Although the band is based in New York, with a commensurate cutting-edge/punkish attitude attendant to the downtown scene, Balkan Beat Box's heart and soul reside somewhere in the vicinity of the Mediterranean as that region's culture oozes up toward Eastern Europe, and vice versa. BBB's core is saxophonist Ori Kaplan, drummer/programmer Tamir Muskat, and vocalist/MC Tomer Yosef, all Israeli-born New Yorkers and as eclectic a crew as you could find anywhere. Blithely mashing together traditional music from all points around the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and ancient shtetls with electronica, jazz, and smatterings of rock and hip hop, BBB's provocative melting pot is as much about dissolving political borders as finding new avenues of musical expression. Their new Blue Eyed Black Boy was recorded in Belgrade, Serbia, with local brass players and singers and the Gypsy band Kal, while ethnic-inspired riots filled the streets. If BBB's philosophy and grooves could prevail, those riots would turn into party time. With the Brass Messengers. All ages.
Wed., Aug. 4, 7 p.m., 2010