Blisk will be travelling up and down the island, with shows also scheduled in Victoria, Nanaimo and Duncan. (Courtesy of Blisk)

Eastern European and Balkan song and dance group coming to Parksville

Blisk will perform as part of Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge’s World Music Week

The sounds of Eastern Europe are coming to Parksville next week.

On July 17, Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge will host the four-piece group Blisk, who describe themselves as “a synthesis of polyphonic Eastern European song, dance, and movement backed by hypnotic percussion.”

The music and movement of the Toronto-based group of four women is inspired by the songs and dances of the places they’re from — Ukraine, Poland, Russia/Kazakhstan, and Canada.

Using vocal harmonies, colourful costume and modern takes on traditional Eastern European movement and song, the women aim to tell the stories of the rituals, folklore and history of Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

GZAL owner Doug Pickard is excited about the opportunity to bring something a little bit different to Parksville.

“They intrigued me because they’re representing a unique take on Slavick and Balkan music. They’re displaying their songs with dance and movement… to me that’s the whole package,” said Pickard. “It’s a feast for your eyes, and your ears. They’re not the run of the mill group that you would normally see, they’re quite different, and their music’s amazing.”

Pickard wants to set GZAL apart as a venue by focusing on bringing in unusual acts from around the world.

“It’s really healthy to open yourself up to cultural diversity… it exposes you to different cultures, and it makes you realize it’s a big world out there, and there’s a lot of things going on,” said Pickard.

Three other GZAL shows are part of World Music Week in addition to Blisk.

Tuesday, July 16 will feature Zigue, a fiddle and guitar duo of traditional Quebec music. Thursday, July 18 Sugar Brown will play traditional Chicago blues, and Friday July 19 will see the American country music stylings of Brittany Jean from Nashville.

Doors for the Blisk show on July 17 will open at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance. For information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.gzalounge.com/upcoming-concerts.html.

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