New York Gypsy Festival 2009

"The cultural inheritance of gypsy music is both vast and complex. When you speak about "gypsy music" you are drawing from a diaspora of countries and ethnicities where centuries-old history goes hand in hand with new innovations. The challenge for us, every year, is to keep up with the tradition's constant reinvention while not forgetting its roots: to give equal consideration to venerated legends and fiery upstarts, the urbane to the rustic, to Gypsy jazz and Gypsy punk alike.

In this, our fifth year programming the NY Gypsy Festival, we are extremely proud to say that we have achieved such balance. From the roots of the Romani people in India, to the Hungarian pop charts; from an American indie rock super-group to an internationally acclaimed Turkish clarinet virtuoso; from refined and contemporary post-bop jazz to riotous everything-but-the-kitchen-sink celebrations; every show in the NY Gypsy Festival's 5th year anniversary is must-hear music. We offer you the culture of a people and hope that you welcome them, as we do, with open arms."

- Serdar Ilhan and Mehmet Dede
NY Gypsy Festival Producers

The New York Gypsy Festival celebrates its fifth annual performance schedule with one of the most outstanding and diverse lineups of its storied history. The Festival kicks off on September 11 with what promises to be a raucous non-stop dance party from two of the City's most impressive and exciting Roma-influenced ensembles: Zlatne Uste Brass Band and Luminescent Orchestrii. Next day, meet us at South Street Seaport on September 12 for a sailing cruise around Manhattan that offers a full-length performance from all-star visionaries The Sway Machinery, featuring members of Balkan Beat Box, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire and Antibalas and a global gypsy party with beats from DJ Pepe. Unconventional, international fusion is the order of the night on September 18, as New York's own Hazmat Modine share the stage with the white-hot Hungarian folk-punk- pop band Little Cow. On September 25, legendary Turkish clarinetist Barbaros Erkose plays a rare stateside set with the NY Gypsy All-Stars, with very special guest performers Frank London on trumpet and Ilhan Ersahin on saxophone. The Festival comes full circle with the final show on September 26, featuring the New York debut of Rhythm of Rajasthan, traditional folk music from India, the birthplace of the gypsies.

About The Producers

The 5th Anniversary of the NY Gypsy Festival is produced by Serdar Ilhan and Mehmet Dede, veterans of the New York concert scene who have presented the Festival since 2005. Together, Ilhan and Dede put on shows with the likes of Ivo Papasov, Kolpakov Trio, Gogol Bordello, KAL, Beirut, Balkan Beat Box, Acquariaga Drom, Husnu Senlendirici, among many others, introducing the music of gypsy cultures from around the world to Americans. Ilhan's impressive resume includes fifteen years of bookings at such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as running multiple music venues including the internationally known club Drom. Dede's extensive background in music marketing and promotion informs his work with event & marketing company, Electric Lila. In June, the pair inaugurated Istanbulive at Summerstage in Central Park, an ambitious presentation of Turkish musicians rarely seen in the States and of the highest attended shows at SummerStage in 2009. They are proud to add to the tradition of fine music and performance that is expected from the NY Gypsy Festival.