MerakKef Express is a recently formed group of singers and instrumentalists who play folk-dance music from around the world, with an emphasis on Eastern Europe. "Merak" means passion, desire or longing in Macedonian and "Kef" (as explained by the Eastern European Folklife Center) "is a word used in various forms throughout the Balkans to convey a spirit of pleasure and enjoyment, such as one experiences when partaking of good food, music, dancing and friendship." Our music is mostly dance tunes from Bulgaria, Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republics (Macedonia, Serbia, and Croatia), Romania, Hungary, Albania, Israel, Turkey, Armenia and a few others. Songs are sung in the language of the country of origin in authentic vocal style. Band members have many decades combined experience playing Balkan, International, Klezmer, and early music as well as classical music.
Joe Blumenthal--string bass, percussion
Kitty Kagay--vocals, percussion
Karen Klevanosky--saxophone, flute, piccolo, clarinet, kaval, percussion, vocals
Barbara MacLean--clarinet, tambura (Bulgarian and Macedonian mandolins), vocals, percussion
Bob Schulz-- laouto (large Greek mandolin), guitar, tambura (Bulgarian and Macedonian mandolins), vocals
Debby Szajnberg--violin, vocals, percussion
Contact Barbara MacLean: macleanbarb[at]aol.com