Balkan Festivals Northwest Presents
balkanalia! 2018
Dan Auvil
It was love at first sight 30 years ago when Dan Auvil saw the large, two-headed tupan. He has been playing and teaching internationally ever since. Dan is a founding member of the bands Édessa, Ziyiá and Trio Zulum, and currently plays with Janam in the Bay Area.
Bill Cope
Bill Cope is a multi-instrumentalist who is unable to focus on just one instrument and, as a result, has performed on over 60 in diverse settings. He began playing Balkan music in the mid-1970s after falling in love with the music he first heard in an international folk dance class. Bill began his teaching career in 1982, giving lessons on Bulgarian and Macedonian tambura at the EEFC Balkan Music & Dance workshops in Mendocino, and since then has taught at many workshops around the country. Bill has been the music director of San Francisco-based WestWind International Folk Ensemble, AMAN International Dance Ensemble, Mendocino Folklore Camp, and the San Francisco Kolo Festival. He was the administrative director of the East European Folklife Center in the early '90s. He is currently the director of the San Francisco Kolo Festival, and leads the bands Zabava! and Black Sea Surf. When in San Jose, look for events at the Cope-a-cabana.
Michael Lawson
Michael Lawson began playing piano and trumpet at an early age. In college, he picked up his mother's accordion and learned to play it for his folk dance club. He fell in love with the rhythms and harmonies of Balkan music, a genre he has played extensively over the last 40 years. He led the folk dance bands; Nisava, Balkan Cabaret and Kafana Republik, as an accordionist and vocalist, recording several CDs, and playing for folk dance parties, festivals, camps and weddings. In the summer of 2016, Michael accompanied the Bulgarian Voices of Seattle Women's Choir on a tour in Bulgaria. Michael launched and plays keyboard for a new jazz band, Dreams Come True, which performs repertoire from the swing era.

"I've always had the feeling that music is completely natural-that everybody can sing, that everyone can join in dancing-that these are natural, innate human abilities that help us to share the joy of life with each other."