Black Sea Surf Repertoire

Bill Cope

Bill Cope is teaching a new ensemble class this year: Black Sea Surf! This repertoire includes music from North Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey, arranged for both traditional and modern instruments. All instruments and singers welcome!

Bill is a multi-instrumentalist who is drawn to play music without borders, that will get people on their feet, dancing! He has been performing and teaching Balkan music at the Mendocino Balkan Music & Dance Workshops since 1982, and to date he has taught at many workshops & zoomshops around the world. 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 is currently the director of the San Francisco Kolo Festival, and the band leader for Zabava, Black Sea Surf, and Orkestar Unbound (at Balkanalia this year).

More info and resources:

Greek Ensemble

Christos Govetas

Greek ensemble is back with Christos Govetas! This class will coordinate with songs taught in Ruth Hunter’s Greek Singing class.

Christos Govetas was born in the village of Proti, in the province of Serres in Greek Macedonia. After emigrating to Boston in 1978 he joined the Rebetiko band Taxími as a bouzouki and baglama player and their main vocalist. Since then he has played classical Turkish music on the oud and bendir with The Eurasia Ensemble; Greek, Turkish and Arabic music with Karavani; and regional Balkan music with Tito’s Revenge and Akshambelah in the Boston area.

He has performed extensively in the U.S., Canada and Europe, and for over two decades has taught and performed Greek regional music at EEFC Workshops on both coasts. Currently he is a member of the nationally-known band Ziyiá. He performs regularly with his family band, Drómeno (at Balkanalia this year). Christos has recorded extensively, including with Ziyiá, Pasatempo and Drómeno, as well as with Stanley Greenthal and Heiner Goebbels. He is featured on Bill Frisell’s Grammy-nominated recording, Intercontinentals. In 1999, Christos was awarded a Folk Arts Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the preservation of Greek cultural traditions in music. He and his wife Ruth Hunter are also the recipients of the Ethnic Heritage Council’s Gordon Ekvall Tracie award of 2017.

North Macedonian Izvorno Repertoire

David Bilides

David Bilides is teaching an ensemble class with Macedonian Izvorno repertoire.

David’s initial encounters with Balkan folk music were the weddings and dances of the Asia Minor Greek community in which he grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. After hearing other Balkan music while attending international folk dancing in high school, he took the first of several trips to the Balkans in 1974, visiting Romania, Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. He learned dances, made field recordings, and collected instruments. On returning to the United States he taught himself the music and instruments, formed groups, organized festivals and other music events, and performed and taught others music and dance.

David has been lucky to study with many wonderful teachers of traditional music and dance from this area. He continues to play and teach music from the Balkans on a variety of traditional instruments in the US and abroad, and is currently the “Devet” part of the Seattle-based band Osem i Devet. David is a frequent guest performer with different groups and at traditional folk music and dance events across the country.