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NYJMHF: Oi Va Voi and Balkan Beat Box, NYC, Sep 22

Jewish music and heritage festival
Oi Va VoiOi Va Voi & Balkan Beat Box
Irving Plaza
17 Irving Place
Tickets: $20 advance, $25 door - BUY TIX

Presented in association with Giant Step and JDUB Records

Oi Va Voi

OI VA VOI's début album "Laughter Through Tears" is the sound of six young Londoners searching for an identity in 21st Century Europe. Steeped in the rhythms of Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and beyond. Drawing as much on modern dance music as their Jewish cultural heritage, theirs is a contemporary sound.

OI VA VOI burst into life back in 2000, the six members of the group drawing on disparate musical experiences. Trumpeter Lemez Lovas started out DJing leftfield jazz, Latin and hip hop, drummer Josh Breslaw had hit the fatback beat in hip hop and rock outfits and Sophie Solomon played out as a drum-n-bass DJ as well as gaining praises from Nigel Kennedy among others for her talent as a violinist. The buzz surrounding the band grew as they won over crowds everywhere from Glastonbury to New York's Knitting Factory. OI VA VOI tunes appeared on the best-selling Buddha Bar compilations, there were remixes by garage DJ Kriminal Gangsta and innovative dance producer Hefner. Then last year the group received two nominations in the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards, the only artists to be nominated for both the Boundary Crossing and Listeners' Award categories; and all this from a band that then had no official CD release to their name.

It's easy to fathom the appeal. OI VA VOI has both an exciting dance-floor friendly sound and an emotive singer-songwriter quality that's built around a unique instrumental line-up of trumpet, clarinet, violin, guitar, bass and drums and complemented by powerful lyrics. The club-friendly rhythms come courtesy of Leo Bryant's basslines and Josh Breslaw's drums rather than pre-programmed machinery. Although they started out by taking old klezmer tunes and giving them 21st Century beats, the group soon broadened out their sound, dipping into everything that they heard around them (one early suggested title for this album was Magpie Music). If Sophie Solomon's violin is casting a spell with a traditional tune from the old country, then you can bet that Leo Bryant will be laying down a skanking bassline. If Steve Levi's clarinet is blowing fiery klezmer then it will be complimented by some jangling guitar licks from Nik Ammar.

Balkan Beat Box

Hard-edged folk music from the Balkans, North Africa, and the Middle East, the exciting and internationally acclaimed collective Balkan Beat Box is out to prove that all the world is, indeed, a stage – and that we are all gypsies.

The Balkan Beat Box was formed in 2003 and is spearheaded by Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat. This performance-meets-dance party generates a whirlpool of ecstatic energy. The Balkan Beat Box digs into the new fresh possibilities of electronic music mixed with folk music from North Africa, Israel, the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

The Balkan Beat Box views Jewish music with fresh eyes: as a continuing cultural dialogue. The dialogue can take the form of a clash of cultures, and sometimes it is the natural progression of many young artists' Diaspora experience. At other times it is Israeli with all the music that lives there - Arabic, Sephardic, Hassidic – a true melting pot with never-ending sources of inspiration.

Acidophilus (GlobeSonic) will DJ between sets

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