Sunday, September 23, 2012

In which Fanfare Ciocărlia delights us extremely.

Fanfare CiocarliaMonths ago I bought three tickets to the Romanian gypsy brass band  Fanfare Ciocărlia concert that blew us all away tonight. My son and my friend Mitzi and I squeezed into her chartreuse Volkswagen and stood in the happy line of customers at Duke Gardens until they let us through (with our folding chairs) to the back lawn at 5:30.

Not long after 6 pm, three guys in fedoras and trenchcoats, gigantic horns wrapped around them, climbed onstage and started shaking the universe with steady, LOUD, long low tones that rearranged our molecules as the harmonies pulsed sloowwlly through our bodies. One by one more members of the band came on stage and soon there were twelve of them and the pace was an infectiously pounding prestissimo. 

After the concert was over they did a couple encores and then came down off the stage and processed grandly onto the patio, playing all the while. We crowded around them and kept dancing as they kept playing, dollar bills plastered to their foreheads. This is probably more like what they were used to before they got famous - and evidently when they're at home in Romania they still play at all night weddings.

They took turns circulating in the crowd, passing the hat, which was actually adorable, because I got the idea the dollars they collected in the hat meant more to them than whatever the fee was that Duke was paying them.

They were loud, they were virtuosic, they were very proud of themselves, they got us all up dancing, we laughed and were dumbfounded.  If you get a chance - go see them.


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