La Panika (Balkan) The inescapable brass band of the gypsy music of the Balkans
In the spirit of the eastern european village band, La Panika interprets the gypsy and balkan music of Bulgaria and Macedonia. When Benito Blancquaert, Belgian saxophone player and leader of the group, met Petar Elmazov, Bulgarian gipsy accordion player, it was (musical) love at first sight. Flamboyant French trumpetplayer Jean-Pierre Lietar came in, and the soul of La Panika was born. In formations ranging between 8 and 12 musicians, La Panika gathers highly skilled French, Bulgarian, Belgian and Macedonian musicians.
With their first CD Afan Toufan, La Panika played hundreds of concerts in Belgium, France, Holland, Morocco, UK and Hungary, affirming their European dimension. The CD received positive reviews all around the world. La Panika is highly rewarded by Eastern top musicians like Ivo Papasov, Serkan Cagri and Mladen Malakov, with whom they shared the stage. Who saw La Panika on stage, has witnessed their irresistible madness and virtuosity.
Time for a next phase in the career of La Panika. With their new album ‘Darmadan’ La Panika jumps back onto the forefront of the European balkan brass scene. A unique repertoire of some unknown pearls from the Roma canon, has been arranged with a contemporary sound with respect to the roots. Guests on the album include Neshko Neshev, former accordion player of Ivo Papasov, and Osama Abdulrasol, Iraqi qanun player. The album will be released on the 19th of January 2018 on Zephyrus Records.
“La Panika brings musicians from different countries and cultures together.
They are the living proof that music transcends frontiers and that it unites people.
Working with them was incredibly nice and I will do it again with much pleasure.”
- Benito Blancquaert : saxophone, clarinet, flute
- Peter Elmazov : accordion
- Mitko Chakarov : trumpet
- Jean-Pierre Lietar : trumpet
- Gaspard Vanardois : guitar, oud
- Mitko Kostov jr. : clarinet
- Cédric Gilmant: saxhorn, double bass, serpent
- Christian Laisné : saxhorn
- Hendrik Dobbelaere : saxhorn
- Seven Memedov : percussion
- Guest – Neshko Neshev : accordion