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Balkan brass band to play Errington

The Errington Hall won’t know what hit it this weekend, when two Balkan brass gypsy bands flood it with their high-energy music.
Orkestar Slivovica is playing at the Errington Hall this weekend

The Errington Hall won’t know what hit it this weekend, when two Balkan brass gypsy bands flood it with their high-energy, funk-filled, celebratory music.

Vancouver-based Orkestar Slivovica is made up of 14 people who play a pile of brass instruments like saxophone, trumpet, horn and sousaphone, along with an accordion and various percussion instruments.

The music is “like a stew of Klezmer, New Orleans brass, Mariachi and Turkish music, all with Roma-style ornamentation,” said alto sax player Oliver Schneider, and it is traditionally played at weddings and parties, as well as funerals.

Schneider said they always have a good reaction to their music, especially from people who are from the southeastern area of Europe where the music originates.

“Anyone from that part of the world, they will either freeze up, burst into tears, throw money at us, break into laughter…it’s always an extreme reaction, but it’s always good.”

Schneider said for some reason the music hasn’t made it over here as there are only a handful of bands in the country who play this style, but it is flourishing in Europe.

He first heard it on a student radio station in Victoria about four years ago when he was searching for a new style of music to play. He gathered a group together from a variety of musical and ethnic backgrounds and the group was formed.

The music is technically challenging, allows for improvisation and is a lot of fun to play, Schneider said.

Lasqueti Island’s Bolting Brassicas Marching Band has a similar style, and Orkestar Slivovica have enjoyed playing with them many times before, Schneider said.

The Bolting Brassicas will kick the evening off at the Errington Hall this Friday, Aug. 31 followed by Orkestar Slivovica, who is on their Labour of Love Tour. The tour includes a show on Lasqueti Island and in Duncan at the Godfrey Brownell Vineyard, along with their famous “ferry jams.”

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. this Friday at the Errington Hall, tickets are $20, $5 for under 12 and 5 and under are free.

Get tickets at the Errington Store, Cranky Dog Music in Parksville and at Heaven on Earth in Qualicum Beach.

For more on Orkestar Slivovica visit, for more on the Bolting Brassicas visit