Brent Geary
Brent Geary has been a violin protégé since the age of nine and has performed in empty concert halls worldwide. Everywhere he goes, dense throngs of fans gather to pelt him with rotten fruit. Although versed in many styles of music, Brent is a relative late-comer to Balkan styles. He first heard the bewitching sounds of Bulgarian music while in prison, convicted of stealing the hair from horses' tails. Several neighborhood cats went missing at about that time, but Brent was not directly implicated in that matter. He has played with Kafana Klub since late 2003.
Kathy Fors
Kathy Fors has been an accordion enthusiast since she was very young. She studied classical piano as a lass, but found the piano difficult to transport. She picked up (literally) the accordion in the 1990s playing mostly folk music from Scandinavia and a few polkas. Kathy became a real accordion fanatic when she first attended Balkan Music and Dance Camp in Mendocino, CA. and began to learn from Masters of the Instrument. Now Kathy enjoys playing folk music from around the world. Kathy deejays at KBOO-FM Community Radio in Portland. She plays baritone horn with Krebsic Orkestar, a 15-piece gypsy brass band, and accordion with Padam Padam, a 4-piece ensemble playing French, Spanish, cabaret tunes, as well as original music. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Balkan Festivals Northwest, a non-profit to promote music and culture of the Balkans.
Cameron Edens
Cameron Edens, Kafana Klub's newest member, fits right in with his passion for the rich music of the Balkans.
Maria Noel
Maria Noel's approach to music as with most things in her life is through journey and experience. Her interest in anything out of the ordinary eventually led her to the Balkan music and dance scene where she discovered a wealth of odd rhythms and exotic sounds that touched a chord in her soul. Her introduction began in pounding out rhythms on a doumbek at a jam session in the late 1990's. This soon led her down the road as she learned to play the tupan and tambura and on into the vocal arena studying vocal techniques from many of the Balkan countries and areas bordering the Balkans. Her training comes from many years of singing and instrument workshops taught by masters of these arts, mostly at the Mendocino Woodlands and balkanalia! music and dance camps.
Jill Poris
Jill Poris' Jill's involvement in Kafana Klub began in 2002 when she started lurking around Balkan music jam sessions. The other musicians felt it was easier to have her join them than seek a restraining order. Her true calling on tambourine has been underappreciated but she contributes what she can on tambura, doumbek, hammered dulcimer, cello, and vocals. When not beating out odd meters with K2, Jill teaches global music classes at various Portland universities. In addition, she plays concertina and piano with contra dance musicians.
dennis godfrey
dennis godfrey stumbled into Balkan dancing while taking college courses in the early 1980s. Having grown up playing rock and roll, his ear quickly turned toward the music of Eastern Europe. His formal study of Balkan music on gudulka and tambura, began in 1982 at the week long Balkan Music and Dance Camp held in Mendocino CA. He formed Portland's 1st Balkan band, Živo Bitov Orchestra. Dennis was on the EEFC board of directors in the mid 1990's when he somehow convinced the other board members to allow him to found balkanalia!, a weekend Balkan workshop held near Portland OR. Dennis also plays Turkish classical and Turkish folk with Meydan and Turkish devotional music for Sufi events.
Photos by Jon Noel