A popular brass band from Slovakia which mixes Balkan music with Slovak folk music, jazz and classical music.
Since 2010, Balkansambel has been one of Slovakia’s most popular brass bands. The multidisciplinary, multigenre experience of Balkansambel’s members enables them to mix seemingly incompatible musical styles. Though Balkansambel draws inspiration mainly from Balkan traditional music, they also play Slovak folk, classical music and jazz.
What’s more, the musical compositions of composer and multi-instrumentalist Marek Pastírik, are refreshingly blended with free improvisations. Their live performances are an especially adrenalizing experience, enriched with rhythmical power and witty banter.
Their second album Šlamastika was released in 2016 and shows how these musicians take a fresh approach to what we think of as brass band music. Imagine Bach´s music with Greek levendikos rhythms, or Bizet´s Carmen as Bulgarian wedding dance and you can get closer to the music of Balkansambel. This unique attitude gained the attention of the WMCE jury; and they peaked in the 15th position in WMCE in January 2017. Balkansambel was selected for the Tallin Music Week 2017, as well.
Martin Noga – trombone, bass trumpet
Andrej Rázga – trumpet, flugelhorn
Peter Hrubý – accordion
Juraj Hodas – tuba
Veronika Važanová – vocal
Album Šlamastika – World Music Charts Europe, No. 15 in 1/2017
„Right from the first note, “Šlamastika” is an outburst of creativity and infectious joy. It is striking how effortlessly Balkansambel forges the bridge between folk tradition and contemporary jazz, confecting a seamless blend that can even incorporate Gillespie’s “A Night In Tunisia”, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Naturalness is the key word! In spite of all their intricacy, the compositions never sound contrived even for a second. The band’s playing leaves nothing to be desired in its accuracy and energy. Add to this the mesmerizing voices of the guest singers, and you get an exuberant, accomplished album bristling with ideas and musical fun. Chapeau!!!“
Johann Kneihs, staff editor with Austrian Public Radio ORF Ö1
„Identity in Abstraction is how Balkansambel approaches towards music. Taking inspiration mainly from the traditional music of Balkan cultures, they complement and re-create it, blending it with folk, classical and jazz music. Only very experienced musicians and very good performers can provide such great joy and pleasure! Joyful, refreshing, invigorating, Balkansambel is Balkan Music as you never listened before! Don´t forget to dance!“
Carlos Borges Ferreira, Music Editor/Producer, CBFwebRADIO Director