Folk Dance Brunswick’s “Balkan and Beyond” Dance Night Will Feature Live Music by Boston’s Pixton & Shragai

On Friday, May 20, Folk Dance Brunswick’s “Balkan and Beyond” dance night will feature live music by legendary accordionist Tom Pixton (shown) and multi-instrumentalist/percussionist Yaron Shragai. All are welcome. [Photo courtesy of Tom Pixton.]
On Friday, May 20, Folk Dance Brunswick’s “Balkan and Beyond” dance night will feature live music by legendary accordionist Tom Pixton (shown) and multi-instrumentalist/percussionist Yaron Shragai. All are welcome. [Photo courtesy of Tom Pixton.]
BRUNSWICK, Me., April 28, 2016 — Folk Dance Brunswick will host a “Balkan and Beyond” dance night with live music by Boston’s Pixton–Shragai Band on Friday, May 20, from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. at the People Plus community center, 35 Union Street, one block west of Maine Street, in downtown Brunswick. All are welcome. Donation $10.

Pixton–Shragai is a two-person international-folk-style band, featuring legendary folk accordionist Tom Pixton and multi-instrumentalist/percussionist Yaron Shragai. The duo has performed across the Northeast and been acclaimed for its exciting repertoire of world dance music from the Balkans, Israel, Western Europe, and around the globe.

“Tom Pixton played for us on an remarkable night last February as part of a larger band,” says Folk Dance Brunswick president Mary Brennan of Harpswell, “and we’ve heard great things about Yaron, too. So the ‘Balkan and Beyond’ dance should really be a terrific night of fun!”

Tom Pixton is a celebrated Balkan, international, and Scottish folk dance musician. He has worked with many of today’s most accomplished dance teachers and musicians as accordionist, pianist, bandleader, music arranger, and CD producer — providing music for dance camps, workshops, and special events in the U.S., Canada, and Japan. He plays a magnificent accordion, a custom-built 4/5 96-bass Guerrini Classic, and studied accordion with Petur Ralchev, Koliu Kolev, Bobby Brown, and others. He is the publisher of the Pinewoods International Collection, a 400-page book of folk dance tunes from around the world that is a leading reference volume and source of dance music. From 1977 to 1984, he was a harpsichord player and maker who studied with Gustav Leonhardt and Louis Bagger. He performed throughout the U.S., made a variety of recordings, and hand-built 18 harpsichords.

“In 1991,” Tom says, “I decided the accordion was way more fun!”

Yaron Shragai is a noted Boston-area folk musician, bandleader, and dance leader. He has been playing traditional music for more than a decade, focusing on Balkan and international styles as well as some klezmer and American contradance music. He chiefly plays percussion and the recorder but also sings and plays the guitar. Shragai grew up in Israel and New York City — two spots where cultures meet in remarkable ways — and learned from Souhail Gaspar, Beth Cohen, Hankus Netsky, and others.

“My key interest,” he says, “is in the relationship of the music to the dance forms and the role of the supporting musicians in driving them both forward.”

In the early part of the evening, selected dances will be taught for newcomers; the band will start playing around 7:30 p.m.

Folk Dance Brunswick is a nonprofit organization offering world music and international folk dancing. The group meets weekly on Fridays at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome.

“Folk dancing is good exercise — and good fun for all ages,” Brennan concludes. “Some of the dances are taught, no partner is needed, and it’s a nice way of building global community through local action.”

No street shoes on the dance floor, please.

For more information, contact 207-200-7577 or http://www.folkdancebrunswick.com.

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