Dec 31st, 2010
The Romanian rock band Vama has written a song that takes on some of the common misconceptions about the Roma or Gypsies. And it skewers French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s expulsion of Gypsies from France earlier this year.As Matthew Brunwasser reports, the English-language “Sarkozy vs Gypsy” is stirring up passions in both France and Romania.
Nov 24th, 2009
Cover bands aren’t usually musical innovators. But Dolapdere Big Gang of Turkey might be the exception. Most of the group lives in Dolapdere, an Istanbul neighborhood with a rough reputation. This eight-piece band of young Roma musicians, plays Western pop hits in a traditional Turkish style. Matthew Brunwasser has the Global Hit.
Sep 26th, 2007
Quick — name a famous American accordionist. You might have a little trouble. The accordion has a bit of an image problem here in the U.S. But next month, it gets star billing at an International Accordion Festival in San Antonio, Texas. The festival is promoting a broad array of international performers. Recently, the festival director took a trip through the Balkans to scout for talent. Reporter Matthew Brunwasser caught up with her in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Feb 19th, 2007
Reporter Matthew Brunwasser profiles Bulgarian clarinet master Ivo Papasov. Papasov was probably the first to blend American jazz with Balkan folk music…but it took the fall of Communism for much of his homeland to be able to hear it.
Oct 2nd, 2006
Correspondent Matthew Brunwasser reports on a small Bulgarian town where heavy metal still rules.
Aug 2nd, 2006
When it comes to popular music in Bulgaria, it’s Chalga. Chalga is a blend of eastern Turkish rhythms, western pop and local folk music. The King of Chalga is a singer named Azis. He’s a controversial figure. Many Bulgarians love him, but he also inspires a lot of animosity. Matthew Brunwasser has today’s Global Hit.