Édessa captures the passion and vitality at the heart of Balkan music. Using both traditional and modern instruments, Édessa performs in a variety of styles featuring long sets that interweave personal improvisation with traditional melodies, and swings with powerful old-world grooves.
Édessa draws on the rich cultural expressions of the southern Balkans. Their extensive repertoire includes music from Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Armenia, and Turkey, and music of the Balkan Roma (Gypsy). Having devoted decades to the study and performance of these traditions, the musicians in Édessa play with a deep understanding of the connection between music and dance, and of the power of this music for personal and collective expressions.
The sounds of the ensemble include the ancient and mesmerizing music of the zurna and davul, the lyrical and sweet music of the Greek islands, the haunting, trance-like pentatonic music of Epirus, and at the other end of the acoustic spectrum, the sizzling, contemporary Bulgarian fusion known simply as “wedding music”.
Édessa is in constant demand for events ranging from a variety of ethnic events to American-style folk dancing. These include Kurdish wedding celebrations, Greek glendia (festivals), Rom (Gypsy) spring celebrations, Armenian parties, Bulgarian national holidays, and folkdance workshops, dances, camps and festivals. Édessa travels nationally and internationally.