“This Brooklyn collective gleefully upends traditional wedding music of the Balkans and Greece, undercutting regional reeds and brass with decidedly American funk pulse.”—New York Times
“Watch as five people conjure a massive party around them. Then see if you can resist the temptation to get up and start dancing. It’s pretty unlikely.”—Pop Matters
“The wild … stylings of this band invoked such a frenzy that several people questioned their own existence after their own souls leapt from their body and danced right out in front of them.”—What Weekly, Baltimore
“A wild ride of genre blending that doesn’t call it a night just because the sun is coming up.”-Midwest Record
“Unhinged energy and dizzying skill.”—New York Daily News
Since 2008 Raya Brass Band has thrilled audiences with its energetic brand of soul shaking, border defying dance music. Given the way these five musicians electrify clubs, festivals, underground parties, and even subway cars with their riotous performances, it’s no wonder that they’re often mistaken for a band twice the size. The members of the band all bring their unique voices to the group, creating a sound informed as much by their love for the fierce and seductive music of the Balkans as it is by New Orleans brass bands, punk rock, out jazz, and a host of other international sounds. When they put it all together, this hard working band gets straight to the point, dancing, sweating, and shouting alongside its audience.
Notable Performances: Kennedy Center Millennium Stage • Lincoln Center Out of Doors • Philadelphia Museum of Art • Le Poisson Rouge • Joe’s Pub • Webster Hall • Club Helsinki • New York Gypsy Festival • Golden Festival • Johnny Brenda’s (Philadelphia) • Littlefield • Mercury Lounge
Raya Brass Band is
Greg Squared – Saxophone
Ben Syversen – Trumpet
Matthew “Max” Fass – Accordion
Don Godwin - Tuba
Nezih Antakli – Percussion
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View our one sheet, press mentions and download our hi-res photos and press kit.
Golden Festival 2014
Locks and Latches
Golden Festival 2012
Golden Festival was off the hook in 2012 with over 60 bands. This video is from our Saturday night set in the Rainbow Room, playing “Riff Cloud.”
Coney Island Banya Party
Raya Brass Band plays *in* the jacuzzi at Gemini and Scorpio’s Steamy Valentine’s Night at Russian Banya, 602 Coney Island Ave, Kensington, BK, 2/13/10.