Near East ear feast! Balkan music festival takes over Grand Prospect Hall this weekend

Horns of plenty: Zlatne Uste, which runs the annual Golden Festival, has trumpets, trombones, flugelhorns, saxaphones, tuba, and drums.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

They’ll make your Balkan dance dreams come true!

Brooklyn music lovers are invited to shake a leg to the home-brewed sounds of the Balkans at the legendary Grand Prospect Hall on Jan. 18 and 19, where the borough’s Veveritse Brass Band will join more than 60 other rockin’ ensembles at the 35th annual Golden Festival, which celebrates tunes from Southeastern Europe that are heavy on the horns.

“It’s dance music,” said Nick Mauro, who plays trumpet for Veveritse. “The songs are really fun and the crowds are always there to dance.”

The 11-member band features a diverse cast of amateur and professional players, almost all of whom live in Brooklyn, and who share a common love for the sweet sounds of the Near East, said Mauro.

“We just love the music,” said the horn player.

Veveritse will join dozens of other bands at the Park Slope music hall on Saturday for the annual festival, which has grown from a small gathering of local Balkan bands to a massive two-day bonanza that will see thousands of local music lovers hitting the dance floor with traditional folk jigs, or plain-old hipster head bobs, according to Mauro.

“It’s a mix of folks steps, or just free-for-all hipsters in Brooklyn dancing,” he said.

The event will kick off on Friday night with four bands performing in one room of the sprawling 126-year-old event complex. The beginning of the night will be devoted to dance workshops, so that newcomers can get up to snuff on traditional Balkan dance routines, said longtime organizer Michael Ginsburg.

But come Saturday, the entirety of Grand Prospect Hall will be turned over to the Balkan event of the year, with some 65 total bands rocking out across five stages, according to Ginsburg

“It’s absolutely spectacular,” said Ginsburg, a founding member of Zlatne Uste, the band that created Golden Fest. “We’ll have five rooms going at once. It always exceeds my expectatio­ns.”

Golden Festival at Grand Prospect Hall [263 Prospect Ave. between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope, (718) 788–0777,]. Jan. 18 at 7 pm. $35 ($30 students). Jan. 19 at 5:30 pm. $55 ($45 students). Tickets for both nights $80 ($65 students, kids free).

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Posted 12:00 am, January 17, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: