BRATTLEBORO — Next Stage's Bandwagon Summer Series presents Slavic Soul Party! on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 6 p.m. at the Retreat Farm on Route 30.
“Easily one of the most exciting artists we're bringing this summer, Slavic Soul Party! checks all the boxes,” says Keith Marks, executive director of Next Stage Arts, said in a news release. “They're masters of the Roma style of music that encapsulates dancing energy, Old World sounds, and they make it so fresh and new that audiences from around the world have hailed them as one of the greatest contributors to the genre. This show is going to be fun!”
Over the past 15 years, SSP! has released seven full-length albums, and toured in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Turkey, and Zimbabwe, from pashas' palaces to dive bars, Carnegie Hall to Serbian schoolyards, festival stages to prison courtyards.
Slavic Soul Party! has fans on both sides of the Atlantic, and their tunes have been covered by Serbian brass stars, New Orleans funk stalwarts, and well-known street bands. The New York Times says the band's Tuesday night residency in Brooklyn has become a destination for music fans from around the world, and is famous for “delivering a great time.”
In September 2016, Ropeadope Records released Slavic Soul Party! Plays Duke Ellington's Far East Suite. SSP! re-imagines Duke Ellington's iconic Far East Suite as an Eastern European brass band discovering an exotic American sound, reversing the “exotic tinge” and reveling in this subtle, funky, and brilliant music.
Ellington's suite (created with Billy Strayhorn) was inspired by a 1963 State Department tour that was cut short - they didn't make it to the “Far East” - and serves as a perfect foil for SSP!'s blend of East European, Romani, and American sounds. Critics called it “a pretty heavenly match” (TimeOut NY) and say “parts of SSP!'s reinterpretation sounds like a Bulgarian wedding, others like a gypsy jazz funeral in New Orleans. And yet, it all sounds like Duke Ellington.” (The Wall Street Journal).