The Luminescent Orchestrii, based out of New York City, is a difficult band to label -- the group combines Middle Eastern, Gypsy, and traditional European music with Appalachian fiddles, hip-hop beats, and a punk attitude to deliver a frenzied anywhere sound that resonates as old and completely new at the same time. Formed in 2002 by circus composer and resophonic guitarist (and master of the bullhorn) Sxip Shirey, violinist Sarah Alden, composer and violinist Rima Fand, violinist Julie Carney, guitarronist Aaron Goldsmith, and free jazz bassist Benjy Fox-Rosen, all of whom are united by a love of Balkan and Gypsy music, the group made a name for itself at festivals and clubs like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, and the Knitting Factory, and at assorted underground parties in New York City. The self-titled The Luminescent Orchestrii appeared in 2003, followed by a second album, Too Hot to Sleep, in 2005. The band met and jammed with members of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who specialize in facsimile arrangements of old black Appalachian string band tunes, at a Folk Alliance festival in Memphis, and together the combined groups recorded a four-song EP, Carolina Chocolate Drops/Luminescent Orchestrii, which was released by Nonesuch Records early in 2011. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi