~ Press ~
About OBI (the short version)
Orkestar Bez Ime [or-KESS-tar behz EE-meh], meaning "orchestra without a name" in Bulgarian, was formed in 2002 to recreate the sounds of the village with a presentation as festive as the music itself. Focusing on Eastern Europe and music of the Rom (Gypsy) people, OBI's repertoire reaches from Albania to Ukraine, with plenty of stops in between. Orkestar Bez Ime is a winner of the 2011-2012 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Performing Musicians administered by MacPhail Center for Music and a recipient of a 2012 Minnesota Emerging Composers Award from the American Composers Forum.
Download our EPK (last updated in 2014)
Press quotes (scroll for more)
"The music performed by Orkestar Bez Ime will prompt listeners to tap their toes."
–Minnesota Public Radio's Minnesota Sounds & Voices
Orkestar Bez Ime write, play their own brand of Balkan folk (by Dan Olson)
"While they take a more traditional approach than the pop-infused bands like Beirut or DeVotchKa, OBI beautifully illustrates the roots that those wildly popular groups originally grew from....[Mahala Drive is] a supremely well executed example of an under-appreciated music genre that could likely resonate with anyone if they gave it a chance."
–Reviler.org (Mahala Drive review by Jon Behm)
24 Hours Daily (Sofia, Bulgaria)
(Article in Bulgarian)
"The band's rousing Balkan tunes, with an American flavor, are in high demand all over the Midwest-and [Nice Driveway Volume 1: Cheers from the Land of the Freeze] demonstrates why."
–Minnesota Public Radio's All Things Considered
Minnesota musicians play to save the European folk (music) by Dan Olson
"They've spent years studying and learning the intricacies of the music they perform. As a dance band they play to get people on their feet.”
"Euro music, but not stuck-up"
"The band's between song machinations at the release party for its debut CD, Nice Driveway Vol.1, Cheers from the Land of the Freeze, might well merit attendance on their own."
"Despite the group’s flexible musical arrangement, each musician’s performance style and techniques are meticulous and authentic. Orkestar Bez Ime’s (OBI) players perfected their folk music techniques the old fashioned way: traveling to Eastern Europe, going from village to village, and studying under the best folk musicians in the region....Thorough, authentic training pays off nicely for the group’s audience: attending an OBI concert is truly like entering a different world....It is not to be missed."
"Orkestar Bez Ime claims to be from a made-up country called Rogaria..., but the members of this quintet are clearly citizens of the world. An out-growth of the Twin Cities-based Ethnic Dance Theatre, the Balkan-infected group-its name is Bulgarian for "orchestra with no name"-combines a love of eastern European folk with a cross-pollinating American sensibility that encompasses Swedish, gypsy, Isreali, and Armenian tunes."
"Versatile, virtuoso Twin Cities musicians"
–Day of Music, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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