Balkan Festivals Northwest Presents
Carol Silverman
Romani Singing
Carol Silverman, Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Folklore at the University of Oregon, has done research for over 30 years on Balkan and Romani music. Her work explores the intersection of music, human rights, folklore, gender, and state policy. She is also a teacher of Balkan music, an activist, and serves as Vice-President of the Gypsy Lore Society and a member of the Board of Directors of the NGO Voice of Roma. Carol toured and recorded for over a decade with the Yuri Yunakov Ensemble and performed in the 1999 North American tour of the Gypsy Caravan, also serving as its educational coordinator. She is the author of many articles on Balkan and Romani music; her book Romani Routes: Cultural Politics and Balkan Music in Diaspora (Oxford University Press, 2012) won the Society for Ethnomusicology Book Prize.
Michele Simon
Balkan Vocal Technique
Michele Simon has been involved with Balkan folk music for most of her life as a dancer, singer, drummer and teacher. She has performed with many groups over the years, including the Balkan bands Anoush, Helladelics, and Zabava! Izvorno, as well as being a founding member of Brass Menažeri Balkan Brass Band. She has been singing with Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble off and on for more than 25 years.

Over the years, Michele has studied with numerous native-born singers, including teacher training with her mentor, Bulgarian master singer Tatiana Sarbinksa. She has appeared on recordings and stages across America and in Bulgaria, as well as on Bulgarian National TV, and, with Kitka, on Serbian TV. Michele teaches private students and workshops throughout the West. As a singing teacher, Michele's specialty is integrating Balkan vocal styles with American voices, focusing on placement, ornaments, and pronunciation, using innovative imagery and exercises.
Corinne Sykes
Bulgarian Singing
Corinne Sykes is a Bay Area performer specializing in the folk musics of Eastern Europe and the Balkans. She performs at home and abroad with Kitka Women's Vocal Ensemble, Fanfare Zambaleta Balkan Brass Band, and Zabava! Izvorno. She has previously appeared with the Yale Women's Slavic Chorus, which she directed in 2009. Corinne is also an avid folk dancer with particular interest in Balkan/Black Sea regional styles. She lives in Oakland, where she tends to her chickens, bees, and goats.