Black Sea Hotel: Balkan vocals from Brooklyn locals

April 18, 2013

Black Sea Hotel performs on Friday in D.C. Photo by April Renae.

This post has been updated.

Maybe you remember the album "Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares" by that large Bulgarian choir from the early '90s? Maybe not. Either way, New York's Black Sea Hotel takes some of the most compelling elements of Balkan folk music and strips them down to their barest form. The vocal trio executes the kind of close, difficult harmonies that inspired Kate Bush to collaborate with Trio Bulgarka, a Bulgarian vocal group, on her 1989 album, "The Sensual World."

The Brooklynites celebrate their fondness for Balkan song with precision, often rearranging traditional pieces originally meant for larger groups. On Wednesday, the group led a workshop on Balkan singing at D.C.'s Field School in Northwest and performed at a house in Maryland later that evening. Tomorrow, Black Sea Hotel continues its short but notably diverse tour at Church of the Holy City on 16th Street. Tickets are $20.

The original post incorrectly referred to "Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares" as a choir, when it is actually the name of an album by the Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir.

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