Polyglot Party Music by the New York Gypsy All-Stars, From the GroundUP Music Festival

Aug 22, 2019

The New York Gypsy All-Stars perform a modern strain of gypsy jazz unlike any other. By combining fiery Balkan wedding grooves with ancient Turkish traditions, these conservatory-trained musicians are quick to show off their virtuosity while also creating an intoxicating atmosphere for the dance floor.

Our guest on this edition of The Checkout is the band’s co-leader and electric bassist, Panagiotis Andreou. He says their new style of party music hasn’t really clicked with Western audiences until recently, with their breakout performance last February at the third annual GroundUP Music Festival in South Beach. We’ll hear three selections from that performance, along with tracks from their albums Romantech and Dromomania

Tamer Pinarbasi at the GroundUP Music Festival
Credit Stella K

Andreou guides us on the band’s amusing journey – explaining how they got their name, when none of the musicians actually identity as being gypsy. Instead, their interest lies in spotlighting a greater melting pot, cultural intersections reflected in the musician’s own diverse backgrounds.

The international collective features Ismail Lumanovski (Macedonia) on clarinet, Tamer Pinarbasi (Turkey) on Kanun, Engin Gunaydin (Australia) on drums, Marius van den Brink (The Netherlands) on keys, and Andreou (Greece) on vocals and electric bass. Here is a recent video of the band playing "Rockwood," a tune composed by Pinarbasi in honor of one of their New York haunts.

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