West Philadelphia Orchestra

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There is a cool little place near us, Underground Arts, that has really become a great venue to see shows. In the beginning, it was just kind of a basement and I actually got lost once (think Spinal Tap in the Detroit stadium) at the end of a Fringe late night cabaret trying to find my way out. It is still a basement, but it has come a long way since then, or I have, and there are some really fun acts that come through there. Additionally, last December, one of the most excting events took palce there which I still marvel about to this day, the book release party for Ode to Billie Joe by Tara Murtha.   To celebrate the book release, she put together a band to play the full album start to finish. It was a magical evening and I will always have a warm spot in my heart for Underground Arts who allowed that to happen. But I digress… On the start of the holiday weekend, we had the chance to see one of our favorite local bands.

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We invited our friend Michael to join us since he had never seen The West Philadelphia Orchestra. They describe themselves as a brass Balkan dance band. Their eastern European influence includes Romanian ballads, Macedonian folk dance songs, Bulgarian wedding music and Klezmer. Their 12-15 members are joyous, raucous and it is impossible to be sad when listening to their music. Half the time I am not even sure what language their lead singer is singing, but I can’t seem to stand still. Inevitably they will also end up leaving the stage and in the in the middle of the dance floor playing, which just gets everyone even more riled up. You leave the show, sweaty, happy, a little deaf and a bit dazed and unsure of exactly what you just witnessed, in other words, totally fun! If you have the chance to see these guys, do it, I will gladly refund your ticket price if you do not feel the same joy I experience every time I see them. By the way, Michael will not need a refund as he thanked us on our way out into the pre holiday night.

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39 shows to go, 334 days left…

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