How did you get your break? My first break, after playing the local Balkan stuff in the hood, you know, was playing a klezmer gig. That was what broke me. That was with Harold Seletzky. He brought me to a whole other world. Up  until then I was stuck in Ridgewood. Harold Seletzky is no longer around, but he was a ...

Much has been made of the similarities between Balkan Beats and punk rock. There are, admittedly, a few parallels. Serbian kafana behavior, whereby drunken bećari (revelers on a spree) smash glasses, furniture and sometimes other people, is in some sense essentially punk in attitude. And there is a certain live-for-the-moment outlook in much Balkan Gypsy music that also parallels the ...