- region:Gypsy and Balkan
- label:Piranha Records
- type: Band, Composer/Songwriter
- instrumentation:instrumental, vocal
The legendary tarnished instruments with all their bumps and bruises of Fanfare Ciocarlia’s early days are history, long gone – but the high speed Balkan brass lingers on and on and on: the Romanian brass band that started the Balkan brass craze almost singlehandedly in the mid-1990s – or, rather, 24-handedly.
What is now cherished enthusiastically all over the world and tours the globe ceaselessly was once the exclusive sound of small town Zece Prajini. When Fanfare Ciocarlia (The Lark Wind Section) hit the Western world through their debut album Radio Pascani on Piranha Records, they were strictly the sound of their little hometown in the Moldavian mountains – reclusive shelter to eight Gypsy families during the centuries including the Ceausescu regime when neither Gypsy lifestyle nor sound were very safe in Romania.
Dirt roads occupied by flocks of geese and horses and carts were the setting, a lively tradition of music handed down through the generations from times immemorial the band’s trade. A strong vein of the Turkish military brass band tradition runs through it, tracing back directly to the times of the occupation by the Ottoman Empire from which Romania freed itself in 1877 and 1878. There are indeed two sides to all of these aspects, as in Fanfare’s success in the Western world.
Then came the Romanian revolution of 1989. Next were some visitors from Berlin who started to take to the Ciocarlias as friends, management and family. Their finely-crafted story of a dozen brass musicians from the Carpathian hills who were faster on their bumped and bruised instruments than anybody else in the world spread like wildfire through Western media. The rest is history with a big sign of “Fanfare Ciocarlia” written all over it that gets brighter every day as the sirbas and horas get spiced up with Bollywood, music of the pop charts and what else is next.
It’s a sign that flashes brightly from the concert halls, dancefloors and movie screens – yet might offer a glimpse of the occasional downside to the story, too, as hinted at in Ralf Marschalleck’s 2004 documentary Iag Bari — Brass on Fire. Fanfare Ciocarlia used to be out of this world and, in return, half-ways secure from the mills of the capitalist system. Now they’re a worldwide success and in the wake of this are at last faced with the growing task of withstanding the enormous demands put on the band.
Equally buzzing and challenging, rewarding and thrilling – such is life, and the band that brings it on stage unabridged and uncensored!
MANEGEMENT & BOOKING Worldwide
Asphalt Tango Records GmbH
Tel: +49 (30) 285 85 28
- Benedikt Stehle (percussion)
- Constantin Calin (tenor horn, vocals, dances)
- Costel Ursu (large drum)
- Costica Trifan (trumpet, vocals)
- Dan lonel Ivancea (alto saxophone)
- Laurentiu Ivancea (baritone horn)
- Monel Trifan (tuba)
- Oprica Ivancea (sopran clarinet, alto saxophone)
- Paul Marian Bulgaru (trumpet)
- Radulescu Lazar (trumpet, vocals)
- Sergiu Nastase (tuba)