OMFO: I come from Odessa -  an area that is closely linked with  Balkan culture. Odessa was a part of the Ottoman Empire, and the territory has been home to many different ethnic groups – Gypsies, Moldavians, Greeks, Armenians, Tatars – people who express the core of this Balkan ethnic diversity.  Crimean Tatars, for instance:  typical Balkan music. If you listen to music of the ...

Prior to the Soviet Union, Odessa was a kind of  New Orleans on the Black Sea. It was a duty-free haven with a thriving black market and teeming port-side taverns where you could hear a variety of musical styles: Greek, Roma, Armenian, Georgian. It was famous for its distinctive Odessa mélange. In addition to Jewish bankers, Jewish workers and Jewish gangsters ...