Balkan Night with Ylli Brekofca
September 21 @ 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Ylli Brekofca is a singer and accordion player who spent the first 64 years of his life in the city of Tirana, Albania.
Ylli learned to play the accordion at 15. Coming of age under communism and the Eastern Block’s total ban of Western music, Ylli delved deeply into his homeland’s folk music, as well as Latin American dance music. Albanian traditional music is an unusual blend of Balkan and Middle Eastern styles. A multi-talented craftsman, Ylli complemented his many day time hustles with night and weekend work as an entertainer.
Ylli immigrated to Maine in 2016, bringing with him the manuscripts of over 400 Albanian folk songs he had collected and written down in the course of four decades. His move to Portland and it’s diverse ethnic community marks a new era in his musical odyssey. He performs as a member of the band Bondeko, collaborating with musicians of distinctively different traditions, from Congolese gospel to French Pop and traditional American music. And he also finds occasions to connect with other musicians from the Balkans.
Part of the International Heritage Series. Based on the idea that music is inherent to strengthening community in cultures around the world, the series will celebrate regional music and dance traditions. Performances will showcase leading artists in Arabic folk music, French folk music, Bulgarian Balkan tunes and more.