Those at NARROWS CENTER FOR THE ARTS tonight were treated to red-hot Parisian gypsy music. Led by singer and founding member Awena Burgess, Balval fused gypsy flair with a vast spectrum of western and European styles performing songs from the new Le Ciel Tout Nu (The Naked Sky). The national radio and publicity campaign launches this week by New Bedford’s acclaimed Whaling City Sound label.
Captivating vocalist Burgess blended beautifully with violinist/vocalist Rosalie Hartog, with guitarist Daniel Mizrahi, bassist Benjamin Body, along with percussionist Patrick Gigon. They all deftly demonstrated how traditional gypsy songs connecting imaginatively with a stunning array of jazz, Latin, and Eastern influences. The new album elevates their vision by combining their unique musical hybrid with original music composed to the lyrics of contemporary Roma poets.
The audience danced to the distinctive sound matched with their equally dazzling improvisational spark. The result touched the mind, body and spirit, with the ancient transcendence of Eastern Europe, modern foundations of western melody, and the absolutely stunning instrumental dexterity of their gypsy heritage–particularly violinist Hartog-a wondrous and exhilarating night to spend with one of Whaling City Sound’s new rising stars. Thanks to The Narrows for the perfect setting to showcase this special evening.