Shelley Thomas + Brooklyn Takht
9:00pm – Open Jam Session
Admission: $10
Doors at 7:30pm

Shelley Thomas (vocals, oud) performs exquisite Arabic songs from Egypt accompanied by Marwan Allam (bass), Nezih Antakli (riq) and Zafer Tawil (qanun). This special performance includes rare repertoire from Golden Era singers Nour al Houda, Asmahan, Mohammed Abdel Wahab, Oum Kalthoum and Leila Murad. Romantic poetry and complex song forms such as dawr and qasida pair with intricate microtonal modes (maqamat) to create the richly transportive effect of tarab (musical ecstasy).