This free script provided by
band members (in alphabetical order):
Brown has been playing Balkan music for longer then he likes to
admit. It was his idea (ahem - "artistic vision") to start Rakiya,
so he got stuck doing the work to make it happen. Now he gets to
play with great musicians, which keeps him happy and out of trouble. Dean also plays
with the bands Cambridge Folk Orchestra, Zdravets, Zornitsa, Balkan Fields and Shining Moon.
by music and musicians since early childhood, Colin became immersed
in the international folk music scene in 1991 when he joined the
Mandala Folk Dance Ensemble Orchestra. Since then he has played
in practically every international recreational folk dance band
in the Boston area. Recordings on which he appears include From
Our Garden (with Zdravets), Rags to Racenicas (with the
Flying Tomatoes), and Passport to the World of Music and Dance
(with the Bicoastal Band). Colin plays accordion, keyboard, and
dumbek with Rakiya. He is also a member of Boston-based band Shining
Lee began playing and singing Balkan music with the Mandala Folk
Dance Ensemble. Since then, she has performed with several
Boston area groups including Divi Zheni, a Bulgarian womens' chorale. Heather is currently a member of Sladka and also of Shining Moon, an international folk
dance band. Heather studied voice with internationally acclaimed
singer Tatiana Sarbinska.
Alan Mattes was classically trained on trumpet but his performance background has been primarily in jazz and jazz-rock, playing
mostly in the Chicago area. He has since added tenor and soprano sax to his arsenal.
He attended Berklee College of Music in the late 70's studying
performance and audio, and has been a professional recording
engineer for the last 25 years. He's currently a staff engineer
at WGBH radio in Boston and in his spare time also records and
produces a variety of CD projects.
During the past few years, he has recorded a number of ethnic CD's
and been drawn to ethnic music, primarily that of the Balkans and
the Middle East.
In addition to bringing his saxes and flugelhorn to Rakiya, he also
plays flugelhorn with the Poludaktulos Orchestra, a Boston-based
Greek-Macedonian Brass Band
McNerney has been playing bass guitar in jazz and folk rock bands
since 1983. In the late '80s, he discovered the wonderful rhythms
of Balkan folk music, first as a dancer, and now in Rakiya as a
dance musician. By day, Tim works as an engineer, designing electronics
and software for biometric cameras. Tim has a bachelor's degree
in music in computer science from Union College and a master's degree
in media arts and sciences from MIT.
Grant Smith is involved in many world music, jazz, classical, and dance projects in Boston and New York. His theatre credits include the American Repertory's "The King Stag", and "Shlemiel The First", as well as Joel Grey's "Borscht Capades". He is also a contributor to Trish Cibree's "Lounge Life". Mr. Smith has toured globally from Crakow to Thailand and New Zealand. He has performed with Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Don Byron, the Violent Femmes, Garrison Keillor, and Jane Wang.
Yacono, who has been tootling away on various Bulgarian wind instruments
since the late 80's, jumped at the chance to be in a band where
he had to bring only one instrument (clarinet) to rehearsals. He
has performed at numerous festivals and folk music events throughout
the Northeastern US, Canada, and Bulgaria. Besides playing and singing
with Rakiya, he plays with several other folk music groups (Zdravets,
Zornitsa, the Cambridge Folk Orchestra and the Pinewoods Band) and
juggles his folk music activity with a career as a concert pianist
and his work as a part-time researcher at the Harvard Medical School.
Alumnae and special guests
Dylan Riggan - drums
Tev Stevig - guitar and çumbush
Dave Golber - clarinet
David Skidmore - clarinet, dumbek, tapan
Steve Gruverman - clarinet and sax
Phil McGowen - drums
Ralph Iverson - violin