BGKO is a stable band that regularly performs in Barcelona and all Europe. But more than that, it’s an ever growing family of professional musicians and singers that are often invited for guests appearances. As musicians and singers from Turkey, Slovenia, Switzerland, England, Russia, Serbia, India, France, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Iran and Israel gave their contribution to the never-ending story, the BGKO brought Klezmer, Gipsy and Balkan music to all generations of Barcelona. Nevertheless, the interaction became mutual and the city became a melting pot with so many different styles and cultures to embrace, so many ears to play for, and so many dancing feet to move.
“Del Ebro al Danubio” consists of 12 striking soundscapes that serve as a bridge between different cultures that BGKO was inspired by: Romanian, Russian and Serbian gypsy songs; purifying Hungarian, Transylvanian, Klezmer and Albanian dances; contemplative melodies of Lebanese Arabic-Catalan tradition, Jewish and Bosnian sevdah.
In his introductory note to this CD, Itzhak Perlman informs us that, more than anything else he has recorded, this is truly his own music–"what you might hear if you came to my house and I decided to jam with some friends." And jam he does–with some very talented friends indeed. Klezmer music, which combines the folk and religious music of Yiddish-speaking cultures with various musical traditions of countries such as Russia, Turkey, and Greece, is unusual territory for a major label and a superstar artist, but here the combination works perfectly.
Klezmer, traditional Eastern European Jewish music, is said to have originated in the city of Odessa (Ukraine). The klezmorim were professional (and usually poor) musicians, who would travel through villages entertaining at festive occasions such as weddings and social events. The group Odessa specializes in klezmer music enriched by non-Jewish influences: Greek, Ottoman, Gypsy, and Macedonian.