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| @BalkanBeatBox | facebook.com/balkanbeatbox


With a group of musicians rotating around the Israel-born New Yorkers Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat, Balkan Beat Box plays Mediterranean-influenced music that incorporates traditions from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and New York electronica. Both men had plenty of experience playing in various eclectic bands before starting BBB: saxophonist Kaplan came to the U.S. to play jazz but soon fell into the underground, immigrant-driven scene, hooking up with Gogol Bordello and others, while percussionist Muskat played in Firewater for a while as well as flexing his production muscles (which he also uses with BBB) in projects with Gogol Bordello among others. In 2005, with help from bassist Itamar Ziegler, trombonist Dana Leong, and MC/percussionist Tomer Yosef, the band released their self-titled album on Jdub Records, a label that focused on promoting Jewish music of all sorts. They soon became a fixture in the New York underground, and Balkan Beat Box came out with their second full-length, Nu Med -- an album that also included contributions from guitarist Jeremiah Lockwood, trumpeter Ben Holmes, and saxophonist Peter Hess -- in 2007. ~ Marisa Brown, Rovi