Seeing music live is a great way to really feel the music, especially when you position yourself directly between the cymbals. Be at the center of it all with this GrouponLive deal to the 8th Annual New York Gypsy Festival at Drom, running until Sunday, September 30. Choose between the following options:
- For $20, you get one pass to all the remaining shows at Drom (a $45 value).
- For $39, you get two passes to all the remaining shows at Drom (a $90 value).
This Groupon is valid for the following remaining shows:
- A People Uncounted on Tuesday, September 18, at 4 p.m.
- NY Gypsy All-Stars and Marco Calliari on Thursday, September 20, at 7 p.m.
- Fanfare Ciocarlia official after-party on Saturday, September 22, at 10 p.m.
- Sepiatonic and DJ Ipek on Thursday, September 27, at 10 p.m.
- Elena Andújar on Friday, September 28, at 7 p.m.
- Ariadna Castellanos on Sunday, September 30, at 7 p.m.
See the schedule
The New York Gypsy Festival has celebrated Eastern Europe’s music, culture, and people for seven years, with past festivals featuring such acts as Gogol Bordello, Beirut, and Sway Machinery. For the festival’s eighth annual incarnation, Fanfare Ciocarlia headlines at Pace University’s Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts ($35, not included with this Groupon). Also highlighting the Romani culture are documentaries, concerts, and parties such as the following:
At best forgotten and at worst subject to hate crimes, the Romani are the largest minority group in Europe. This award-winning documentary paints a portrait of “the gypsy” quite unlike the pop-culture caricature—a portrait of relentless poverty, heavy stigmatization, and constant risk of crime and violence. After all, in the words of one of the film’s historians, “It’s not a gene that they have which makes them walk in the streets as beggars.” The feature-length debut of director Aaron Yeger, A People Uncounted fills in the gaps of what people know—or think they know—about the Romani.
After the native Romanian band makes its triumphant return to the United States at Pace University, the party moves back to Drom, where Roma Carnivale greets partiers with gritty glee. A nine-piece band from Montreal that plays Serbian gypsy music with a punk edge, Roma Carnivale keeps the dance floor hopping with their potpourri of sousaphone, ukulele, accordion, violin, trumpet, guitar, drums, four singers, and a trampoline. Also out of Montreal, DJ Touski of the city’s famed Balkan Beat parties spins a worldly mix of looping beats and remixed brass band.
A rising star in flamenco forging her own path, Ariadna Castellanos merges jazz piano and flamenco instrumentation into a wholly new form of music. Performed with classically trained precision, her improvisations seem to be preplanned and written on the bottom of her shoe. Though young, the genre-maker has worked with such established artists as Jorge Pardo, Sandra Carrasco, and Javier Limon. Castellanos is a graduate of London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and she is the first Spanish musician to be awarded a Presidential Scholarship.
Rather than the colored spotlights that scurry across many a modern dance floor, Drom’s performance space twinkles beneath the glimmer of its massive Turkish chandelier. In its glow, Layla Isis, Mariyah and Sira move to gypsy rhythms, undulating through live performances. During the spinning spectacular, Layla showcases the same fleet-footed prowess that landed her a role in Sex and the City 2 and a spot on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, though by that time, Conan had been successfully replaced with a snowman wearing a clown wig. An artist of the beautiful, she blends traditional belly dancing with her stunning reimagining of the Danse Serpentine—a medium created by Chicago native Loie Fuller and popularized in Paris in the late 19th century—with billowing reams of cloth and striking changes in light.
Due to the success of these performances, Drom's dancers have started to teach classes. On Saturday, before the night ramps up, the talented dancers twirl into classrooms to teach their art to curious students.