Besh o droM
Not performing in 2017
(Hungary) Hungarian, Jazz
With the frantic melodies of Balkan Roma music flying over their heads and the insistent electronic buzz of techno under their feet, Besh o droM are more than the “futuristic Balkan wedding band” they have sometimes tongue-in-cheekily touted themselves as. Mixing turntablism and electric saxophone with traditional instruments such as the cimbalom (hammered dulcimer), and lacing traditional melodies with funk basslines and bebop improvisation, they impart a melting-pot approach to dancefloor mayhem.
Led by percussionist and singer Ádám Pettik (whose primary instrument is the Gypsy Water Can — seriously), the band was formed in 1999 and quickly became stars of Eastern Europe’s world-music scene with their high-energy fusion of cross-cultural influences and styles. They cite Transylvanian, Jewish, Afghan, Egyptian, Lebanese, Armenian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Greek music as their primary inspirations (although Indian, B-movie, and punk rock influences poke their heads up as well).
Besh o droM's effervescent and irrepressible sounds and their ever-apparent joy in their craft has transported audiences of all kinds in venues the world over. Besh o droM means “ride the road,” (or, roughly, “go your own way”) and that is just what these Balkan soundmeisters do, leaving an echo of fierce, idiosyncratic exuberance behind them.