Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra (BGKO) is an international ·formation which has stirred great interest in Barcelona and various other European countries through its memorable performances. BGKO interprets traditional music of the Balkans, Gypsies and Jewish of Eastern Europe with an original approach and great passion while constantly exploring their roots.
The contemporary, unique and particular sound of Barcelona Gipsy Balkan Orchestra stems from the tireless and passionate exploration of the timbers and flavors of the klezmer and romani traditions and Balkan music. Balkan music, perceived as a set of musical traditions and a multi-ethnic culture, goes beyond its geographical borders and is moreover nurtured by all those historical traditions that coexisted in this land throughout the centuries: Ashkenazi, Jewish and Sefardies, gypsies, Ottomans, Arabs.
The group itself blends the various artistic influences of its members. It has been greatly enriched and shaped by Barcelona’s musical scene, from Latin American to traditional Catalan, Italian, Greek, Russian and middle eastern songs to the vibrant sounds of jazz, flamenco, jazz manouche and rockabilly.
BGKO is formed by Sandra Sangiao (voice, Catalunya), Mattia Schirosa (accordion, Italy), Ivan Kovacevic (double-bass, Serbia), Julien Chanal (guitar, France) y .Stelios Togios (percussion, Grecia), Joaquin Gil (Andalucia, Spain) y Oleksandr Sora (violin, Ucrania), who were brought together in Barcelona in the memorable jam sessions which explored and investigated these musical styies. These curious musicians have always been distinguished by the passion and originality in which they interpret the balkan music while simultaneously bringing a modern approach.
Barcelona Gipsy balKan Orchestra (BGKb) is the evolution of Barcelona Gipsy Klezmer Orchestra, a band that in three years became a reference in the ethnic music scene of Barcelona and in a very short time reached a wide international projection.
In these three years, they have -appeared in various concerts and European tours in more than 20 countries in some of the most emblematic festivals, theaters and concert halls.
Thanks to the success of their debut album, lmbarca (2012), released under its previous band composition, BGKO unites, since its creation in 2012, a Stable fan base in concerts and on the internet, with more than 3 million views of its video ‘‘Dielem Dielem” in Youtube.
lmbarca has been mentioned and aired in La Vanguardici TV, Deutchland Radio Kultur, La Stampa and the Mondo Sonoro and the song ”Hasta siempre, comaridante” has opened the Hoy por Hoy show of the radio Cadena Ser.
Their second album, Balkan Reunion (2015), reflects the friendships born in their various tours. Thanks to the concert at the legendary Apolo venue in Barcelona, the group had the chance to record with celebrities such as Macedonian King of Saxophone Eerus Mustafov (a reference in the oriental gypsy music), Vlado Kreslin (known for his collaboration with REM) and the Turkish singer Nihan Devecioglu.
This new album, which reflects the band’s evolution through their journeys across more than twenty European countries, is born from the synergy between this consolidated septet and other invited notorious musicians (David Pastor at the trumpet, Yannis Papaionau with the Oud, Dani Carbonell at the “klezmer” clarinet and Ivan Ilić at the guitar).
Each track of this release introduces a complete sonic atmosphere, unique and different, which transports the listener to a journey across de Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Middle East: gypsy Romanian, Serbian and Russian tunes, Hungarian dances, Transylvania melodies, Klezmer and Albanian sonorities, plus contemplative melodies from traditions such the Catalan,
Lebanese, Jewish and the Bosnian Sevdah. The whole ensemble of tracks represents a bridge which approaches to the audience this cultural richness, as the album title tells, Od Ebra do Dunava (From the Ebro river to the Danube). A brand new beautiful video clip reinforces this concept.
This recording portrays the variety of influences of every member of this music collective of travelers, which joined in Barcelona during the underground jam sessions in the old district where they explored Balkan music, jazz, flamenco, rockabilly and traditional sounds from Catalonia, Italy, Greece, Russia and Middle East.