House Concert for Ihtimanska!

Today, I’m taking a break from plugging my own musical project and I’m going to plug one by some of my friends! The wonderful Ihtimanska is in town from Montreal and they’re playing a house concert tonight around St. Clair and Oriole Parkway in Toronto.

A duo featuring two of my favourite people who I’ve met over the years of klezmering at KlezKanada, Ihtimanska plays all kinds of Balkan and Turkish music with tremendous musical sensitivity. With accordionist Yoni Kaston (that’s him in the photo, at KlezKanada, taking a break from playing the alto clarinet) and saxophonist Ariane Morin, Ihtimanska is playing tonight in an intimate venue that is bound to resonate with the warmth of their music!

I’m also hoping to get some inspiration from my own upcoming trip to Turkey and get my ears accustomed to the sounds of Turkish music on the saxophone. While I won’t have my own saxophone with me in Turkey, I’ll have my clarinet and I’m excited about the opportunity to study the music in Istanbul. Ariane has spent some time in Turkey herself, studying the music and the culture and it really shows in her saxophone playing.

Another reason that I’m looking forward to this concert is that there has been a fair bit of Balkan influence creeping into the latest music that I’ve been writing for KlezFactor. The latest tune completed for the upcoming album is called “P.K.’s Cocek,” based on the cocek rhythm used in a particular dance form from Armenia. While not technically the Balkans, Armenia’s proximity to Turkey makes it certainly a part of where I’ve been going with this music.

Check out the video below from their concert in Montreal just last week.

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